Weeknight Cooking

An Anti-Valentine's Day Party

February 10, 2014

Food52's Managing Editor Brette Warshaw is throwing no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.

Today: Freedom tastes so good. Here's how to celebrate it.

Pork shoulder from Food52

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If you're single on the evening of Valentine's Day, I think you're going to want to eat a lot of pork with your hands.

That's right, this Valentine's Day, us single people are going cavemen (and women). We're grabbing giant utensils -- tongs, cleavers, steak knives, and the like -- and we're going to grab at giant hunks of meat with them. And then, we're going to eat cornbread and unhealthy greens and chocolate cake with it, and we're going to love every second of it.

Because what's a better way to celebrate freedom than eating whatever you damn well choose? And then finishing off a beer-y, bacon-y dinner with a thing called Dump-It Cake, and toasting all the exes who treated us like it?

I bet you'll be happy to curl up and keep your clothes on after this meal. Happy Anti-Valentine's Day!

The Menu

Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
Matilda, Maple & Garlic Pork Shoulder with Crispy Skin
Avocado Cornbread
Beer and Bacon Braised Collard Greens
Chocolate Dump-It Cake

The Plan

Up to two nights before: Make your Dump-It Cake, and store it in the fridge. Trust me -- it's even better cold.

Chocolate cake from Food52 

The night before: Bake your Avocado Cornbread. Get that pork in the oven; it will cook all night, and then all day. 

Cornbread from FOod52 

When you get home from work: Prep your collard greens. Make your Green Goddess Dressing.  

Green goddess from Food52

About an hour before your guests arrive: Start braising those greens. If they're done before you're ready to eat, take them off the heat but keep them on the stove; you'll just reheat before serving. 

Collard greens from Food52

Dinner time: If you haven't yet, crisp up your pork skin. Toss your dressing. Warm up your cornbread. Dinner is served!

When the right moment comes: Bring out the cake, with vanilla ice cream. Give everyone forks. Dig in.


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Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


EmilyNunn February 13, 2014
There should be some kind of apology dish for the fate of the ex's new mate! Or maybe the dump it cake is enough! Love this!
Brette W. February 13, 2014
I was going to include a line about pouring Matilda all over your guests, too, but then I decided that might be weird. Thank you for this awesome pork dish!
EmilyNunn February 14, 2014
Brette, thank YOU. And better to drink the Matilda. It's a great beer. I actually made this for a former Valentine who has gotten engaged twice since we broke up. I am going to create a missed-a-bullet parfait for next year. Ha!
Joy B. February 12, 2014
OMG, this is absurdly perfect.
Chris B. February 10, 2014
YUM!!sounds delish!! TY! :)
Brette W. February 11, 2014
Thank you!
Aly W. February 10, 2014
I'd rather make and eat this with my sweetie than go out deal with over booked, noisy crowd slammed restaurants any holiday of the year! <3
Brette W. February 11, 2014
Yes! Enjoy!!
Sally February 10, 2014
This actually sounds like the perfect menu to serve up to my husband on valentine's day, totally our kind of feast. :D
Brette W. February 11, 2014
Love it! Thanks Sally!
ambradambra February 10, 2014
Love this. I'm assuming singles eat this meal on their own? Good table manners begone!
Brette W. February 11, 2014
Invite some other singles over and have at it!
ZombieCupcake February 10, 2014
This looks like a good plan to me.
Brette W. February 11, 2014
Thank you!
Celeste S. February 10, 2014
The cavewoman/man theme is perfect.
Brette W. February 11, 2014
RIGHT? Thanks Celeste!
fiveandspice February 10, 2014
Can non-single people please still eat this menu - with their hands - please and thank you? :)
Brette W. February 11, 2014
Of course.
Marian B. February 10, 2014
Can I eat the cake with my hands?
Brette W. February 11, 2014