New Year’s Feast.

Oh, I know it’s been over two weeks since we all ushered in the New Year.  It’s taken me that long to go through the dozens and dozens of pictures of our January 1st Feast.  Our dear friends couldn’t make it to our early dinner party, so we packaged up part of the meal, my husband dropped it off and we partied alone.  But it wasn’t a sad thing.  Our kids loved it.  We got out our inexpensive IKEA goblets and Sparkling Black Currant juice and rang in 2011.

Our menu:

Slow Roasted Almond-Crusted Pork Loin with Spiced Raspberry-Plum Jam
Roasted Root Veggies (Beets, Parsnips, Carrots)
Mashed Potatoes and Potato Salad
Rolls
Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Love me some parsnips.  When I became an adult, vegetables became less scary.  I tried parsnips and fell in love.  Parsnips are a marvelous vegetable that take well to roasting.  They get so sweet.  Mmm.

And then earthy beets.  What could be prettier?

Before:

After:

An anonymous benefactor left a giant pork loin on our front porch along with a 10 lb. bag of potatoes.  After I dried my tears of gratitude, I dreamt of how to prepare it.  I wanted to do justice by it.  My husband loves pork roast.  I didn’t want to disappoint him.

Pork loin is a somewhat lean cut of meat.  Not as tender as the aptly-named pork tenderloin, but not as tough as other cuts.  This loin bathed all night in a luscious, garlicky, yogurt-mustard marinade.

I brought it to room temp before I removed most of the marinade and rolled it in finely ground almonds.  After 10 minutes in a very, very hot oven, it slow roasted at 250 degrees F. for several hours.  (Remind me to tell you about the awesome Christmas present from my husband.  Hint:  It is the secret to finely ground almonds.)

The glorious homemade raspberry-plum jam I made in the Fall that we saved for the holidays.  It was meant to go with roasted pork.  Sadly, I can’t find where I wrote down the recipe.  (It was based on Jen’s recipe.  I just can’t remember the proportions.  It is spiced with green cardamom pods.)

Dijon-Sour Cream Potato Salad.  No pics of the mash.  We took that to our friends for their dinner.

Rolls so soft and delicious my kids jump up and down when I take them out of the oven.
Ah, yes.  And now we come to Caramel Pumpkin Pie.  The only pumpkin pie to steal and still my beating heart.  Dorie Greenspan’s recipe is perfectly perfect.  (Even if you don’t like pumpkin pie.)
My kids.  My sweet, funny, darling kids.  They only ate the pork and a few Ritz crackers–all washed down with fancy black currant juice.
Fritz.  The bandage on his head is all for show.
Betta.  Wouldn’t get dressed for dinner.
Lilly.  Camera shy.

Slow Roasted Almond-Crusted Pork Loin
adapted from The Joy of Cooking
Ingredients:

For marinade:
One, 3 lb. pork loin, trimmed of fat
3/4 cup Greek or regular plain yogurt
1 tsp. dry mustard (you could use prepared Dijon as a substitution)
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper

For almond crust:
1 cup ground almonds or almond meal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Instructions:
Mix marinade ingredients together and spread evenly over the pork loin.  Place in a large baking dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least six hours, but no more than 24 hours.  About 30 minutes before roasting, bring loin to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  Remove most of the marinade from the surface of the pork loin.  Roll the loin in the ground almonds and place on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet, or in a roasting pan.  Roast for 10 minutes at 500 degrees and lower temperature to 250 degrees F. for an additional 90 minutes, or until the temperature registers 150 degrees F.  The temperature will continue to rise out of the oven.  Tent the roast with foil and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Slice across the grain in thin slices to serve.  Drizzle and pan juices over the top.

Roasted Root Veggies
Ingredients:
1 bag organic baby carrots
2-3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into sticks
5 beets, peeled and cut into wedges
olive oil, for drizzling
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
Toss veggies with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Place veggies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Roast at 425 degrees F. until veggies are cooked through, but are not mushy, about 30 minutes.  Before serving, sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

Creamy Potato Salad
Ingredients:
5-6 whole potatoes
1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream
Splash of white wine vinegar (about 1 Tbsp.)
1 tsp. (or more) Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh or dried herbs, to taste (optional)

Instructions:
Place unpeeled potatoes in a large pot.  Cover with cool water and place on the stove.  Turn the heat to high and when water has boiled, lower the temperature to medium and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of the knife.  (This time can vary greatly depending on side and type of potato, but generally about 30 minutes.)  When potatoes are cooked through, drain and let cool before peeling.  Cut peeled potatoes into large chunks, place in a large bowl, and set aside.

To make the dressing, whisk together all the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the cooled potatoes and gently toss to coat.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

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9 Comments

  1. What a feast! The potato salad looks wonderful, Dijon mustard and potatoes is really a marriage made in heaven. And I wholeheartedly agree with you, Dorie’s recipes are outstanding, she is magic in the kitchen. A very happy (if belated) New Year to you and your family. I am very glad to have discovered your lovely blog.

  2. Guess who just happened to pick up parsnips and beets at Sunflower Market this week and was wondering how on earth to cook parsnips? I’d been hoping to replicate the Parsnip Pear Rosemary and Thyme I had at Communal some time ago. I think your recipe will be perfect!

  3. What recipe do you use for your rolls? I think I would be jumping up and down if those came out of my oven too. Also, I love your white plates! They are so classy.

  4. Lindsey–it was SO good. I realized when I ordered it that I’ve never eaten parsnips before. They are perfect with pears. It was sweet and perfected seasoned and if I could have one recipe from Communal that would be the one I would ask for.

    In other news, guess who just happened to purchase turnips thinking they were parsnips? They even charged me for parsnips, so I thought I was right on. Guess I need to get to know my root vegetables a bit better, no?

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