Oven Roasted Potatoes

Aside from coffee, potatoes are probably my biggest weakness in life.  Put a potato in front of me in any form and I have a hard time resisting.  I have a weakness for french fries and potato chips (especially salt & vinegar flavored!) but I would take these savory roasted potatoes over those any day!
The sweet onions compliment the potato perfectly and the garlic adds a nutty flavor that completes the dish.  The simple preparation and inexpensive ingredients make this a fantastic addition to your dinner repertoire.
This method is really delicious with sweet potatoes as well.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 lbs medium red potatoes OR white sweet potatoes
1 sweet onion, wedged
10 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, snipped into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dried parsley
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper


Directions
:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Scrub and quarter potatoes, or if using sweets, chop into approx 2×2 in chunks.  Try to make the size as uniform as possible.

Place potatoes and all other ingredients in a bowl or a large seal-able bag and toss to combine.

Spread out in one layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan.  I recommend using a baking stone for this as it reduces the chances of burning.

Roast for about 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Carefully remove rosemary stems.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Cider Brined Pork Roast with Roasted Veggies

I have to admit, this is not my recipe although I have made  a tweak or two.  This recipe originally came from Bon Apetit Magazine.  My boss made this for a dinner that we were hosting and it was so mouth watering and tender and delicious I had to make it myself and it’s become a favorite in my household.  In true Janna fashion I’ve added alcohol to the recipe.  Note-  The pork in this recipe will need to brine for at least 12 hours.  ~Janna

8 servings

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Ingredients:
1 C packed brown sugar
1 C kosher salt
8 bay leaves (divided)
2 tsp Coriander
1 tsp black peppercorns plus more freshly ground
24 oz unfiltered apple cider
1 12oz bottle of hard apple cider
1 8 bone pork loin roast (about 5lb), chine bone removed, rib bones frenched and tied with kitchen twine
3 Yukon gold or russet potatoes pealed (or just scrubbed) and cut into about 1 inch chunks
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1 /12 inch chunks
1 large beet peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
4 Tbs olive oil (divided)

Bring brown sugar, salt, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp of ground coriander, 1 tsp black peppercorns, and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium sauce pan.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar and salt dissolve, about 4 minutes.  Transfer brine to a large bowl and add apple cider hard cider and 2 cups ice.  Let cool.

Place pork and brine into a large 2 gallon zip top bag, seal bag and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

Remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels.  Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Toss potatoes, onions and beets in 2 Tbs olive oil in roasting pan, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.

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Place oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.  Season pork with black pepper and 1 tsp of coriander.  add remaining olive oil to a large skillet over high heat.  Sear pork until browned on all sides.

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Transfer pork to a roasting pan and surround with vegetables.  Tuck remaining bay leaves into the kitchen twine over top of pork.  Wrap bones in foil to prevent burning, roast pork  until an instant read thermometer reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.  when done, let roast sit for 30 minutes before slicing.  Vegetables may need to be roasted for additional time while pork is resting.
Pork

Chipotle Sweet Potato Bisque

BisqueThere are two main varieties of sweet potato here in the U.S.  Many people mistakenly refer to them as “yams” but sweet potatoes are actually not even related to the yam.  The first (and my favorite of the two) has a golden skin and white flesh.  The second is that deep copper -colored tuber with the softer, bright orange flesh, commonly used in the traditional holiday dish “candied yams.”  

Either variety, or even a mix, will do nicely for this recipe.  This bisque is not an original idea.  I found it years ago in a magazine (which magazine, I can’t remember) and have made it many times since, with a few of my own adjustments.

The beauty of this soup is that it is NOT sweet.  The potatoes offer a subtly sweet base, but the ginger, lime and chipotle really take the forefront to create a savory soup that can be as spicy as you want it.  

 Ingredients:

2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbs minced ginger
3 Tbs brown sugar
3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
7 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup dry vermouth
1 chipotle pepper in adobo (you can find this in a can in the hispanic section of
your grocery store) OR 1 tsp chipotle powder (more if desired)
2 tsp salt
2 cups heavy cream
Zest and juice from 1 lime

*Serves about 10*

Directions:

Heat oil and butter in a stockpot over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until onion is soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.

