Picture this: You wake up the morning after an amazing night with a brand-new lady. Naturally, you want to make a great a.m. impression—the kind that says, “I’m more than just a one-night stand.” But, oops, cooking isn’t your forte.
Relax. Even a culinary novice can whip up a breakfast that makes a woman’s mouth water… and her heart race. It’s not just men who fall in love through their stomachs. Women can as well, and I’m going to show you how.
Trust me, as the chef behind New York City’s crowd-pleasing Delicatessen and Macbar restaurants, I know what I’m doing. And the following advice will make you look like a rock star the morning after Valentine’s Day, or any other time of year…
Even a culinary novice can whip up a breakfast that makes a woman’s mouth water… and her heart race.
First thing’s first: What to make? In my opinion, you can’t ever really go wrong with eggs. Eggs are like a blank canvas, and you can make an omelet or frittata out of almost anything you’ve got laying around. So my first piece of advice is to always have some eggs in the fridge. You never know when you’ll need them. Some other foods you should keep handy include mushrooms, spinach and two kinds of cheese at the very least. Asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes are excellent but not essential. And if you really want to impress, you’ll need goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, arugula and balsamic vinegar.
As for the actual cooking, involve your lady in the process as much as she desires. Ask her what she would like in her frittata, but in a closed-ended way, by telling her what her options are. Then ask her if she wants to help out or would prefer to lie in bed while you cook. You’ll be surprised how many ladies want to join you in the kitchen. The best part? You’re already on your second date.
And yet, a frittata alone isn’t a meal. A simple breakfast consists of four parts: an egg dish, fresh orange juice, coffee and a plate of fruit. A fruit plate is another place where you can dare to be lazy but also impress. Look for fruit that’s in season, knowing that you can never go wrong with peaches, apples, grapes and some kind of citrus—grapefruit, segmented oranges or pineapple. You can assemble a fantastic fruit plate in two minutes with just a bit of slicing.
Now, if this particular woman somehow doesn’t like frittatas, here’s your backup plan: French toast. You’ve probably already got eggs and bread. Now all you’ve got to do is use it differently. Even absent strong culinary gifts, these are dishes that just about any man can quickly master, smoothly prepare and easily impress with… right before retiring back to the boudoir.
Asparagus and marinated sundried tomato frittata with fresh ricotta for two
4 whole beaten eggs
5 pencil asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces (blanched in salted water until tender)
5 pieces good quality marinated sundried tomatoes (small diced)
3 Tablespoons good quality fresh ricotta
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ shallot (minced)
5 large basil leaves (thinly sliced, “chiffonade”)
1 French baguette
Salt and pepper
1. In an 8 inch non stick pan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil, shallots, tomatoes and asparagus. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for one minute
2. Add eggs and agitate with a rubber spatula for 2 minutes until eggs start to coagulate
3. Flip frittata add the fresh ricotta in dollops and place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 2 minutes
4. Remove from oven and slide frittata out of the pan onto a serving plate and top with basil and drizzle with a ½ tablespoon of olive oil
5. Serve toasted slices of baguette drizzled with remaining olive oil
Brioche French toast with orange butter for two (pictured at top)
4 slices of crust less brioche bread (1.5 inches thick)
Zest of 1 orange
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
1.5 ounces sugar
½ teaspoon powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pure maple syrup as desired
1. In a medium size mixing bowl add heavy cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and whisk together
2. In a small mixing bowl add 2 tablespoons softened butter, orange zest and whisk. (reserve for plating)
3. Preheat a medium size sauté pan over medium heat
4. Dip 2 slices of brioche into cream mixture and sauté in 1 tablespoon of butter until both sizes are golden brown. Repeat with remaining to slices
5. To serve plate 2 slices of the golden brown French toast with desired amount of orange butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar