So I lost a bet with my girlfriend…

And now I have to cook her and her friend a 3 course meal; they choose the menu.

They have chosen the following:

Entrée – salmon mousse vol au vent with terrine.

Main – rib eye steak with duck fat roasted potatoes and greens

Dessert – souffle (flavour of my choice… how nice of them)

Now, I am your VERY average cook. I know the kitchen basics and can fix up a basic dinner pretty well. But I have NEVER attempted anything like the above (except the steak, and even then, only a few times since I’m not much of a steak person) and have no idea where to even start.

My kitchen is pretty well equipped.

Is this something I can even attempt making and be successful at? Or is there no chance?

Any tips? Any recipes for the above dishes that you swear by?

Any help would be appreciated. Help a brother out.

Thank you

EDIT: my first time posting in this sub and I thought I was gonna get roasted worse than my potatoes; but there are so many supportive comments. Thank you.

I will go ahead with the bet, as some of you have said “a bet is a bet”. I’d rather attempt it and fail than to not attempt it at all – what would the girls think of me… A Lil bitch – but I ain’t about dat life.

Again, thank you for all the suggestions, I will read through each one thoroughly.

If people are interested, I will post updates when the time comes.

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96 Comments


  1. bemenaker

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    go to serious eats and read the detailed articles in the recipes. Try it out. Worst thing that happens, is you screw up one of the dishes, big deal. No matter what, you will learn from it, and get better.

  2. alexjakob

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Start early… like, give yourself all day. Start with a fully cleaned kitchen… nothing sucks more than having to clear a counter or wash a dish mid-cook.

    If time and money aren’t issues, maybe make the meal scaled-down once for yourself first. It’ll help you plan the timing when it counts, and it’ll highlight all the spots you’re apt to mess up.

    Sorry I have no advice specifically about those dishes… good luck!

  3. shortarmed

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Someone else will be more help with the 1st course, but at least that’s a make ahead and serve chilled item. Logistics could be worse on this one, so that’s a plus.

    [Reverse Seared Ribeye] (http://www.food.com/recipe/reverse-seared-steaks-521042) is user friendly and delicious. Get a well marbled ribeye and you can’t go wrong. Fancy it up with a pan sauce if you like.

    [Kenji’s Best Ever Roasted Potatoes] (http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/12/the-best-roast-potatoes-ever-recipe.html) are like crack.

    This [Souffle] (https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/molten-chocolate-souffle) is as easy as souffle gets.

    Give yourself plenty of time and have fun. If it goes sideways, aknowledge that you made a solid attempt to deliver on the wager and have a good laugh over delivery pizza and wine!

  4. svel

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I think your gf and friends are shooting themselves in the foot since (I assume) they are aware of your level of mastery. Risking a mediocre/poor meal, instead of a great one where you are in your comfort zone….

    that being said, really cool that you are taking this seriously and looking to produce the best that you can!

    one tip is, do not wait until the last moment to read the recipes and go shopping. *Really* read multiple versions to see what they have in common, to ensure you understand the steps (and any pre-steps) and the order in which things should be done, try to map out a timeline as to when should things be happening (potatoes about 10 mins out? time to deal with the steak – stuff like that).

    on the actual day? prep, prep, prep. make sure you have extra of everything in case something goes south unexpectedly (which it will). start your mise, and get everything chopped, sliced, diced, salted, whatever, and ready on hand to be used when needed. You do not want to need a diced onion, and have to start the dicing process at that moment. have it ready.

    take a deep breath – you got this 🙂

  5. squanchthisplease

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    what was the bet that triggered such a vengeful menu request? If I were you I would ask for a compromise on the entree and do two canapés instead or something more manageable

  6. ekthc

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    * The vol al vents seem easy enough, make a smoked salmon mousse and fill pre-made pasties.

    * If everyone likes their steak cooked the same then you can get away with cooking 1 or 2 massive ribeyes. It will be easier for you and you’ll get presentation points when you bring out a large plate of carved steak. (My brother and I [recently did this](http://imgur.com/omv5KvL) on Father’s day to help our dad “break in” his new Anova) If you have an immersion circulator then this would be the way to go. If not, you should look at [reverse searing on a grill.](http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/05/the-food-labs-perfect-grilled-ribeye-steaks.html) The oven would be a good option to reverse sear, but you’ll need that for the potatoes.