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Add sugar, sweet potatoes, stock, vermouth, chipotle and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until potatoes are soft.
Remove from heat and puree the soup until smooth with a stick blender (you can use a traditional blender, but I find the stick blender makes much less of a mess).
Return soup to a simmer, add heavy cream, lime juice and zest.  Salt and pepper to taste. A sprinkle of chopped pistachios would make an excellent garnish.


Bisque

Salsa de Sophia Roja

What’s in a name?  There’s a 2-part story as to how this recipe got its name.  Fresh, homemade salsa is one of the first foods that I started experimenting with.  I thought my original recipe was pretty good, using fresh (un-roasted) tomatoes.  Then my niece, Sophia, came back from almost a year in Guatemala and introduced me to their way of making salsa: roasting it.  Since then, I have roasted my salsa ingredients, both in the oven and on the grill, and it tastes amazing.

The second part of my story is this:  A couple years ago, Sophie and I were making salsa together.  Actually, I was making it, and she was hanging out.  =)  Once it was finished, we had about ½ gallon of red, spicy salsa.  It was beautiful.  After the salsa chilled for a bit, Sophie decided she wanted to have some with tortilla chips.  She pulled that big bowl out of the fridge….and dropped it on the floor.  NOOO!  All of that time, energy, and those beautiful tomatoes and peppers all over the floor!  Here’s the best part…I’m not sure if I’m allowed to tell you this, but she actually scooped a lot of it off the floor and ate it.  Don’t kill me, Sophie!

Since Sophie improved my salsa and provided me with a cringe-worthy story, she will be forever associated with this recipe, hence the name.

Ingredients:
(Think of these ingredients as more of a guideline and feel free to experiment.)

6 large Roma Tomatoes (or similar vine ripened tomato)
9 mini or about 2 regular bell peppers – Red, Orange, or Yellow
2 green chili peppers
2 jalapeños (optional)
2 cloves (pieces) garlic
2 stalks of green onion, chopped
1 cup cilantro, rough chopped
1 tbs lime juice
1 tbs white vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt + salt to taste

Directions:

Preheat your roasting appliance of choice:  Grill=low flame, Oven=400 degrees

Wash tomatoes and peppers.  If grilling, arrange them directly on the grill rack.  Oven users, arrange on a cookie sheet or other oven safe vessel.  Make sure they have plenty of room to roast and do not stack.

Allow to roast 15-30 minutes or until skin is blistered, TURNING THEM ABOUT EVERY 5 MINUTES.  The turning is especially imperative for grill users.  A little char is okay, but you don’t want blackened produce.  You may want to rotate them to get an even roast, but be careful not to squeeze any of the juice out of the tomatoes!  

Once roasting is finished, ALLOW PRODUCE TO COOL COMPLETELY before handling. When they are cool, carefully peel off the outer membrane.  For the peppers:  cut them open and scrape out all the seeds.  You may choose to use rubber gloves for this step. Cut into large chunks, toss them all into the blender with the garlic, and pulse until your desired consistency is reached.

Dump the tomato mixture into a bowl, add remaining ingredients, salt to taste, and devour.

Makes about 5 cups of salsa.

Cheddar Rosemary Savory Scones

Recently, I’ve become a little obsessed with fresh scones. My friend Danielle shared her recipe with me, and since then I’ve made several delicious variations using her basic recipe. In this particular creation, I’ve made a savory scone with rosemary, sharp cheddar and red onion. This recipe is quick and simple…only half hour to delicious homemade scones! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt, + a pinch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
5 tablespoons butter
1 egg, separated
8 oz plain greek yogurt
½ cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.
Mix all dry ingredients together (including rosemary). Add butter in chunks.

Add egg yolk, yogurt, and onions. Combine all ingredients thoroughly using a pastry blender. Stir in shredded cheddar.

Flour your countertop and form the dough into a long rectangle. Cut dough into 10 even triangles, then brush with egg white and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Arrange scone triangles on a baking stone. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to cool directly on the stone. Enjoy!