Food

Quick, Low-Cost Valentine’s Day Recipes

Skip the long Valentine’s Day lines at restaurants and whip up this decadent three-course dinner for your loved one instead. Start with a seasonal pear salad, enjoy a five-star roasted pork entrée and finish things off with light black forest parfaits.

COURSE 1: WINTRY PEAR SALAD

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: $

A wonderful start to the meal, this salad has plenty of flavor to wake up your taste buds. The soft goat cheese and Dijon vinaigrette dressing add a French twist to this fruity salad.
Ingredients
1 jar (26 oz.) sliced pears, drained
4 to 6 oz. chevre (soft goat cheese) or other soft cheese, like feta cheese
1 red pepper, cut into rings
Butterhead lettuce (also called Boston or Bibb lettuce)
1/3 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/2 cup salad oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Arrange several pear slices, 1 to 1 1/2 ounces of cheese, and red pepper rings on top of the lettuce on each plate. Sprinkle with nuts
  2. Combine oil, vinegar and mustard in blender. Cover and run on medium 1 minute. Spoon dressing over each salad

Tip: If pears don’t suit your taste, substitute our flavor-packed tabbouleh salad recipe for the first course.

COURSE 2: PORK TENDERLOIN WITH APPLES & PEARL ONIONS

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: $$

Ingredients
2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup pearl onions
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced (save stems for garnish)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup chicken stock, divided
1 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Brush pork with mustard, then coat with bread crumbs
  2. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add pork, then sear all sides until crisp and golden brown. Transfer pork to glass baking dish and set aside
  3. With the skillet still over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add pearl onions, fennel and raisins. Cook until onions and fennel are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup chicken stock, then let simmer for 5 more minutes
  4. Add apple, cinnamon, sea salt and remaining chicken stock. Return pork to the skillet, then roast in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes
  5. Let pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Garnish slices with fennel stems and raisins

Tip: For another deliciously simple main course option, whip up our tasty take on Parmesan chicken.

COURSE 3: BLACK FOREST PARFAITS

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Prep time: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: $

Ingredients

3 unfrosted chocolate cupcakes

3/4 cup chocolate syrup or chocolate fudge sauce

1 can (21-ounces) cherry pie filling

1 1/2 cups sweetened whipped cream

Chocolate shavings

Instructions

  1. Dice cupcakes into 1/2” cubes, yielding 3 cups
  2. Layer the diced cupcakes in small clear shot glasses or cordial glasses
  3. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and top each with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cherry pie filling and a dollop of sweetened whipped cream
  4. Garnish with shaved chocolate

Tip: To save time, assemble these treats a few hours ahead and refrigerate. Let them come to room temperature before serving.

Tip: Substitute our apple crisp recipe to for the dessert course to end things on a different sweet note.

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