Good Eats: Mundial & Intrepid Diversions bring you: Valentine’s Day* *on a budget.

So here we are. On the cusp of probably one of the more stressful holidays for couples and singles alike.

I don’t know what all my readers are planning but I am into the classics on obligatory romantic holidays. Dinner and a movie? Yes please.

Colin Lamphier of Intrepid Diversions and I have teamed up to bring you our recommendations for dinner and a movie this Valentine’s Day. We have a two part series coming your way, first up – dinner and a movie at home. Make sure you visit his website to check out his recommendations for movies that are sure to win you major brownie points (especially the men). I loved, loved, LOVED his selections! Which dance? You tell me!

Both of these movies can be found on Netflix – so here are a few at home dinner options for you to impress your sweetie. The first is a recipe if you’re adventurous and the second is a take out option that will leave your significant other marveling at your gourmet skills without you having to clean up any mess!

Take Out Option (Atlanta)

Christopher’s To Go is a freakin’ miracle.

This is how it works (pretty much) – you can look at their website, pick the store you want to pick up from and you can order fresh meals that are made by their Founder & Executive Chef who is a Michelin rated French Chef. Their concept is to bring his quality of gourmet food to peoples homes at an affordable price. Which they do. They’re amazing.

They’re offering a special Valentine’s Menu at $39.95 a person. Those of you in Atlanta: THIS IS A STEAL and I can promise you from experience that their food is ace. You can place your order by 5 p.m. on February 12th and pick up all day on February 14th.

Here’s the menu:

First Course
Deviled Quail Egg
Crab Mango Salad
Prosciutto Dried Fig Skewered

Second Course
Asparagus Mousse Graved Lax
Braised pistachio, dill and meyer lemon oil

Main Course
6 oz Grilled Beef Tenderloin

-OR-

6 oz Steamed Wild Caught Salmon

Served with lobster stuffed portabella, sautéed carrot, Sunchokes and Endive. Lobster Red Wine Sauce

Dessert
Gluten Free Chocolate Mousse Cake
w/ a vanilla sauce

-OR-

Paleo Chocolate Truffle
w/ a coconut sauce

Honestly how can you go wrong? For $39.95 you’re getting a four-course gourmet meal that you can enjoy in your home with pretty much no clean up.  It leaves more time for cuddling and telling your gushing boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband/whatever “Anything for you!”

You can also feel good knowing that you’re serving your sweetie food that is healthy, organic and the containers they come in are also recyclable or fully compostable! How well rounded are you? You single? Oh. Sorry.

Anyways.

You can order by calling 678-860-1000 or visiting www.christophestogo.com.

Honestly if you’re in Atlanta I wouldn’t suggest going any other way. If I wasn’t heading to Savannah on a romantic getaway with my dog, I’d be ordering this for 1. Don’t pity me. This would probably be the single greatest Valentine’s Day of my life. I’d definitely go with the beef tenderloin and the chocolate truffle. Yum.

But for those of you not in Atlanta who may be a bit more adventurous here’s a recipe I think you should try instead. It’s simple but impressive.

Carbonara.

Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Lazio, Rome, based on eggs, cheese, bacon, and black pepper. Spaghetti is usually used as the pasta; however, fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine or bucatini can also be used.

Traditional carbonara is NOT the type you see in restaurants with a thousand extra veggies and peas and a ton of extra cream. The dish originally came to fruition when food shortages after the liberation of Rome in 1944 were so severe that Allied troops distributed military rations consisting of powdered egg and bacon which the local populace used with water to season the easily stored dried pasta.

#TheMoreYouKnow

So not only will you impress your date with a delicious meal, you can wow them with this little known fact. You’re welcome.

Pasta Carbonara

image

Photograph from snipview.com

Ingredients

• Salt
• 2 large eggs room temperature
• 1  ounce (about 1/3 packed up) of grated pecorino Romano, plus additional for serving (Definitely grate your own! There is a difference in flavor!)
• 1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated Parmesan
• Coarsely ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 package of pancetta (can be found in your local grocery store)
• 12 oz of spaghetti (about ¾ box)

Instructions

1. Place a large pot of lightly salted water (no more than 1 tablespoon salt) over high heat, and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with hot water, and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, pecorino and Parmesan. Season with a pinch of salt and generous black pepper.

3. Set the water to boil. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the pancetta, and sauté until the fat just renders, on the edge of crispness but not hard. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Add pasta to the water and boil until a bit firmer than al dente. Just before pasta is ready, reheat pancetta in skillet, if needed. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta and add to the skillet over low heat. Stir for a minute or so.

5. Empty serving bowl of hot water. Dry it and add hot pasta mixture. Stir in cheese mixture, adding some reserved pasta water if needed for creaminess. Serve immediately, dressing it with a bit of additional grated pecorino and pepper.

You’ll notice there’s no garlic in this recipe.

You’re welcome. Again. Man, you all owe me.

For dessert you should also keep it sexy and classic – just like Patrick Swayze.

image

Nobody puts Baby in the corner.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
These can be done the night before if you’d like!

1 package of ripe strawberries
1 container of dipping chocolate
1 roll of wax paper

What’s awesome about this is that 90% of grocery stores will have these items RIGHT next to each other. It’s like they want you succeed. Follow the instructions on the chocolate. It usually involves gradually heating the chocolate in the microwave, dipping the strawberries in the chocolate and placing them on a plate that is covered in wax paper. Once you’re done, put the plate in the refrigerator and let the chocolate harden.

Once you’re ready to serve, remember to remove them from the wax paper and put them on a plate. Presentation is everything!

I hope everyone enjoys their at-home Valentine’s Day! Make sure you leave a comment on Colin’s site to let him know which movie you went with and be sure to tweet me at @_goodeats to let me know what you ended up eating!

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