So for Valentine's Day, I'm planning on going all out (as much as a broke college student can) making a shrimp alfredo dinner for my boyfriend and I'd like a little bit of help planning. There will be a Caesar salad topped with Olive Garden dressing (can't help it- I love the stuff!), bread (either for dipping in an herbed olive oil dip or to mop up the alfredo sauce), sides (?), and dessert (likely something light).
Is it possible to cook the shrimp in the sauce without the sauce burning or becoming too thick? How would you do this? I was thinking of halfway cooking the shrimp in a little olive oil and garlic (it will most likely be frozen and this would help thaw it) and then pouring the sauce over it and simmering for at least 15 minutes to allow the sauce to take on some of the shrimp's flavor.
Also, I'm debating on sides. I'm not sure if I should even do sides and, if I do, what I should do. I'm thinking of either:
-Roasted or sauteed broccoli
-Roasted or sauteed zucchini
-Roasted or sauteed veggies (carrots, onions, broccoli, zucchini....?)
It's the last two I'm unsure of. If I did the veggies, I'm not sure what veggies to do- what would go good with alfredo (give me lots of suggestions- my boyfriend is not a huge fan of veggies so I'll have to pick and choose based on his tastes and mine)?
On the green beans, how to cook them? I'm honestly leaning towards canned because I prefer soft green beans and I'm not a huge fan of the taste. I thought about simmering them in a little bit of broth and garlic, but I've also thought about trying my hand at cooking frozen green beans. How/how long would I have to cook them to get them soft (not quite as soft as canned, but still soft) and mask some of the overwhelming veggie taste of them?
Finally, how many, if any, sides do you think I need? I'm thinking one, MAYBE two sides since there will be a salad course. Also, I'm open to other side suggestions; this was just all I could come up with considering mine and my boyfriend's tastes (mostly his, as he's picky; he wouldn't eat mushrooms, olives, most green veggies, etc, which eliminated a lot of options).