    * [This](http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/12/the-best-roast-potatoes-ever-recipe.html) is by far the best roasted potatoes recipe I have ever used. It’s actually the only recipe I’ve ever used, as I used to just toss them in olive oil, herbs, s&p and then roast. It follows that basic pattern with some additional steps that really improve upon “plain” roasted pots.

  7. elven_wandmaker

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Watch these and do as they say. It’s your best shot.

    **ENTREE**

    * [Vol Au Vent Shells](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpPRWqFENlg)

    * [Salmon Mousse](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tekPict3RkU)

    * [Terrine](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEoHfOlIvC8)

    **MAIN**

    * [Ribeye](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW0lPFJ7gus)

    * [Duck Fat Potatoes](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ2DjbT5MQ0)

    * [Asparagus](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1iRQOBnSWY)

    **DESSERT**

    * [Chocolate Souffle](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWqfkUEWOTg)

  8. ourmodelcitizen

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Terrine can be made days in advance.

    The day before or morning of, I would make the souffle most of the way and then save the egg folding bit for just before it goes in the oven. Just bring it to room temp before hand, so about 1/2 hour before you want it going in the oven.

    Greens could be anything. I’d make a super simple salad which you can almost make the morning of. Try Gordon’s method, really easy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMKe4aqQ4Bo

    Also morning of: butter and flour/prep your souffle dishes. Then you can do the vol a vent pastry ahead too, as well as the salmon mousse.

    Someone already suggested how to do ahead the potatoes, do that for sure.

    The beef is going to be the tricky bit just because of timing but almost everything else you’ve been given to do can be entirely prepped or mostly prepped ahead, so don’t worry about that. Just focus on the beef.

    Season in advance, bring to room temp, use good herbs, butter, and your heaviest pan. Tons of good advice on youtube videos out there.

    You’ll be fiiiine. 😉

  9. KingPellinore

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    You HAVE TO post an update with pics.

  10. ds9anderon

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Im going to be honest with you. Whether youre successful or not in the actual cooking this is all about the effort. Your girlfriend will love you for going to this length and really trying. So relax and enjoy it. Your job doesnt depend on this and i assume your relationship doesnt either. Get some nice wine (if theyre tipsy theyre less likely to notice mistakes anyways). Make sure you have some cheese or something for them to munch on when you inevitably are behind schedule. Wear a silly apron and just make the night about them. The food will work out. Or it wont and you get pizza. Have a laugh.

  11. FluxSurface

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    It seems like it’s actually your girlfriend who’s lost the bet…

  12. hobbes0

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Like a cooking show, you’ll want to to chop and prep everything ahead of time and have them in nice, neat portions, ready to go.

    salmon mousee vol au vent with terrine: not sure what this means. What kind of terrine? A smoked salmon terrine should be easy enough with pre-sliced smoked salmon. Salmon moussee should be able to made ahead. And the puff pastry shells can be bought frozen. So easy enough.

    As for the steak, Alton Brown’s method works pretty good. I’d just make a couple of steaks and slice them in 1/4″ slices after they had a chance to rest and serve on a platter, with a pan sauce poured over. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pan-seared-rib-eye-recipe-2131274

    For the greens: do creamed spinach. I suspect you could make this ahead as well, and put it in a oven safe dish to warm/brown before serving.

    For the potatoes: serious eats has a great recipe for crispy roast potatoes which just so happens to use duck fat **and** the same oven temp as the steak recipe. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/11/ultra-crispy-roast-potatoes-recipe.html

    As for the souffle, I found a recipe that says you can make them up to three days ahead…so that would be right down you’re alley, because who wants to be whipping eggs while everyone else is eating steak and potatoes?
    http://www.finecooking.com/membership/pdf/51299/051019068.pdf

  13. RecycledEternity

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    **What kinda bet did you make?**

    I see nothing about it in either your comment OR post history.

    STORYTIEM. I think you owe /r/Cooking THAT, for all the help I see they’ve provided you.

  14. Rathurue

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    By far the entree dish is the hardest because the presentation, main dish is quite simple but the trap is in the dessert; it’s harder that you’d expect a dessert would be. Be wise, yield, and maybe take them out for a meal instead…but do practice for later cooking bouts!

  15. tarrosion

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I recommend [this recipe](https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/molten-chocolate-souffle) for the souffle. It’s a little less standard than some methods, but I’ve found it to be pretty foolproof, including for make-ahead situations. Personally I skip the creme anglaise but you do you.

