Let’s face it — your partner is kind of a big deal. That’s why you want to do something extra special for him or her, and a trip to any old restaurant just won’t do. Therefore, you’re dusting off your apron, firing up your stove top and preparing to make an extravagant meal worthy of your king or queen.
The only thing is, you have absolutely no clue what to make. The pressure is certainly on since, you know, you’re cooking for the love of your life and all. Fortunately, we’re here to help. The following, to put it nicely, are fancy AF recipes that will take any date night to the next level. They’re unique, romantic and they taste oh-so-good. Find the one that best suits your partner’s tastes and voila — you’ve got a top-notch date night on your hands.
1. Steak With Wine Sauce and Potato Gratin
Who doesn’t love a hearty piece of steak? The only problem is, buying one in a restaurant is typically pretty expensive. For your next date night, then, stay home and prep your own with this easy recipe that takes only an hour to prep and cook.
You’ll start by picking up a flat iron steak, lauded by some as the most underrated cut of steak you can buy. It’s so tasty that it barely needs any seasoning — you’ll note the recipe only calls for salt and pepper before you cook your steak. You don’t need a grill, either: a hot skillet will cook your steaks to perfection in about 12 minutes.
2. Fennel and Lemon Risotto
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have this easy recipe for fennel and lemon risotto. There’s nothing quite as heartwarming as, well, a really warm bowl of risotto. This one brings together the unexpected flavor of fennel with a classic zesty lemon. You can even add some shrimp to your final product if you think it needs a little more protein, but the base recipe is delicious and hearty on its own, too.
3. Italian-Style Grilled Octopus
An Italian inspiration is the perfect way to prepare fresh octopus. This recipe relies on the abilities of a wood or charcoal grill to really make the outside of each tentacle crispy while keeping the meat inside tender and delectable. The recipe’s author says you can use a gas grill, but the above two options make for a much more flavorful feast.
If you don’t have the proper tools to prep this recipe but still have your heart set on octopus, there are plenty of other methods and recipes for cooking this type of seafood. Expert chefs suggest braizing your octopus in the oven or over low heat on your stovetop, too, which allows it to cook in its own juices for even more flavor.
4. Salmon With Roasted Potatoes
Here’s another fish that will reach its peak tastiness inside of your oven: salmon. This recipe prides itself on being quick and easy — it should only take 30 minutes total, including prep and cooking time. As the potatoes bake and the fish cools off, you’ll have time to whip up a side salad with homemade dressing, too. Impressive!
5. Ham-and-Sage-Stuffed Chicken With Broccoli
Chances are, you have the majority of the ingredients required for this recipe on hand already — sandwich bread, deli ham, frozen broccoli, garlic and boneless, skinless chicken breasts are all part of the menu. Once you whip up the bread-based stuffing, you’ll create small pockets in the chicken to stuff each piece before browning each breast in a skillet. The whole process takes a half-hour to complete, including your sautéed broccoli side dish.
6. Slow Cooker Pot Roast
If you’ve ever used a slow cooker, you know what a wonderful investment the small appliance is. Basically, you throw all of your ingredients inside, press a few buttons and, in a few hours, you have a warm, well-cooked and sensationally flavored meal. If you don’t have one, consider investing in one and we promise you’ll become obsessed with how easy it is to use.
This pot roast is an example of how easy and delicious a crockpot can make your dinner. A hearty cut of meat cooked alongside vegetables, spices, red wine and beef stock for up to 10 hours will make your meal incredibly tasty — and you’re sure to have leftovers for days, too.
7. Steamed Thai Fish Fillets
A pot roast falls on the traditional side of the spectrum. On the more unexpected side, you’ll find these just-as-tasty Thai fish fillets. The recipe’s author says baking them inside bags is a foolproof way to infuse each fillet with the flavor of its own juices, as well as the spices you’ll add to create the marinade.
8. Stilton and Pear Gnocchi
This recipe from Jamie Oliver might require you to bust out the kitchen scale or make a few measurement conversions — the British chef uses grams instead of cups — but it’s worth the effort. His super easy Stilton and pear gnocchi brings together the boldness of blue cheese with the sweetness of fruit. If that’s not incentive enough to whip this up, then consider it’s classed as super easy on his website and takes only 25 minutes to cook.
9. Skillet Basil Cream Chicken
Date night is the perfect opportunity to indulge a little bit. This cheesy skillet chicken recipe is, therefore, the perfect recipe to fit your indulgent bill. You can eat it up all on its own, or serve it with a side of pasta, rice or bread. We think you’ll want something on the side to take every advantage of the creamy sauce you’ll have floating around on your plate.
10. Crispy Breaded Pork Chops
The name of this recipe does not do justice to the amount of flavors it contains. Sure, breaded pork chops are delicious on their own, especially when they’re homemade. But your chops will be even tastier thanks to a side of homemade mustard sauce that combines Dijon mustard with shallots, butter, heavy cream, parsley and lemon juice. Yum.
What will you make for your next date night? No matter which of the above recipes you choose, you can rest assured that your final product will undoubtedly impress your love. All you have left to do is buy your ingredients, fire up the stove and get cooking — you have a date to prepare.
Want more dinner ideas? We have plenty!
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