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An Early Valentine’s Day Dinner…with Instructions!

February 12, 2008

Tonight, since I had the day off from work today, I decided to create an early Valentine’s Day Dinner for Bob, which consisted of:

French Onion Soup

Stuffed Tenderloin of Pork

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Green Beans

Mocha Pudding Cake

I’ve included recipes for the French Onion Soup, the Stuffed Tenderloin, and the Mocha Pudding Cake. The slideshow below shows how I made the Soup (mostly), with some slides thrown in of the Pork. Click on the slideshow to see it in full.

I hope you and your sweetie enjoy it as much as we did! Recipes after the jump.

French Onion Soup

6 (½ inch) slices baguette

Vegetable cooking spray

I T butter

6 cups thinly sliced onions

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 (14 ½ -ounce) cans beef broth

1 (10-ounce) can beef consommé, undiluted

½ cup dry white wine (I actually used red wine – tasted great!)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

6 thin slices (1 ½ ounces) Gruyère cheese (cave-aged, if you can find it…)

Place baguette slices on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside.

Coat a Dutch oven with cooking spray; add butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Sprinkle onion with sugar and pepper. Reduce heat to low; cook 20 minutes or until onion is golden, stirring often.

Sprinkle onion with flour; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add broth, consommé, and wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in Worcestershire sauce. Ladle 1 ½ cups soup into each of 6 ovenproof soup bowls; top each serving with 1 slice bread and 1 slice cheese. Place soup bowls on a large baking sheet, and broil 5 ½ inches from heat (with electric oven door partially opened) 1 minute or until cheese melts.

Yield: 9 cups (serving size: 1-½ cups).

Calories 204;Fat 5.1g;Fiber 3.0g

Stuffed Tenderloin of Pork

1 Pork Tenderloin (usually comes in 2 pieces; you only need 1 piece – freeze the other one for later)

Stove Top (or other) stuffing mix, prepared for 2 servings

2T olive oil

1 red pear, chopped (no need to peel it)

1 tsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground fennel

1/2 tsp Italian Sausage Seasoning (from Penzey’s)

Preheat oven to 450. Yes, 450.

Butterfly tenderloin (basically, slice in half without cutting through, and keep slicing along lengthwise until it becomes flat. I should have made a video, but you can see a picture of the result in my slideshow).

Saute chopped pears in a little water until they become soft. Sprinkle fennel over pears, saute 2 minutes more. Add pears and sausage seasoning to prepared stuffing. You may need to add some water to the mixture to make it less stiff.

Lay stuffing lengthwise along center of butterfiled tenderloin; roll up lengthwise and secure with butcher’s string. Heat 2T olive oil in Dutch oven, and sear pork on all sides until browned. Let rest for 15 minutes. Place rested pork on baking sheet, seam side down, and bake at 450 until internal temperature reaches 145-150 (tenderloin has very little fat, so you don’t want to overcook it). Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes or so. Slice and serve with your favorite pork gravy (you may want to add some of that sausage seasoning to the gravy for extra oomph).

Mocha Pudding Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar, divided
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray
1 cup boiling water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vanilla low-fat ice cream


Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, coffee granules, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Combine milk, oil, and vanilla in a bowl; add to flour mixture, and stir well. Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle over batter. Pour 1 cup boiling water over batter (do not stir). Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center (cake will not test clean when a wooden pick is inserted in center). Serve warm with ice cream.

Yield: 9 servings (serving size: 1 [3-inch] square and 2 tablespoons ice cream)

CALORIES 221;FAT 6.1g;FIBER 0.4g

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Shannon permalink
    February 13, 2008 10:08 am

    I am mesmerized by your slide show. Very cool.

    Funny, SCCC Culinary School had the same thought!

    They suggested a stuffed pork tenderloin with apple brandy cream sauce. Both yours and thiers sound deeelicious!

    Too bad I’m spending my Valentine’s Day at Pizza Hut per the request of my Birthday Girl. Sigh.

  2. wendalicious permalink
    February 13, 2008 10:03 pm

    Yeah, I noticed this morning that SCCC scooped me. And, even weirder, I was going to use apple juice, too, but didn’t have any. Even my next-door neighbor (who is a chef and has 2 little kids) didn’t have any either. I thought for SURE he’d have juice with the little boys around. Oh, well.

    But trust me – my dinner was great.

    And the slide show IS very cool, isn’t it?

    Happy Birthday to the Magpie…give her a big wet sloppy kiss from Quincy.

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