Monday, March 26, 2012

Easy Roast Pork with Pan Sauce

I made this delicious dish, with its savory sauce, for a Sunday dinner with my family, and I got RAVE reviews on it! It was easy to make and served 6 adults, with a little to spare. The boneless pork shoulder is now my "go-to" cut of pork as the little bit of fat on it adds wonderful flavor. I served this with steamed string beans and mashed potatoes...and of course, dinner rolls! What else could one want? Even my own mother said over and over again how good it was!

EDF, March 2012

Prep Time
20 minutes

Total Time
3 1/2 hours, plus resting

Serves 6


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
8 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons fennel seed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 boneless pork shoulder (4 pounds), thin layer of fat left on
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc (or vermouth)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a heavy-bottomed metal roasting pan. In a food processor, combine oil, garlic, rosemary, fennel seed, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pulse until a paste forms.

With a paring knife, gently score the pork's fat layer, making 10 to 15 small 1/2-inch-deep cuts all over. Rub pork with garlic paste, pushing it into cuts. With kitchen twine, tie pork in 1-inch increments and transfer to pan.

Roast until golden brown, 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center reads 170 degrees, about 2 1/2 hours. Transfer pork to a cutting board, cover with foil, and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, pour pan drippings into a small bowl and skim fat. Set pan over medium, add wine, and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits, until wine is reduced by half, 4 minutes. Add flour and whisk to combine. Cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in drippings and broth. Cook, whisking, until sauce thickens slightly, 3 minutes. Serve with pork.

Cook's Note

For a party, put the roast in the oven in the afternoon so it's ready as guests arrive. Make the pan sauce just before serving.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mom's Secret Irish Soda Bread Recipe

I wasn't home for St. Patrick's Day last year, and my mom and dad celebrated with my husband, just the three of them! My mom made him Irish Soda Bread, which he had never had before, and he commented, of course, about how GREAT it was! He made my mother promise she would give me the recipe, and she said she would, but then...when it came down to it, it took me a year of "whining" that I didn't have it to finally procure a copy! Thanks mom! LOL!

Yield: 1 Loaf

Fresh out of the oven, this bread is a great accompaniment to soups or stews, and leftovers make fine toast.


3 cups bleached all-purpose flour , plus more for work surface
1 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 tablespoons softened + 1 tablespoon melted)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk


1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in large bowl. Work softened butter into dry ingredients with fork or fingertips until texture resembles coarse crumbs.

2. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork just until dough begins to come together. Turn out onto flour-coated work surface; knead until dough just becomes cohesive and bumpy, 12 to 14 turns. (Do not knead until dough is smooth, or bread will be tough.)

3. Pat dough into a round about 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches high; place on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet or in cast-iron pot, if using. Place the loaf on a cookie sheet and cut a cross shape into the top.

4. Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into center of loaf comes out clean or internal temperature reaches 180 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter; cool to room temperature, 30 to 40 minutes.

Norah’s Irish Coffee

My good friend and neighbor, Norah, may be from England, but she made excellent Irish Coffee's on St. Patrick's Day. Here's her recipe...

Norah’s Irish Coffee

3 tbs or 1 ½ oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 tbs brown sugar
6 oz strong coffee
Half & Half (or single cream for all you English out there)
Reddi-Wip whipped cream

In a tall coffee mug or glass, combine whiskey and sugar. Add hot coffee and stir to dissolve. Over the back of a spoon, gently pour half & half (so it will float on the top). Top with Reddi-Wip. Serve immediately! Repeat as often as desired!

Kelley's Crème de Menthe (Grasshopper) Pie

Creme de Menthe Pie is what Nadine and Alberta usually served on St. Patrick's Day for dessert! Although this is not their recipe.

Crème de Menthe (Grasshopper) Pie

Serves 8-10

47 chocolate cookies (approx 1 box of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers minus 3 cookies removed for eating).
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

2 cups marshmallow crème
¼ cup crème de menthe liqueur (add a few drops of green food coloring if not green).
2 cups heavy whipping cream

FOR THE CRUST: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350 degrees. Break cookies into a food processor and process, using a metal blade, into fine crumbs. Measure out ¼ cup of crushed cookie and set aside (to be sprinkled on the pie later). Add the butter and pulse until combined! Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch "tall-sided" tart pan (with a removable bottom). Chill until firm (about 20 minutes). Then, bake 10 minutes (or until set). Cool completely.

Note: this pie can also be made in a traditional pie pan or 9-inch spring form pan. In a hurry, you can omit baking the crust, although the results are better if baked!

In a large, chilled mixing bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form, then scoop out into another bowl and set aside (in the refrigerator). Without washing, use the same mixing bowl and whip together the marshmallow crème and crème de menthe (until smooth). Now, fold in the whipped cream! Then, pour the mixture into prepared pie crust (keeping it within the edges of the crust) and sprinkle the reserved cookie crumbs on top.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours, or until firm.

About 20 minutes before serving, remove the pie from the freezer and immediately (using a glass) tap the bottom of the tart pan to “unmold” the pie. Place on a cake plate and allow it to soften slightly at room temperature before serving.

Day after St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef Hash

We usually make corned beef hash for breakfast with the left over corned beef on the day following St. Patrick's Day. It is really good and really quick and easy to make if you have a meat grinder!

Corned Beef Hash

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

¾ pound cooked corned beef (sliced)
1 large Russet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
½ medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
½ tsp chopped fresh thyme (optional)

Using a meat grinder and a medium grinder attachment, push corned beef, potatoes, and onions through the grinder, so they are well ground; when finished, toss the mixture by hand to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed!

Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat and add oil. Add the hash to the pan and season with salt, pepper, and thyme (if using). As the hash cooks, stir it infrequently so that it has an opportunity to brown well.

Cook for at least 10 minutes, until the hash is well browned. Serve hot with an over easy egg!

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