Sunday Single Girl’s Guide to Entertaining 2

A dinner party for two has got to be one of the most romantic occasions in the world (unless it’s a girl from the office) [Wait – that would be awesome!]. Assuming it’s a man you’re entertaining, pull out all the stops: nice records or a good, unobtrusive radio station for background music, a small bouquet of flowers, lots of candlelight, hot plates, polished glassware and silverware, your nicest tablecloth or placemats, and, of course, perfectly delicious food. Men [or butches, or whoever] really love the whole production.

The Entrees in this section are designed just for two in order to make the shopping and preparation as easy as possible. (No leftovers to worry about, either.)

Nearly all of the preparation – cutting, slicing, dicing, whatever – can be done very quickly and in advance, so that all you’ll have to do is put everything together at the last moment. You’ll find that the actual cooking will go even faster if you put all your utensils on the stove in advance. Then all you’ll have to do is throw things into various pots and skillets.

These recipes do rely on relatively expensive cuts of meat – veal scallopine and steak, for instance. I’ve found that it’s possible to afford two veal scallops (about 3/4 lb.) and 1/8 lb. of proscuitto (sic) ham – which are horribly expensive per pound – because the amounts are so small. The same ingredients for four or six people would be financially ruinous (RUINOUS!) So splurge a little and enjoy. It won’t cost that much more than hamburgers.

Suggestions for appropriate appetizers, soups, vegetables and desserts are described in the previous chapter are given. (Not that the mathematical combination of just a few standards or favorites are endless).

HAM ALSACE: This is a French favorite from the province of Alsace – Lorraine.

1 precooked ham slice
1.5 TB sweet butter
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2/4 cup grated Swiss
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the broiler. Saute the ham in butter in a skillet. When heated through on one side, turn and heat the other. Mix the grated cheeses with the mustard and beat in just enough heavy cream to make a spreadable paste. Don’t let it get thin or runny. Smear the ham with the mixture and put it under the broiler until the top is melted and browned.

(Note: Dijon mustard is hot, spicy brown mustard. The American yellow hot dog mustard won’t work in this dish).

Precede with Onion Soup (p. 23). Serve with hot buttered spinach and buttered noodles. For dessert, try Flan (p. 37).

There you have it. Your weekly excerpt from “Single Girl’s Guide to Cooking and Entertaining: How to go straight to the heart of your man… easy and delicious recipes and menus for the working girl in a hurry.” by Dixie Dean Trainer, which is nowhere to be found on the internet otherwise I would link you to it. I like most of the recipes in this book but I’m simply astonished by the commentary and chapter introductions!

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