  16. CronoTS

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Since the others have already helped you out, i have only one advice: dont use [canned salmon!](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMBsZC-FJNE&t=6s) for the mousse.

  17. GraphicNovelty

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Most of the entree you can make the day before.

    You can probably make the voul au vents with prepackaged voul au vent shells, salmon mousse could probably be made with lox instead of raw salmon. [here](http://allrecipes.com/recipe/25547/smoked-salmon-mousse/). Fill the shells (or make them out of puff pastry). Easy peasy.

    The terrine can also be made ahead of time but it’s going to require a special pan, so get one off amazon now. I also recommend not going super authentic with it–your girlfriend didn’t specify a particular style of terrine and they can run the gamut between meat-centric, country terrines (that require you to source quite a bit of different cuts), or simpler, vegetable ones. [This one looks pretty easy](http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/laura-calder/vegetable-terrine-2119358) with not excessively expensive or difficult to source ingredients. You need to use a ban marie, which is [not as hard as it sounds](http://www.thekitchn.com/technique-how-to-make-and-use-70190). This requires the presentation to look good so i’d practice it once or twice before you serve it,.

    Rib eyes are easy to cook, and everyone has their favorite method (reverse sear, regular sear and bake, sous vide, whatever). [Duck fat potatoes](https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014541-duck-fat-roasted-potatoes) are straightforward . By greens i’m going to guess you want haricot verts (i.e. green beans), which also are pretty easy (literally just blanch in salted water, a million recipes for these as well).

    Soufflees are dificult and again, require a specific mold. I’ve only made savory soufflees, but this one:
    [video](https://www.nytimes.com/video/dining/1231547598555/chocolate-souffl.html)/%5Btext%5D(https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1012671-chocolate-souffle) looks pretty straightforward. Again, it’s more about practicing a couple times and having an electric whisk or stand mixer + small rammekins (bigger soufflees are the ones that are more likely to fall).

  18. helcat

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I don’t understand the entrée. Salmon vol au vents with terrine? Those are two not hugely compatible things. (Both rich, both soft) Did they just pick random dish names? What kind of terrine?

  19. rodion_kjd

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    The main is easy. I’d suggest doing a beer cooler sous vide hack (google it) for the steak to take any guess work out of it. The roasted potatoes are simple – the duck fat is just like butter or olive oil – and the greens are dirt simple as well. Sautee with butter and garlic, finish with lemon. Done.

    The entree sounds fancier than it is hard to make – the mousse is just lox in your food processor with ricotta and blitzed until fluffy and smooth. Adjust it with some salt and pepper to taste. Augment it with fresh herbs or whatever but you don’t have to. Spoon the mousse into some store bought puff pastry cups.

    The souffle is easy in approach but tough in practice. I can’t help you with it. I’ve done them 4 times with 2 failures and two good ones. No idea what i did right or wrong each time.

  20. Maezel

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Buy a butter based puff pastry… Puff is a pain in the ass to make. Cut circles and rings of same diameter, put the ring on top and bake.

    Salmon mousse… Process smoked salmon, Philadelphia cheese, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, salt pepper. Add chopped red onion or chives. Garnish with chives and capers.

    Potatoes. Cut them. Boil them for 3 minutes in water with a spoon of vinegar. Taken them out, freeze (optional), cover in duck fat, salt pepper and roast. Stir them every fifteen minutes until golden and crispy.

    Steak is easy.. For a 1.5 cm thick. Cook 4 minutes on one side, 3 on the other for medium rare.

    Souffle, make a.chocolate one with a hot chocolate sauce. Google for recipe.

  21. pdperson

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    It’s all just food. You can totally do this.

  22. UseDaSchwartz

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Why would they pick something challenging and risk having it suck?

  23. Ennion

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Your girlfriend and her friends have good taste! This will be fun to make. Post pictures!

  24. Zalakat

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    This would be a financial disaster for me. I would spend $1000 practicing these recipes in secret until I had perfected all three, then bring out the three best-tasting, most immaculately plated, luxurious dishes those two have ever tasted. And act all like, “Yea whatever, not my best but here you go. Bon Appétit!”

  25. I_Am_Ironman_AMA

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Ignore this advice if you have ample time to practice.

    Here’s my honest, non troll opinion. Scrap that menu and just make the best meal you know how to make. Those dishes aren’t something you make the first time for others to eat. You need to be the diner the first few times you make those dishes so you can learn and improve.

