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Dinner for two... for under $25

Dinner for Two...for Under $25 - V-Day Issue

By: Jade Anderson, Rambler Buzz Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Instead of taking your loved one out to eat, demonstrate your cooking skills and surprise them with a home-cooked meal. The best part is that it will only cost you around $22. Indulge in a Belgian endive salad topped with a warm bacon vinaigrette and grape tomatoes. Savor a juicy herb roasted pork tenderloin over creamy polenta and seared kale. Then, fall in love with a sweet raspberry trifle for dessert.



Belgian Endive Salad in a Warm Bacon Vinaigrette and Grape Tomatoes
Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin over Creamy Polenta and “Seared” Kale
Raspberry Trifle

Grocery: $15.77
Additional Ingredients: Approx. $6.00
Total $21.77


Belgian Endive Salad


3 heads of Belgian endive, cored and separated
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 tbsp. sliced onion
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. sugar
salt to taste 

In a sauté pan, add the chopped bacon and cook until it just starts to crisp. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté on medium-low heat just until translucent. All at once, add the lemon juice, vinegar, and water. Cook for two to three minutes to reduce slightly and then add the tomatoes and cook for another minute, just until barely soft. Add contents to a mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup olive oil and mix. Gently toss the leaves to coat and serve immediately

Creamy Polenta

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. onions, fine diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
5 cups water
1 cup corn meal
2 tbsp. shredded parmesan

In a sauce pan, melt 1 tbsp butter and add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until translucent and add the milk and water. Bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and continue cooking under low heat until the polenta is soft and creamy. Finish with a tbsp of butter and the cheese; season to taste with salt.


1/2 bunch of kale, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 onion, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

In a sauté pan, add the oil and the onions and sauté slowly on medium-low heat until the onions are tender. Quickly add the kale and tbsp. of water. Sauté until tender and season with salt and pepper.

Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin, cleaned, about 12 oz.
1 sprig rosemary, minced
1 tbsp. sage. minced
2 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Season the pork with salt and pepper and roll in the minced herbs. In a sauté pan, add the oil. When the oil is hot, carefully add the pork tenderloin. Sear on all sides to a nice dark brown.

Add the pan to the oven and cook just until medium (a little pink) for approximately 12 minutes.

Allow the meat to rest on a cutting board for at least 8–10 minutes before slicing.

Raspberry Trifle

1 package fresh raspberries
3 egg yolks
3 tbsp. sugar
1 cup, plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream

6 oz. heavy cream
2 tbsp. powdered sugar

In a sauce pan, bring the cream to a boil. In a mixing bowl, whisk the yolks with the sugar until light in color. Slowly add the hot cream to the bowl while whisking. Return the custard to the sauce pan and cook on low, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. DO NOT BOIL. Immediately chill the custard.

In a mixing bowl, add the 6 oz. of heavy cream. Whisk until soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks.

Once the custard is set, build the trifles. Arrange a layer of raspberries followed by the custard and then the whipped cream. Continue in layers and top with a fresh raspberry, dust with powdered sugar.