You don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day to roll around before you start hunting for romantic dinner ideas. We’re all for bonding around the grill no matter what the date.
But if you want to up the romance a little more than usual, there are a few key ingredients that can express all the right feels without you needing to say a word — and turn an evening around the grill into a date night to remember.
Here are our Mega-hot tips for keeping that flame alive.
SELECT SENSUAL INGREDIENTS TO MAKE A ROMANTIC DINNER AT HOME
Stop, walk away from the oysters. Put down the strawberries and cream. Not that there’s anything wrong with these tried and trusted aphrodisiacs, but we’re trying out original tastes, experimenting with new ways of cooking and keeping that all-important element of surprise intact.
Pick from these ingredients to get you and your date in the right mood:
Chili and Spice: Whether you’re planning a traditional barbecue or going for something more veggie rich, you want to add that fiery kick to hint at the current of passion coursing through you. Cayenne, curry and cumin offer a range of heat levels to suit different palates and help to warm and relax the body. Capsaicin in chili, meanwhile, gets the heart pumping and endorphins flowing.
Figs: Aside from simply looking exotic, fresh figs are packed with amino acids that heighten libido. Cut them in half and glaze with olive oil before grilling face down. Serve with drizzled balsamic and sprinkles of feta. Perfect for a side dish or a healthy dessert.
Asparagus: Another ingredient that looks the part — if you know what we mean — asparagus is well-known for its ability to charge up the atmosphere. But that’s also because of what’s inside. It boasts vitamin B6 and folate, both of which score points for their assistance in increasing arousal. It also includes vitamin E for more long-term hormone balancing benefits. Wrap the asparagus in bacon and grill for a few minutes until crispy.
- Salmon, tuna or mackerel: You probably already know that fatty fish is high in healthy omega-3s, but did you know that omega-3 fatty acids elevate dopamine (that lovely chemical released in our brain during pleasurable moments)? Fish can be cooked directly on the grill, but make sure you preheat to the right temperature and clean that grate beforehand to prevent sticking. You can also opt for grilling the fish on a cedar plank, which will infuse it with a delicious woody flavor. For more cooking tips, check out our recipe for Sriracha Salmon.
PLAN YOUR MENU: GRILLING IDEAS FOR DATE NIGHT MEALS
What’s a good dinner to make for a date? First, you need to take into account your date’s personal tastes and dietary requirements. Next, consider your own budget and what level of impact you want to make — are you proposing marriage or simply looking to throw on the charm?We want you to be prepared for all occasions, so we’ve selected several different romantic dinner ideas, plus one tasty breakfast if you’re looking to let the mood linger even longer.
AIR-DRIED RIBS FOR THE SERIOUS LOVESTRUCK:
The sheer effort that goes into cooking up this storm of a dish should be enough to prove your everlasting love. You’ll need nearly three hours to prep and grill, so perhaps save this one for a weekend. This is the luxe date night dish that will not only show off our strength in perseverance and commitment but also your pro grilling skills. Our own recipe comes with two sides, Citrus Chargrilled Cauliflower Fritters and a Fennel and Cabbage Salad, but feel free to switch these out for lighter options. Check out the recipe here.
RECOMMENDED GRILL: Megamaster 6 Burner Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner, which offers up 700 sq. in. of cooking space and helps you cater to the most discerning of tastes.
PERI PERI CHICKEN FOR THE SAUCY ROMANCERS:
This uncomplicated recipe comes loaded with sexy spice. Its marinade is also packed with citrus (6 lemons, juiced), which provides the added benefit of being rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and folic acid - all of which play a role in between the sheets. Our recipe calls for two whole chickens but you can easily reduce quantities to suit your date-night needs. Download our recipe here.
RECOMMENDED GRILL: Megamaster 2 Burner Propane Gas Grill, which is perfect if outdoor space is limited.
VEGETARIAN PIZZA FOR THE FIRST DATERS:
Pizza is not a new idea, but making it together from scratch (insert romantic montage with scenes of rolling dough à la Ghost and feeding each other olives à la 9 1⁄2 Weeks) can do wonders for overcoming first-date jitters. It’s also quick, budget-friendly and can be adapted to suit all dietary requirements. Our recipe is here.
RECOMMENDED ACCESSORY: Megamaster Pizza Stone, which can be placed directly on top of your grill grid. This will distribute heat evenly to ensure a great bake. Also check out our rocker-style Megamaster Pizza Cutter and bamboo Megamaster Pizza Peel.
FLAVORFUL PANCAKES FOR THE OVERNIGHTERS:
We’re assuming those ribs or grilled chickens are going to go down so well that you’ll need to be prepared for breakfast in bed. Seal the love deal with this pancake recipe.
RECOMMENDED ACCESSORY: Megamaster Round Cast Iron Skillet, which heats evenly and cleans easily.
Now you’re sorted with the food, but how about the rest? We know a burning fire goes a long way in creating a romantic ambience, but this occasion calls for more. Hearts must race.
Hang fairy lights from trees or along a balcony rail. Position a speaker nearby and create a playlist that conveys everything you want to say. Serve red wine in deep, long-stem glasses.
Show your date you’re using the occasion to get to know them better. Switch off your phone and, while the ribs are grilling, give them your undivided attention.After all, is there anything more seductive than that true feeling of togetherness?