Hello, hungry people of Hinge! We like eating (almost) as much as we like great dates, so we brought in a pro to help you strategize your first food-focused romantic encounter! This week’s ThursDater is guest written by Lindsey Becker of The Date Dish. But we added the GIFs (obviously).
Congratulations! You scored your first date with an amazing match on Hinge! You’re thrilled, excited, already worried about what you’re going to wear, but the real question has yet to be answered: what are you going to do on your first date? We’ve all gotten to a point where going to restaurant after restaurant can wreak havoc on the spontaneity of dating. You never know which place to go, it’s expensive, and bad service can absolutely ruin your night (“It’s not like we NEED bread, but I mean.. if it WAS here…”)
Anyway, for a first date, you want to make something that’s simple, looks great on a plate (no casseroles!) and is hard to screw up. Let’s face it, no matter how great of a cook you are, you’re going to be worrying about getting ready, making sure the apartment is clean, and texting your friends for advice until the minute he or she arrives. Keep it simple and quick for a first date so you can focus on having a good time with your hot new date.
For this delightful little evening, I would recommend The Date Dish’s Chicken Milanese, which is a fancy Italian name for sexy fried chicken. It takes all of 15 minutes, is budget-friendly, and pleases any palate. Crispy chicken cutlets topped with a fresh arugula salad and shaved Parmesan is a perfect date dish for a summer dinner. Recipe and video are below.
OK, so we’ve got the first date down. But what if you’ve already been out on a few of dates, but still want to wow your new catch in the kitchen? Well, I look at food in two categories, pre-date and post-date. Sometimes cooking post-date can be the best thing in the world for taking your relationship to the next level. And by next level, I’m talking breakfast in bed– there is nothing more satisfying. Actually, of course there is, but today’s topic is food. So let’s get our minds out of the gutter and cook, shall we?
You want to make a dish that doesn’t make it look like you’re trying too hard but still says loud and clear that you know what you’re doing. So, we’re back to the morning after. An absolutely delicious brunch dish that everyone goes crazy over is my strawberry stuffed French toast with mascarpone cheese (basically Italian cream cheese). Known as an aphrodisiac since the times of ancient Rome, the strawberry is the perfect fruit to feature in French toast. It’s also in season right now! Lucky you and your date. One bite of this and you may be staying for a while. (Recipe below!)
If you do in fact go out to dinner, please feel free to follow my Do’s and Don’ts below.
Gentlemen: Do NOT…
Now, on to the recipes! Chicken Milanese
(original recipe post here)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and thyme
2 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless and skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups lightly packed arugula
2 oz. fresh Parmesan
*Note: You can usually purchase chicken breasts that are already pounded out to 1/4 inch thick at your local grocery store.
(original recipe post here)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 of a day-old baguette, sliced diagonally into 1.5″ thick pieces
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
Butter, for cooking
Maple syrup, for serving