Perfect Holiday Meal

  • 11th November 2013

Hearty, rich flavors, vibrant colors, and comforting textures make a holiday meal unforgettable.  As festivities begin in full swing, anchor any of your evenings with these three delicious favorites.  All three are easy to prepare and can be made even a few days ahead with no problem.  Two of the recipes come from the classic Gourmet Cookbook.

 

Slow Roasted Pork with Sour Cherry Sauce

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

&

Roasted Vegetables with Apple Cider and Cumin

 

 

Pork with Sour Cherry Sauce, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Vegetables with Apple Cider and Cumin.

Slow Roasted Pork with Sour Cherry Sauce, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Vegetables with Apple Cider and Cumin.

 

 

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

 

 

 

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

Super yummy!

 

 

 

Recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook

This recipe calls for only a smidgen of butter, relying instead on the tangy buttermilk and browned shallots, which add a whole new dimension, to the rich yellow flesh of mashed Yukon Golds.

 

• 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes

• 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

• 2 medium shallots

• 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk

• Salt and fresh pepper to taste

 

Peel and quarter potatoes.  Combine with cold well-salted water to cover by 1 inch in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a simmer, and simmer until tender about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a small nonstick skillet over moderately high heat.  Add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and deep golden brown about 8 minutes.  Drain potatoes in a colander, return to pan, and coarsely mash with a potato masher.  Stir in shallots, buttermilk and salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

 

 

 

Slow Roasted Pork in Sour Cherry Sauce

 

Recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook

“Sour cherries are plump, meaty and bracingly tart.  Unfortunately, this fruit is almost impossible for most of us to get our hands on, even during its short mid-summer season.  Frozen sour cherries are available in some stores, but we prefer the dried version.  With these in your pantry, you can enjoy sour cherries any time of year.”

 

*This recipe we have slightly modified.  In lieu of chops we have used loins, which we find more tender and much easier to cook.  We brown the loins first on the stove and then cook the pork in the cherry sauce on a low slow heat in the oven.  The wine and cherries are perfect tenderizers and the meat just melts in your mouth.

 

 

Pork Loin Slow Roasted in Sour Cherry Sauce

 

For Sauce:

• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

• 3 tablespoons sugar

• 3/4 cup dry red wine (the higher quality the better)

• 1/4 cup minced shallots

• 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

• 1 cup chicken stock or store bought broth

• 3/4 cup (4 ounces) dried sour cherries

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

 

Sour Cherry Sauce with a Hint of Lime

 

 

For the Pork

2 pork loins

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Make the sauce:  Combine vinegar and sugar in a 1-to-2 quart heavy saucepan, bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring, and boil, stirring until reduced a glaze, about 4 minutes (be careful not to burn the glaze).  Add wine, shallots and cinnamon stick, bring to a boil, and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes.    Add stock and cherries, bring to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, until cherries plump, about 5 minutes.  Stir in lime juice, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and let sauce cool.  Remove cinnamon stick and put to the side.

 

 

Browned Pork Loin

Browned Pork Loins

Browned pork in red wine and sour cherries

Browned pork in red wine and sour cherries

 

Heat the oven to 275 degrees.  Brown loins with olive oil, salt and pepper on high heat on the stove.  Once browned placed them in a baking casserole dish with the cinnamon.  Salt and pepper one more time.  Add the red wine and cherries with a ladle, being careful not to wash the seasoning off of the meat.  (See above photo).  Cover with foil and cook for 3 hours, turning once approximately half way into the time.

 

 

Roasted Vegetables with Apple Cider & Cumin

 

 

Butternut squash, sweet potato, red onion, carrots and beets ready for the oven.

Butternut squash, sweet potato, red onion, carrots and beets ready for the oven.

 

It is easy to substitute any winter vegetable in here, varying different types of squash, opting for turnips in lieu of beets or either brussels sprouts or baby potatoes.  We enjoy the mix of vibrant colors and the contrasting textures of a crisp red onion and a soft sweet potato.

 

• 3-4 beets

• 1 small red onion

• 1 small butternut squash

• 4 carrots

• 1 large sweet potato

• 3 tablespoons best quality apple cider

• 3 tablespoons good quality tangerine juice

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 3 cloves minced garlic

• 1 teaspoons salt

• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper or cayenne pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

 

 

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Peel and cut the onion and all of the root vegetables.  (Take care not to cut them too small, but into generously sized cubes).  Arrange all of the vegetables in a baking dish, minus the beets.  Mix vegetables well with the garlic, onion, juices, olive oil, and seasoning.  Make gentle holes in the mixture and carefully place the beets.  You will have to stir them once before broiling, but try not to stir them too often or they will discolor the other vegetables.  Cover the vegetables with foil and place in the oven for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.

 

Vegetables are sprinkled with French Sea Salt and returned to the oven to broil.

Vegetables are sprinkled with French Sea Salt and returned to the oven to broil.

 

 

Remove the vegetables and stir gently.  Turn your oven to broil.  If you have Fleur de Sel in the house, sprinkle one tablespoon on the mixture.  Place them in the oven to broil for 15 minutes, to desired crispness.

 

Next day salad is refreshing and tangy.

Next day salad is refreshing and tangy.

We used any roasted vegetables left and mixed them regular salad mainstays.

We used any roasted vegetables left-over and mixed them with regular salad mainstays.

 

Definitely do not throw away any sour cherry sauce that remains in the pan.  It makes an amazingly tangy salad dressing the next day.  We mixed wild arugula, strawberries, halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber, pink lady apples, green onion and avocado with left over roasted veggies and dressed it lightly with sour cherry sauce—delicious, easy and beautiful!

 

 

 


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