G’day, and what an easy question.
It’s so refreshing to learn there’s a beginner here who plans ahead.
There several really competent SV cooks in this community who like you live upside down on our planet. Among them “Ember” and “michihenning” are to be trusted emphatically here. My observation is that it doesn’t make much difference though. Food’s food, only the names may change.
First off, and please remember this always, it’s not your meal. For success your choice must be based on your Silent Bride’s likes and dislikes as you know them. Surely you know at least some of them. The cat recommends always avoiding cooking her dislikes and focusing just on her likes. Make a list, and focus on building your culinary repertoire on her likes. Life’s too long not to. If you enjoy some of her dislikes, have them whenever she goes to visit her mother.
If you arrive at twenty “Likes” that’s plenty to start, probably even far too many as you want to leave some room for personal culinary growth. Consider that most families don’t ever exceed 20 main course menu items in all their lives.
Next, because you had to ask your question we need to consider your culinary competence. My suggestion is you select something easy that she greatly enjoys. You know, something like steak, tuna, emu, or even chicken, but keep it simple so you can cook it perfectly. “Knock your socks off dishes” can be very risky. Perfectly cooked simple dishes are always safe and usually hard to beat.
I suggest once you are armed with the “Likes” list visit the following site:
Select “Techniques”, then “Sous Vide” .
Peruse the recipes there, they can be trusted.
I would avoid doing an internet search for a menu item name. There are far too many incompetent cooks out there who are eager to prove it to you.
Lastly, consider the importance of presentation and the dining environment. Those psychological elements are equally as important as flavour. Set the table after removing any clutter, serve on warm plates that are pristine (no drops, smudges, or thumb prints), use a plate garnish, just one, and don’t omit seasoning to taste. That’s means sea salt (or Himalayan Pink Salt) and freshly ground black pepper. To taste means just that, taste, never hope or guess. A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice adds sparkle to just about any side dish.
A simple but effective plate garnish can be a light sprinkle of an appropriate fresh, finely chopped herb, - even boring old parsley if it’s the best you can manage. Fresh herbs bring their distinctive aroma to the party and amplify the dining experience.
PS: Lately there been reports here of Community Members receiving an out-of-the-box dysfunctional Anova. Test before cooking to achieve the certainty of a sock-less experience. Let Anova bring a substantial volume of water up to a moderate temperature and maintain it for a few hours. Then do it again just to be certain. Doing that will also allow you to become familiar with the controls.
Hello @l2oBiN. Welcome to the wonderful world of sous vide cooking.
Much like our most learned colleague above, I’d suggest keeping things fairly simple for a first attempt. I often suggest chicken breast for a first cook, because most of us have experienced dry, stringy and overcooked chicken.
This, I think, is one of the best starting points for delightfully succulent and delicately tender chicken breast: Basic Sous Vide Chicken Breast. I’d serve it with a lovely sauce, perhaps a whiskey cream or a wholegrain mustard and sherry reduction. Or, if you’re culinary skills are up to it a drizzle of a cider vinegar gastrique. Nothing too big. Remember, chicken does have a gentle flavour.
While we’re on chicken. If you ever have the opportunity to buy meat from heritage birds do so. They are smaller and grow more slowly so they’re not grown en masse, but the flavour development is worth every extra penny.
Other options. A small rack of lamb for two. Sous vide does a fabulous job of lamb allowing you to get that beautiful roseate blush from one end to the other. When you sear it post sous vide, make sure you concentrate on getting that cap of fat nicely brown and rendered.
Beef is always a possibility if your lady fair is that way inclined. Ask you butcher to slice steak for you. A thick steak, around 50mm thick will show up the benefits of sous vide cooking. I know it makes for a big lump of meat, but you can slice it and share between the two of you. Any cut of steak will be fine.
Just remember when researching that Aussie Porterhouse is American Strip (now sometimes referred to as New York Strip here) and American Rib-eye is often being sold here as a Cattleman’s Cutlet. But for interpreting meat cuts, Google is your friend.
I imagine you’d already prepared your first Sous Vide meal. I hope yours turned out better than mine. It take some practice, but fortunately there are great guide available, many of them mentioned in the first reply.
My newest SV fascination is bone-in pork rib chops, 60C/140F for just under two hours. After searing, I hit them with a smoking gun while the meat rests. They come out so juicy.
No question, what we call a ribeye steak. Excellent recipe at Anova. Either pan sear or sear on grill afterwards. Most impressive is to have some leftover steak that you reseal and then reheat later in your Anova. Say goodbye to that stale, reheated steak taste. A sous vide reheating steak is as delicious as it was when first cooked! Promise!!