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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Rotisserie Honey Glazed Pork Loin

My inspiration for this dish came from fellow blogger Jenny Casteel Unternahrer of In The Kitchen With Jenny. When I spotted her Grilled Honey Rosemary Pork recipe I really wanted to try it. However I also wanted to make the dish my own and so I set about to make my own glaze based on her recipe. For me that is what cooking is all about: spotting something that appeals to you and then you can either follow it to the letter or you can make substitutions or alterations that suit your palette.
The pork well it tasted fabulous; and just look at that bark on the outside! Tender, juicy succulent bite after bite. If you don't own a rotisserie (as in Showtime), then you could do this on your rotisserie attachment for your outdoor grill. This is not to say you could not do it in the oven, but having a roast rotating around keeps the juices flowing in the meat and the fat cap renders off and the glaze just bakes right onto the outside of the pork.
While shopping the other day I picked out meat based on the total price. This 2.35 pound roast was exactly $7.00. It's large enough to feed 4-6 portions. We served ours with a mashed potato and white cauliflower mixture as I had some fresh cauliflower and some already mashed potatoes left over. And along side some frozen baby peas. I had fresh rosemary from the garden and all the other ingredients in my pantry to make the glaze.

If I add it all up this dinner cost about $9.00 which sadly for today is on the inexpensive side. I hope you make this and that you and your family fall in love with it.
  • 1 boneless pork loin - about 2 1/4 pounds or more
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • granulated garlic or garlic powder to taste
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (regular)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. fresh rosemary - chopped small
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 drops of Gravy Master®
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Season the pork all over with kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Chop the rosemary.
  3. In a bowl combine the honey, brown sugar, Dijon mustard and olive oil and rosemary. Mix well. It makes a kind of paste.
  4. Take the roast and skewer it.
  5. Rub the "paste" all over the pork.
  6. In a tray pan under the pork add the chicken broth.
  7. Roast the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°. My roast that was 2.35 pounds took an hour.
  8. Let the pork rest.
  9. Take the pan drippings and pour into a small sauce pot.
  10. Take the tray pan and add some water to it and over high heat on the stove, whisk to get all the good bits up. Add this to the sauce pot and add a couple of drops of Gravy Master®. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes over medium high heat. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Any juices from the resting pork you can add those into the au jus as well.
This becomes an au jus for the meat which you can pour over when plating.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    Sea Bass with Lemon and White Wine

    By now you know I have a daughter that loves to fish and my husband does as well. Just a couple of days ago my husband had an opportunity to go fishing with long-time friend and lobster man for sea bass. When I heard that's what they were fishing for I was thrilled! My first taste of bass was not long ago when I was treated to a dinner with people I had worked with many years ago. I got to taste the Chilean Sea Bass that someone else ordered and I fell in love.

    Sea bass fished from waters somewhere in the vicinity of Long Island Sound was just as good, flaky, tender and scrumptious. For the record Chilean Sea Bass is also known as Patagonian Toothfish and is found in waters near Antarctica. The following is a statement I found on Joes

    "The Chileans were the first to market toothfish commercially in the United States, earning it the name Chilean sea bass, although it is really not a bass and it is not always caught in Chilean waters. It is a different species type than the sea bass caught in U.S. waters. Because of its white meat appeal, Chilean sea bass usually fetches premium prices in specialty markets and high-end restaurants. It is a deep-water fish that can live up to 50 years and grow to weigh over 200 pounds."

    We had 2 1/2 pounds of sea bass fillets to cook and so we invited my daughter and her partner to come have dinner with us. I did these fillets the way I have done thick cod fillets and it was delicious. It is my understanding that sea bass can be very expensive and it may not be for everyone's budget. So taking that into consideration you could also make this recipe using any flaky white fish.
    • 8 bass fillets
    • 1/4 cup white wine (The kind you would drink. I used Chardonnay.)
    • 8 thin slices of lemon - plus extra for squeezing over the fish
    • 1 sleeve (29 crackers) Ritz® crackers
    • 1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
    • 1/4 tsp. table ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
    • 4 tbsp. melted butter
    • kosher salt to taste (for the fish)
    • freshly ground black pepper to taste (for the fish)
    1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
    2. Season both sides of the fillets with salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Place a thin slice of lemon in a baking dish (large enough to hold the fillets) and place a fillet on top. Repeat this for as many fillets as you have.
    4. Melt your butter.
    5. Place the cracker in a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin. Place the crackers in a bowl and add in the dried parsley flakes, the 1/4 tsp. black pepper and the melted butter. Mix well.
    6. Sprinkle as much of the cracker topping over each fillet. If you have left over, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Label what it is and date it. You can keep it in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
    7. Squeeze a little more lemon juice on top of the fish and add in the wine.
    8. Bake the bass uncovered for approximately 28 minutes. The fish should be opaque and starting to flake.

    We served ours with corn off the cob, a garden salad and french fries. The sea bass turned out amazing.
    This is definitely a recipe you'll want to adapt for all kinds of white fish. Our fillets were about 3/4" in thickness so the cooking time was perfect. I had set my timer for 30 minutes but the 28 minutes turned out to be just the ticket!

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Easy Summer Tomato Gallette

    Very thankful for summer's bounty of tomatoes from our garden this year. The beautiful tomatoes along with an on sale product of Pillsbury's® Crescent Seamless Dough Sheets gave me the idea to make a simple and tasty tomato gallette.

    For me the tomato is indeed the best fruit of the summer. I am so taken with the flavor, the color and the versatility of this fruit. The only reason I used dried spices is our fresh basil just did not make it this year; it turned brown and weedy looking and I had no fresh oregano available. But fresh herbs in this dish would be wonderful. If you are budget conscious, then stick with the everyday dry herbs.

    You'll need a baking sheet, parchment paper and non-stick cooking spray.
    • 1 can Pillsbury's® Crescent Seamless Dough Sheets
    • 1 -2 tomatoes - sliced thinly
    • 2-3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
    • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
    • 1 tsp. olive oil 
    • 1 large garlic clove - minced
    • kosher salt
    • black pepper to taste (grind it fresh if you can)
    • dried oregano - to taste
    • dried basil - to taste
    1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
    2. If you have parchment paper place it on a baking sheet. If you do not, then spray a baking sheet with some non-stick cooking spray.
    3. Slice your tomatoes very thin. Lay them out on a paper towel and salt them. You are trying to draw some of the liquid out of the tomatoes. Pat with a paper towel before placing them on the dough.
    4. Open your can of dough and lay it out on the parchment paper stretching it as necessary.
    5. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the dough.
    6. Mince your garlic.
    7. Lay the tomatoes overlapping till you fill the dough leaving room to fold the edges over.
    8. Next, add some black pepper, oregano and basil to taste on the tomatoes.
    9. Spread (sprinkle) the minced garlic on the tomatoes.
    10. Top with cheese and drizzle some olive oil over the cheese.
    11. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 13-15 minutes until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
    Here are some photographs of the assembly:

    The dough cost me $2.00. The tomatoes zero cost. So with the cheese and spices and olive oil and dough this was right around $2.96 to make. It's enough for two people for dinner, or 4 light lunch servings. If you doubled the recipe you could feed four for $5.86. 
    And that my friends is why you should try and grow tomatoes! Even if you container garden on a deck it is so worth growing these beautiful summer fruits!