Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For Dinner

What I'm making this week:

Catherine Newman's Pork Roast with Cider-cream Gravy. You really should go read her version of the recipe (and all of her other recipes too!), as her writing is simply magic. She's my all-time favorite writer, I think, and her now-defunct column "Bringing up Ben and Birdy" literally changed how I mother, made me into the mother I am today. (Her personal blog is here.)

Anyway, I'm reprinting her recipe here, in case that link ever breaks and I get to a-craving some pork with apples.

Pork Roast with Apples and Cider-Cream Gravy
Serves 8, or 4 with lots of leftovers for awesome sandwiches
Active time: 10 minutes; Curing time: overnight; Baking time: 1 hour

1 tablespoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried sage
Black pepper
1 2- or 3-pound boneless pork loin roast (mine was tied up; yours may or may not be)
Olive oil spray
1 red or yellow onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, cored and sliced
1 cup apple cider
2/3 cup heavy cream

The day before you plan to make the pork, combine the salt, sugar, and sage in a small bowl, and rub it well all over the pork. Wrap the pork in plastic wrap, or otherwise seal it up airtight, and refrigerate it overnight. Remove it from the fridge about an hour before you plan to cook it, if you think to, so it starts off at room temperature. (If you forget, it doesn't really matter).

Heat the oven to 400 and spray either an oven-proof skillet or a stove-proof roasting pan with olive oil. Place the pork in the pan, surround it with the apples and onions, give everything a final misting of olive oil, and pop it in the oven.

After half an hour, flip the roast over and stir up the apples and onions, then roast for another half an hour. Now remove the pork from the pan to a cutting board, tent it with foil so it stays warm, and make the sauce. Over medium heat, add the cider to the pan full of dripping, apples, and onions, and boil, scraping the pan, until the cider is reduced by half and the pan is full of something that seems kind of like a thinnish, darkish applesauce. Add the cream and simmer very gently, whisking to combine everything, then taste for salt (you will likely need to add some) and pour it into a bowl with a spoon for serving. Carve the pork into think slices and serve.

Since I haven't yet purchased my pork roast, we'll be having it tomorrow for dinner so that I can properly cure the meat overnight.

So for tonight, I'm making Sundry's Creamy Butternut Squash Soup. We have a ... squash problem around here, you could say, with squash occupying nearly every horizontal surface, all threatening to turn mushy before we can devour them. With only the bathtub and our beds left as possible storage options, we need to keep on the squash-eating wagon.


• 1 squash (the original recipe called for butternut, I used acorn. You could probably use delicata, whatever), peeled, seeded and cubed*
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 2 cups of chicken stock (Perhaps you have a freezer full of carefully prepared servings of homeade stock, from the weekends you spend simmering giant pots of bones and vegetables. I do not, and therefore I bought a container of Wolfgang Puck’s stock-in-a-cardboard-box. Campbell’s chicken broth in a can would probably be just fine.)
• Half a cup of cream/half and half
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• Brown sugar, some amount thereof
• Salt & pepper
• Cinnamon

* Peeling a squash is a giant pain in the ass. You could suffer through this, or roast it first in the oven and scoop out the cooked pieces, or use frozen squash pieces, or buy the pre-cut/pre-peeled stuff. Up to you.

Saute the onion and garlic long enough to get soft and translucent, but not to the point of browning. Put your squash pieces in a pan, add the onion and garlic (or take out the garlic now that the onion has soaked up the flavor), pour in your 2 cups of stock/broth and bring it to a boil.

Cook until the squash is mushy, then mash it up with a spoon. You could puree it in a blender, but this way it’s thick and goopy. Mmm…goopy.

Add the cream, curry powder, and brown sugar – I used about a tablespoon of the sugar, but the natural sweetness of the squash varies so I’d go by taste. Stir, then season with salt and pepper and just a dash of cinnamon.

We're also having some kind of beef, potato, and carrot stew over the weekend, we'll do our regular Friday Homemade Pizza Night, and the other nights will be filled in with left-overs. I hate- HATE- the meal planning aspect of grocery shopping and cooking. I do, however, like cooking once I have a plan.

The weeks that I make a meal plan ahead of time are so much easier and more enjoyable than the weeks that I don't make a plan. WHY I don't do it every week is a mystery to me, but I suspect that being distracted by raising children, homework, jobs, household duties, etc is partially to blame.

P.S. Yes, the font type and size is ALL OVER THE PLACE, and every attempt to fix it makes another- different- paragraph messed up. I'm giving up now, but just know that the font changing isn't for dramatic effect; it's blogger's fault. (HOW difficult is it to switch to wordpress?)


d e v a n said...

yum yum yum!

Blogger is so annoying with formatting. GAH!

LizScott said...

1. SO EASY TO CONVERT TO WORDPRESS. It'll port in your old entries easy as pie. I promise.

2. I have a similar squash problem. This is one of my FAVORITE recipes to make:

You need:
Maple Roast Squash.
1 squash, peeled and cut up into cubes- size varies but basically each cube should be 1 bite
2 tablespoons olive oil
2.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
16 whole fresh sage leave (or, as I like to say: "a big handful")
2 or 3 ounces of cubed pancetta or bacon (I haven't tried pork rinds, but I think they would work. Between panchetta and bacon, I prefer the pancetta)
1 head of garlic, separated but not peeled

Pre heat oven to 400
place squash cubes and garlic cloves on a sheet pan in one layer - cover w/ olive oil, maple syrup and a shake of salt and pepper if that's your thing. toss to coat evenly
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the squash starts to brown; turn once if you remember
sprinkle pancetta and sage leaves over the squash, toss again to mix it up, and bake for an additional to 20 to 30 minutes, until squash and garlic are tender and caramelized.
Serve. Try to contain moans of pleasure

Note: the roasted garlic is supposed to be for spreading on french bread, which, well: no. So that's optional and I tend to leave it out if I can't be bothered, BUT, I've also just mushed it up with the squash and it is heavenly.

Sunny(aka Lavada) said...

Oh man...why did I decide to read this JUST before I have to walk out the door to go to work...with a cup of soup as LUNCH for tonight???
I know what I'm having for dinner my next days OFF!!!

Bethsix said...

I just want to say METOO! METOO! on Catherine Newman. Seriously. I can't even tell you how important she was to me when I was new to mothering. Love her.