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When a Vegetarian Loves Her Family

21 Nov

I am making pulled pork.

about 3 pounds of pulled pork

I don’t eat it, but my mom’s family is rather large, and I decided to make some to take to the family Thanksgiving gathering.  While I’m at it, I decided to do another batch to freeze for me.  Then, when I have family show up (or come help while I’m kidding), I have something I can quickly fix for them to eat.

I started with Iowa produced pork loin.  My batch is for about 9 pounds of meat.

For seasoning I mix:

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 3 Tbsp salt

Sprinkle it over the meat.

You can put it in a roasting pan and bake it in the oven, but I am using my electric roaster.  I like that it has the rack to set the loins on.  I also start with the fat side down.

Then add some liquid, but not rinsing the seasoning off the meat.  I used veggie stock because that’s what I have, but you could also use chicken stock.  I added one 32 oz. box.

Bake it a 300º F. After the spices all dissolved, I turned it over.  About an hour later, I turned it again.  This has the fat side down again, and by the time it’s done roasting, the fat will have probably mostly fallen off.

You know it’s ready when you put your fork in it and it falls apart.  Roasting time will depend on how big the loins are, but it will be four or five hours probably.

I let it cool a little bit and then finished pulling it apart.  I picked out the little bit of fat that was still attached (and fed it to Snickers).

It works really well to divide it into ziploc bags and add the liquid (straining the fat out) and freeze it.  When it’s time to serve it, let it thaw and heat it up in a crock pot.

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Brown Butter

19 Oct

I had never tried fixing sweet potatoes before, so when I was gifted two from my nephew who got them from his brother, I figured it was a good time to play in the kitchen.

After peeling them, I decided to dice and roast them.

I tossed it with a bit of olive oil and added a teaspoon of crushed rosemary.  I can only find leaf rosemary, so I just grind it in my coffee grinder. It works well.

I put them on the roasting sheet and put them in a 400°F oven.

They did have to bake for about 40 minutes.

When they came out, they were just getting brown in places.  They really shrank down, so I was glad I did both of them.  They didn’t even completely fill my serving bowl.

Then I drizzled some browned butter on them.  I can’t believe it took me so long to discover brown butter.  I used 1/4 cup and just cooked it in my sauce pan until it was brown.

I didn’t use all of it for this recipe; it doesn’t take a lot to give it that buttery, nutty flavor.

After trying them, I decided I will need to get some more sweet potatoes.

Definitely need more sweet potatoes, which is why I have been trying to grow them and keep them protected from the deer.

Another Real Chicken Dish

14 Sep

When I made the chicken bacon ranch casserole for my nephew and his wife, I figured out rather quickly that the package of chicken breasts was too much for that one dish, so I also made them pan seared chicken breasts with roasted mushroom and carrots all with a rosemary thyme brown butter glaze (that’s too long for the title of a blog post).  This has also been sitting here ready to go for over four months, so I thought I’d share it while I’m so busy with work, goats, and garden.

I started by placing my mushrooms and carrots into a pan with a bit of olive oil and roasted them at 400ºF for about fifteen minutes.  For a meal for two, I used half the bag of baby carrots and about 1/2 the 1 pound container of baby bella mushrooms.  I threw in about 1/4 cup of diced onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic, and a bit of salt and pepper.

While that was roasting, I seared the chicken breasts on both sides using a bit of olive oil in a cast iron skillet until they were browned.

I removed them from the pan and set them aside and put my butter into the skillet.  I used a whole stick and 1/2 tsp. of ground thyme and 1/2 tsp. ground rosemary.  That did end up being about twice as much as I needed.

Once it was rich and brown and nutty delicious, I added my carrot and mushroom mixture.

I let that finish cooking the carrots till they were almost done, then I added the chicken breasts and 1/4 cup of vegetable stock (I didn’t have chicken, or I would have used that).

Then it simmered until the breasts were thoroughly cooked.

Again, this was given to my nephew and his wife, so there’s no pretty plated picture.  They did say it was a blog-worthy recipe though.