Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Dinner


So we had a small pork roast in the freezer and I decided this would be a good time to make use of it.  In fact, the whole meal was made up of things we had on hand.  No special trips to the store for once, hooray!

Here's what was on the menu:
  • Pork roast with dry rub, apple & onion, and gravy 
  • Red potatoes au gratin
  • Steamed artichokes with lemon butter dip
  • Blood oranges and red seedless grapes in lime & honey syrup
It was very nice and we had leftovers too.  The next day we sliced the pork and made sandwiches with some of the apple and onion to add moisture.  It worked really well.

I prepared and cooked the potatoes first since they needed to cook for 1-1/2 hours, then put the roast in for 1 hour.  Then prepared the artichokes to steam for 30 minutes, and somewhere in there we got the blood oranges and grapes chilling in the lime and honey syrup so they'd be nice and cold when it was time for dessert.


Potatoes Au Gratin:
  • 4 red potatoes
  • 2/3 c. sourdough bread crumbs
  • 3/4 c. half & half
  • 3/4 c. grated cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. green herbs
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pork Roast:
  • 2 lb. pork roast
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. green herbs
  • 2 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 1 apple
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • Salt, pepper & green herbs to taste   
  • 2 large artichokes
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. butter and juice of 1 lemon for dipping sauce
Blood Orange and Red Grapes in Syrup:
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 2 large bunches red seedless grapes
  • 4 cups water
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 c. honey


Wash potatoes and slice thinly (1/8" or so), placing slices in water with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.  When they are all sliced, drain and pat dry.  Grease a 9"x9" baking pan and sprinkle some of the breadcrumbs around the bottom and sides.  Add green herbs, salt & pepper, and nutmeg to the half & half.  Now make 4 layers, first potatoes, then some bread crumbs, and some grated cheese, and some of the half & half.  Finish the top layer with bread crumbs for texture.  Cover and place in 350F oven.  Remove cover after 1 hour and bake for another 30 minutes.

Potatoes ready to cover and bake
Pork Roast:

Make sure the roast is completely thawed.  Unwrap and pat dry.  Mix the kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, sage and green herbs together to make a rub (you can use whatever herbs you like; I used a Soup and Stock herb blend from a local farmer's market).  Rub it all over the roast and place the roast in a small roasting pan that has been oiled with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Now chop the apple and onion into small pieces and place them around the roast.  Cover the roast and place in 350F oven.  It will take 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes.  You may uncover the roast for the last 20-30 minutes.

Rubbed pork roast with apple and onion, ready to cover and pop in the oven


Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add flour and whisk until thoroughly blended.  Allow to head on medium until it just starts to brown but not burn.  This is the roux.  Meanwhile heat the chicken stock to scalding (almost boiling)Leaving the roux on the heat, pour the chicken stock in all at once while whisking.  Add the seasonings and allow it to thicken over the heat, then turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the stove to keep it warm.

Steamed Artichokes:

Prepare artichokes by trimming the stem very close to the bottom.  Cut off the top 1/2 inch of the artichokes and rub with 1/2 lemon to prevent browning (you can use one of the half lemons you will place in the steaming liquid).  Cut the tops off the outer leaves so there are no sharp points to deal with when eating.  Place salt, water (or you can use chicken broth) and lemons (cut in half) into a large pot.  Bring it to a boil and turn on low, then place the trimmed artichokes into the pot and cover and steam for 30 minutes.

Trimmed artichokes ready to steam
Blood Oranges and Red Grapes in Lime and Honey Syrup:

Peel the blood oranges, section them and remove all of the white part.  Remove grapes from stems.  In the meantime, place the water, lime juice and honey in a saucepan and heat until it comes to a boil.  Place the orange sections and grapes into a large heatproof container and pour the hot syrup over them.  Allow them to cool in the syrup, then cover and place in the refrigerator to chill.  Serve in individual ramekins.

Well that's it.  Until next time,


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