This year, my valentine brought me a vase of red tulips and two round red pears.
When we were in Boston last fall, I picked up a lovely little cookbook called "Roast Figs Sugar Snow," by Diana Henry. It's filled with beautiful photos, romantic descriptions of wintertime ingredients, and brilliant, comforting recipes from the world's colder climes, this is truly a cookbook to curl up with and enjoy.
"The glory of cooked pears is that the spoon still meets resistance as it slices the flesh, unctuous and satisfying, cutting through the network of softened membranes and fibers. And how that flesh absorbs the flavors around it! That much-derided dish of garnet beauties, pears in red wine, when cooked properly - slowly, then left to sit around in its syrup to intensify both flavor and color - is unrivaled in its capacity to be simple and luscious." YES.
Pears in Red Wine
2 firm pears, peeled, halved and cored
scant 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup red wine
1 cinnamon stick
Combine the sugar, wine, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Gently place the pears into the wine mixture, and dial back the flame to medium-low. Cover and simmer for ten minutes, turning the pears over halfway through cooking time. Remove from heat and allow to sit in the syrup for at least 20 minutes, or up to a few hours, turning periodically and spooning syrup over the pears. Serve warm or at room temperature by themselves, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.