How to Cook Romantic Meals

Three Parts:Picking Out the MealCooking the MealSetting the Mood

If you want to create a romantic meal for your loved one, you will have to do a little bit of planning. Selecting the meal you want to cook, preparing that meal, and setting the mood all play a part in creating a lovely, romantic evening.

Part 1
Picking Out the Meal

  1. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 1
    Be aware of your partner’s allergies. Before you begin flipping your way through your favorite recipe books, you should first take some time to consider the food allergies that your partner may have. You wouldn’t want to spend the time making a delicate peanut butter pie for dessert only to remember that your partner is allergic to peanuts. Make a list of the food allergies your partner has, if any, and cross check any recipe you are considering with that list.
    • You should also consider your partner’s dietary preferences. Cooking a steak dinner might not go over very well with a vegan girlfriend. You could also consider foods that you know your partner loves and try to work these foods into your menu.
  2. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 2
    Pick out a dish (or dishes) you know you can cook well. When considering what to cook, stick to dishes that you have tried before. Testing out a new souffle recipe on your loved one may result in a disastrous (but potentially memorable) meal. Choosing a simple meal can make the whole process a bit less stressful; there is nothing wrong with breaking out your family’s favorite fettuccine alfredo recipe for this special occasion.
    • Consider meals that you have cooked in the past that are simple to make but look fancy. Or, think about making a variation of a meal that you have not tried that you feel confident you can prepare well.
    • You could also browse the internet or search wikiHow for recipes that are rated well and that seem to be in accordance with your skill level.
    • Some recipes you may like to try include: Filet mignon, risotto, shrimp scampi, salad nicoise and French macarons (for dessert)
  3. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 3
    Decide how many courses you are going to serve. If you are planning on serving several courses, try to pick out courses the compliment each other. Once you have picked out your main dish, consider selecting an appetizer(s) and dessert to accompany the main course. Consider the ingredients that you will be using in your main dish, and then try to find appetizers and desserts that pair well.
    • In general, you may want to try to stick to one type of cuisine. For example, if you are thinking about preparing fettuccine alfredo with chicken and vegetables for your main course, you may want to browse Italian appetizers and desserts. You could consider starting out the meal with a caprese salad, or melon wrapped in prosciutto (both of which are easy to prepare even if you have not made them before), and ending the night with Italian gelato and fresh fruit for dessert.
  4. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 4
    Write up a menu (optional). Once you have selected your dishes, consider creating a pretty menu that you can put on the table for your partner to look at when they sit down. Write down each course and consider writing the main ingredients of each dish below the name of the course, like you often see in restaurants.
  5. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 5
    Consider testing out a couple of dishes before the big night. If you are deciding between a couple of dishes, or are thinking about trying a recipe you have never tried before, you may want to try cooking them before your romantic evening if you have the time. Doing a test run can help you to figure out whether the dish will go over well.
    • Practicing the preparation of your meal will also help you to resolve any challenges you face during while cooking, such as overcooking or undercooking the meat, or leaving the noodles in the pot too long.
  6. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 6
    Try to avoid dishes with very strong odors. To create a romantic evening, try to avoid dishes that smell heavily of things that are not terribly romantic, like intense fish or fiery garlic. Leaning in for a kiss from your loved one could end up less than romantic if you both wreak of boiled broccoli.
  7. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 7
    Try to avoid foods that might make you or your partner gassy. Like smelly foods, foods that could upset your stomach should also be avoided if possible. Burping or passing gas in the middle of dinner could quickly kill the romantic mood if your partner is offended by that sort of thing. Of course, everyone reacts differently to different kinds of food, but in general the foods that cause the most gas include[1]:
    • Beans and lentils.
    • Vegetables like broccoli, peas, asparagus, and cauliflower.
    • Fruits like peaches, apricots, raw apples, and pears.
    • Milk and rich dairy products.
  8. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 8
    Plan out what you will drink with your meal. If you are the legal drinking age, consider pairing your meal with a nice bottle of wine. The wine you choose will depend on the kind of food you are eating. If you don’t like wine, or cannot legally buy it, consider making a fancy non-alcoholic beverage, like a Shirley Temple.
    • If you are considering wine, click here.

