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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


    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.


    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


    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!


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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!


    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!


    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)