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Valentines day dinner

I'm working from memory here, so bear with me.

Lamb ribs in honey-wine sauce

Holy crap this was easy. All three of the recipes were easy, and pretty damn cheap, too; the only reason this was even a little expensive was because of the lamb. It would work great with pork cutlets and cost $15 less. But really, nothing would ever taste better with this than lamb.

Serves 2

4 - 6 lamb ribs, or 2 - 3 lamb steaks, bone in, cut in half (what I used)
White wine
olive oil
soy sauce
lemon juice
white or yellow onion
minced garlic

The recipe calls for more meat than that, but a) we're trying to eat healthier and cheaper, b) that's how much I used, and it came out amazingly well. Seriously, it was some of the best lamb I've ever tasted.

The only real prep you have is julienning the onions, mincing the garlic (you can buy that preminced) and (if necessary) cutting the meat. After that, just mix everything in a bowl, pour over the lamb in a casserole dish, cover, and marinate for 40 mins - an hour.

Your liquid proportions should be approximately like this; 1 cup wine, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tblspn honey, 1 tblspn oilve oil. Of course, adjust for taste.

After marinating, bake covered at 400 for an hour. I'd originally intended to uncover for about ten minutes at the end for browning, but I'm kind of glad i didn't; the meat literally just slid off the bone.

Mint Sugar-Snap Peas

Sugar-snap peas
chili powder
minced garlic
green onions
chopped fresh mint
olice oil

Stir fry everything but the mint leaves for a veeeery short time; about five minutes'll do fine. Remove from heat, remove from pan, stir in mint. Serve hot or cool to room temperature. It would be fine either way. In fact, if you used maybe a small amount of wine rather than oil, you could serve these chilled and it would come out fantastic. That might be more of an appetizer, though.

Garlic Penne

olive oil
penne pasta (wheat pasta works fine)
10 cloves of minced garlic
cayenne pepper
chopped fresh parsley
grated Romano

This one's even easier. Make pasta...erm...like you would make pasta. Brown the garlic in the oil, mixing in salt and cayenne. Once that's done sizzling, stir the parsley into the garlic mix. Toss the pasta with teh garlic mix, mix in grated romano. Seriously, you'd have to be trying to fuck this one up, and it tastes so good.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, keep it simple. Complicated and intricate can always be a fun challenge, but if you want to eat good, cheap, gourmet-quality food, keep it simple. When I went shopping for all this, my shopping list was only seven or eight items long, and it cost $35 - $40, over half that being the lamb. I can't remember the last time a Valentine's day dinner, homemade or restaurant, was that cheap.

Probably the best part of the entire experience, however, was making the meal. See, this dinner was supposed to be my valentine's gift to Kat, since we didn't have enough money for me to go out and get her flowers, or something shiny, or take her out on a night on the town. So I'd been planning my menu for awhile (although everything I ended up making was picked the night before).

When it came time to cook her dinner, she asked if she could help. I was initially a little hesitant (this was to be her gift, after all), but I said yes, and the two of us cooked together, made dinner for each other, together.

One of, if not the, best Valentine's Days I've ever had.


oh jeez. the noms, THE NOMMMMMS! that was the best goddamn meal I've had in a long time. I love yoooooou!
you expect me to eat what now?

March 2011

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