    A bet is a bet, but the humor and novelty will quickly give way to disappointment and Chinese takeout. Bust out your pot roast or roasted chicken and everyone will be happier.

  26. northbud

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Have you considered a personal chef and a wet towel to make your forehead look sweaty? I’m just kidding but, I don’t envy you. Good luck.

  27. sherlocksrobot

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I definitely recommend the reverse sear method for the steak. For the soufflé, I recommend mini chilled lemon soufflés because they present well and you can have them prepared ahead of time.

  28. FutureGhost13

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    The rib eye steak shouldn’t be too hard. Rub with oil, salt and pepper, sear it for about 3 minutes each side in a hot cast iron skillet and then finish it off in a 375 F oven to the desired done-ness.

    The duck fat roasted potatoes won’t be too hard, but you will have to roast them at no hotter than 375 F, since that is rendered duck fat’s smoke point. Or you could roast them with canola oil and then finish them off in a skillet with duck fat.

    I can’t help you with salmon stuff. Sounds nasty lol.

    Souffles are really a hit and a miss, they sound easy, but in practice they are extremely touchy. I like to think of myself as an accomplished baker, but I still sometimes screw up souffles. But I have found that usually even if they don’t look perfect, they still taste good.

  29. tomjoadsghost

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Reverse sear the steak! Get one bone in.

  30. devilbunny

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    The one thing I like to mention in these situations is: warm any plates or serving pieces that the steak will be on. Not to blistering hot – you don’t want the steak to keep cooking – but warmer than your typical indoor temperature. One of those things that basically every restaurant does and almost no home cooks do, but it’s really easy and very effective.

  31. jack1729

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    The bet was to cook for them….not make a scrumptious feast…do some research and take your best shot at it.

  32. Fonz85

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    You can always pull a Mrs. Doubtfire, where you order the food from a fancy restaurant and make it look like you cooked it yourself. Just watch out for those hot flashes.

  33. Magicalunicorny

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Order everything at a fancy restaurant and then plate it when they aren’t looking.

  34. HighImSlane

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Food wishes on YouTube, look up his versions of these dishes. And don’t stress, it’s all in good fun right?

  35. MrGCar

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I think video recipes are great and if you combine a video on technique with a more specific recipe you’ll be fine! Maybe have a tablet nearby with the videos while you cook, or just watch them over a few times!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1bXQlWLl7U

    Here’s a nice and easy video on the potatoes, he uses goose fat in one but the same method applies.. you can pretty much just throw the greens in depending on what you choose (if it’s broccoli, asparagus, or green beans you could probably boil them at the same time as the potatoes, or just give them a quick sautee then bake it all together)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpRPl2BlZ7I

    A good video on technique for the entree

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWqfkUEWOTg

    Food wishes is the best, here’s his souffle video!

  36. FoodBeerBikesMusic

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Don’t skimp.

    Use real møøse.

  37. connorkmiec93

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I am confused, isn’t an ‘entrée’ and a ‘main’ the same thing?

  38. Man-alive

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    For the potatoes..
    You can slightly cheat and prepare in advance. The most important thing with them is timing, you don’t want them sitting around.

    Peel potatoes.
    Soak in cold water for 10 mins and rinse them.
    Put them in a pan of cold salted water and put in hob.

    Bring to boil, simmer for 8-10 minutes depending on size, test for softness.

    Drain, let cool a bit, then put in fridge uncovered to air dry.

    Empty a jar of goose fat into a pan (saucepan or frying pan will work).

    Bring fat up to heat and put potatoes in, turning until crisp and golden.

    Again, let them cool a bit, then put them in the freezer.

    When ready put them in a hot oven for 20-30 mins.

    The freezer part isn’t just for storage, it’s essential to help/keep them crispy.

  39. Andoo

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    There are already some good steak tips, but my advice if you go more traditional route is to let that bad boy out to get to room temperature. Too many people pull theirs out like maybe an hour before they cook them.

    edit: Who would downvote this?

  40. baberim

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Sous vide the steak if you can/have access to a precision cooker. Damn near impossible to screw up

  41. deathbynotsurprise

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Sounds delicious! I’m curious to see how it turns out. Don’t forget the wine pairings!

