Ideas for an indulgent dinner?

My boyfriend and I try to have a nice meal every Sunday. We eat very healthy and on a tight budget all week long, so this is our once chance to treat ourselves. We've done steaks, fried chicken, mussels and fries, mole enchiladas...and we're looking for more ideas!

  • Posted by: atxdori
  • June 20, 2013


bigpan June 21, 2013
I like ATLs reply - think retro. Google some 1950's Gourmet magazine recipes, or any thing from dear Julia Child.
Elegant does not have to be fancy or expensive, but tasty.
(don't forget the great wine)

And, buy a good scrap book (leather bound kind of good) and write down your menu each special dinner, paste in the wine label, and at the end of the meal each of you write a little love note to each other.
After a year or two go back and read it (over another great meal and wine)
Pegeen June 21, 2013
For me, indulgence would be very good seafood or beef. I wouldn't do much to either, so they retain their natural glory. (Maybe a side sauce, but that's it.) Better to mess around with the less-expensive side dishes.
savorthis June 21, 2013
Agree on scallops as long as they are dry packed. For us an indulgent dinner is often a pile of giant crab legs. We roast them, them cut them in half lengthwise with shears and serve with garlic noodles (the best we could do at replicating the super secret noodles at Crustacean in SF). It's fun and delicious.
atxdori June 21, 2013
These are all great ideas and much appreciated. Thank you!
jsdunbar June 21, 2013
I love French onion soup with a rich beef broth, loads of onions, whole grain toast cut to fit the bowl & an unreasonably big mound of a mixture of grated cheeses on top that will melt into a gooey, golden top under the broiler. I vary the seasonings but always include thyme, & am generous with the red wine in the broth…think I'll have to put it on the menu for this weekend.
Kristen W. June 21, 2013
If you can find 'em fresh, seared scallops with a white wine/lemon pan sauce. Toss some cooked green beans and potatoes and maybe a few olives in there, finish with butter, yum!
ATL June 21, 2013
For me and those close to me, an indulgent choice is beef tenderloin, roasted (not filet mignon, but whole tenderloin). Have the butcher trim it. If you want to be really retro (think "Mad Men," make a lovely bearnaise. Fresh steamed asparagus spears (not roasted for a change), with stalks peeled. This gives the asparagus a delicious, mild creaminess. Some kind of potato (the tiny mixed colors of spring new potatoes, steamed with butter added, chives or chopped shallots). A big, chewy Cabernet or whatever else you like to drink. For dessert, something chocolate or something made of cherries or raspberries (both are in season. Enjoy.
bigpan June 20, 2013
Make whatever tastes you both like. Invest money into an unforgettable wine! Start with caviar (the good stuff) and half a bottle of champagne (not sparkling wine), then a simple appetizer, main course of your choice, creme brûlée and/or foreign cheese for dessert. And great wine throughout.
Bek June 20, 2013
I enjoy rustic, heavy dinners on my cheat day so my favorite sides are macaroni and cheese with really great cheeses or the perfect au gratin potatoes. I agree that a short rib or a rack of lamb or those little lamb ribs if you want less meat. Instead of those other sides you could make half baked potatoes or a purée of something you love. You can always put asparagus or some zucchini with some balsamic and olive oil on it and grill with the lamb or any veg you like. Or you can ALWAYS have butter poached lobster with whatever side you wish. What I have a cheat day I always have some apps and happy hour and make fried ricotta stuffed squash blossoms because it's summer, yay! Also I make a caprese with different cherry tomatoes, basil, and little balls of mozzarella for an app or side (summer!). That's just me though
QueenSashy June 20, 2013
I agree with Sam. We had some of the most memorable dinners and parties making sushi...
Sam1148 June 20, 2013
Make an investment in some Miso, Dashi Fish Stock, Large bags of rice from the Asian store..and wassabi and powdered dashi stock; Wakame seaweed optional.
Then make a Japaneese meal. With Tuna Sashimi (which could be 9-10 dollars for a 1/2 pound of raw whole tuna--more than enough for two people). Supplement with Miso Soup..Rice..salad (A Sunomono vingar salad is nice). Spinach with sesame seed dressing; and endamame boiled in pod with salt water and chilled. Slice the Tuna thinly and serve with wasabi mounds, a mound of grated carrot. Tea, Sake, Green tea ice cream to finish.
The start up cost for the dry goods; dashi, wakame, sesame dressing, Miso. Shouldn't be more than 20 dollars. And all that last a long time in the 'fridge or pantry. Years in fact. (except the dressing).
Elizabeth R. June 20, 2013
Braised pork belly or short rib is always one of my go-to extravagant dishes. And lobster. How about hotpot/shabu-shabu? Buy some nice, super thinly sliced meats (beef/pork/lamb) and seafood (shrimp, scallops cut thinly) and some veggies and have fun dipping them in a seasoned broth. Or splurge on some seafood and have a boil (eating on tabletop of newspaper is fun!). The most "extravangent" meal I've ever made was an Ethiopian spread: doro wot and 5 other dishes. It wasn't extravagant in terms of prices (the lentils, potatoes, cabbage, and greens didn't cost much to make since there's only two of us) but more in time, since I have a small kitchen to work out of. Or you could roast a chicken and splurge on a nice bottle of wine or fancy shmancy dessert (a mille-feuille? cassata? sfogliatelle?).
MTMitchell June 20, 2013
We always do lobster as an indulgent dinner but that's because we're transplanted NE'ers and miss it and it's pretty pricey here. My mother-in-law makes this fettuccine on Christmas with a cream sauce and lobster (claws and tails), scallops, shrimp and sometimes some crab if it's available. She puts a ton of really good seafood in it. I always feel like that's an indulgent meal but I might also associate it with the holidays. It's not very summer-y though. You could do it with a lighter sauce I'd think.
QueenSashy June 20, 2013
Indulgent for me (right now) is king salmon...
HalfPint June 20, 2013
Indulgent for me is rack of lamb,coated with lemon-parsley breadcrumbs, roasted. Served with steamed asparagus or snap peas.

Or spaghetti carbonara.
aargersi June 20, 2013
How about a nice risotto with some "fancies" like swank mushrooms or duck confit, or just great spring veggies and the best parmesan you can find?

does atx mean your are in Austin Texas? If yes I can offer some pretty specific ideas!!
atxdori June 20, 2013
Abbie, I'm a native Austinite, but afraid I don't live there any more. Thanks for the ideas!!
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