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  • Writer's pictureCoco

Your next dinner date at home: French, Simple and … yes, Fast!

Are you getting tired of going out and spending money? Are you running out of restaurant picks? Are you in a mood to cook tonight? For some reason, “French” sounds good to you, especially for a dinner date at home, but by habit, you stay away from it because you think it is too fancy and too involved.

Change your mind!

You can easily show off without much trouble. I can help you stay on budget, fix a three-course, balanced and awesome French dinner in one hour, and make your night a total success. How?

Let the French Shrimp Salad, artistically served in half an orange skin, make its grand entrance.The shrimp should be very fresh, plump, flavorful, and not overpowered by hot sauce or spices. This recipe calls for a little bit of mayonnaise (store bought, light or regular mayonnaise is okay!), some fresh cilantro and a fresh orange for a perfect balance. In ten minutes, you will have it in the refrigerator, ready to be served.

Then will follow the Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes, a classic all-in-one, easy and delicious main dish. The tenderloin is always very tender, as its name indicates, unlike the plain roast. The pork and the potatoes are cooked side by side in this recipe, and they come out nice, moist, and tasty. Plus, you can prepare it a few hours ahead until it is time to bake it. Depending on how fast - or slow - you can peel potatoes, you should have this dish assembled within fifteen minutes.

The “Poire Belle Helene” will be the perfect finale: an authentic French dessert with poached pears, vanilla ice-cream, chocolate sauce and Chantilly (whipped) cream. Bistro style and easy. For a refined touch, poach the pears, melt the chocolate, and whip the cream yourself, at home. It will make all the difference. Admittedly, you spent little time on the appetizer and the entrée… This is the last push, which means that it will set the last impression. You can spend a few extra minutes on that, and do it right.

A nice bottle of wine and some sparkling water, white dishes, a mini candle on the table, a few freshly cut leaves or petals on the center – You can even sprinkle some edible 24 carat gold (from a reliable source), if you want to look like the “big” spender (although… not really!) – And Voilà!

As a side note, give yourself some time and enjoy the moment while you are preparing this event. The anticipation is part of it. You will be more relaxed at the end, ready to savor the evening.

If you are in a rush, you can go right to the recipe cards instead of watching each video. However, I recommend that, before you dig into the meal with your date, you first dig into the French experience, thus I do suggest you watch the videos. Why?

Because it will give you some background and complementary information on the dish itself, its history, its ingredients, etc., and it will easily feed the conversation during dinner when you serve those wonderful creations of yours. You will display an array of talents – skill and knowledge, elegance and culture, and remember to be subtle about all these talents and pretend that they come to you naturally.

You need not put yourself ostentatiously on a pedestal. No matter what, your performance will not go unnoticed, trust me. The simple things… the little pleasures in life… create the biggest pictures.

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