Having my new b/f, who is crazy for the Olympics, over for a romantic dinner, which will be a first time cooking for him. Want to do a Torino/ Piedmontese theme. He's open to all foods.
Need prep time to be minimal in the last few hours, so we can talk and I not be stressed in the kitchen!
Bagna Cauda -- searching for a great recipe; he's a fitness buff, so not sure if he'd like this classic Piedmontese appetizer dripping in all-too-evident fat, though he loves cheese and ice cream! Any other appetizer ideas? Beef/ veal carpaccio wouldn't entice him. Also thought of a French Onion soup, as I have the cute bowls, and actually just made some a week ago and froze the rest. Was heavenly!! And the Savoy/ Piedmont region is so near to France....
Risotto w/ porcini and white truffle oil -- but, don't want to have to fuss over it non-stop -- is that possible -- to pre-cook risotto somewhat and finish during the last minutes?? Other first course idea: buying a great ravioli and serving just a few with a nice cream sauce.
A beef or veal dish (akin to Savoyard and winter cuisine)-- perhaps a stewed Brassato (long-stewed in red wine), but never made it or even had it before, just read that it is a typical Torinese dish. Otherwise, would make a Veal Saltimbocca, which I love, but that seems too Roman, S Italian.....
Side of fennel in a light sauce? Or other side veg recs? More N Italian than southern, and suited for winter, and easy to make ahead of time.
Dessert -- as Piedmont is famous for choc and hazelnuts, perhaps some Gianduia?... and as he loves gelato and berries, might make some sort of combination.
Thank you for your help!!!!