Date Night In

Thursday, April 21, 2011

For all you couples with kids, you know what I mean when I say it’s tough to get out for a date night. A lot of you busy with other stuff know what I’m talking about, too. So the wife and I have started doing Date Night In, inspired by watching Chopped on Food Network. We each pick two ingredients, and the other person must make a dish using them. We usually pick a day or two in advance so we can go shopping. We don’t have 1) the experience of the chefs on Chopped or 2) the extensive pantry. And we alternate - one week I do a salad or appetizer while she does the main, and the next week we switch. This is our third one. It was my most successful, though we haven’t had a bad one yet. My ingredients were bananas and goat cheese, and I was doing the salad/appetizer. Getting a little inspiration from this recipe, and a little imagination, I cooked up Banana Goat Cheese Rolls. Ingredients

  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • ½ jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 banana
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • filo/phyllo dough
  • A bit of olive oil
  • Goat cheese
  • A large pinch of salt Directions Saute the onion and jalapeno for five minutes or so until the onion starts getting translucent. Mash the banana in a bowl and mix in the apple cider vinegar and salt. Add this to the onions and turn down the heat. Let it thicken, five or ten minutes. Lay out a sheet of filo dough and spread a bit of olive oil around the edge of half of it, then fold it over. Cut it into four strips - they should be three or four inches wide. Put a spoonful of the onion/banana mixture at one end of the strip, then top with a spoonful of goat cheese. Roll the dough, folding the sides a bit so nothing comes out. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and lay the rolls on the sheet. I used three sheets of dough, but it probably depends on how much you put in each. Put them in the oven at 375 until the dough starts to brown, probably 15-20 minutes. Let them cool a bit and enjoy! I’m pretty excited about how well they turned out. The banana was pretty strong, and the jalapeno a little weak, but the wife said she’d serve them to company. I think we’ll try that next time we have company. We might tweak the recipe a bit. I highly recommend watching Chopped if you want to be a better cook. Not that you’ll learn how to cook from watching, though you should pick up some tips, but that watching it makes me want to cook more, and makes me want to try new things that are a bit outside my comfort zone.
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