When it comes to supper, I'm really
over trying to impress. Rather all I
crave is good, simple cuisine that's
easy to prepare, no fuss to cook, and
fun to serve. I recently just watched
a BBC television series entitled
"Back In Time For Dinner." For
six weeks an average family lived
and ate as Brits did from 1950 till
2000. Their home, wardrobe, and
food evolved just as it did during
my lifetime. Not only entertaining,
it was educational. I ate it up!
Most of us baby boomers traveled down
a culinary path driven by our Mothers.
Most of whom were of the stay at home
variety. Such a meat and potatoes heritage
formulated much of my initial perspective
on what was and was not appetizing. By
the time the eighties came around I was
more than ready for anything nouvelle.
Soon kiwi's and poached salmon became
daily staples. Along with a lovely bottle
of properly chilled white zinfandel we all
dined to the extreme. And now just the
thought of all of that goop disgusts me!
Today my culinary repertoire is a mix
of things I've learned from Julia Child,
The Silver Palate, and trial and error.
However most of what I prepare on a
daily basis is inspired by my childhood.
Like it or not, comfort food continues
to be what I like best. If for no other
reason said nostalgia is just because it's
so easy. Our mothers knew how to make
a meal in as simple a manner as possible.
And if one omits any casseroles made
with processed ingredients, it's actually
rather healthy. Did Mother know best?
Hot enough for you?
For me one of the greatest blessings in life
is my oven. For those who aren't aware or
familiar with this modern convenience, it's
that space where you store pots in under the
stovetop or in that cabinet on the wall. Once
one has prepared the key components and
placed them on the racks, all you do is turn
up the heat and walk away. For a couple of
hours your time is your own. Ultimately
once everything is finished cooking. one
only has to dish it out. Thus what could be
easier than a class meal prepared en masse
in one's hot box? It's lovin' from the oven!
Last night I did just that. Prep time
time was less than two hours plus
a bit over two more in the oven.
We started with a simple salad. The
main course was a roasted pork loin
with sauerkraut, carrots and roasted
red skin potatoes. Dessert was an
old fashioned pound cake made with
you got it... one pound of Irish butter!
Anybody can make a dinner like this
and nobody needs to slave behind a
hot stove. Dish it out tonight and be
sure somebody else does the dishes!
2 large onions chopped
2 large apples peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup cognac, brandy, or bourbon
2 large jars of sauerkraut
1 tablespoon caraway seed
4-5 pound pork loin
6 cloves garlic minced
8-12 slices thick cut bacon
1 - 2 pounds carrots cut into 3 inch segments.
In a large dutch oven (preferable cast iron)
cook onions over medium heat in olive oil until almost wilted.
Add apples and sauce' for 1-2 minutes.
Add alcohol to deglaze pan bottom.
Add drained/rinsed sauerkraut and caraway seed.
Mix until all is evenly dispersed.
Pat pork loin with paper towels until dry.
Liberally salt/pepper top/bottom to taste.
Fat side up, rub with minced garlic.
Lay bacon on top in basket weave pattern.
Wrap excess length of bacon around sides.
Place pork loin within a "well" created in sauerkraut mixture.
Place carrots around roast in pot.
Cover and bake in 325 oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Remove pork loin onto cutting board.
Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for twenty minutes.
Carve and serve on platter
atop drained sauerkraut mixture with carrots on side.
Roasted Red Skins
Place washed potatoes in open baking dish.
If they vary in size,
leave smaller ones whole
and cut balance in halves or quarters
to equal their size.
Drizzle with olive oil to coat.
Roll then about to insure all sides are covered.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Bake in oven with pork roast for last hour.