Romantic Dinners to Cook with Your Partner

By Dr. Keith Kantor
Staying in and cooking at home for a romantic date night is a great idea. You can stay in your comfortable PJs, prepare a gourmet dish with the freshest and healthiest ingredients that will save you both money and excess sodium, calories and unhealthy fats. When preparing your menu, if you decide to stay in for being the date night cook, choose a dish that is gourmet and completely different and exotic than your traditional weeknight dinner options, like the clam and lamb dish below. Take your time in the preparation of the meal and enjoy that quality time with your loved one. A meal that is healthy and homemade is the best gift of any stay at home date night.

Sea Bass with Clams and Radicchio

• 4 c reduced-sodium organic chicken broth
• 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
• 1 garlic clove, peeled
• 1/4 bunch fresh thyme sprigs (about 4 sprigs)
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 bunch radicchio
• 16 small clams, washed and scrubbed
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 slices (about 4 ounces) thinly sliced pancetta, cut into strips
• 1 pound filleted sea bass, cut into 4 pieces
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Set a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the chicken broth, lemon, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then add radicchio and clams. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until clams open. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large nonstick saute pan, heat a 2 count of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and stir. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until pancetta is crispy and curls up; set aside on paper towels. Reserve pancetta fat in the pan.
3. Season sea bass with salt and pepper. Return pan to medium heat. Once oil is smoking, add fillets and let sit for 3 minutes. Add butter to the pan, turn the fillets and cook for 30 seconds before removing.
4. Divide radicchio, clams and broth among shallow plates. Top with sea bass fillet and sprinkle crispy pancetta over the top.

Lamb Chops with Red Wine Reduction and Spring Peas with Mint

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Serves 2

4 lamb chops
Black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon grape seed oil
1 shallot, diced fine
¼ cup dry red wine
Spring Peas with Mint
1 teaspoon grape seed oil
1 shallot, diced fine
Frozen peas, 16 oz.
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint

Heat your skillet over medium high heat for one minute. In the meantime, season the lamb chops with pepper to taste. Add the oil to the hot skillet and swirl pan to coat evenly. Add the chops to the skillet and sear for 2 minutes on the first side. Lower the heat to medium and turn the chops. Cook for 4-6 minutes, or until medium rare. Remove the chops and set aside. Return the same skillet to the heat and add the shallots. Sauté for 30 seconds; being careful not to burn. Remove the pan from the heat and add the wine. Return the pan to the heat and simmer; whisking constantly until liquid reduces by 75%. Set sauce aside in a small bowl. Return the same skillet to the heat and wipe out with a paper towel. Add the oil and shallot and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the frozen peas and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the chopped mint, toss one more time and serve with the chops and sauce.