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Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary Balsamic Glaze

Ready to serve

As most of you know already, and the rest of you are about to find out, I am moving at the end of October, beginning of November.

VERY scary. Very exciting. Very a whole lot of things. But mostly joyful, exciting, happy, and completely fabulous … a new adventure and a new love in my life.

Every upside has worser side … I am leaving New York City, leaving New York full stop. I have never not lived in New York City. I have never not lived more than 8 miles from my family. So that’s a bit scary … well, more than a bit scary.

There’s my Mom and Dad and my Stepmonster. I don’t see them as often as I should (yes, I work for my Dad, but that’s a boss thing, not a Dad thing), or as often as I would like, but they’re there. I always know they’re there. Same with my sisters and brothers.  There’s a certain comfort in nearness.

And my son! Yes, he’s away all summer working, but he comes back. And, yes, he usually travels for the month of January, but he comes back. There was New Zealand with the darling Emily for 4 months, but he came back. He’s moved into his own place and seems to be spreading his wings very nicely. But how do you, after 23 years of being a Mommy, just stop and become a Mom. You gals with children out there, know the difference, don’t you?

And then there are my girls, Ernie, MaryJane, Sandra, Ceci, Nicole, Jeannie … I have NEVER really liked women, nor had many female friends. We really are, for the most part, vile, petty, bitchy creatures. You girls are the exceptions to the rule. My life has been fuller and richer with each and every one of you in it. Man, oh, man, am I gonna miss you broads!

Jinkies, sounds like I’m dying. No dying, just the beginning of something new and wonderful.

I want you all to visit. Often. Mi casa, es su casa. Please!

 

I may be a born and bred New Yorker, but really I am not. My mother will tell you that my first words were ‘when are we moving?’ I want a garden and fresh air and a peaceful existence, away from touristas (though they still will not be escaped during the summer), with the most wonderful creature I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and loving. It’s a leap of faith that I am so happy and ready to make.

And I have already made a really good new friend, and am looking forward to getting to know her better. And of course there are the male friends (one zanier than the next), but a girl really needs more than just testosterone in her life!

Hmmmmmm …

Now, where was I going with this?

Ah, yes, moving, cleaning out cabinets, cleaning out the freezer, trying to use things up so they don’t have to be packed and moved. Poking around in the freezer, I found a pork loin roast. Okay, let’s use this. It’s also large enough to send leftovers home with the boy. Now a search through the recipes I have sitting in the wings. I usually type them up and save them as drafts waiting for me to get around to them.

In my saved recipes I found this recipe by Caprial Pence from Caprial Cooks for Friends. So I used up the pork roast AND the rest of ONE of the bottles of balsamic vinegar in my pantry.

Oh, just a warning, this is one of those recipes that you take the pan from the top of the stove, put it into the oven to finish cooking and then take it out of the oven.  Now, sweetheart, avert your eyes for this next part … I have a terrible habit of taking screaming hot pans out of the oven and then grabbing the handle. I.DID.IT.AGAIN. These burns are no where near the burns from the last picture show, but two finger pads and a wrist now bear the mark of a dopey woman. I really have to learn to drape something over the handle so this doesn’t happen again. And, no, the answer isn’t don’t make dishes like that again …

This was so easy and so delicious! Just a complete no brainer. I served it with broccoli and Israeli couscous.

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 t chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 3/4 C balsamic vinegar
  • 3 lb boneless pork loin, tied to make a uniform size
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients

Combine garlic, rosemary, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over high heat and bring to barely a boil. Lower heat and simmer 5 minutes more, just until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

NOTE: My roast was not a tenderloin so there was no tying to make it even and – SIGH – it was still a little frozen in the center, so I bumped up the heat to 325 and cooked it for a longer period of time.

Season the roast

Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over high heat, in a very large, ovenproof saute pan, until smoking hot. Add the pork and sear well on all sides.

Basting

Brush pork liberally with the glaze and put the pan in the oven. Roast the pork for 15 minutes, brush with more glaze and continue roasting for 15 to 20 minutes more. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Pork Carnitas #SundaySupper

dressed

Around here we don’t need Cinco de Mayo to have a passion for Mexican food! But it certainly doesn’t hurt! A roasted pork shoulder soaking in a citrusy marinade is enough to make my son and Jeremy and Jeannie and I absolutely giddy. This time I decided to take this dish a step further and take the delicious slow roasted pork shoulder and turn it into carnitas tacos.

