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Pork Roast with Carolina Apple Compote

Since lately I’ve been posting a blitz of fall dessert recipes, and since this blog is already heavy in the baked goods, I thought I’d shake things up a little bit.  So, tonight I present two recipes from the most recent Southern Living, the first of which is a pork tenderloin roast with a carolina apple compote.

I should note that I have not ever actually made a pork tenderloin by myself before.  Also, I have never felt more like a fifties housewife than when my bff Megan called me at the grocery store today and I told her I was picking up kitchen thread and wine for my pork roast.  Incidentally the market was out of kitchen thread, which left me with my second dilemma of the night.  After some internet research, I discovered that as a tawdry substitute, I could use twine.  Thank the stars, I had some in my backseat from when we moved our mattress on top of my car.

Since I’m poor and hoping that since I opted not to elope, I will get showered with kitchen-related goodies next September, I don’t have a roasting pan.  Or a rack.  So my roast was roasted in an aluminum disposable pan trussed with twine.  Cut in half because I didn’t have a pan big enough to brown it whole.  Sometimes I wish TLC had a show called “pimp my kitchen.”  Don’t let the granite countertops fool you.

Pork Roast with Carolina Apple Compote
Source: Southern Living

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp Herbs from Provance

1/2 tbsp dried basil

1/2 tbsp dried oregano

1/2 tbsp dried thyme

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 boneless pork tenderloin

Kitchen string (or twine)

2 tsp olive oil

4 gala apples, peeled

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup apple cider

5 tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tbsp orange zest

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Dash of ground ginger

1 tbsp butter

Combine garlic, herbs, salt & pepper.  Toss and rub (with your fingers, preferably) over the side and into any cracks in your roast.  Truss with twine, which is essentially wrapping it (not too tight) with one inch intervals.  Cover, and refrigerate for two hours.

Preheat your oven to 375*.  Brown the roast in hot oil in a skillet, spending 2 to 4 minutes on each side.  Then pop that baby in a pan and stick it in the oven.  You’re going to want to let it cook for an hour, or until the internal temperature is 160*.  When it’s done, cover it and let it sit for fifteen minutes, so the juices can redistribute.

Dice your apples, cover with lemon juice, and set aside.  Bring cider, sugar, zest, and spices to a boil.  Reduce temperature and let simmer until they’ve thickened, about ten minutes.  Add in apples and cook another twenty minutes, until the apples have absorbed most of the juices.  Stir in butter, toss.  Stir in any juices from the roast.  Serve on top of, or next to, the pork.

Serves 2.

 

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Pumpkin Muffins

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While trying desperately to find some paper scraps I had hidden from myself so I could complete a handmade box order, I stumbled across a page I had torn out of an issue of Gourmet a few years ago.  A habit I have adopted from my mother (I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve “organized” her recipes), sometimes I tear things out of magazines and squirrel them away.  Anyway, this recipe for Pumpkin Muffins provided me with the perfect opportunity to use the cups and cups of pumpkin puree I have leftover from my sugar pie pumpkin experiment.  This recipe is very easy, and very low maintenance.  So, that leaves me plenty of time to tell my favorite muffin-related story.

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In college I was required to take color photography, and the semester I took it, the head of the department (who usually teaches the class) was on sabbatical.  So I got a fresh-out-of-grad-school MICA alum, who was well… stuck up.  And she hated me.  I’ll admit that I tend to be outspoken, I make too many jokes, and I have a tendency to go on tyrants, but I don’t know that I deserved all the hate she threw my way.  Except for this one day.  So we’re sitting in class, in the middle of a critique.  It was a morning class, so it was about 9.30 in the morning, and she was sitting on the opposite side of the room from me.  And I was (unbeknownst to me) suffering from keratitis at the time, so my vision was blurry.

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I glanced over at her and it looked like her nose was bleeding, she hae this giant dark red spot on her face right below her nose.  I thought, if my nose was bleeding, I’d want someone to tell me, so I said “Oh my god, Corrine, your nose is bleeding!”  She reached her hand up to her face, touched the spot and glared at me before she said “it’s a sore.”

