I’ve heard some people say they (and their significant other) don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because they “prefer to show affection all year ’round!” …didn’t realize you had to choose between the two… To each their own, but Jules and I are always looking for an excuse to pamper each other, and what better time than a holiday all about celebrating relationships? And as with many celebrations, food is a big part of Valentine’s Day, sometimes to our detriment.
Look, we’re all adults here (except those of you reading this who aren’t), so I’m not going side step the issue. Valentine’s Day is not just a time for love. It’s a time for lovin’, if you know what I mean. And nothing kills the mood like the wide range of gastrointestinal issues caused by the well-meaning cook. You may think you’re treating your lover right when you cook them that 16oz ribeye, but how excited will they be about the stomach ache and early bed time that come with it? As Wolfgang Puck says, you know you’ve had a great meal when you feel like you could make love afterward. So we’re gonna make a great meal.
This 4 course meal is meant to be a springboard for your special occasion, and it all starts with a light soup.
The great thing about broth soups is they’re essentially water, so a small bowl won’t fill you up like pasta or something similar would. Granted, the above picture isn’t super impressive, but don’t let that fool ya. The purpose of this soup is to wake up your taste buds a little and get them ready for the other flavors you’ll be throwing their way. Here’s what you need:
• 1 hot pan that had a pork tenderloin cooked in it (optional but suggested)
• 3-4 thin slices of fennel bulb
• 1 rutabaga, cut into small dice and roasted in the oven at 425 for 5 minutes
• 1 red jalapeño, cut into fine dice (smaller than small dice)
• some thinly sliced green onion
• 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
• salt to taste
First, add the roasted rutabaga, red jalapeño, fennel slices, and green onion to your bowls. You only add a little, because this isn’t vegetables in broth – it’s broth with vegetables.
The main course for this meal is a pork tenderloin, pan-seared and finished in the oven. If making the full meal, then once the pork has finished cooking, remove the pork from the pan and put it on a cutting board to rest. Put the hot pan onto a burner on medium heat and add your vegetable stock to the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil and let it cook for about 5 minutes – add salt as desired. Ladle about 1 cup of broth into each of your soup bowls and let sit for 2 minutes. This lightly cooks the vegetables and mellows their flavor, which is especially necessary for the red jalapeño.
That’s all there is to this soup. If not making the pork tenderloin, you can still make this soup just fine. You’ll simply boil the vegetable stock in a pot before adding to the vegetables.
I’m going to share this 4 course meal one dish at a time, because I don’t want anyone feeling locked into only making these dishes if you’re making all of them. They’re each delicious enough to stand on their own. But together, it’s a symphony from beginning to end. Thursday I’ll be back, sharing all the details for course #2, Arugula with Pear and Prosciutto. The 2nd course was Julia’s favorite of the 4, and even surprised me by how good it was. See ya then, folks.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
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