A few toppings, some tortilla, rice and beans, and cold beer and you’re all set for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta!

Fixings

First, you need what my darling friend Nanner refers to as a big honkin’ piece-o-pork shoulder. I use the same marinade ingredients regardless of the weight of my piggie.

  • Pork shoulder (mine was 7+ pounds)
  • 1 bottle of Goya Naranja Agria (bitter orange) marinade
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 t coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C olive oil

Everything into a gigantic ziploc bag and into the fridge overnight.

Preset the oven to 350 and take the pork shoulder out so that it comes to almost room temperature.

Ready to Roast

Line a roasting dish with foil (you’ll thank me at washing time). Place the pork shoulder in the roasting pan and add about half the marinade (keep the other half). Cover with foil and roast for 3 to 4 hours (this is going to depend on the size of your roast). Remove the foil and roast for another 45 minutes to an hour.

Roasted

Let the roast cool.

Chop a medium sized onion.  Once the roast has cooled to the point where you can handle it, shred it with your hands. This is a messy affair.

Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a pan, over medium high heat. It should be large enough to hold all the meat. When it’s hot, add the meat and cook until the pork starts to get crispy.

NOTE: We like ours very crispy on the outside. Also, if it seems to be drying out a bit while it’s crisping, add a bit of the reserved marinade to the pan.

Ready to dress

When I serve this I place queso fresco, sliced radishes, sliced avocado, limes, cilantro, and red onion on a platter, wrap warm flour tortilla in a tea towel, put all the pork in a bowl, ice cold beer, and tell everyone to jump in. I pickle the onions and cilantro a bit by placing each in a bowl with about a 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and a 1/2 teaspoon cumin and let it sit for a while.

Enjoy!

If you want to keep the theme through this meal, make some of these FABULOUS Maya Galletas de Chocolate! Deep and rich in chocolate goodness with just a hint of kick at the end!

This week’s Sunday Supper Movement, Cinco de Mayo, is being hosted by Jen over at Juanita’s Cocina

Cinco de Mayo Appetizers & Sides {Aperitivos}:

Cinco de Mayo Main Dishes {Platos Principales}:

Cinco de Mayo Desserts {Postres}:

Cinco de Mayo Drinks {Bebidas}:

Puerco Pibil #SundaySupper #MovieInspiredRecipes

Ready to serve

After watching the Johnny Depp movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico, my son became obsessed with Puerco Pibil. Puerco Pibil was the favorite dish of Sands, Johnny Depp’s character, so much so that he murders any cook who makes it too well.

After watching the movie a number of times and my son asking and asking for me to create this dish for him, I realized that on on the DVD the director, Robert Rodriguez, provides a recipe and video instruction on how to cook the dish. It’s located in the bonus features.

First time I made this, couldn’t find the banana leaves, used the wrong cut of pork, was so spicy that there were scorched throats all around the table … but it is requested again and again, and I have changed it a bit to suit the folks eating – unless of course you have a table of fire breathing dragons and then the original would suit you just fine!

  • 5 pounds pork butt, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 5 T annato seeds
  • 2 t cumin seeds
  • 1 T whole black pepper
  • 1/2 t whole cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 2 habanero Peppers, fresh or dried, cleaned and minced (optional)
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1/2 C white vinegar
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 5 lemons
  • 1 shot of tequila
  • banana leaves (optional)

Blend the cleaned and chopped habanero peppers with the orange juice, vinegar, garlic and salt.

Mix the dry spices with the liquid.

Add the juice of 5 lemons and a nice splash of tequila.

Place the cubed pork butt in a large zip lock bag and add the marinade. Soak 4-6 hours, in refrigerator, turning several times.

Line (8×13) baking pan with banana leaves. Pour in pork along with the marinade. Cover with Banana leaves and seal the pan with foil. Bake in a 325 F degree oven for 4 hours.

Spices

Grind the annato seeds, cumin seeds, whole peppercorns, whole cloves, and whole allspice in a spice or coffee grinder, or use a mortar and pestle.

NOTE: I have a coffee grinder that’s dedicated to grinding spices. I use rice or bread to clean it out in between uses so there’s very little residue to flavor whatever you may grind next.

Blend the cleaned and chopped habanero peppers with the orange juice, vinegar, garlic and salt.

Peppers

NOTE: I used one habanero and one jalapeno. It was still spicy, but much tamer than the first time.

Add the dry spices to the liquid and add the juice of 5 lemons and a nice splash of tequila.

