Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Early Autumn Dinner


The nights are definitely cooler now, and the daytime goes back and forth not quite knowing exactly what it is. Sort of like a preteen trying to find their place in the world between being a child and a grown up. I think we all like the fall. The summer heat has drained us of our senses and it is nice to let our body rest between seasons before the we are chilled to the bone for a few months.
I do not like winter, I do not like it at all. Too many clothes, too many shivers. It feels lonely in winter. It is dark. But I really love the storms. My attitude is "show me what you got, God, impress me." It is not meant with disrespect...it is in awe of nature. The darkest clouds coming like an army, the wail of the wind as a warning of what is to come and we have no chance of winning, until spring comes once again with new hope.
But for now I can live in the calm. Sort of like Goldilocks, not too hot, not too cold, just right.
There is sunshine almost every day and air that seems cleaner because of it's crispness. People seem to scurry about with the finishing touches of their lives before hibernation begins. And warmer foods are called reminding us of the feeling of being safe and nurtured.

This roast can be done long and slow in the oven also, it is slightly sweet and fork tender. The sweet potatoes are rich with a hint of orange. You could also make sauteed apple slices instead, just caramelize them and sweeten to taste.

I have black dinner plates and a few years ago I bought mummy plates. They are perfect for salad or dessert or a small breakfast or lunch this time of year. Tonight they held salad and as you eat it you begin to see the surprise underneath. But I wanted to share them because they are so cute. And obviously I don't have lighting yet. Forgive and think of the shadows as the shadow monster, even the mummy looks frightened.


APPLE BRANDY ROAST PORK

4 lb pork roast
1 yellow onion
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
2 T brandy
10 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

1/2 c frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
2 T brandy
Salt and pepper

2 T butter

Brown pork roast on all sides.
Turn crock pot on low and place sliced onions and a few thyme sprigs in the bottom.
Set pork roast on top.
Mix apple concentrate and brandy and pour on top.
Set the rest of the thyme on top and salt and pepper.
After a 4-5 hours when the roast has defatted(?), drain the pot of liquids.
Now add the next dose of apple juice and brandy and salt and pepper and finish until tender, basting every 1/2 hour.
Remove the roast to a serving plate.
Pour the apple brandy and any juices into a saucepan with 2 T butter and reduce until thicker.
Pour over roast.


ORANGE SCALLOPED SWEET POTATOES WITH BRIE

3 sweet potatoes, approximately 3 lbs total
2 c heavy cream or half and half
1 orange
1 T butter
1/2 lb brie
4 T butter, cut into 16 pieces
Salt and pepper

Preheat to 400 degrees
Peel and slice sweet potatoes into 1/3" slices.
In a blender add the heavy cream and brie and give a quick mix.
Zest and juice the orange and add to cream mixture.
Using 1 T butter, coat a casserole dish large enough to hold the potatoes.
Layer potatoes, butter, salt and pepper, finishing with potatoes and butter as the final layer.
Pour orange/cream/brie mixture over.
Salt and pepper again.
Cover with foil.
Bake 45-60 minutes until just about fork tender.
Uncover and bake 15 minutes more.


WARM APPLESAUCE

4 T butter
4 cooking apples, I used granny smith
1 t cinnamon
4 T dark brown sugar

Melt butter in a large saucepan on medium.
Peel, core and slice the apples and add to pan.
Simmer 20 minutes until tender.
Smash roughly with a potato masher.
Add cinnamon and brown sugar.
Taste and adjust.

6 comments:

Lisa said...

This combination sounds wonderful. I am with you and do not care for winter.

Maria said...

Looks like a perfect meal for a chilly day!

noble pig said...

Ummm, are you going to send me those plates, cause I need them. The dinner looks fab too.

Maris said...

Can you believe I've NEVER had applesauce warm? I might go apple picking next weekend and then I'm definitely going to try it.

Leslie said...

I made the fudge you sent me(per your directions).....YUMMY..it was delish!

Foodycat said...

Everything about that sounds amazing! The brie in the sweet potatoes is just the perfect bit of saltiness to balance the sweet. Your mummy plates are so cute too.