Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Anti-Valentine's Dinner

So, last night, I tried out Washingtonian's latest frugal foodie dinner, a beet roulade and pork loin with fantasy potatoes from the chef at Evening Star. As always, I edited a bit, adding some frugality of my own. Because I already had shrimp and pork loin (boneless, not bone-in as per the recipe) in the freezer, and my Green Grocer's shipment this week included beets, avocado, and gold potatoes, I was well on my way. I picked up a bit of Gruyere at the Whole Foods salad bar (a great place to look for smaller bites of cheese) as well as a couple of mushroooms and a fennel bulb. I skipped the oysters because I don't care for them and who needs their aprhrodisiac qualities when it's not Valentines, right?! I'm kidding, of course. I also subbed other items I already had in the fridge, ham for the bacon and carrot root for the spinach. Finally, I slightly caramelized some white onion to substitute for the shallots. For me, the cost was more like $4, pretty good for a gourmet dinner at home.

Now, what the meal lacked in cost, it made up for in preparation time. It took me 2 hours to complete the prep and cooking and I think my husband did appreciate my romantic efforts. The potatoes were great, frankly I think ham added a better flavor than bacon would have. The pork loin was quite tasty, but a bit dry. I'm afraid the boneless substitute was not a good choice. The beet roulade was the best course, the flavors mingling perfectly. I will point out that only plastic wrap will lead to a proper roulade. I only had press and seal wrap, which never got tight enough, and mine resembled more of a salad than a roll. One other note, I think this meal is portioned for plenty of leftovers dependent on the size of your beets and potatoes, so don't overload the plate. All in all, a great value and some very delicious courses. The randomness of refined quiet dinner at home, just like our random anti-Valentine's engagement a few years back, provided plenty of romance.

Look forward to losts of new posts soon to celebrate our new readership. I'll be blogging on our recent gastronomic finds in Vegas, restaurant week suggestions, and comparing grocery delivery services in upcoming posts.

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