Our menu was geared for something special, that I could also pull off on a long work day (10 to 6:30 with two 1 hour breaks between clients).
Filet mignon with gorgonzola and balsamic reduction sauce
Polenta hearts with mozzarella and marinara
Broccolini with almonds, bacon and raisins
The steaks were all last minute. Sear meat for two minutes per side. Top with crumbled gorgonzola. Bake for 15 minutes in a 450 oven (for medium rare).
I made the polenta in the morning, and left it in a sprayed 9x9 cake pan to chill. While the steaks were searing, I cut hearts and topped them with mozzarella. I baked them right along with the filets and added the microwaved marinara at the last second.
While those steaks and polenta hearts were baking, I sauteed broccolini in a drizzle of oilve oil, adding almonds, raisins, and bacon (that was already cooked).
I made the balsamic reduction during an afternoon break and reheated it. This is my standard recipe:
1 c. balsamic
1/2 c. port wine
3 T. brown sugar
Bring these three ingredients to a boil, and reduce to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat and stir in 2 T. butter until butter melts.
I made the tart crust and filling in the morning before work, then added the chocolate and decorated it during an afternoon break. I used the old standard fruit tart recipe, substituting tempered chocolate for fruit. (I think the chocolate ruins it, but Brad was a happy camper, and this saves me lots of extra calories!)