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How to Cook a Simple Romantic Dinner

By: Margaret Paxton - Updated: 24 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Romantic Dinner Simple How Cook Tempt

When you create your own romantic dinner sexy simplicity works much better than a time-consuming, complicated meal that leaves one of you stuck in the kitchen...Romance means spending time together, doesn’t it? It’s not very romantic if one half is frantically trying to prepare a special menu, while the other half is wondering what to do-and gets fed up with waiting.

Cooking together is creative, fun and can strengthen established bonds, but, there will be occasions when you’ll want to prepare a romantic dinner as a surprise treat for your amore too! Do you have a new love to impress? Flirt, but don’t frighten!

Whoever you’re cooking for keep these tips in mind: prepare the food with love, include a little excitement and surprise on the menu, have pride (and a sense of humour) in your self-expression. The following suggestions provide tempting tastes and textures-with a combination of stimulating colours and heavenly aromas-for you to woo and wow with. If you’re feeling fed up, just cook one for yourself anyway; it’s great therapy.

Grilled Mussels-a Subtle Starter

  • 4-6 mussels each (Buy green-shelled if you can.)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • 25g brown breadcrumbs
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 25g softened butter

Wash and scrub the mussels, remove any weedy-looking ‘beards’. Halve the mussels and discard the empty half shells.Combine parsley, coriander and cumin with the butter in a mixing bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon. Next, add the breadcrumbs, lemon juice and a twist of black pepper.

Spoon the mixture onto the mussels in their shells and grill under a pre-heated grill for 2-3 minutes. When cooked, serve the mussels in their shells, garnished with a few coriander leaves and eat with your fingers.

Smoked Salmon Spaghetti

  • 250g buckwheat spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 100g smoked salmon, cut into thin strips
  • 150ml double cream
  • 75ml brandy
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

First, cook the spaghetti until tender but still firm. Drain thoroughly then return it to the pan. Add the olive oil, shake and cover to keep warm.Heat the cream and brandy in two separate pans without allowing either to boil. Combine contents of both pans and add the strips of salmon.

Season to taste with cayenne and black pepper. Stir in some chopped coriander. Transfer the spaghetti to a warm serving dish and add the smoked salmon, cream and brandy sauce. Use two large forks to mix it all together. Sprinkle a little more chopped coriander on top. Serve straight away.(If you fancy, add some halved black olives and crumbled feta cheese just before serving.)

Devilled Kidneys

  • 4 lamb’s kidneys
  • Half a tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 25g butter
  • 2 slices hot toast

Skin and halve the kidneys, remove the white core completely.Mix together the mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce.Melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat. Add the kidneys and quickly brown them all over then reduce the heat, season with sea salt and a twist of black pepper. Cover with a lid and cook gently for about 5-6 minutes.

Next, add the mustard mixture to the pan stir well and continue to cook slowly for 2 minutes.Serve the cooked kidneys, coated with the mustard/Worcestershire sauce mixture, on hot toast.

Mushroom Risotto

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Few threads of saffron
  • 100g mixed mushrooms such as-oyster, button, chanterelle, porcini
  • 175g risotto rice, rinsed in sieve under cold tap
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 350-400ml hot vegetable stock
  • Grated parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic-cook gently for about 4 minutes.Add the wiped mushrooms to the softened onion and cook for another 3 minutes. (Any large mushrooms should be sliced.)Next, add the rice and saffron, stir well.

Slowly add the stock and white wine. Stir in each addition until the rice absorbs the liquid. The rice should take about 15 minutes to cook. Test by tasting! If the rice is still firm and crunchy, add more liquid and cook for a little longer.When cooked, add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, about 80g grated Parmesan cheese and salt and black pepper to taste.Transfer to warmed serving plate and grate a little more Parmesan on top before serving.

A light, colourful, fresh fruit salad or fruity mousse, served with fresh cream will finish your meal nicely. Alternatively, a bowl of rinsed strawberries dunked in melted chocolate may appeal!Set the scene as best you can. It doesn’t have to be champagne and roses; with the right person, daisy chains and a flask of tea are romantic...

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