Gordon Ramsay, you are not. But cooking for your date needn’t turn into a kitchen nightmare.
There are plenty of delicious, healthy and, most importantly, easy recipes out there that will impress your date and save you both from chowing down on greasy fast food.
To that end, get ready to chuck on your apron, fire up the grill, and try one of our three favourite foolproof dinner date recipes:
1. Chicken Kebabs
With the weather getting better, we thought we’d start with a nice easy recipe you can stick on the BBQ (or under the grill if it starts raining).
Served with a nice side salad and a cold glass of white wine, you really can’t go wrong with these Chicken Kebabs. And to add real flavour, mix up a nice home-made BBQ Sauce and leave your ingredients to marinade for a bit in the fridge.
For the kebabs –
4 chicken breasts
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 red onion
For the marinade –
1 and a half heaped tsp paprika
1 and a half tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp olive oil
Pinch of sea salt, to taste
Pinch of ground pepper, to taste
- Dice the chicken, peppers and onions into one inch cubes.
- Add the ingredients for the marinade to a bowl and mix well.
- In a plastic container, combine the chicken with the peppers, onions, and marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (for the best results, leave it overnight).
- Add the marinated chicken, peppers, and onions onto skewers.
- Preheat grill (or make sure BBQ is ready) and place the skewers onto a wire rack.
- Cook the skewers for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until chicken is tender and cooked through.
Pro tip: If you’re using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water so as to avoid burning them.
2. Sweet & Sour Pork
It’s all too easy to panic and reach for the Just Eat app (other takeaway apps are available) on your phone an hour before your lovely lady arrives. After all, you’ve just spent the afternoon making your flat look like no man has ever lived there before, why would you go ahead and mess that up by trying to cook?
Well, by fighting those instincts and resisting the lure of a Chinese takeaway, you can whip up something that tastes just as good, and will be a helluva lot more impressive too.
For the pork –
1 lb pork loin, cut into half inch pieces
A quarter tsp of sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 egg, beaten
A half tsp of salt
A quarter tsp of fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 bell peppers (red and yellow), cut into ½ inch pieces
2 spring onions, cut into half inch pieces
3 cups of peas
1 can of pineapple chunks in juice (reserve juice for sauce)
For the sauce –
1 and a half cups of water
Three quarters of a cup of sugar
A half cup of apple cider vinegar
One third of a cup of ketchup
2 tsp of soy sauce
A half tsp of salt
- Dice the pork, peppers, and spring onions.
- Combine the sugar, soy sauce, and egg into a bowl, then add the pork and massage it before adding the salt and pepper. Toss the meat in the mixture so that it’s fully coated.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over a high heat.
- Carefully add the pork to the pan and brown for about 2-3 minutes each side, until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, add the sauce ingredients to a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Remove the meat and add the vegetables and pineapple to the hot pan. Cook for around 3 minutes, stirring until the vegetables are crisp and tender.
- Add the pork back to the pan with the vegetables, and pour over the sauce. Toss to coat and serve over boiled rice.
Pro tip: Truly mastering boiled rice is tough. Cheat and buy a packet of the microwavable stuff. We won’t tell.
3. Home-made Pizza
Now you’re probably thinking “hold on, spinning pizza dough in my kitchen hardly sounds foolproof” and we wholeheartedly agree. Which is why we have your back here with this excellent Home-made Pizza idea.
So what makes it so easy? Two words: naan bread.
No faffing about with pizza dough required, simply choose your topping and stick it in the oven. Feel free to get a bit creative, but for inspiration, here’s our suggested topping.
2 shop bought garlic & coriander naan breads
2 chorizo sausages
2 red onions, diced
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
100g of mozzarella cheese
75g feta cheese, crumbled
Chopped coriander leaves
- Chop the chorizo and fry in a hot, non-stick frying pan until tender. Remove and set aside.
- Toss the red onion in the pan until soft.
- Add the sugar and vinegar to the pan and turn up the heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are caramelised. Season to taste.
- Heat grill to high, place the naan breads on a baking sheet, and spread evenly with the tomato puree. Divide the caramelised onion between the two, before scattering over the mozzarella.
- Add the chorizo and place under the grill for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
- Crumble over the feta and add the chopped coriander leaves before serving.
Pro Tip: Prep a whole bunch of different toppings and make the pizza-making part of the date. You and your lovely lady can chat and enjoy a few glasses of red in the kitchen while you design your own pizzas.
So guys, what are your go-to dinner date dishes? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!
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