Roasted Pork Loin Roast

Roasted roast. It’s a roast that was roasted. I shouldn’t be writing at-all-ever.

pork loin roast

I’m also giving you a recipe that you won’t be able to exactly recreate because you can’t buy this spice. Unless you live in or near Richmond, VA and go to the South of the James farmer’s market at Forest Hill Park…in THAT case, yes.

It’s a mix of locally grown, dried herbs and salts. Lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, lemongrass and sage! The last ingredient is LOVE…awwww! ***sticks finger down throat but then smiles***

spice mix

When the roasted roast was done and sufficiently rested, I sliced it and topped it with the onions and pan drippings.

pork loin roast

Roasted Pork Loin Roast

  • a 1.75-2 lb. pork loin roast
  • 2 teaspoons of a dried herbs mix (lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sage, lemongrass, Himalayan pink salt and sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 medium to large onion, halved and sliced

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degree. Salt and pepper the roast on all sides. Heat a large oven proof saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add EVOO and pork roast. Once it’s seared to a nice golden brown on one side flip it over and add the onions and wine. Sprinkle the dried herbs all over the pork and the onions. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the internal temp reaches about 145 degrees. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Maple Dijon Chicken with Cauliflower Potato Mash

This was my stove-top last night. To the left the chicken was simmering away in a sauce that’s sort of a spin on honey mustard and oh-so good. I had just added the cooked potatoes to the cauliflower and they were waiting to get pureed. In the back green beans were steaming.

a busy stovetop

These fresh herbs came out of my garden and transformed dinner for sure. The cauliflower potato mash wouldn’t have been the same without the slight-oniony flavor of the chives. The parsley added a nice freshness to the tangy chicken and the rosemary went into the maple dijon sauce the chicken cooked in.

rosemary, parsley and chives

I always forget to take pictures of the finished product (part of the reason I haven’t posted for awhile) but I did snap one pic before digging in!

maple dijon chicken

Maple Dijon Chicken

  • about 1.5 pounds boneless-skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley for serving

Method

  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat with a little EVOO. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and cook on one side until a good sear develops.
  • In the meantime mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Flip the chicken over and add the sauce. Turn the heat down to med/med-low and cook for about 15-20 minutes, basting with the sauce from time to time.

slightly adapted from Table For Two Blog

And now for the mash!

Cauliflower Potato Mash

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 5 small russet potatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup half-n-half
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (or so) chopped fresh chives, for serving

Method

  • Peel and dice the potatoes and place them in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Cook until fork tender, drain.
  • Meanwhile add the cauliflower florets into a large skillet with the chicken stock. Cover and bring to boil and simmer until soft.
  • When the cauliflower and potatoes are done add the potatoes into the skillet with the cauliflower. Add the half-n-half, salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend until chunky. If mixture is too dry add a slash of chicken stock. Top with chives when serving. No butter needed but it can be added if you wish!

Rosemary and Fig Chicken Thighs

Rosemary and Fig Chicken Thighs

Dinner last night:

Warm Brussels Sprout Slaw with Mustard Seeds (minus the walnuts). I also used two teaspoons of powdered mustard instead of mustard seeds. Love! I could eat this everyday!

Then there was my Rosemary and Fig Chicken Thighs. I’ve made this chicken a few times before. Slightly sweet but with the kick of garlic and a slight heat from the red pepper flakes. The rosemary adds another layer of flavor that I think makes the dish taste like you spent hours in the kitchen!

Rosemary and Fig Chicken

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients for Rosemary and Fig Chicken Thighs

Rosemary and Fig Chicken Thighs

  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (usually just over a pound)
  • 2 tablespoons chunky fig jam (I used a locally made jam I bought at a farmer’s market)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon (heaping) red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary, finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Method

  • Place chicken in a medium bowl. In a separate small bowl mix the next 6 ingredients and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Combine the fig, rosemary mixture with the chicken, it should be enough sauce to just coat all of the chicken.
  • In a large saute pan heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the chicken mixture and cook the chicken so that you only turn it once and it sort of caramelizes on both sides.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

Rosemary Oilve Oil bread

Tonight, I really wanted to make Sake-Steamed Clams with Soba noodles from the 2013 Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse…I bought some fresh clams at Whole Foods yesterday and they needed to be cooked tonight…but I also wanted to make bread. What to do? Noodles or bread? I decided to leave out the noodles from the clams, add shrimp to make it more of a meal and then make bread to dip up the yummy clam sauce!

