Make Dinner for Two for an At-Home Date Night

By Giggle Magazine
Dinner for two

Stay in for date night with this delicious two course dinner for two. These recipes, courtesy of the Institute of Culinary Arts at Eastside High School, took the school’s team to second place in the Johnson & Wales University Culinary Competition of the 2018 ProStart Culinary Team Competition. Bon appétit!

Seared Scallop Starter

Seared scallops served over avocado cream sauce and topped with jicama, carrot and green apple slaw makes for a decadent first course!

Jicama, carrot and green apple slaw


  • 2 ounces jicama
  • 2 ounces rainbow carrots
  • 2 ounces Granny Smith apple
  • 1 tablespoon Thai basil
  • 1 ounce white balsamic dressing*


Thoroughly wash the jicama, rainbow carrots and Granny Smith apple. Julienne the produce once washed, then thinly slice the Thai basil.

Once your ingredients are sliced, combine jicama, rainbow carrots, Granny Smith apple and Thai basil in a metal bowl. Toss the mixture with the white balsamic dressing, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


*White Balsamic Dressing


  • 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey


In a metal bowl, whisk together white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil and honey.


Avocado Cream Sauce


  • 1 whole avocado
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup half and half
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Granulated garlic to taste


Wash avocado, cut in half from end to end and remove seed. Scoop flesh out of both halves and place in mortar with lemon juice. Mash with pestle until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, half and half, salt and granulated garlic.

Remove avocado mixture from the mortar and add to the yogurt mixture. Mix to combine thoroughly.

Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a sauté pan and heat sauce over medium-low heat.


Seared Scallops


  • 6 sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Ground white pepper to taste
  • Granulated garlic to taste


Clean scallops by removing the side muscle and remove excess moisture with paper towel.

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. While the pan is heating, season scallops on both sides with salt, ground white pepper and granulated garlic.

Add scallops to the sauté pan and sear until they are cooked half way. Using a fish spatula, turn the scallops over and continue to sear until the scallops are cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F.

Remove the scallops from the pan and serve immediately over the avocado cream sauce and topped with the slaw.


Seared Lamb Chomp Entrée

With sautéed asparagus, polenta and a pomegranate fennel sauce, this lamb chomp main course is sure to delight your taste buds.

Seared Lamb Chops


  • 22 ounces rack of lamb
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic


Begin by trimming fat and silver skin from lamb. French* the lamb, making sure to clean the bone completely. Once you have completed Frenching of the lamb, cut the rack into six to eight, ½-inch chops (amount of chops is dependent on how many ribs you have).

After preparing the lamb, place the olive oil in a large saute pan and heat over medium-high heat.

Season the lamb chops on both sides with kosher salt, ground black pepper and granulated garlic.

Add the seasoned lamb to the hot pan and sear for 2 minutes. Once you have seared the chop, turn over and continue cooking until the lamb reaches an internal temperature of 145 F.

Remove from pan, let rest and serve.

*This technique is used to create the exposed bone look of a typical rack of lamb.


Pomegranate Fennel Sauce


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ounces yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ounces fennel, diced
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns


Deglaze the pan with pomegranate juice (add the pomegranate juice to hot pan and scrape the pan). Once you have finished deglazing with pomegranate juice, add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, fennel seeds, salt and peppercorns.In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once olive oil is heated, add onions and fennel and sauté until translucent.

Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the food.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer (preferably a chinoise) and serve with lamb chops.


Sautéed Asparagus with Brunoise Red Bell Pepper


  • 6 ounces asparagus
  • Water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brunoise* red bell pepper
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Kosher salt to taste


Trim asparagus to remove woody ends. In a medium saucepan, add enough water to blanch asparagus and the kosher salt.

Once the water is boiling, blanch asparagus for approximately 3 minutes and remove from water.

Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan. Once heated, add asparagus and season with black pepper and salt. Cook until al dente and immediately remove from pan.

Add red bell pepper, black pepper and salt to the pan and cook until al dente. Remove from pan and serve immediately with asparagus.

*Brunoise is a basic knife cut that yields small, uniform cubes


Parmesan Thyme Polenta


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 7 ounces water
  • 9 ounces milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 ounces yellow corn meal
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated


In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and add the garlic and shallot. Sauté until caramelized.

Once caramelized, add water, milk, bay leaf, thyme, kosher salt and white pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Once boiling, gradually whisk in the yellow corn meal and continue cooking over low heat, whisking constantly until the corn meal is thick and creamy.

Once the corn meal is thick and creamy, immediately remove the pan from the heat, add butter and Parmesan, and stir until all ingredients are completely combined.

Serve immediately alongside lamb chops and asparagus.


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