Cooking to Impress: Dishes to Make an Impression

Let's face it, cooking is the way to anyone's heart - man, woman, or child. And when that particular person is someone you'd very much like to impress, then the question of what to make becomes of the utmost importance! Here are a few of our favorite "dress to impress" dishes. What are yours?

1. Duck Breast with Black Olive Risotto - This dish is a two-for-one deal! First you get delicious duck, which is impressive because most people don't make or eat it outside of restaurants. And then you get risotto, which has a reputation for being luxurious and labor intensive (even if it's not!).

2. Roasted Chicken - A crispy, golden roast chicken never fails to make a big impression when you carry it out of the kitchen. You really can't go wrong with a classic like this!

3. Pan-Seared Sockeye with Porcini Mushrooms, Red Bell Peppers, and Sea Beans - Fresh fish always seems like a luxury to us! This recipe is easily adaptable to whatever fish is local and in season.

4. Fresh Pasta with Mint Pesto, Peas, and Ricotta Salata - Homemade pasta, and you've already hit it out of the park. Topping it with a fresh pesto and some salty cheese is just extra insurance! Our other favorite impressive pasta dish is butternut squash, sage, and browned butter.

5. Goat Cheese Tart with Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini, and Caramelized Onions - Impressing a vegetarian (if you aren't one) can feel intimidating. Not with gorgeous individual tarts like this!

What about dessert, you say? Well, what about a chocolate walnut tart? Homemade ice cream is always a winner, as well. And personally, we can’t resist a little chocolate mousse.

What dishes do you serve when you want to make an impression?

Related: Easy Entertaining: Five Simple Tips for Plating Food

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