Valentine’s Day is only a week away, folks.
And while we would absolutely advocate for taking your sweetheart out for an Alabama Gulf Seafood dinner at any of the excellent restaurants in your neighborhood, you can save some cash—and earn some bonus points—by cooking for two in your own kitchen. There’s nothing that says “I love you” quite like a home-cooked meal, is there?
But any good chef knows one thing: You get out what you put in. And if you really want to sweep your partner off their feet for Valentine’s Day, you’ll have to do some prep work.
Here are six dinner-making tips, from our kitchen to yours, to ensure that you and your special someone enjoy an unforgettable meal on the most romantic holiday.
Make Sure You’ve Got the Right Kitchen Tools
Fresh seafood isn’t as simple as grilling burgers or frying eggs, you know. Certain menu items require particular tools to get the job done properly (or you’ll save time and hassle, at the least), like crab mallets, oyster knives, shrimp cleaners, etc. We compiled a list of common seafood tools to keep in your kitchen if you need to know what to look for.
Get Ambitious with Your Recipe Selection
Don’t be afraid to aim high when it comes to your recipe selection! When you’re looking at a restaurant-quality recipe, you might have to buy a few extra ingredients or spend a little extra time, but your end result will certainly be worth it. (You do know that we’ve got more than 150 recipes to choose from, don’t you?)
Read Your Recipes a Few Days in Advance
When it’s time to prepare for your recipe, don’t just copy over the list of ingredients for your grocery shopping excursion. Read the whole recipe! Some of our recipes may involve special instrumental and utensils and extended cook times (even a day or so for marinating), so it’ll pay off to be fully prepared. You don’t want any surprises the night of!
Make an Appetizer to Enjoy While Waiting
If you pick a recipe that takes some time and effort, it can be hard to time your sweetheart’s arrival with dinner being served. Invite him or her over early and cook an appetizer or two to snack on while dinner’s cooking and you won’t be waiting awkwardly in the kitchen. (We have plenty of appetizer recipes too, you know.)
Find the Right Spirits for the Meal You’re Preparing
If you really want to impress your partner, we suggest finding a beverage that complements the flavor profile of the meal you’re cooking. (And it’ll just plain taste better.) Whether you two prefer beer, wine, or liquor, we’ve consulted with the experts to make it easy for you. And please, make sure to drink responsibly if you’re leaving the house afterward!
Turn Dinner into an Activity for Two
If you and your date prefer a more active eating experience, Alabama Gulf Seafood is the perfect thing. Boil and peel your own shrimp, cook up and crack a whole mess of crabs, or shuck a couple dozen oysters and eat them right out of the shell. Just make sure you know how to peel those shrimp, crack those crabs, and shuck those oysters properly!
If you follow our advice, you’re sure to impress when it comes to one of the biggest date nights of the year. Bon appetite, y’all!