When it comes to dating, drinks and a restaurant meal frankly seems like something from the last century – not to mention it’s crazy expensive! If you really want to impress your date, try a home cooked meal.

Now, if just reading that sentence has brought on a panic-induced coughing fit, then put your head in a brown paper bag and take a few deep breaths.

First, you’ll need to brush up a little – think smart, relaxed dude in the kitchen. Don’t overdo it on the aftershave, have your beautifully groomed beard at maximum density (see the Men’s Society beard grooming kit on that front), perhaps iron a shirt.

A lot of men seem to confuse good food with complicated food. The truth is, there are a number of excellent dishes that can be rustled up with little prep work and some patience.

Impress your date with a plate of simple but flavourful, well-cooked food and who knows what you might get for dessert….

Pasta Algio e Oio

Pasta with garlic and oil. An Italian classic, that’s easy to make but is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

Boil linguine. Whilst it’s cooking, finely slice some garlic, and pour a very generous glug of good virgin olive oil into a frying pan. Add the garlic and heat gently. When the garlic just begins to brown, take off the heat and add a sprinkle of dried chili flakes. Throw in the cooked spaghetti, a handful of finely chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir to combine and serve.

It’s the kind of dish so easy to cook you like a skilled chef, but it tastes so good it’ll definitely get top marks from your date.

Steak

The classic date food, and one that is sure to impress – provided of course your date is not a vegetarian, which I assume you have checked?

Good

Now, all steak is great, but some steak is better for date night than others. Because you need to balance cooking with entertaining your guest, what you want is a nice thick steak that is going to take care of itself.

Fillet and rump is a bad choice, because you need to throw them into a smoking hot pan and carefully monitor their cooking so they don’t overdo and become shoe leather tough.

So instead go for something like a thick cut Ribeye on the bone. No, it not cheap, but that’s because it’s so thick. Tape two fillets together* and you will still have less meat and they will cost a lot more than your mighty ribeye. (* do not tape two steaks together, that is not a real recipe)

The beauty of the ribeye is that it’s a hardy beast that finishes in the oven. Simply sear in a hot pan for a couple of minutes to get a nice, browned exterior, then pop into the oven to finish cooking – time dependent on thickness and how you like your steak (ask the butcher when you buy it).

That gives plenty of time to make the side dishes and flirt outrageously.

Wing it

I knew I would marry my wife when I watched her demolish a plate of wings on our second date. There is something that is truly uniting about sharing food that is eaten with the hands, something that no doubt harkens back to more primal, caveman days – it is a truly bonding food experience that can kick-start a romance.

And it’s easy! Get a big bowl. Tip in some oil, crush 4 garlic cloves. Add 2 teaspoons paprika and oregano, 1 teaspoon each cayenne pepper and sugar. Cut a couple big potatoes into wedges and chuck into the bowl along with some wings. Mix it all together then spread on a baking sheet and pop into the oven for about 40 minutes turning everything once or twice.

Finger licking date food to get down and dirty with.

 

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