Eight years ago, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen wrote about a Valentines Day dinner she and her husband had at Prune. There were two sides of the menu: one for lovers, the other for broken hearts. The Lovers' Menu featured all sorts of rich and chocolately delights, but afterwards, Deb felt as though perhaps she had chosen poorly—the Cynics' Food, with dishes like "Whore's Pasta" and "Cold Pork Shoulder," was more fun (and half the price!).
I am not a cynic, but given the choice between punny, bold, and cheap(ish) fare, and some sort of delicate pastry thing, I'm firmly in the Broken Hearts camp. I am not anti-Valentines Day, exactly, but I am interested in reimagining it. Was Valentine's Day once yours, only to have been taken away? Do you want to revel in cleverness, good food, and a knockout cocktail, whether or not you are actually single? Do you just need some pulled pork after all of those Galentines Day mimosas? (Just me?)
This year, cook a menu to reclaim Valentine's Day—whether you're angry, sad, or head-over-heels—inspired by Smitten Kitchen and Prune:
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Heavy on the gin and heavy on the wit, the perfect boozy opener.