Pork

Place the cubed pork butt in a large zip lock bag and add the marinade. Let it sit for 4-6 hours, in refrigerator, turning several times.

Ready to cook

Line (8×13) baking pan with banana leaves. Pour in pork along with the marinade. Cover with Banana leaves and seal the pan with foil. Bake in a 325 F degree oven for 4 hours.

NOTE: I was lucky enough to find banana leaves in one of the supermarkets near me. If you can’t find them, line the roasting pan with foil and then parchment paper – OH! or use Martha Wrap, foil and parchment in one (Reynolds Wrap makes it as well)!

Serve over a bed of white or Spanish rice, extra limes, lots of napkins, and beer – plenty of beer!

Enjoy!!!

NOTE: BTW, this was my first participation in the Sunday Supper Movement, hosted this week by Heather over at Girlichef. This week’s theme is inspiration from a favorite food movie scene. I owe a big thanks to my friend Lizzie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake. Thank you for mentoring me through this first foray into the Sunday Supper Movement! There are a lot of great participants in the Sunday Supper Movement, stop by their movie scene inspired dishes and have a look!

NOW SHOWING:

Toast (bready things)

No Reservations (soups and salads)

Today’s Special (fish, chicken, beef, and pork)

Forks Over Knives (veggie-heavy dishes and sides)

Udon (pasta and noodles)

Just Desserts (sweet treats)

Bottle Shock (beverages)

 

Pork Chops Agrodolce

Pork Chops Agrodolce

I have seen this recipe many times – on the Williams-Somoma website, Giada de Laurentiis, Mario Batali – and all had a certain appeal. That wonderful combination of sweet and sour. And that sweet and sour comes from two of my favorite ingredients – balsamic vinegar and honey! What could be better? Oh, one thing – it’s so quick to make! It’s one of those meals you can do last minute if on a work night you decide to torture yourself and invite a friend around for dinner!

Ingredients

Best part, it’s just a few ingredients, and pantry ingredients really. Couple this with potatoes or couscous and a salad and you are DONE!

  • 4 bone-in pork chops, each about 1 lb. and 1 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 2 T unsalted butter

Seasoning Pork

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper.

Cooking Pork

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chops and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the honey, vinegar and thyme and cook until the liquid is thickened and reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer.

NOTE: The balsamic vinegar gets very dark, very quickly, and will go from dark to burned even quicker, so be careful!

Basting

Return the pork chops to the pan, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover and cook, turning the chops occasionally and basting with the sauce, for about 15 minutes more for medium doneness. Transfer the chops to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until the sauce is syrupy, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the sauce over the pork chops and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Bourbon Apple Pork Chops

So … today’s posting is a tale of woe …

(It’s always something, isn’t it!?)

I normally do my grocery shopping for the week on Sunday. I pick my recipes, see what’s on sale, clip my coupons, gather my bags, and toddle off. I don’t give much thought to what I am going to cook on what night.

UNTIL …

Yesterday, I turn on the oven to bake some lovely orange roughy … Everything ready to go into my preheated oven … that is STONE COLD. Open the oven, thought of sticking my head in, but that wouldn’t really be a solution, where’s the pilot light, the pilot light … no pilot light. Some sort of new fangled electronic ignition that, according to my Google search, breaks constantly.

No oven. F*^K.

The fish was easy. The recipe for the pork chops, not so easy.

And along came my friends at Relish Magazine and Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen. One pot, on the stove, fabulous and quick! All my favorite things! Served with egg noodles and green beans, dinner was ready before anyone could complain they were hungry!

  • 4  (8-ounce) bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick (about 2 pounds)
  • 2  teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 1  tablespoon olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1  shallot, minced (1 to 2 tablespoons)
  • 1  tart apple, such as Granny Smith, Braeburn or Pippin, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2  cup applesauce
  • 1  cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 or 3 T Bourbon (optional)

Rinse, pat dry and sprinkle both sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon thyme, pressing lightly so seasonings adhere.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until sizzling hot. Add meat and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning only once, to brown. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely to keep warm.

Add butter to pan and heat until foamy. Add shallot and thyme and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes.Add apple, applesauce, broth and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to skillet scraping up browned bits. Cook, stirring, until apple is tender and sauce reduces slightly, 3 to 4 minutes.

NOTE: While they suggest to add a glug or so of Bourbon, they didn’t say where, so I punted and added it here!

Return meat, along with any juices that have collected at the bottom of the plate, to pan and cook just until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve warm with sauce and apples spooned over the chops.

