Friday night dinner and a movie is fine, but not if you really want to make an impression. Knowing the ins and outs of a perfect date night can mean the difference between a solo fist pump dance at the end of the evening or ordering take-out after the kitchen fire.
SideChef’s Founder & CEO, Kevin Yu, knows a thing or two about planning the perfect date night. A failed Valentine’s Day dinner became the inspiration for SideChef, the perfect wingman in the kitchen.
If it’s your first time tackling an impressive date night dinner, Kevin suggests keeping it simple. To start on the right foot, basic planning is important. What ingredients do you have? What do you have to buy? Kevin usually picks up ingredients on his way home from work, a day or two before the big night.
Look at the recipe and see if it’s something you can pull off. Don’t be too reserved, however; it’s important to appear adventurous. Pay attention to the cooking time and give yourself enough time to make the dish. Stay calm and let SideChef lead the way.
Think of a simple fail-safe recipe, that you just can’t mess up. Start off with a simple appetizer to keep them munching while while you prepare the main entree. Try out a delicious dip. As a seasoned SideChef user, Kevin has built quite a list of recipes in his SideChef Cookbook. He has come a long way since the first recipe he ever made, Spinach Artichoke Dip. No, really, it’s pretty tasty, and will get your date amped up for more of the deliciousness coming their way.
Kevin scrolled through the long list of recipes in his Cookbook with a slight smile, as most of his saved recipes represent a successful date night meal. His goal? In his words, to build a repertoire of stellar dishes he can make for many date nights to come.
Remember: Your oven is your friend. When preparing a multi-course meal, it gives you time to prepare other dishes. Putting several ingredients together and popping them in the oven, guarantees a pulled together meal like this Baked Tomato Pasta by 30 Pounds of Apples. How ‘bout them apples?
If your date is health conscious, gobbling down a casserole dish full of carbs might not be the best way to go. Preparing a hearty garden salad salad and topping with Abundant Harvest Organic’s Pomegranate Vinaigrette will do the trick. Don’t forget to mention that is dressed with a Pomegranate Vinaigrette. This is extremely important.
To build a relaxed atmosphere, Kevin suggests a good wine. It goes with everything, sets the mood, and is great for calming those first date jitters. Keep the conversation light, and avoid talking too much. Just ask questions and let the amazing dinner and ambiance you’ve planned speak for you. Be funny and charming. Everyone loves funny and charming.
For white wines, try Chardonnay, a good choice for fish (even salmon) and chicken dishes. Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile wine that goes well with many meals, even salads.
If you feel like seeing red, a good old Merlot is the go-to for any meal, and the softness of Merlot has made it an introduction wine for red-wine newbies. If you’re serving a red meat, a Cabernet Sauvignon is a great choice. Steak is definitely a perfect date night meal, sure to impress.
Pinot Noir is excellent with grilled salmon, chicken, lamb and sushi rolls. The best dish Kevin ever made on his first try was SideChef’s own, Perfect Seared Salmon. The promise of perfection proved true in this case, with the perfect wine pairing, of course.
To finish the night off, nothing says “a keeper” like a nice decadent dessert. A classic lava cake always does the trick.
Whether it’s the first date or you’re in it for the long haul, good food, and good conversation is a sure fire way to date number two. Start building up your SideChef Cookbook one recipe at a time, and you too can master the art of the perfect date night meal.
Bacon and eggs are great, but maybe it's time to take it up a notch. Nicky tells us what breakfast in bed is supposed to look like. Read the article on the app and blog tomorrow.