Delicious Dates: The Perfect Recipe to Prepare with that Special Guy

By Fabiana Santana

date foodThere is some truth to the statement that girls like guys with skills. While bow hunting is not longer be a chart topper, a man who can hold his own in the kitchen is certainly a keeper.

Gone are the days when a guy could gloat about the fact that his mama has cooked every meal for him since birth.  And while an expense account meal has its appeal, so does actual peeling and dicing.

True, you’ve been cooking for one since graduation, mixing and mashing as you see fit, with no one to fuss over but yourself. But being greeted with a home-cooked meal is something we should all get to experience every now and then. So why not get him to help out? Besides who knows where those extra hands in the kitchen might wind up…

So that your first co-chef opportunity won’t be your last, follow these tried-and true tips, and you’re sure to turn up the heat—at least, in the kitchen:

1. Stay organized.

Doubling up a recipe doesn’t mean having to double up the work, especially when your date is helping out. With a plan, there is less of a chance of a recipe fiasco. (Think Bridget Jones’ blue soup!) It also allows you to “control” what he’s
doing, and when—which opens the door for you to create one of those
“accidental” rub-by moments famous in every romantic comedy out there.

2. Know who should do what—and what you can do together.

By divvying up duties, you’ll not only get the meal prepped faster, but you won’t feel as rushed—and that means less chance for some sort of accident that sends one of you to the ER. Also, as you chop veggies side-by-side, you’ll have time to talk, catch up, and laugh. It’s amazing what a few sips of wine and a chopped onion will reveal about a person…

3.  Keep things simple and hearty.

A rustic, roasted chicken is a terrific, home-style meal that you can approach with comfort, even if you are still in culinary kindergarten. The recipe here uses an herb butter rub that will have your hands moving together in ways you never knew possible. And the side dish cheesy potatoes is plentiful, so no need for another. But if you must have your veggies, throw some frozen broccoli and lemon wedges in the microwave for a few minutes for a quick side. You can also puree the leftover veggies used to roast the chicken with 1 cup of chicken stock and a half-cup of cream for a rich, quick soup to start the meal or for lunch the next day.

Herb Roasted Chicken & Cheese Mashed Potatoes, for Two

(Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook Time: 1 hour)

For the chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken (2-3 lbs)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of poultry seasoning
  • 1 packet of fresh herbs poultry herb blend (sage, thyme and rosemary – 3 branches of each of buying separately)
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper

If making a sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock

For the potatoes:

  • 3 large Idaho potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup of cream
  • 1/4 cup of shredded white cheddar
  • Salt and pepper to season

Step 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

CHEF 1: Peel and roughly chop carrots. Place in a roasting pan.

CHEF 2: Roughly chop celery and onion. Place in the roasting pan.

Step 2, done together:

Peel 1 1/2 potatoes each and cut into quarters. Set into a large pot filled with cold, salted water that generously covers the potatoes, and set over low/ medium heat.

Step 3:

CHEF 1: Mix poultry seasoning with softened butter in a small bowl until the butter is completely seasoned.