NOTE: This was really simple to pull together and really yummy. I thought there would be too much liquid, so I let it bubble away a little bit longer to reduce it more and thicken up.

Burgers al Pastor

I love burgers!

I love tacos al pastor!

How thrilled was I when flipping through my DVR’d collection of cooking shows I saw Marcela Valladolid‘s Mexican Made Easy making BURGERS AL PASTOR!

To quote a recent crazy person – WINNING!

Oh, wait! It gets better! Marcela had super duper burger guy Spike Mendelsohn making these fabulous burgers with her!

Now, between Marcela, the ingredients, Spike and the absolute love in our house for burgers and tacos al pastor, this was a burger that HAD to be made!

  • 6 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and soaked
  • 2 t crumbled dried marjoram
  • 2 t crumbled dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 small white onion, chopped, divided
  • 1/2 C sweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground pepper
  • 2 pounds extra-lean ground pork
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 8 sesame seed hamburger buns
  • 1 C fresh cilantro leaves

NOTE: If you can’t find the guajillo chilis, ancho chilis or pasilla negro chilis will work. The guajillo chile comes from drying a mirasol chile and it has a mild to slight heat. I soaked the chilis in warm water for about 20 minutes.

Drain the soaked chiles very well and put them in a blender with the marjoram, oregano, garlic, 1/4 of the chopped onion and the pineapple juice and puree until smooth. Add the salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

NOTE: I used the food processor. Easier clean up and same effect! And besides, the blender and I are not friends any more!

Place the ground pork in large bowl and pour the marinade on top. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

NOTE: The meat is now BRIGHT red. Don’t be alarmed!

While the meat and marinade is mingling, peel and core and slice the pineapple.

NOTE: Try to but a pineapple that will be as wide as your burger or buns once sliced. I was able to remove the core with a donut hole cutter.

After 30 minutes or so, divide the pork mixture into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 1/2-inch thick patty.

NOTE: Your hands will now be bright red! No worries! It washes right off!

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

NOTE: I did these outside on the grill. Make sure you lightly oil the grill or these will stick. The sugar in the pineapple juice does carmelize, so no worries about the grill marks!

Working in batches, grill the burgers until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer the burgers to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Let rest for about 8 minutes.

Brush the grill with a little more oil and grill the pineapple slices until golden brown, 2 minutes per side.

NOTE: GRILL HOT!! I put the oil on a paper towel and use tongs to oil the grill. BE CAREFUL!

Spread 1 teaspoon mayonnaise on the cut sides of each bun and warm on the grill about 2 minutes, cut-side down.

Build the burger time! Burgers onto the bottom half of the bun. Next comes the grilled pineapple, then cilantro and chopped onion. I added a little extra OOMPH here with avocado cream (I’ll post that recipe later). A squeeze of lime doesn’t hurt here! Top with the other half of the bun. Dive in!

These are slightly spicy and sweet at the same time. Your first look at this may cause a raised eyebrow or a skeptical look, but these ingredients work in perfect harmony. This burger is AMAZING! This is a burger that will appear here MANY times over the summer!

Cola & Jam Spareribs

One of my favorite styles of cooking is hands down BBQ. And, conversely, the thing I jones for the most during the winter is BBQ.

Leave it to Dorie Greenspan to come up with the perfect solution for my winter BBQ blues in Around My French Table ~ Cola and Jam Spareribs.

The timing was perfect – an upcoming French Fridays with Dorie recipe coupled with a gloomy, chilly Sunday and the ribs were on sale! Trifecta!

I love that Dorie’s recipes shoot different scents wafting throughout the house. There is a marriage of different aromas and flavors that always come together perfectly both for your nose and mouth. The anticipation of what’s to come is mind boggling.

So quick to put together with simple, yet intriguing, ingredients.

I have to admit. I cheated a bit. I bought my ribs already cut. Anything to make my time in the kitchen simpler and more enjoyable.

I let the ribs sit in the marinade for a little over 2 hours in the fridge. Then brought them to room temperature before I put them in the oven.

I confess, I am a baster.  I baste constantly cooking my turkey on Thanksgiving, and I basted these ribs far more than the recipe suggested. Especially after  adding the Coca-Cola for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

The end result was sticky and sweet from the orange juice and Coke with a depth of flavor from the Chinese 5 spice and ginger. Falling off the bone tender and moist.

This recipe will have MANY repeat performances in our house.