When people think “romantic date,” they often think “fine dining”. This can, however, become quite expensive very quickly–not to mention that the formal atmosphere can make it difficult to really enjoy a meaningful conversation. For those who are willing to try their hand at creating their own fine dining dishes, taking up culinary short courses is the solution!

Here are three easy recipes you can use to impress your date when entertaining at home!

Braised beef ribs
Anyone who has taken cooking classes in Manila has probably discovered how easy it is to braise beef, and what they thought was fancy was really a walk in the park!

What you need:

  • 1 or 2 beef short ribs, cut into pieces (bone in)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 heads of garlic (cut horizontally)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Beef stock
  • Red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Season the meat generously with salt and pepper.
  • Place a roasting pan on the stove top. Pour in about 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once heated, brown each side of the beef pieces on the roasting pan. You should hear a sizzle.
  • Place the garlic heads, open side down, onto the pan, which should now have the beef juices.
  • Take the tomato puree and slowly cook that down into the pan. Put in the sprig of rosemary.
  • Pour in about ½ bottle of red wine and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until the wine has been reduced by half.
  • Pour in the beef stock, making sure that half of the beef pieces are still exposed.
  • Place the roasting pan in the oven and allow to braise for two hours.
  • Once cooked, take the beef pieces and plate them on a serving dish. Pour some of the sauce on top of the pieces and garnish with parsley.
  • Serve with your choice of sides.

    **Roasted duck legs**

    Blue cheese pasta
    Assuming neither you nor your date have an aversion towards strong tasting cheeses, this is the easiest fine dining dish you can create!

    What you need:

  • ½ pack of any pasta (fussili or penne preferred)
  • 1 wedge blue cheese
  • ¼ bar of butter
  • ¼ cup of cream
  • Salt
  • Basil
  • What to do:

  • Bring one pot of water to a boil and season the water with salt. Put in your pasta and set the timer for 8 minutes.
  • In a large pan, over low heat, put in the butter. As it slowly melts, add the blue cheese. You can choose to only use half the wedge so as not to create an overpowering sauce. Slowly stir the butter and cheese mixture, breaking up the cheese so that it melts. As soon as the cheese has melted, pour in the cream slowly. You don’t want a sauce that is too creamy or thick. Taste the sauce as you add the cream so as to adjust the flavour of the cheese.
  • Remove the pasta from the heat. (If the eight minutes are done). Drain the water and toss the pasta.
  • Pour the pasta into the pan, and coat the pasta with the cheese sauce.
  • Pour the mixture onto a serving dish and garnish with basil.
  • Fine dining need never be tricky at home. There are plenty of culinary short courses or cooking classes in Manila, such as the courses offered by The Study, that teach you amazing and tasty recipes that help you look forward to date night at home. Similarly, these courses introduce you to various techniques that will help you master any recipe you find online. If you are looking to improve your skills in the kitchen, do not hesitate to sign up for a culinary short course today!