In the lead up to date night cooking, you need to take a few things into consideration. First up, establish whether or not the person coming round has any specialist dietary requirements. Whilst I have always been a great advocate of spending a quality, romantic five hours in A&E with the love of your life, it’s advisable to aim for a slightly sexier injury – like a sprained ankle – not a giant lobster face from an allergic reaction.
Once that’s all cleared up, you then need to eliminate other risky ingredients, such as garlic and onions, to combat the breath issues, plus anything salty or too carb based that might cause bloating or sleepiness.
Next, we need to explore the sexiness of the food itself. Beans on toast is not a sexy meal – rather unfairly. This is probably down to the ‘tramp with a tin of bean’ stereotype, but also definitely because of the wind issue that usually follows such a meal. Spaghetti is generally considered a romantic choice since the release of Lady and the Tramp, but I would argue to the end of the earth that it is absolutely not. First, no good Italian food is complete without a healthy dollop of garlic, which we have already established is a terrible idea for a date. Secondly, spaghetti is notoriously difficult to eat due to the splatter risk, which isn’t the most appealing look if you are trying to encourage a steamy encounter.
There is a school of thought that says you should go down the aphrodisiac route when it comes to date night food, but I have no bloody clue how to cook an oyster, and I don’t think you know either.
So what is the answer? Play it safe. I mean really safe. We’re going for chicken, veg and potatoes. If your date is of the vegetarian persuasion, then you may need to substitute for a stuffed pepper, or a mushroom.
2 chicken breasts (or vegetarian equivalent, preferably breast or phallic shaped for added sauciness)
1 tree of broccoli
A whole load of sugar snap peas
1 red pepper
Some tomatoes still on their vines
1 giant sweet potato or 2 small ones (but they are always pretty giant)
Buy any flatmates / house-sharers tickets for the cinema or something to keep them out of the way during your saucy evening. If you have spent all your money on expensive broccoli and can’t afford to distract them, suggest a good show on Netflix for them to binge, and beg them to wear headphones and dehydrate themselves so they don’t pop to the toilet mid romance.
Do that massive pile of washing up you have been avoiding for three weeks.
Stare at the ingredients in a bemused manner.
Forget that your date will be arriving soon and watch Friends for an hour and a half instead of tidying up.
Run round shoving things in cupboards and under your bed, praying that it looks tidyish. Hide any particularly battered, worn looking pants that may have been drying on the radiator.
Look at ingredients again and think about when you may need to start cooking. Decide it was about half an hour ago and have a mini panic attack about how much you still have to do before your date arrives.
Find the nearest baking tray and line with tin foil so that you don’t have to wash it afterwards. Slap both breasts on the tray.
Realise that I meant the chicken, and put own breasts back into bra.
Cover with lemon juice, a sprinkle of pepper and wrap bacon around the chicken.
Put in the oven, which I should have told you to preheat. Guess temperature at anywhere between 180C and 220C. Whatever you choose will be wrong.
Chop courgette into your preferred courgette style. Peel and attempt to hack through the sweet potato. Cut into misshapen chunks.
Place courgette, sweet potato, and the tomatoes still on the vine on the baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt & pepper and insert inside the oven.
Hear doorbell and rush to change into something less covered in food, and slightly more provocative. Answer and apologise for the mess whilst lying about how “it’s usually tidier”.
Offer date a drink, before giving the tour. Try to play it cool and not fall madly in love.
Forget that you were supposed to be cooking the broccoli and sugar snap peas whilst touching up consenting date on the sofa.
Have smoke alarm interrupt passionate romancing.
N.B. An alternative option for making your love interest a romantic meal is to skip Steps 3 – 12 and replace with ‘Go to M&S and stick it in the microwave’.