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Sous-Vide for Deux

Planning a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner? Sous-vide can help with that.


BY MORGAN FECTO

You’re cooking Valentine’s Day dinner, but that’s not all you have to do. You have cleaning, playlist-making, candle-lighting, and more to get off your plate before you sit down to eat. To help you pull off a (seemingly) complicated dinner menu with time to spare, we rounded up three truly indulgent sous-vide recipes for Valentine’s Day and some time-saving tips.  

The Main Course

Your date will think this Octopus with Squid-Ink Hummus and Pomegranate Salad was a labor of love, but it’s easy to make and looks beautiful no matter how you plate it. A variety of textures—crispy tentacles, smooth hummus, and bursting pomegranate arils—make this dish (from Sous-Vide magazine’s second issue) a more sophisticated choice than the expected surf and turf. It’s a memorable pick for a Valentine’s Day dinner at home, with fiery flavors from smoked paprika and guajillo pepper.

When tackling these tentacles, remember:

  1. Sous-vide the octopus while you’re at work. It takes 8 hours to cook, so by the time you get home, it’ll be the perfect doneness.
  2. Make the squid ink hummus the night before. And on that note, order your squid ink online ahead of time. It’s one item you’re unlikely to find on a last-minute grocery store run.
  3. If your knife skills aren’t so sharp, don’t struggle. Use cooking shears (we love these Mac shears) to portion your cooked octopus and snip your fresh dill and chives.

 

 

The Cocktail

A Boogie Wonderland sets the mood for a romantic, retro-flavored evening. A take on red sangria from the mix masters at Nitecap in New York, this sous-vide cocktail appeared in Sous-Vide magazine’s second issue and is infused with cocoa nibs. It’s bitter and sweet (aren’t all great loves?) and gets its deep red color from Lambrusco. Citrus peel garnishes add bright, fresh flavors to the drink.

Before you pour, remember:

  1. Use a jigger, not a measuring cup. The typical jigger has one-ounce and two-ounce measurements that’ll allow you to assemble your drink quickly without double-checking your portions.  
  2. Sous-vide the cocoa nib and Maurin Quina infusion the night before. It only takes two hours to infuse, so you’ll have it done, bottled, and in the fridge before bed.
  3. If you’re low on time, skip garnishing this sous-vide cocktail with multiple citrus peels and serve with a single slice of blood orange.

 

 

The Dessert

We admit: It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without some chocolate. Our Mocha Pot de Créme from Sous-Vide magazine’s third issue is silky and sinful with a jolt of espresso to keep you alert for the rest of the evening—whether it involves dancing, a show, or simply cleaning up the kitchen.

To whip up this sous-vide dessert, remember:

  1. Spoon your chocolate créme into ramekins, place them on a small sheet tray, then seal the whole tray for sous-viding. It’s faster than sous-viding the créme in a bag, since you can serve it right in the ramekins.
  2. Start sous-viding the chocolate créme when you sit down to dinner. It only takes 30 minutes, so it’ll be ready as you’re finishing up dinner.
  3. Instead of getting ambitious with homemade whipped cream (you’ve done quite enough already), top with a ready-made version and some freshly grated cinnamon instead.

 

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