  42. buffalo_slim

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    For the vol au vent, [this link](http://paulhollywood.com/recipes/puff-pastry/) is good for the pastry crust, which is easily the most difficult part of this ~~recipe~~ meal. Luckily(?), pastry has to be made ahead. A good strategy for these would be to assemble the pastry and mouse separately and then bake and fill vol au vents day of.

    I love being *shown* a cooking technique, especially for baking (really helps with a new recipe), and you can find [this](http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/coriander_chicken_and_76082) vol au vent recipe made on S.3E6 of Great British Baking Show

    EDIT: LINKS baby.

  43. WriterMcwriteface

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Lot of good advice and help here.

    I’d second the idea to do a practice run so that when it’s time to pay the piper, you aren’t going into it cold.

    You fuckin’ got this. You’re gonna whip out a meal that’s so hot all the panties in the room are gonna spontaneously combust.

  44. kvnklly

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Sous vide the steak if you have it, if not do the reverse sear method.

    1. Season steak with salt and pepper (nothing else is really needed but you can add thyme or minced garlic if you would like) Cook in oven with a thermometer so you can take out like 8 degrees before cooked to the doneness you want.

    2. Heat a pan to very high heat.

    3.Sear each side for about a minute.

    For the potatoes prepare ahead so they are just reheating while cooking everything else.

    I dont usually cook salmon but i suggest cedar plank style and i have never cooked a souffle in my life so i dont have a tip for that

  45. Reddywhipt

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I’d recommend doing a practice run (or two) for each dish if you really want to blow them away.

  46. Cagi

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    This sounds like fun, whether it turns out or no.

  47. anotherusername23

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    If you have Netflix, the recent season of Great British Baking Show has a souffle segment I found interesting and educational.

  48. barlister

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    The soufflé will be the hardest to get right. The terrine sounds hard but it’s just attention to detail and some work. The rest is just basic cooking.

  49. nola_mike

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

  50. Thedirtybro

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    YouTube is the key to this lock.

  51. ecpackers

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    dude, you can do this, but the souffle is going to be the hard part.

    i would SUGGEST only being the cook and not trying to prepare for yourself, or you’re gonna be slitting wrists over souffle. i can’t make them really.

    main course is obviously something you can do in your sleep, practice the souffle beforehand.

    i’m gonna guess you’re not american because i don’t know any ‘average’ american cook that would even know what terrine is, let alone order it. so i can’t help you there! hehe

  52. battlew1se

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Make the meal for yourself first on a weekend alone and see how they come out. Not only will you know how difficult it is, but it will make your execution better when you do make it for others.

  53. greeneyedguru

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    >Salmon mousse

    Hope the reaper didn’t pay you a visit…

  54. ActuallyRelevant

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Use premade shells for the entree, asparagus and potatoes oven roasted with duck fat will be fine. Flatten out a ribeye till it’s even and carve slices for presentation. For the soufflé find a easy/hack version of the recipe or one that guarantees an easier time.

    Godspeed op this will take 3-4 hours to cook all of this I’d say

  55. Jiveturkeey

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Sous vide the steak if you’re able, it will greatly increase the odds of a correctly cooked steak.

  56. drewcash83

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Haven’t seen it mentioned but do a test run. Keep track of prep times, cook times and temp and any adjustments you had to make. Eat it and evaluate it. Take note of the seasonings that are heavy or light and anything that peaks or fails. Keep this handy so when you prepare the actual meal you have some good notes.

  57. parallaxingposition

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Two ways to help this: with the steak, rub it well with salt and pepper before cooking. If you get good quality meat, this will suffice. Take it off when the edges start going dark brown or char. Also, the souffle isnt that hard but I’d practice with a beater the night before, hardest part is knowing when you’ve beaten it enough

  58. sk3pt1c

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Salmon mousse vol au vent sounds delicious, thanks, will try to make it!

    Best ot luck mate and post the results!!!

  59. fross

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Just another opinion as I’ve made all these dishes before. The recipes linked are good so here’s some tips.

    Salmon mousse vol aux vents: salmon, cheese and herbs into the food processor until it’s a fine mousse. Put it in a piping bag. Pipe carefully into the shells (buy premade vol au vent shells, making puff pastry is a step too far for this.)

    For the terrine, refuse, because they shouldn’t be asking for both things together. They clash. If you have to, buy a good terrine (duck would complement the potatoes), slide it, serve with toasted good bread and a compote to match. Simple.

