Monday, October 20, 2014

Days 269-270: Some old and some new...

So yesterday my poor wedding ring finger took a beating in the kitchen.  While slicing onions, I sliced the finger's tip, and then while removing an apple pie from the baking sheet it was sitting on, I burned the same finger right above my rings.  I definitely won't be getting those off for a while--at least not until the swelling goes down!  So please excuse my slow typing... ;) (I crack myself up!)

Around this time of year, I start bringing back recipes we haven't had since last winter.  Some are served almost exactly the same, others have different side pairings, and others are changed even more.  These two dinners are repeaters with a twist...

Day 269: Stromboli & Antipasto
Here is the original recipe when it first appeared on my blog:
That recipe was a simple cheese, pepperoni, and crust recipe.  This time, I followed the same guidelines with the crust, but I added a layer of my homemade sauce inside the stromboli.  I also made it long enough that I could change the filling every 3rd section.  I left 1/3 of the stromboli with just sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.  The next 1/3, I added diced green peppers into the mix.  And the final 1/3 (Randy's 1/3) included all the previous ingredients, plus chopped onions and olives.  I baked it the same (400*, 10-15 minutes) and served it alongside a nice, big antipasto.  Buon appetito!

Day 270: Apple & Thyme Stuffed Pork, Butternut Squash Risotto, Asparagus, Apple Sauce
The original recipe for just the pork portion of the dish can be found here.  In that post, I combined the whole meal into one "recipe" and gave instructions for cooking the meal as a whole, with the sides and all so it would come out at the same time.  Here, I'll break down the pork recipe by itself, and then show the side recipes separate.  I served this meal with my homemade applesauce, which will be featured in a different post.

Apple & Thyme Stuffed Pork

4 pork chops
1/2-1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2-1 small apple, chopped
combo of fresh and dried thyme leaves (about 1/4-1/2 tsp each)
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
olive oil, salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 350*.  In a small saucepan, drizzle a little olive oil and start sauteing the onion and garlic.  When the onion is translucent, add the apple and thyme and cook a little more.  Pour in the apple juice and breadcrumbs and turn off the heat.  Stir everything so a nice, sticky stuffing forms.  If it seems too dry, add more juice.  If it seems to wet, add more breadcrumbs.
Pound out the pork chops and place a couple tablespoons of the stuffing in the middle of each chop and roll the meat around the stuffing.  Use toothpicks to secure them shut and place on a baking sheet seam-side down.  Drizzle the pork rolls with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.

Butternut Squash Risotto

1 cup arborio rice
1 cup small cubed butternut squash
1 TB chopped fresh rosemary
3 cups good chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
olive oil, salt, pepper

Warm the 3 cups of chicken stock in a saucepan on low.  In another, larger saucepan, drizzle olive oil and start the onion, rosemary, and garlic cooking over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.  When the onion is translucent, add the rice and squash.  Pour in the white wine and cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated.  Start ladling in the warm chicken stock 1-2 ladlefuls at a time.  Once you've added 1 or 2 ladlefuls, stir the rice and squash vigorously to release the starches.  Then let it sit for a while until the liquid evaporates.  Once it evaporates, add more liquid and repeat the process until the rice is cooked through.  Add the parmesan cheese at the end and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Asparagus
Wash the trim the asparagus.  Lay out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.  Sprinkle on either garlic powder or 1 clove of finely minced garlic.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and roast in a 400* oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked to desired texture.

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