Sunday, September 12, 2010

Date Night Dinner: Scallops and Spinach

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Now that John and I are on a pretty tight budget, any date nights we have are most often associated with the apartment.  John likes to reminisce about the fancy dinners we used to go to when we first started dating, but, since John needs a new car, and I'd like to go to Alaska with my family this summer, we have a lot of saving to do.  So to spice things up a little, I planned a "real" date night. 


First, I wrote him a poem, and left it on his pillow the night before dinner (this was supposed to remind him that he should at least bring wine or flowers) that of course didn't happen, but I was prepared with enough wine.  I knew he'd forget! It's a funny poem, nothing sappy, inviting him to dinner and what time.


Then, I shopped.  And shopped.  And shopped.  For me, there's something to be said about good ingredients, so I skimp where I can and splurge when I think I should.  That being said, I went to Haymarket and got a bag of spinach for $1.  But, scallops were bought from a specialty fish store in the North End.  They're a new store:  Mercato del Mer.  You should definitely check them out.  Supposedly they are also giving "Oyster Shucking Lessons" at 1 p.m. on Saturdays.  That is on our fall to-do list definitely!  You only pay for what you shuck, too!  YUM!


Anyway, then it came time to prepare the actual meal.  First I laid out a menu and put it on the table.  


Yes, there is a stain on it.  John poured wine on it before I could even serve! 
The caesar salad was easy.  Made it and put it in the fridge.  I made it with some fresh croutons though.  I'll give you my secret to those another time, I promise, mostly because I'd like to make some more this week!


I made the rice and put it in a warm oven, same with the spinach.  Then, I cooked the scallops and assembled the dish. 


Now, it's quite obvious that I have never cooked scallops before, and I didn't let the pan heat enough so there wasn't a sear on most of them.  However, they were cooked to perfection so go me for that!!!


The thing I enjoyed making most, and the one most requested has been the wilted spinach.  If you've never tried it before, I could see it be coming a great dish for your family.  It's quick and easy and so nutritious if you don't let it cook down. 

Wilted Spinach
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 a white onion
1 bag of spinach (12 ounces)

I pour the olive oil in a pan and cook it on high heat.  Then, saute garlic and white onion until the onion is translucent and throw the spinach onto the pan.  Make it a big pan.  One bag of spinach can feed about four or five when it's cooked like this. Within 5 minutes you will see it "wilt".  Stir it around and turn the heat to medium-low.  Let it cook down an additional 5-10 minutes.  Done.  I serve it with the garlic and onion because its so good.  The spinach tends to soak up oil so I try to put in as little as possible!


I made tiramisu for dessert, which was easily made a day ahead of time, and since John never goes in the fridge anyway, that was easy to hide!!!  It was an easy recipe, which I promise I'll share soon.


Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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