    For the steak, do what you know. Don’t try a new technique too much can go wrong. Practice is good. Keep it simple and let the meat do the talking.

    For the roast potatoes, parboil partly through first, then put a lid on their pan and shake them a bit, to get rough edges. These edges hold oil better and crisp up like crazy making the best roast potatoes. Keep the oil as hot as it can go and baste once during cooking.

    Soufflés are very tricky. Practice. I’d advise you practice each dish at least once beforehand, so you have no surprises.

    Enjoy! You’re going to get some new skills and have fun!

  60. vambot5

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    The biggest advice I have is to plan and really know your recipes before you start buying stuff. Shopping isn’t fun and it takes a long time and the better you plan, the smoother that part will go. Figure out early what you can do ahead of time and what you will need to do right before serving. The mousse would be a great thing to do the day before, chill and then pipe into the shells right before serving. (I suggest you make a few shells to comply with the menu but save some to eat with bread or crackers, it’s way better that way.)

    If you have access to a sous vide cooker, I would definitely suggest you do your steak that way and finish on a skillet or grill. No matter what heat source you use, I would suggest some sort of cook low, finish hot method. It’s less guess work and more forgiving.

    I highly, highly recommend getting one huge-ass ribeye, not three smaller steaks. Spend the bread on prime meat with visible marbling. Ribeye is a pretty fatty cut, which will help you here because it is more forgiving than leaner cuts. You get a better contrast of crust/interior, it’s less work, and it just tastes better. I typically don’t use any seasonings but kosher salt (liberally applied) and coarse-ground pepper on the steak. Dry the meat with paper towels and rub with a small amount of oil (something with neutral flavor and high smoke point like canola or peanut) before seasoning.

    For potatoes and greens, read a bunch of recipes and look at comments/reviews before deciding how you want to cook them. The greens you definitely want to prep ahead of time, and you may want to actually cook them early and reheat just prior to serving. For the potatoes, keep in mind that potatoes take a long time to cook and recipes often undershoot it. Make sure that you have plenty of tolerance for this in your plan in case the potatoes take twice as long to cook as the recipe said.

    Get an oven thermometer if you don’t have one. My oven is routinely 50 degrees F lower than what the thermostat suggests, enough to completely screw up a recipe.

  61. OktoberStorm

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Try a *mousse au pisse cerf*.

  62. MuppetManiac

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I made a cheese souflee once. I didn’t much care for it because it turns out I’m not a big fan of eggs. But I think a chocolate souflee would be pretty damned tasty.

    I watched the good eats episode with that in it, and seriously had very little trouble. They look intimidating, but if you understand the science they’re not that hard.

  63. nomkiwi

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    ChefSteps has by far the best soufflé recipe I’ve made. They use chocolate.

  64. The519paladin

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    That sounds like quite the meal. Perhaps practice it before going in for the main event.

  65. GrumpyKitten1

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Pretty sure the appetizer can be made in advance and the souffle should be served right out of the oven and not disturbed while cooking (so cook while eating the main, prepare while they have the appetizer). Look up the recipes, maybe even check youtube for videos. Other than the souffle they shouldn’t be too hard (other than maybe sourcing the ingredients).

  66. Starshitlord

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I would hunt duck just for their fat, so yummy, main reason hunting duck is a pain is cleaning a duck is not as easy as cleaning a chicken. So many more feathers that are difficult to remove, delicious dish I would recommend would be duc lee orange, duck in orange sauce.

  67. Fernis_

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    To get the duck fat I would suggest making thai duck noodle soup (so like chicken noodle soup but with cinnamon, anise, soy sauce and ginger). I always refrigerate it over the night to gather the fat otherwise it’s way to greasy. You will end up with the fat you need and some DELICIOUS and easy to make soup.

  68. Babel_Triumphant

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I’d be inclined to do a test run for yourself, to get all the timings right and clear up any errors.

