We hit the Google and found out that according to the National Retail Foundation, the average cost of a couple’s night out on Valentine’s Day is $55.44 in the United States. Tack on some traditional Valentine’s Day staples like flowers, candy, cards, and jewelry and you’re looking at two crisp $100 bills flying out the window. What if you took a 1/4 of that, bought some killer ingredients, and treated your special sometime to something special in the comfort of your own home — pants optional?
That’s just what these #anovafoodnerds are doing, and we’re sharing some of their secrets to success and recipes below.
Stay Home. Stay Comfy.
Why does #anovafodnerd Ryan Jacobs stay in? “My wife Shannon and I have been together for ~18 years now, so we have done plenty of V-Day restaurants. Probably 10 years ago or so we got sick of the ridiculous prix fixe menus and started cooking at home. It gives us all the flexibility – can make whatever we want. We’ll talk it out together, but it typically ends up being filets and whatever sides we decide on. We’ll pick out a couple bottles of nice wine, select the meal, leave the TV off and play some music, and we cook together!”
Ivan Tan likes to involve the kids too! We avoid the usual V-Day crowd, and able to cook a restaurant standard V-Day meal with Anova Precision Cooker at a fraction of the cost! Best of all, the children get to celebrate together with us!
What’s the plan for #anovafoodnerd Christian Arfsten? “There are a few factors to us staying in; We had recently had a subpar meal at a nice restaurant and we both felt like we could tag-team this dinner and do a better job than our most recent experience. We had also been saving a really nice bottle of wine for a special occasion and Valentine’s Day seemed like a good occasion.”
Setting up for success
The right atmosphere at home is key. This can’t be a half-hearted attempt, and your normal day-t0-day dining protocol isn’t gonna cut it. #anovafoodnerd Katy Olsen makes it a special occasion by actually setting the table — think cloth napkins, your “fancy” dinner plates, and even a bottle of sparkling water. The little things go a long way, and she swears by a totally clean house to boot. Nobody wants a beautiful table setting, feet away from clothes thrown over the back of the couch. Get it together people!
Christian Arfsten proclaims the key for success is to prepare thoroughly — “Buy everything a couple days before and have the entire menu planned out. Also, don’t cook something for the first time on that night. We had never done creme brûlée before so we did it the weekend before. Thankfully we did as we needed to tweak our method. A good way to set the atmosphere is to start with a clean kitchen/dining room and set up some decorations. Candles, flowers etc. Wine is also a great mood setter.”
What’s on the menu?
Listen up: there are no rules! Cook what you want. That’s the whole point! But we’ve rounded up some of our #anovafoodnerd fam’s favorite dishes to pique your interest and start some inspiration. Away we go…
Sous Vide Creamy Lobster Pasta by #anovafoodnerd Karen Ng
Karen and her husband have turned this dish into a yearly tradition. “My husband loves this pasta so much, he asks for it every year!”
Sous Vide Filet Mignon by #anovafoodnerd Ryan Jacobs
“With the Anova, I can make a steak just as good as any I’ve had anywhere else. We’ve got two too – so we’re able to have two things going so we can sit back and enjoy a bottle of wine with some snacks/apps while the main event cooks.”
Sous Vide Heart-Shaped Burgers by #anovafoodnerd Emily Doss
Ok…this one is fun and Emily is a genius. Want to keep the meal more casual but still celebrate? Heart. Shaped. Burgers.
Sous Vide Lamb Chops by #anovafoodnerd Amanda Brown
Lamb loin chops are lean, tender and easy to find at the grocery store or butcher shop, so they’re a great cut to start with if it’s your first foray into sous vide lamb. This recipe from #anovafoodnerd Amanda Brown is super simple and packed with flavor and perfect for an elevated meal thats as simple as it is delicious.
Sous Vide Ginger Miso Salmon by #anovafoodnerd James Beshada
Keep it a little lighter, but still flavor packed with this insanely-perfect salmon!
Sous Vide Jumbo Shrimp Scampi by #anovafoodnerd Emily Farris
When we think of the perfect shrimp, it’s this sous vide jumbo shrimp scampi, cooked in the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker with butter, lemon and garlic, then broiled with bread crumbs on top. Cheers!
Sous Vide Jerk Pork Tenderloin by #anovafoodnerd Allena Behnke
This is a savory and delicious meal that is quick, easy, and brings a different angle to Valentine’s Dinner!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Be sure to tag your Valentine’s creations with #anovafoodnerd and give us a follow on Instagram @anovaculinary!
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