Friday, February 20, 2009

Dinner For One (me)

Cooking for one. It is a reminder that I am alone.

Nobody loves me.
Everybody hates me.
Might as well just eat worms.
Long thin skinny ones.
Big fat juicy ones.

How is that for self pity?
But ha ha. I have control of the remote.
Actually, Sophie thinks I am cooking for her. Yes, slow cooked roast pork for one fat fluffy dog, and maybe a few little bits for the lady who pays the bills.

I miss cooking for a family, sitting at the table together, talking about the day. Of course that was before they were teenagers and their eyes were on a bungee cord roll to the back of their heads. I don't know, maybe they weren't being disrespectful, may all 3 of my children had seizures starting at age 13, and Turrets too obviously from what came out of their mouths. Okay, I don't miss that part of being a family so much. Just when they were younger and sweet and thought I was wonderful. I was wonderful. Who but a mom works all day, comes home, handles homework, laundry, baths, cooks a warm dinner and still loves to read bedtime stories?
To all of you who are raising a family...God bless you for all you do with selfless love and through utter exhaustion. One day your teenagers will love you again.

Now, what's for dinner?
Slow roasted pork shoulder with carrots, onions, celery and garlic.
Then it becomes pork ragout with soft polenta. Mmmm.
The basic recipe came from Fine Cooking, but 7 lbs of meat is a bit much and I didn't have any wine. "Gasp"some of you are thinking. Or garlic. Now I am gasping. So slow roast pork ala Amber.

This is soooo good. It takes a little time, but it isn't difficult at all. The ragout and polenta are for 2, which leaves plenty of roast pork for other things.

ROAST PORK AND VEGETABLES

325 degrees for 3 hours
2 lb pork loin with some fat
lots of salt and fresh ground pepper and whatever dried herbs sound good

Then cut meat into 4 hunks
Add around the meat
cut in 1/2" - 1" pieces, 1 carrot, 2 celery stalks, 1/2 yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic
roast 1 hour more

Break up meat with forks (not shredded)
Add
6 large mushrooms cut in 1/2" - 1" pieces
1 c chicken stalk
place meat on top to keep juices in vegies
roast 30 minutes more


Done! Carmelized, brown and tender with vegetables that are just done.

Okay, now the good part.

POLENTA

in a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil on med-hi heat
1 c milk

1 c water

add
3/4 t salt

whisk in slowly until it begins to thicken, 1-3 minutes
1/2 c polenta
Reduce heat to low so the polenta slowly bubbles, cook until tender and no longer gritty, 20 minutes, whisking and adding a little milk or stock to keep it soft as desired

add
1/8-1/4 c Rarmigiano Reggiano grated
1/2 T butter

season with salt to taste

While this is simmering, make the Ragout

RAGOUT

In a saute pan over medium heat add
1 T olive oil

Then add and cook 3-5 minutes
1 tomato, diced
1 clove of garlic, chopped

Add and cook until sauce is reduced by half
3 c roasted pork and vegetables
1 c chicken broth

Add and toss
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T butter
1/4 c chopped fresh italian parsley

To plate
Spoon 1/2 of cooked polenta onto plate
Then top with ragout



Warm and yummy and comforting!

3 comments:

Lisa said...

This looks delicious and the leftovrs would probably be great in a sandwich.

noble pig said...

You are not alone...remember the internet?

ChefBliss.com said...

This looks wonderful!! I've been on a roast and shredded meat kick lately and this confirms why!!