  69. Longthicknhard

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

  70. loubird12500

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    First of all, buy the puff pastry for the vol au vents, or just buy pre made frozen vol au vents. Salmon mousse isn’t hard, you will be fine, just get a recipe and make it the day before. Fill the vol au vents just before serving. Steak and greens you are fine with. Duck fat roasted potatoes are really no different in terms of cooking than using butter — just buy some good duck fat. I recommend steaming the potatoes first (17 minutes always works for me for small potatoes), then cut them up, put them in a skillet, salt them and fry them in the fat until nicely browned.
    Souffle is really not hard, it it just intimidating.
    Basically you separate some eggs, make a flavored sauce with the yolks and flavorings, then beat the egg whites, then fold the sauce into the whites, then bake. One trick that might help you is to do a “frozen” souffle, like this one, which you can do ahead to allieviate the stress, and which you don’t bake in the oven, so you don’t have to worry about it collapsing. http://www.marthastewart.com/355959/frozen-lemon-souffle
    If making lemon curd stresses you out, you can usually buy it. But making lemon curd is kind of fun and again you can do it days in advance, so if you like to cook you might want to try it! Best of luck.

  71. koriedunaway

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Pinterest

  72. vsokord

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    For perfect steak that is super easy.
    http://www.seriouseats.com/2017/03/how-to-reverse-sear-best-way-to-cook-steak.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akO6D_tc0lo

    THis one is pretty easy. Leave the Nougate whip out you don’t need it. just some plane whipped cream is enough.
    http://www.smithbites.com/2012/02/chocolate-souffles-with-nougat-whip/

  73. mtweiner

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Tip: invite a buddy or two over for a day and test different recipes out. Your buddy can help you eat the results, and you don’t go into this challenge blind

  74. Malt-stick88

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Sous vide the steak. Impossible to get wrong and you can leave it alone to do its thing.

  75. newfor2017

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    You got this. It’s not that hard to make a decent try. It’ll be incredibly hard to be good enough to serve in a restaurant, but that’s not what you’re shooting for anyway.

  76. masta

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    The entree is is just (smoked) salmon smeared into a paste by way of food processor, on top of a mini pastry. The “with terrine” is a bit more complex, and I’m not sure how to describe making it, because I’ve only ever consumed terrine made by other people. Well that is not true, I’ve tried and failed to make it before. So you know how when you make a turkey, and it produces a lot of liquid at the bottom of the pan? Well, the same happens for other meats such as pork shoulder, and other roasts. The collagen & fat in the flesh melts out, and when it cools congeals in to a gelatinous material. Actually I think gelatin is sourced similar from animals, which explains why it’s non-vegan friendly, anyways I digress. So take the liquid from a meat roast before it cools & congeals, and you pour into a mold. Say for example you use a bread load pan, or even a muffin pan to make round terrines, but usually they are formed into a long loaf that is sliced. Anyways, so you have your load pan, have poured the roast mean liquid into there, and now you simply have to drop in some fillings. So this is where you can go wild, and get creative. A lot of common terrine is just adding shredded pits of the roast meat from with the liquid came from. So if you make a roast turkey, use that, or pork shoulder… pulled pork should shreds. I’ve sen people add small soft-boiled quail eggs, or even boiled chicken eggs if the loaf is large enough. Some folks put chicken or pig livers, which reminds me… it’s more of a savory dish, so don’t forget your savory spices like thyme, sage, black pepper, celery, etc… For the veggies, You usually seem smaller fair like peas, or chopped bits from larger plants. Avoid large leaf things like spinach…. do go with chopped fresh herbs .

    Sorry if that was overly descriptive, but the “with terrine” was so understated, I felt it needed expansion. The good part about that dish is you can make ti way ahead, like the day before.

    Speaking of which, the Salmon mousse can be made ahead too. I’m not sure how the menu makers planned for the oven use… the vol au vent, duck fat roasted potatoes, and souffle all require oven time. So they might plan on ample time between courses. Hopefully you have a double oven

    For the steak, plan to cook them medium rare… if you’re not familiar with grilling… I suggest you get some practice steaks, and learn the temperature and timings with your grill to achieve the desired results. It would be possibly, even ideally, to simply use a meat thermometer to judge when a steak has reached the perfect state. Also remember to let the steaks sit about 2 ~ 4 minutes after grilling.

  77. clarencebuttowski

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    What was the bet?

  78. lappme87

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    1. You CAN do this, and if doesn’t all go to plan, that’s okay too. It’s the effort that matters more than perfect execution in my mind.
    2. Check out Cook’s Illustrated for cooking steak (hint – finish in oven).
    3. Anything with duck fat will be so blissful that it will forgive a lot of sins.
    4. Definitely consider a steak sauce made with garlic, shallot, red wine, herbs, and butter. Next level (and very easy).
    5. You can make mousse ahead of time so give yourself a buffer should you screw it up.

