So you’ve invited him around for dinner and now you’re freaking out about what to make: Sound familiar, ladies? Unless you’re a culinary genius (and if so you’re my hero!) anxiety about date food is pretty normal. You want to make something tasty and a little bit impressive, but you don’t want everything to go wrong and expose you as a foodie fraudster. The trick, girls, is to cook a super simple dish, using really good ingredients. Here’s a list of basic ideas …
1. Heavenly Angel Hair Pasta
Ladies, this is a no brainer. I’ve done it a hundred times; it always works out and it tastes amazing. You’ll need freshly boiled pasta, crispy bacon bits, basil pesto (shop bought is fine girls!) sun dried tomatoes and tub of crème fraiche: open all the respective packets and jars, throw everything in with the pasta, shake it about till its all mixed up and voila! Dinner that literally couldn’t be easier.
2. Super DIY Sushi
First things first girls: find out if your new guy is into raw fish. If he yes, then making your own sushi is a fun, interactive date idea. Boil the rice and slice the fish and veg before he arrives, and buy a bamboo sushi rolling mat if you don’t already own one.
There are a million ways to make Canneloni and none of them has to be particularly difficult. While it’s slightly fiddlier than lasagne, it’s a little less run-of-the-mill which makes it better on a special occasion. My favourite filling is fresh spinach and ricotta cheese, and I always make a crème fraiche and parmesan sauce à la Jamie Oliver because the traditional béchamel can be tricky.
5. Oriental Beef Stir Fry
Stir fries are easy to pull off and can taste fantastic, Get a good cut of meat to begin with, and make sure you don’t over-cook it. Veg is obviously variable according to what you like, but if you’re looking to keep that taste of Asia, you’ll want to use fresh ginger, soy sauce and a little coriander too.
6. Thai-Style Curries and Sticky Jasmine Rice
If you use the basic template of curry paste and coconut milk, this kind of dish can be a real breeze and one that tastes amazing too. Try it with chicken (duck is good but can be more difficult if you’ve never cooked it before) fresh peeled prawns, or cubed butternut and bamboo shoots if you’re a vegetarian.
7. Easy-as-Pie Gnocchi
This dish, like the first one, comes together in minutes and is also super variable. You can add and change ingredients all you like; consider this a blueprint or a basic theme. I use good gnocchi, boiled until it floats and not for a second longer, sundried tomatoes, pitted black olives, basil pesto and goats cheese. Mix everything together and serve hot immediately; it’s a taste sensations, and one that you could totally make in your sleep.
So girls, the idea is simplicity and great ingredients to ensure maximum taste. Stick to these rules and your date meal is bound to be a success. Do you have any fab ideas to share? Let me know ladies, I’d love to hear them.
Top Photo Credit: Christian Cable