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Apr 26, 2005 01:06 AM

A question for ladies... food that makes you get "stimulated"

  • j

Earler tonight I was hanging out a simple pub in San Diego. They had no kitchen, so one of the staff made a food run to a nearby eatery. Upon her return, they staff dove in. It was a slow night, so they lingered about, enjoying their meal.

I couldn't help but notice how much they gushed about the fare. Their non-verbal approval was almost orgasmic, and each spoke of their dinner as though it was the most sensual experience ever.

So I had to ask them... what was this dish? Nothing fancy I found. Simple crusty french bread with a spicy pesto and melting cheese. One remarked that if it had chocolate added, she'd be in eternal bliss. I thought that I could learn from this.

So as a simple bachelor, what simple dish would you recommend that guys like me learn to master? I realize some of you are pumped enough if your guy makes anything... but what about when it comes to a dish or two that requires more than a microwave or can opener?

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  1. From a taste-bud point of view, the most orgasmic thing I've ever eaten was a green bean and pecorino souffle at a Michelin recommended (not even starred!!) restaurant in Tuscany.

    That said:

    whilst cooking a fancy meal is always impressive, I don't find it particularly romantic. Sure, a guy who cooks is great, but there is such a thing as trying too hard. Also, the chance of failure is quite high if you're trying to make stuffed roulade of veal lovingly laid on a bed of souffled oyster mushrooms and individual heart-shaped molten chocolate puddings with a rum creme anglaise.

    If I was a guy, trying to romance a woman (hell, I do it the other way round, but since you're male, here goes), I would pay lots of attention to setting and atmosphere. Think picnic, albeit on your couch in front of a fire, with the lights dimmed, with casual but high quality food. The staff at that restaurant were right on; go for the best bread you can find, things to spread, some good cheese, some nice wine, and a box of good chocolates to follow. Using your fingers, making your own mix-and-match meal with a spread of things to nibble, is both informal, tasty, and less challenging than a plated meal.

    If you want to actually 'cook', there is something undeniably appealing about a man making his own pasta sauce, especially when I get to watch. Some chopping, stirring, whilst chatting relaxedly and sipping wine... so good that it's pretty much a cliche. Women often like to help, too.

    My most memorable meal with my Sweetheart was him panfrying two filets whilst I made some avocado and tomato salsa, which was then consumed with an entire olive ciabatta loaf.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kate

      I have to agree that there's Something About Pasta, especially if you can appear to be whipping something together without a recipe, and the wine sipping is key.

      I can't complain when my husband makes something more elaborate, it always tastes good, but coming home to a stressed-out guy and a messy kitchen is less romantic than something that appears relatively simple & effortless, but tastes great. I guess an analogy could be, do you prefer watching a woman spend two hours getting ready for an event, or having her beauty appear effortless?

      1. re: kate

        I agree that one of the most sensual date meals is a cheese board with three or four artesan cheeses, a good, crusty bread or crackers, fresh fruit, crudites, and a fabulous bottle of wine. Chocolate-dipped strawberries make a nice touch for dessert. Dress up your coffee table with luxurious table mats and napkins, lights lots of candles, sit on the floor, and, depending on how friendly you two are, well. . . .

        1. re: kate

          What's that saying? "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."

        2. Steak, rare. Sliced thinly and fanned out on the plate, you don't want to make her sleepy with an enormous meal.

          Mastering grilling is not a bad idea, either--outdoors, fire, voila. Fish or skewered shrimp in particular is quick and impressive. Lobster tails are fantastic on the grill.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jess

            Simple baked or grilled salmon with some sauteed spinach and a nice dry white wine.

            Risotto with lobster chunks and fresh herbs.

            I agree with JonJon - big heavy meals make me want to sleep not be romantic.

          2. I know you want to make your dates blissfully happy with what you have cooked.

            To me, that you take the time to cook is the most imporant thing. It is the feeling of being cared for...that the table is set, that the place is comfy and clean, and that you have a clearly thought-out plan.

            High-quality food and drink is wonderful, but the real wonderful thing is knowing that a man is competent and thoughtful.

            1. For me, a man could make almost anything for me that I would find delightful and "stimulating" if you add two elements--good Champagne or sparkling wine and flowers on the table. One of the most memorable gifts my husband gave me while we were dating was a bottle of Dom Ruinart Champagne, wrapped in a lovely backpack I could use while honing my cross country skiing skills. Utilitarian and poetic...I'd be happy as a clam with a burger and those two items!

              1. No suggestions for specific dishes, but some common sense rules of thumb:

                1) Avoid starchy, heavy foods. Like mashed potatoes or heavy cream sauces. Light pasta is great, but maybe not lasagna. Keep the food light-medium but flavorful.
                2) Something that appeals to all the senses -- including sight, smell, and touch. Finger foods, especially, brings out the sensualist in people and is a great excuse to feed each other. (Try to keep it elegant finger foods, not chicken nuggets, please!)
                3) If she is there with you while you cook, something not too difficult that takes all your attention. There's nothing worse than being ignored. The gesture is more important than the perfection of the dish.

                Let's face it -- the bar is set pretty low for your gender. Women appreciate almost any effort, as long as it's sincere, so you almost can't go wrong. Try to avoid getting someone sick (either from allergies or tainted food); add candles, flowers and romantic beverage; and present yourself neatly and groomed.