    Do your research. Follow recipes from reputable sources such as Cook’s Illustrated, etc – there are A LOT of bad recipes out there. Also, this is fun! It’s a challenge and I know it feels like a lot of pressure, but have a glass of wine, put on some music. Take your time shopping for good ingredients and enjoy yourself during this process. Cheers!

  79. snoaj

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I’d suggest a Manage a Trois. Perhaps the cabernet.

  80. obj7777

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Best to just get it done and over with. They’re the ones who have to eat it. If they don’t like it, should have choose something different.

  81. Buttholepussy

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    just curious… are either of the ladies cooks/chefs?

  82. dzernumbrd

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Don’t forget you’re missing the sauce for the main meal. If you don’t have a sauce it will be dry and boring.

  83. bombalicious

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

  84. rainbowcanoe

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    we must know what the bet was

  85. lowlifejuggernaut

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    What was the bet???

  86. Pensacola_Peej

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I really like to get the tiny little wee baby Yukon holds. Blanche them lightly. DRY WELL. Cut in half. Saute in the duck fat for a bit at high temp, then toss in the oven. Salt and pepper of course. Upon removal from oven hit them with some fresh chopped parsley that has been left on a paper towel in the fridge for a couple hours.

    If you’re wondering about the last bit about the parsley, when I was working in kitchens we always did this, and it keeps the parsley from clumping. Also allows it to lose some of its moisture, so it won’t ruin your nice crispness that you worked so hard for.

    Duck fat potatoes and a fatty ribeye would be my death row meal.

  87. SkyPork

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Sorry, I stopped reading at “salmon mousse.” Good luck to you OP. :-/

  88. Engin3er

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Here is an amazing way to cook the rib-eye: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akO6D_tc0lo

    You can do the oven portion of the rib-eye while roasting the potatoes at the same time and then sear the steam while making the greens.

  89. moodychurchill

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Does this all have to be done on the day?

    I do duck fat potatoes for christmas and cook them the day before then re-crisp in the oven day of.
    The Vol au vents can also be made day before, perhaps even the salmon mousse.
    The greens can be picked over and ready to cook.

    Look into a twice baked shuffle recipe for the dessert that will take the pressure off.

    Use timers. Prep every single thing you can before you start. BREATHE.

    You can rock this, this is how average cooks become great cooks! You will likely make mistakes and that’s okay, thats how you learn.

    Most importantly take pictures and update us!

  90. SirDidymus

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I’m Belgian, and had to look up what the hell you meant by Salmon Vol au vents. The vol au vent is typically a dish with a pastry filled with a chicken-mushroom-sauce blanc mix, so it took me a while to realize you were referring to just the pastry.

    In general, you’d preheat the pastry and fill them with the mixture, cooked separately. This gives you the advantage of getting both parts seasoned and cooked to perfection. I don’t know if that salmon is supposed to be cooked inside the pastry, though. It’s an unfamiliar dish here.

  91. calexbg

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Make the souffle super salty so when they spit it out you can say something about pouring your sweat and tears into it

  92. Wolf_on_Anime_street

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    !remindme 2 days

  93. drcshell

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    > Now, I am your VERY average cook.

    And she’s making you make freaking puff pastry? And a souffle to boot? Don’t worry OP… you’ll find someone else. It’ll be ok. There’s plenty more fish in the sea…

    Ok, I’m joking but seriously, puff is the hardest type of pastry to make if you’re required to do it all from scratch. It can totally be done, but I’d recommend you practice it at least once or twice before hand. Make some palmiers that you can provide for breakfast as a “special treat” to get some practice in. It’s a great skill to have for all sorts of reasons, but it’s not just read a recipe and *poof*, so get used to the technique before hand.

    Souffle should be easier, but I’d steer clear of chocolate. I know it’s tempting, but chocolate can burn and you’d never know it until you bite in. It’s too temperamental for your first go, but otherwise, just be gentle and deliberate.

    Read your recipes, do your prep ahead, and stay calm. You got this!

    (and post results! We’re rooting for you!)

  94. ahairshirtofpurpose

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Salmon, rib-eye, duck fat (without cooking duck, and souffle? And you’re not a seasoned cook?

    Your girlfriend is a dick.

  95. bobbythecorky

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I am a stupid and childish adult who read “I am your very average cock”. And now I’m giggling.

    I’m not winning any Nobel Price soon.

  96. Anonymous

    July 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

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