The Date Night Cookbook

February 2, 2008 9:22:57 AM PST
Meredith Phillips, formerly of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, visits ABC7 Chicago to talk about Date Night Cookbook.

Recipes:

Lake Como-Style Salmon, Excerpted from The Date Night Cookbook

Ingredients

11/4 Pounds Salmon Fillet, Skin-on

2 Sprigs Oregano, stems discarded

1/3 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons), divided

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste

1 Teaspoon snipped fresh chives

Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 475 degrees. Tear a large piece of parchment and aluminum foil, and set the parchment on the foil. Place the salmon, skin-side down, on the parchment. Sprinkle with the oregano leaves, drizzle with the 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, and season lightly with salt.

Wrap the parchment and foil together, crimpling the edges well but leaving a bit of room for the steam in the packet. Set the packet on the preheated baking sheet and bake until the packet puffs up with steam and the salmon is barely cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the Salmon from the foil, being careful of any hot steam, and place on the serving platter. Drizzle with the remaining lemon juice and the olive oil. Sprinkle with more salt and season with pepper. Garnish with the snipped chives. Let Stand for several minutes for the lemon and olive oil to permeate the fish. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wine Poached Pears

These pears are so beautiful, and yet so easy to prepare. Serve them with my Zabaglione for a lusciously light dessert.

Yields: 4 servings

1 (750-ml) bottle Merlot

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

4 firm but ripe Bosc or Anjou pears

Ground Cinnamon for Garnish

Peel the pears, leaving a bit of skin and the stem intact at the top.

Combine the wine, 1 cup of the sugar, the water, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves in large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears, reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with knife, but not too soft?about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the pears to cool completely in the wine mixture. Cover and chill the pears in the liquid overnight.

Remove the pears from the liquid and keep chilled until ready to serve. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick and discard. Return the liquid to the stovetop and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool at least 30 to 45 minutes before serving.

Serve the chilled pears with the syrup or the Zabaglione.

Whipped Cream

Ingredients

1 Cup (1/2 Pint) Heavy Whipping Cream, Chilled

2 Tablespoons Sugar, preferably superfine, or more to taste

1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Chill a large mixing bowl and the beaters from an electric mixer (or whisk) in the freezer or refrigerator. Add the chilled cream to the chilled bowl and beat on low speed until the cream begins to form little bubbles. (Or whisk by hand.) Continue beating until the cream begins to get foamy.

Sprinkle in the sugar, vanilla, and any additional flavors. Increase the speed to medium, and beat to incorporate. The beaters will make "tracks" in the cream.

Increase the speed to high and beat until the cream has nearly doubled in size and forms stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat- stopping sooner rather than later- as the cream will turn grainy and start to turn to butter.

If not serving immediately, pour into a fine sieve and suspend in the mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

BOOK DETAILS:

In February 2008, Meredith Phillips, chef, author and star of ABC's popular reality show The Bachelorette, will introduce her first book, The Date Night Cookbook: Romantic Recipes for the Busy Couple (Terrace Partners.) Available in bookstores just in time for Valentine's Day, this compilation of delicious yet simple recipes is perfect for busy couples seeking time together. Sprinkled with creative tips and useful hints, the book makes it easy to enjoy romantic "date night" dinners together at home.

Inside the gorgeously photographed, hardcover book, readers will find more than 75 easy to prepare appetizers, entrees, desserts and cocktails. Phillip's appreciation for the tremendous bounty of natural ingredients from the Pacific Northwest and the straightforward, clean flavors found in contemporary California cuisine shines through each dish. The collection is intended to be simple enough to prepare on a weeknight, and so deliciously decadent they can be shared by candlelight.

Recipes include: Truffled Popcorn; Bruschetta Three Ways; Thai Lemon Grass Chicken Soup, with coconut milk, lime and fresh ginger; Heirloom Tomato Salad, with feta cheese and balsamic dressing; Jerked Pork Loin, with habanero salsa; and Pan Roasted Rib-Eye for Two. Cocktails include: Acapulco Sunset with amaretto, grapefruit and grenadine; White Peach Sangria; and White Orchid Champagne with Lychees.

In addition to pleasing the palate, Phillips shares secrets with her readers that are sure to make the night spectacular. From menus and tabletop décor to candle scents and music suggestions, date night is much more than just dinner!

A classically trained chef, Phillips studied at Oregon State and The New School of Cooking prior to pursuing a successful career in modeling. Raised in Portland, Oregon and currently residing in Los Angeles, Phillips is best known for her role as a final round contestant in the popular ABC television reality series The Bachelor and then later as the star of The Bachelorette. The Date Night Cookbook is her first book.

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