As anyone who reads this blog regularly will know, I’m not a whizz at cooking. I hate spending hours in the kitchen, and trying to keep three kids entertained at the same time. But sometimes the Mr and I like to have a romantic night in – a glass of wine and some kid-free time. I like to cook food that tastes great but is super quick to make (and easy on the washing-up). Here are my top 5 date-night recipe ideas.
1) Chilli-prawn linguine
This delicious pasta only takes 10 minutes to make. Serve it with fresh pasta and it tastes amazing.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- chilli flakes
- fresh basil
- olive oil
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 1 pack raw shelled prawns (150g-165g)
- 2 servings linguine (fresh or dried)
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Boil pasta. Did you know that the hole in the middle of your pasta spoon is the measurement for a portion?
- Heat oil In a frying pan. Fry the onions and garlic then add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have broken down a little, push the mixture to one side and fry the prawns. As soon as they turn pink, they’re ready.
- Mix the tomatoes and prawns together with the seasoning – chilli flakes to taste, and lots of fresh basil, salt and pepper.
- Serve with pasta. It goes very well with Parmesan cheese grated on top.
2) Mezze Platter
This is one of my favourite romantic night-in meals, because it doesn’t involve cooking anything!
Choose as many as you want from the following:
- Pitta bread
- Hummus – we like the roasted red-pepper flavour
- Falafel – (the ready-made variety)
- Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves)
- Artichoke hearts
- White anchovies in olive oil (find them at your supermarket’s deli counter)
- Toast the pitta bread. Cut it up and drizzle it with olive oil. Then, arrange your goodies on a large platter so it looks amazing.
- The great thing about a mezze platter is that it’s completely customisable. You can make it completely vegetarian (or vegan). If you’re more adventurous than I am, you can even have a go at making some calamari or chicken souvlaki to go with it.
3) Good old steak and chips
It can cost a fortune to order steak and chips at a restaurant, but you can make it at home for a fraction of a cost – and you can cook your steak just the way you like it.
- Two tasty steaks (we like sirloin)
- Oven chips
- Onion rings
- Ready-made sachet of peppercorn sauce
- This meal is so easy it’s almost sinful. Cook your chips in the oven according to the instructions. McCain’s home chips taste great, and they’re relatively healthy, too.
- Bake the onion rings according to packet instructions.
- Boil the peas.
- Cook the perfect steak according to your tastes. And voila, done!
4) Haddock and Sour-Cream Gratin
This is a very lazy – and much lighter – version of a fish pie.
- 2 haddock fillets
- 100 ml sour cream
- 2 tomatoes
- fresh chives
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Place the haddock fillets in an ovenproof dish.
- In a bowl, mix together the sour cream, chopped tomatoes and chopped chives. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mix to the haddock fillets.
- Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes.
We serve this with new potatoes and a green salad. It’s light and easy.
5) Chocolate-covered strawberries
No date night is complete without some indulgence. This recipe is sweet, sexy and totally romantic. And, of course, it’s ridiculously easy to make.
- Good-quality dark chocolate
- Double cream
- Ripe strawberries
- Popping candy (optional)
- Melt the chocolate with a spoonful of double cream. You can use a double-boiler, or can microwave it on a low heat.
- Cover a plate in clingfilm
- Dip the strawberries into the melting chocolate, then put on the plate to dry
- If you want, you can also sprinkle a little popping candy on your dessert, so it fizzes in your mouth. Make sure you do so while you’re holding it, not while it’s on the plate.
I hope you enjoyed reading these recipes and will enjoy trying them out at home. Or perhaps you have a partner who will cook a romantic dinner for you!