Plus the name of the bread is the name of my blog. I have to make it!!

Clams, shrimp, swiss chard and rosemary/olive oil bread

We also had a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the side 🙂

Rosemary Oilve Oil bread

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast (for me this was 1 packet)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (I add some organic, locally made ranch reasoning so I used that)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup bread flour + extra for kneading
  • 2 tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp. water, whisked
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary for sprinkling

Method

  • In a small bowl, combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let proof for 10 minutes.
  • the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add flours, rosemary, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Mix to combine. Add in the yeast water and olive oil and mix until dough starts to form and starts to pull away from the bowl.
  • Knead for 5 minutes with the dough hook. If it feels too sticky, add a bit of flour to it, a tablespoon at a time. (I don’t have a stand mixer so I kneaded the dough with my hands for the same amount of time)
  • Once it’s been kneaded, place dough in a lightly greased bowl and place in a warm, draft-free place, and let rise for 1 hour.
  • After dough has risen and doubled in size, punch it down and form it into a round loaf. Using a pizza pan (or pizza peel, whatever you have), dust with cornmeal and place loaf on top. Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes. (I don’t have a pizza peel either! I used a metal 13×9 pan with a layer of parchment paper at the bottom)
  • In the meantime, put a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. (I just preheated the oven about 15 minutes before cooking since I was using a pizza stone)
  • Once the dough has risen, brush the top of it with the egg wash mixture then sprinkle rosemary on top.
  • Carefully slide the dough onto the pizza stone (it should slide off very easily with the cornmeal underneath it) and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is nicely browned and there’s a hollow sound when tapped.
  • Let cool slightly before slicing and dipping in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Store in an airtight container.

From Table For Two Blog

ICE!!

I gave Travis got some special ice molds for Christmas to use in his cocktails. The first are the Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds. They work great and are fun to use. They melt a lot more slowly into your drink than standard sized cubes.

Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds

They are also great conversation starters!

Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds,, shown in a cup

I made both of us a drink tonight using freshly squeezed clementine juice and the Tovolo Red King Cubes.

Tovolo Red King Ice Cubes

Mine has equal parts clementine juice and cranberry juice with a splash or so of Kettle One vodka. Travis’ is bourbon, clementine juice and a rosemary sprig. When he saw my drink he said, “You used my ice!” Hahahaha! Someone is already attached to their new cubes!

Cosmo and Bourbon drink

What I made for Christmas Eve Dinner

I had a huge dinner at my house on Christmas Eve. These are the dishes I made:

My Christmas tree

Clementine Cosmos from 5-Ingredient Fix. The clementine simple syrup was delish and was a beautiful orange color. We used organic cranberry juice and bottled lime juice. They were a hit with the ladies but the guys didn’t want anything to do with a pink colored cocktail.

Trader Joe’s Pear Cinnamon Cider. I went shopping on Christmas Eve-Eve at the very busy Trader Joe’s in Short Pump and they had this cider served warm as a sample in the back of the store. I served it warmed in a crock pot over low heat. Very good!

Good Eats Roast Turkey. I got wrapped up in conversation with my sister Zandria and my friend Lois and forgot all about brining the turkey the night before! How could I! I ended up only getting to brine it for 2-3 hours the next morning. I took a huge risk and didn’t rinse the brine off but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. It was tender and delicious… I will make this again.

My kitty under the tree

I made a variation of Roasted Beet Salad, except that I used clementines instead of navel oranges and goat cheese instead of pecorino romano. I also served it over a bed of arugula.

Mascarpone Chive Mashed Potatoes. Very creamy and a slightly different flavor from the normal mashed potatoes.

My mom brought several different desserts including a fruit cake and chocolate pie, collard greens, venison bbq and a crab dip. My sister Angela brought a 5 cheese mac-n-cheese and some oreo cookie balls and rolo cookies. My dad brought some marinated carrots that I have to get the recipe for! I have been snacking on the leftovers for 2 days now.

Below are my Dad, 7 week old nephew and my brother:

My dad, my nephew and brother

This is my sister Angela’s husband and their son, Ryder:

Troy and Ryder

Me getting ready to chop hazelnuts for the salad:

Elissa cooking

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!