Valentine’s Day may be long gone, but that’s no reason to let the romance in your relationship slip. You don’t have to spend hours preparing the perfect romantic evening for you and your partner, either. I’ve found plenty of recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, but still show that someone special just how much you love them. Here’s one of my favourite romantic meals for two that takes less than 30 minutes to cook and is a delicious classic – steak and chips.
For this dish you’ll need 2 x 200g/8oz of sirloin steak, sunflower oil (for frying), chips, rocket and parmesan (for the salad), and for the butter sauce 50g of softened butter, a small handful of chopped parsley leaves, 1 small garlic glove (minced) a squeeze of lemon juice and cracked black pepper.
First mash the butter sauce ingredients together, wrap in cling film, pat until flat and put in the fridge to harden. Flattening the butter will help it to chill faster. While the butter is chilling, heat the sunflower oil in a griddle pan. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and rub some of the oil into them.
Cooking a steak to perfection is the tricky part, and this puts a lot of people off attempting steak. As a general rule a steak that’s two inches thick should be cooked for two minutes on each side for rare, with one minute added for each stage of doneness.
The method I use to check if a steak is done is to prod it with my fingers. If rare it will feel soft to touch, if medium-rare it will feel slightly bouncy, while a well-done steak will be firm. Just before you take the steaks off the griddle pan place half the butter on each. To save some time, serve the steaks with frozen chips such as McCain Triple Cooked Chips. These triple cooked chips are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside and will add a bit more indulgence to your meal. Add the rocket and sprinkle with grated parmesan.
Don’t forget to pick up a nice red wine to drink with your steak dinner, either. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz/Syrah go particularly well with steak.
Setting the mood
I don’t know about you, but personally I’m not going to feel terribly romantic if I’m eating my dinner off a tray on the sofa, so remember to be mindful of the ‘romance’ part when preparing your meal. Motel El Parador has some great suggestions for creating a romantic atmosphere, including dimming and softening the lights, using candles and putting on some romantic music. Also make sure you set your dining table appropriately – dress it with a simple white table cloth. Add a bouquet of flowers or a sprinkling of rose petals, and use your best china and silverware. If you don’t have a dining table, use the floor and have a romantic indoor picnic instead. Finally, remember to dress for the occasion!
And that’s it – everything you need to have the perfect romantic evening with the one you love. Do you have any tips for hosting a night in for two?