Part 2
Cooking the Meal

  1. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 9
    Pick out quality ingredients. Once you have picked out the dishes you will be preparing, go shopping for supplies. The ingredients you select should be good quality and fresh. For example, if you are planning on cooking beef, select a nice cut. If possible, go shopping a day or two before your romantic meal.
    • Remember that the freshness of your ingredients could change the flavor of your meal, so always try to pick out the freshest items.
  2. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 10
    Estimate how long it will take you to prepare each dish. Your goal is to have everything ready at the same time. Try to aim for everything being ready to be put on the table about five minutes before you plan to eat. For example, if the rice needs to cook for an hour but the chicken only bakes for fifteen minutes, you'll need to start them at different times. To help plan out your cooking schedule:
    • Write down how long everything takes to cook and then begin cooking them in the order from longest time to shortest time.
    • If you need to boil something, don’t forget to factor in the time it will take for the water to heat up to a boil (generally around 10 minutes). The same goes for heating up the oven (this will depend on your oven and the temperature you are heating it to).
  3. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 11
    Keep the courses warm. If your timing is slightly off and one dish is done before the rest, try to keep it warm by placing the food in a covered container. You can also keep things warm by sticking them in the oven on a low temperature, but do not keep dishes in the oven for too long or they could dry out. You can also keep items you cooked on the stovetop warm by turning the heat to low.
    • Try to avoid relying on the microwave to warm things up if you can help it.
  4. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 12
    Limit the amount of salt you use. Everyone has a different opinion about how much salt is too much salt. Try to err on the side of too little salt, as this can always be remedied by adding more. Place a salt shaker on the table so that your partner can choose to add salt if he or she feels like it.
  5. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 13
    Arrange the food on the plate or place the food in serving dishes. If you the food you are cooking is hot, consider putting it in serving dishes that will keep it warm until you are ready to eat. On the other hand, if your appetizers, or even your main dish, are cold, consider arranging them so that they look beautiful on the plate.
    • You could even put a flower on the plate next to the food to give the arrangement an extra touch.
  6. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 14
    Try to clean up as much as you can before your partner arrives. Once you have finished cooking and everything is being kept warm or is already plated, try to wash up the dishes and kitchen as much as possible.
    • If you don’t have time, fill the sink with hot water after the scraping the plates and put the dishes in so that they will be easy to clean the next day.

Part 3
Setting the Mood

  1. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 15
    Set the table. Generally, you will want to try to do this before you begin cooking. Lay out a nice tablecloth and consider adding placemats where you will both be sitting. Try to match the plates and bowls, and lay out the necessary cutlery.
    • For example, if you are eating steak, make sure that each place setting has a steak knife to make cutting the meat easy.
  2. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 16
    Light some candles. Candles are a lovely touch that you can add to heighten the romantic feel of your dinner. Dim the lights and place candles in accent spots around the room and on your table.
    • Keep in mind, however, to try to use candles that do not have too strong of a scent. Candles that are heavily scented can interfere with the taste of your dinner. Stick to neutral, light smells, or unscented candles.
  3. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 17
    Set out flowers or use rose petals. For an extra special dinner, place freshly cut flowers in a vase and put it on the table. However, try to keep the vase and flowers short so that they do not block your view of your loved one while you eat.
    • You can also get rose petals that you can sprinkle on the table, or place on your partner’s plate.
  4. Image titled Cook Romantic Meals Step 18
    Put on some music. Play music that you both like, but put it on a low setting so that it does not interfere or distract from your conversation. Consider putting on music that does not rely heavily on lyrics, such as jazz, classical music, or spanish guitar.

Article Info

Categories: Food and Entertaining