Dinner To Make For A Man

6 Jun

When I cook dinner for a man, I figure it better include one key ingredient: meat.

To meet the meat requirement, the recipe below, Blue Cheese-Stuffed Hamburger Steaks with Red Wine Sauce, is fantastic. I tore it out of the Herald’s Real Life section a few years ago and have made it a few times, including for a dinner last week.

I should note that, instead of blue cheese, I used herbed goat cheese. Upon biting into a burger, my dinner guest said it was like an “explosion of goat cheese in your mouth.” If that’s not the best selling point for a recipe, I don’t know what is.

To accompany the meat, I made Wild Mushroom and Tomato Ragout with Polenta. This is one of my favourite side dish recipes. It’s healthy, too — I found it in Shape magazine. (Which might lessen the guilt over the “explosion of goat cheese.”)

The dinner was a success, and my leftovers were just as tasty:

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Hamburger Steaks with Red Wine Sauce

  • 1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 lb. (100 g) blue cheese, cut into small slices *I use goat cheese with herbs, but you could also use feta
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock mixed with 2 tbsp flour
Preheat the oven to 200F. Place the beef, egg, bread crumbs, rosemary, salt and pepper in a bowl and gently mix to combine. Form the meat mixture into 4 wide and thin patties. Put an equal amount of cheese in the centre of each patty. Fold the meat mixture over the cheese to seal it inside and shape the meat into 3/4-inch (2 cm) oval patties. Heat the oil in an non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Cook burgers for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until entirely cooked through. Set the burgers on a heat-proof plate and keep warm in the oven.

Drain the excess fat from the skillet. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the stock-flour mixture and bring to simmer. Simmer until a lightly thickened sauce forms, about 3 to 4 minutes. Divide the hamburger stakes among plates; serve the sauce alongside for spooning on top.

Now, for the side:

Wild Mushroom and Tomato Ragout with Polenta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups sliced assorted mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake and oyster)
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 2 tbsp shaved Parmesan
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and vinegar and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and mushrooms; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in 1/2 cup broth, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add grape tomatoes and cook 5 more minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Bring 3 cups of broth, rosemary and sage to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly pour in polenta. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes until mixture thickens.

Spoon polenta into four bowls and top each with a portion of ragout and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

Both recipes serve 4. But, for our purposes, they’ll serve just you and a hungry man.


3 Responses to “Dinner To Make For A Man”

  1. Andree June 6, 2011 at 6:14 am #

    ummmmm…. plan on telling your readers what Man you cooked a romantic dinner for two for?

  2. Grandmama June 6, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Have been away for the week so have enjoyed catching up on missed articles. Since one was about words and the meaning of same, I am wondering if you really meant stakes??? Also should I know who was the “hungry man”??

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