We held a fabulous dinner party a few weeks ago to celebrate all things pork-related and to usher in that delightful season of conviviality and festivity we call “The Holidays.” We gathered together to toast good friends, communal consumption, and the sizzle of bacon on hot cast iron. In early preparation for the annual Thanksgiving parade of gluttony, we pulled out all the stops. For those of you with an aversion to pig products or meat in general, we advise you to proceed with caution (although the sumptuous bounty we presented did manage to seduce two traditionally-vegetarian dining companions). (more…)
When it comes to cooking magazines, I am ravenous. I pore through the pages, reading every article, evaluating every recipe, putting together multi-page shopping lists in my head. By the end of the issue I am overwhelmed by ideas and I very quickly lose the will to enter my kitchen, much less commit to any one meal. In the end I usually find myself at Trader Joe’s without a list of ingredients and return home, defeated, with nothing but some romaine lettuce and carrots for an exceedingly unambitious salad. In light of this confession, you can probably imagine my wonder and admiration when my best friend arrived at work one fine morning and mentioned off-hand that she made a pork and mustard green soup the previous night: “you know, the one on the cover of Bon Appetit”. In fact, I did know, and I suspected it was just as delicious as it looked. Turns out it’s even better. (more…)
Pork loin is a cut from the top of the rib cage; it yields a tender, lean meat and, like other cuts of pork, goes very well with both sweet, fruity sauces and herb-rich rubs. While many have a relatively uneasy relationship with pork – or abstain from it entirely – we have always prized the cheap-and-easy option for dinner. It requires only minimal prep and the succulent results pair well with a variety of side dishes. An ever-present necessity in our lives, it can feed a group effortlessly and looks reasonably fancy for dinner parties or visits from the in-laws.
We hope you all had a happy Cinco de Mayo, amigos! Yep, I just said that. Once a holiday to honor the ideals of freedom and democracy in the first years of the Civil War and celebrated by Mexican-Americans to commemorate an unlikely victory in a fight to end occupation, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo has been seized enthusiastically by margarita-happy gringos. This isn’t to say that the original or true meaning of the holiday has been lost. Uniquely American in origin, the day is now a widely-embraced celebration of Mexican heritage. In a state that was formed from Mexican territory and in which 30% of the population identifies as Mexican-American, it’s accompanied by a very visible display of pride. For the two of us, it also means an excuse to make an elaborate feast. (more…)