Valentine’s Day: Tips for Cooking at Home

Gourmet Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Though restaurants are excited to roll out the red carpet for diners come Valentine’s Day, perhaps a home-cooked meal sounds like the ultimate romantic respite? Molly Siegler, culinary editor of Whole Foods Market, offers up tips for creating a delicious, lovely-dovey feast for the holiday–in the comfort of your own home.

Five-star-worthy surf and turf for half the price For prime flavor, opt for dry-aged steaks. Whole Foods Market’s butchers take the most prized cuts of beef and age them in-house for 21 days in a humidity- and temperature-controlled environment. This process reduces the moisture content for a concentrated, robust flavor and a very tender final cut.In other words, pretty fool-proof. Whole Foods Market’s lobster tails and crab legs are also a delicious (and sustainable) choice. Both can be simply steamed and served with drawn butter for a shockingly simple but impressive dinner.

Enjoy the vino for a fraction of the cost, and pair like a pro Restaurant markup for beer and wine is usually upwards of 200-300 percent, so you can get a significantly better bottle for less at the grocery store. For seafood dishes, try De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Rosé Brut, a lively pink sparkler that’s perfect for the holiday. For red meat dishes, pair Globerati French Cabernet Sauvignon, a medium-bodied red with juicy black currant and earthy pepper spice. Whole Foods Market’s wine specialists can also help you pick the best bottle for your dish.

Undetectable store-bought shortcuts Many Whole Foods Market stores will steam fresh crab and crack the shells for you, so you can save your cutie from cracking duty. Or check the bakery department for fresh chocolate-covered strawberries. Serve them on a pretty plate at home and your Valentine will think you hand-dipped these sweet treats.

Shuck it Whole Foods Market offers the highest quality, fresh oysters at a fraction of restaurant prices, and offers local varieties in many regions. Our fishmongers will shuck themfor you at no charge. Shoppers will also find the Responsibly Farmed logo on all farmed mollusks at Whole Foods Market (oysters, mussels, clams and scallops), which ensures our quality standards are being met.

Say cheese A good rule of thumb for a nice, balanced cheese plate is to choose four different cheeses made with different milks – goat, sheep, cow and a classic blue or alpine style cheese. When in doubt, ask your local Whole Foods Market experts. We employ the largest amount of Certified Cheese Professionals (over 300) in the country.

Don’t forget flowers Restaurant details like fresh flowers go a long way at home too. Classic roses are always sweet, especially when you opt for Whole Trade blooms from Whole Foods Market, which means your blooms are sweeter on the planet and farm workers, too.

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