Idiot-Proof Dinner for Two

easy dinner ingredients

Happy 2014 from my kitchen to yours!

You might be feeling a bit worse for wear today after last night’s champagne but that’s no excuse to stay out of the kitchen. Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Was it to eat healthier? Go to the gym three times a week? Be nicer to people? Try new things?

Well I’ve got something that will start you out on the right foot: a nice, incredibly easy dinner for two. Can be made for your and your lover, you and your mother or you and a roommate as an apology for trashing the house on New Years.

On the menu we have: Garlic Lamb Burgers, Rosemary Garlic Potatoes and a Roasted Fennel Salad. I’d recommend serving this with a crisp cold bottle of Lindeman’s Framboise.

This meal is pretty easy. You are using garlic and rosemary as your main flavors. There’s some chopping involved, but the oven will caramelize those potatoes and fennel slices perfectly. First prep the potatoes and fennel and then cook them at the same time. This meal will take you about an hour and a half total. The burgers will take about 5 minutes to assemble and 15 minutes to cook.

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary

Serves 2

1.5 lbs. baby red potatoes, cut into small chunks

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400. Toss potatoes, garlic, olive oil and salt together in a bowl.

potatoes in a bowl

2. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn and add rosemary.

potatoes stage 1

3. Cook for another 30 min, and add the other half of Rosemary

potatoes stage 2

potatoes stage 3

Roasted Fennel Salad

Serves 2

You will need:

2 cups fresh baby arugula

1 bulb of fennel

2 Tablespoons + 1 Tablespoon olive oil

salt

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon mustard

1/4 teaspoon (one tiny drop) honey

roasted fennel

Method:

1. When the potatoes are cooking, start the fennel prep. Chop the fennel into thin strips by cutting from the center out. This helpful image shows you exactly how:

how to cut fennel

2. Toss the fennel with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay out flat on a baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes (in your 400 degree oven with the potatoes) until the edges start to burn, then flip and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

fennel

3. Whist the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and honey together in a small bowl to make the dressing. Toss the arugula with the dressing and add the fennel slices on top.

Rosemary Lamb Burgers with Tapenade

Serves 2

You will need:

3/4 lb. fresh ground lamb meat

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely minced

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 dash freshly ground pepper

15 pitted kalamata olives

flaky salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon (or normal salt)

To serve:

2 rustic rolls (or Martin’s potato rolls in a pinch)

lettuce, tomato, red onion

Method:

1. First make the tapenade by finely mincing the olives and combining them with 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Top with flaky salt and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, comine the lamb, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and 1 Tablespoon olive. Mash with your hands until fully combined. Form into two large patties that are thicker than a normal burger.

3. Heat a cast iron skillet, grill pan or the heaviest pan you have, over medium-high heat. Place each patty carefully in the pan and cook, without disturbing for 5 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook on the the other side for 5 minutes for medium. For well done, cook 7 minutes on each side and cover the pan for the last 2 minutes of cooking.

4. Serve on rolls with lettuce, tomato and onion. Spoon tapenade directly on top of the burger.

3 thoughts on “Idiot-Proof Dinner for Two

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