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Oops.  I felt really bad.  As much as I hated her, pointing out a gaping sore on her face in front of everyone was especially cruel, even if it was an accident.  So the next week, I decided to bring her a peace offering.  The cafe near campus, On the Hill, has delicious muffins.  So before class, I stopped by and got two muffins, a blueberry and a cranberry.  I will preface this by saying that of the two, I would have preferred the cranberry.  I walked into class, and walked up to her and said “Corrine, would you like a peace muffin?”  Not so much.  She glanced up at me, and said “I don’t like muffins.”  So I told her that because it was a PEACE muffin, she couldn’t refuse it, to which she replied that she guessed she’d take the cranberry.  So she took the muffin that I wanted, and then didn’t eat it.  A delicious, $3 muffin brimming with cranberries and sparkly sugar, to waste.

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That pretty much sums up my college experience.  Or my life experience…

Pumpkin Muffins
Source: Gourmet Magazine

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tbsp sugar (for sprinkling)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon (for sprinkling)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat to 350*.  Whisk together flour and baking powder.  In another bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Once it’s smooth, add in the flour mixture.  Pour into muffin pan.  Mix cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle ontop.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Schmear with a little butter, and remember that even though pumpkins will be out of season soon, eventually it will be spring.

Makes 10-12 muffins.


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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I made two pumpkin pies this past week.  The first pumpkin pie I made had NO flavor.  Something about the pumpkins I used (organic sugar pie pumpkins), just made the pie taste like… well, nothing.  It was gross.  Thankfully my family is very nice and pretended like it still tasted okay.  So I delved into the world of pumpkins to try and learn what makes a pumpkin taste good, and what makes it have no flavor.

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After my experiment (see Pumpkins 101), I had to figure out what to do with the pumpkin puree.  I certainly wasn’t going to waste it.  I also needed to figure out what dish to bring to Pennsylvania to celebrate with my future in-laws.  Recently, Dan’s father had mentioned how much he liked bread pudding.  And since I was making a pumpkin pie for my family, I figured I’d branch out a little and make pumpkin bread pudding.

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I started with my traditional bread pudding recipe.  Now, bread pudding is not something that my family is huge on.  So really, I don’t often have the opportunity to make it.  A few years ago, while I was in AmeriCorps, I was working in a full time office building, catering to the Baltimore AIDS community.  When my coworkers had birthdays, I would bring them in the cake of their choice, because I like making cakes and I like the attention of people enjoying my cakes.  I did, however, have one coworker who didn’t like cake.  He only ate pumpkin pie and bread pudding.  He also called me Misselenious (It started as Miss Elena and digressed), so he was one of my favorite coworkers.

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For his birthday, which was well past pumpkin season, he requested bread pudding.  So, I learned how to make it, which left me with a wonderful recipe that I never use.  So now I have a new opportunity.  I did make some tweaks to my recipe.  I swapped the whole grain bread I normally use for a loaf of french bread.  In order to make it pumpkin bread pudding, I simply whisked the pumpkin puree in with the milk and other ingredients.  Sort of like baking honey into a pie crust, infusing one ingredient with a flavor enhancer makes it pretty easy.

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I also left out the raisins.  For two reasons.  Frankly, I don’t like raisins.  And I didn’t think that it would be that much of a compliment to the pumpkin.  And I really don’t like raisins.

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 loaf french bread, cubed (or broken into 1 inch pieces)

2 tbsp butter, melted

4 eggs

2 cups milk

2 cups pumpkin puree

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp nutmeg

Sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice

Preheat your oven to 350*.  Break bread into small pieces and place in pan.  Drizzle butter over.  In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk, puree, sugar, spices, and vanilla.  Beat until well incorporated. Pour over bread.  Do not stir.  Bake for 45 minutes and serve warm.

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