Today’s cooking

So now that they’ve actually been made, and people liked them, I’m going to post this holiday’s dishes (mostly so I remember them). I didn’t make a turkey this year, so I brought two dishes to my cousin’s house for the family dinner. Hope you like them as much as we did.

Excuse some of the amounts, I did a LOT of this by eyeball. I also include the brands I used, but really, you can use whatever brand of ingredient that works best for you.

Kevin’s Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

Ingredients :

  • 2 1/2-3 pound pork loin
  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 2 bottles Woodchuck Granny Smith cider
  • one 6oz bag Sunmaid dried sour cherries
  • about a handful of crystalized ginger
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • butcher twine
  • cast iron dutch oven (or similar dish you can move from stovetop to oven)

Directions :

  1. Butterfly the pork loin, and salt on both sides. Puncture several times with a fork.
  2. In a glass or plastic dish you can lay the whole thing flat in, add the pork, then pour in the two bottles of cider. Put in the fridge overnight. I let mine go for about 24 hours.
  3. The next day, pre-heat the oven to about 350 deg , with the dutch oven in it.
  4. Core, peel and slice the apples
  5. Slice the crystalized ginger into very thin pieces.
  6. Remove the loin from the cider. Set liquid aside
  7. spread about a handful of cherries and some (not all) of the ginger on the loin.
  8. Add a 2-3 slices of apples at one end, and roll up the loin with the apples in the center.
  9. tie the loin up into a roast
  10. Remove dutch oven from oven, and place on stover burner on Hight heat
  11. coat outside of roast with salt and olive oil and a couple of grinds of black pepper
  12. place loin in dutch oven, turning every minute to get a nice caramelized sear on all sides
  13. pour in the reserved cider into the dutch oven, over the meat.
  14. Add in the rest of the apples, another handful or so of cherries, and any remaining ginger.
  15. Put the lid on the dutch oven, and place in the oven  for an hour
  16. Heat the meat up to a center temperature of about 170 degrees.
  17. Take out of the oven, and let it rest for at least 15 mins, with the dutch oven closed. It’ll stay warm, if kept covered, for at LEAST an hour or more if it’s in cast iron and insulated.
  18. When ready to serve, remove the meat and cut the twine free. Slice the loin so you get a “round” of meat with the fruit in the center.
  19. Serve with some sauce from the pan poured over the meat.

Kevin’s Potatoes Au Gratin

Ingredients:

  • 3 8oz bags Sargento Artisan Blends Double Cheddar (we got it on sale at the local grocery)
  • 2 Cups half & half
  • 1 stick salted butter (About 8 tablespoons – NOT Margarine or other spread)
  • 3 lbs sliced potatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Directions :

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 deg
  2. in a saucepan, add half&half and half the butter. Heat until butter is melted
  3. Add 8 oz of shredded cheese, stirring until melted
  4. Stir in 8 oz more of cheese, until melted.
  5. Stir in remaining butter until melted. Sauce should be fairly thin and smooth. if not, add a little more half & half  until it smooths out.
  6. Place potatoes in baking dish. Try to keep level of potatoes under lip of dish
  7. pour sauce over potatoes
  8. Sprinkle the last 8 oz of cheese over the potatoes
  9. Bake, uncovered, for about 30 mins
  10. Switch oven to broil, and move dish to top rack
  11. Broil until cheese on top is golden brown – it won’t take long, so keep an eye on it!
  12. Serve!

The nice thing about the cheese sauce is it can be used with ANYTHING – I’m going to try it on steamed cauliflower and broccoli soon, or maybe as the base for a mac & cheese….

About Kevin Sonney

Kevin Sonney - who, contrary to popular opinion was NOT raised by wolves - grew up in central North Carolina. He fell into the technology field by accident in 1991, when he gave up the wild and crazy lifestyle of an on-air AM radio DJ to become a mundane technical support monkey. The technology industry has never really recovered from this. Kevin has worked for such names as IBM, Red Hat, webslingerZ, and Lulu Technologies (we won't mention the ones that didn't survive the experience). He currently works as a Linux Administrator for Apptio. In his spare time he rescues stray animals and plays video games with his two sons. His wife, we're sad to say, helps him get past the really hard bits. Kevin is still not very mundane, he just got better at hiding it.
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