Date Night Dinner

Staying the theme of food, my significant other and I cooked a dinner together. He’s not too bad in the kitchen but he’s more of one pot or slow cooker kind of guy. He makes a mean curry or chili on that slow cooker of his. He tends to gets a little over-whelmed with more complicated recipes or more than one course. Which is fine, the first time I cooked dinner by myself, I was a mess and made even more of a mess than what was needed. I’ll take a guy who cooks over one who doesn’t any day. 
So we cooked something I’ve never attempted before. Cornish Hens. We got these hens a while ago and they’ve just been hanging out in my freezer for what seems like forever. They are little intimidating for a couple of reasons, they are so small and I’m afraid of over-cooking them but I did some research and my fears were put to rest. We’re going to treat them as we would any poultry. 
Side note: As you will probably see I’m using lemons a lot the last couple of days because I made the foolish mistake of buying a 5 lb. bag of lemons at our local club store so I don’t want them to go to waste. I’m making Chicken Scampi tomorrow and I think I will make lemonade to just so they are used up before they go bad. 
A yummy date night dinner! 

Rosemary-Lemon Cornish Hens

Ingredients

3 Cornish Hens (1 ¼ lbs each) 
1 cup Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, grated or crushed
½ white onion
1 large lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
Salt
Pepper
Directions
  1. Marinade the hens in a 1 gallon freezer bag with the olive oil, garlic, onion, rosemary, salt and pepper, and 1 of the lemons for 1-2 hours. Once the bag is sealed, massage the ingredients into the birds so all the flavors meld together.
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  3. Put the hens in a roasting pan. Add all the ingredients into the pan.
  4. Zest the second lemon and then cut it into quarters. Place the quartered lemons into the cavity of the birds. As the bird cook, the lemons will release their juice from the inside out (My mouth is water just as I write this).
  5. Cook the birds for 1 hour or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a knife and a meat thermometer registers 170° F. Don’t forget to baste every once and while.
They should look as yummy as this. 

Roasted Asparagus with Garlic

Ingredients
1 lb Asparagus
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic (crushed or grated)
Salt
Pepper
Directions
  1. Cut or snap all the woody ends off of the asparagus.
  2. Arrange on a baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic over the stems.
  4. The asparagus will take about 30 minutes at 375° F so I just throw them in with the birds after 30 minutes of cooking so the Cornish hens and asparagus are done at the same time.

Baked Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients
2 ½ lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
3 cloves Garlic
½ cup half/half
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
Salt
Pepper
Directions
  1. Cut the potatoes into quarters. There’s no need to peel the potatoes. Make sure the cut pieces are relatively the same size so all them cook evenly.
  2. Place into a large pot with the whole garlic cloves, salt and pepper.
  3. Fill pot with water so the water just covers the spuds.
  4. Boil for 10-15 minutes until they are fork tender.
  5. Drain water.
  6. Working in the same pot, add the half/half and ¼ cup of the shredded cheese and smash using a hand masher or large fork. I choose not to use a hand blender because I like the heartiness of the potatoes rather than whipped potatoes. This is just my preference.
  7. Place the glass cooking dish.
  8. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and bake with the hens and asparagus the last 10 minutes of their cooking time.


    Enjoy with a Belgium Tripel or a glass of white wine!
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