It’s the weekend, which means, yayy, you can finally spend some much needed down time with your significant other! Let me guess, your usual date consists of having a meal together. And so this inevitable question comes up: Where will you eat? Well, instead of spending an hour going back and forth with suggestions (It’s not that simple), why don’t you try and switch it up by inviting them over and—wait for it—cook for them? It’s a wonderful way to show your affection. Trust me, this’ll earn you plus plus points. If that sounds intimidating, join the club. Full disclosure: I don’t cook. I always say I will learn, but to this day, my “cooking” skills are pretty much limited to pancit canton, and fried anything like hotdogs. Don’t worry, my younger brother is fully aware of this situation, and he gave me full-proof date recipes which he said even I can accomplish. So I’m sharing them with you.
Pastas are fancy, but they’re also super easy to make. Sardine pasta is something my brother loves to cook because aside from it being quick and easy to prepare, it’s also super affordable, without looking like it. Trust me, with the proper plating, you can make anything look like a thousand bucks.
200 g spaghetti noodles
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
120 g cans sardines in oil, drained
Dried chilli flakes
1. Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain after.
2. Heat 1/4 of the oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs. Stir until golden. Add half the garlic. Cook while stirring for 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl then mix in parsley.
3. Heat remaining oil in pan over medium heat. Add sardines, chilli, and remaining garlic. Cook while stirring until heated through. Add spaghetti. Gently toss to combine.
4. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with breadcrumb mixture.
Okay, so pancakes might seem like you are cheating. Hey, you still make it over an open fire so it’s still cooking. It might seem pretty basic, but I’m sure your cute effort will be appreciated. Plus, pancakes aren’t limited to breakfast only. This is a perfect meal, especially on lazy rainy days. Oh, and don’t forget to put on Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes” for the perfect touch.
40 g plain flour
1/3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 cup (250ml) milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla, vegetable oil, and bananas.
2. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture until slightly lumpy.
3. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides.
Fish is a pretty romantic date food. The Cream Dory fish’s mild and silky taste, and almost melt-in-your-mouth texture sets it apart from others. This recipe, my brother got from Kusina 101. Prepare this with a side of fries or potato wedges, and your good to go for a movie or Netflix date.
1 pack frozen cream dory fish fillets
2 tbsp chopped celery or basil leaves
2 tbsp kalamansi juice
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp pepper
1 cup Japanese bread crumbs
3 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp all purpose cream
1 tbsp chopped basil leaves
3 segments garlic (chopped)
1 tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash the frozen fillets in running water. Pat dry
2. Slice the fillets into 1 inch thick and marinate in the mixture.
3. Prepare the pan in the stove, pour enough oil for frying.
4. Dip the fillets into the slightly beaten egg. Drench in flour.
5. Fry in batches, turning both sides once a while. Drain in paper towels. Set aside
6. Serve with the garlic cream dip.
Art by Marian Hukom
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