Past and Present Repasts

January 8, 2010 at 12:16 am Leave a comment

   So, here we are in 2010.  It sounds downright futuristic, when you say it out loud.  This sea of white blanketing my entire neighborhood seems futuristic, too, like a scene from a monochromatic science fiction movie.  While those of us enduring a record-cold winter are really questioning the myth of global overheating about now, I reflect on the warm pleasure of developing this site over the past six months and look forward to expanding my audience and exchanging ideas with all of you in the year ahead.  Please feel free to offer comments and questions via the link below. 

Meanwhile, a few comments of my own as I sit down to the keyboard on this 12th day of Christmas, an intensely dark nighttime sky hanging low outside my window at the early hour of 4:47 p.m.  In glancing back over the Foodie postings, a few offerings stand out as outstanding – she said semi-punnily if not semi-humbly:  Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding (6/8); Banana Split Ice Cream Cake Roll (6/12); Chicken Thighs with Almonds and Apricots – a personal favorite (6/18); Sweet Potato and Ground Turkey Hash with Individual Swiss Cheese Omelets (8/17); Squash and Black Beans (7/28); Chorizo-Stuffed Acorn Squash (10/30); Baked Chicken with Italian Sausage and Black Grapes (11/20); Sweet Potato, Squash, and Corn Bread Stuffing (12/21); and Cider Pork (12/9). 

And speaking of pork in a stew-like combo, last time I promised you a recipe for Sveske Sol, a time-honored Christmas Prune Stew made for the large farm family of my sister-in-law’s mother from Luck, Wisconsin.  In looking over Irma’s original recipe – 6# homemade Danish sausage; 2 beef roasts; 2 pork roasts; 3# prunes; 2# carrots – an adaptation to the average American dinner table seemed well-advised.  My menu thus became Pork Stew with Prunes, accompanied by a light Shredded Radicchio Salad, Steamed Broccoli, and Apple Cheese Muffins  – my nutrition-conscious nod to the traditionally correct Danish Apple Cake made with day-old cinnamon toast, apple sauce, and whipped cream.

First on the cooking schedule, preparing the pork stew for 4-6, with options based on the original recipe:

 4 links lean pork sausage (or 2 tsp olive oil)       1/2 C coarse-chopped onion

1.5# thick-cut boneless loin pork chops                salt and pepper to taste

1 TB soy flour (or white flour)                                     2 cloves minced garlic               

2 whole cloves (optional)                                             1 tsp coriander (or cinnamon)                    

3/4 – 1-1/4 C chicken broth                                         3/4 – 1/14 C dark beer                            

1 TB Dijon mustard                                                          1 Tb apple cider vinegar            

12 large prunes, quartered                                           4 C peeled cubed (1″) yams                                 

Slice and then brown the sausage in a large, deep non-stick pan.  (Mine has a glass lid, which is helpful in checking liquid levels.)  Alternatively, put the oil in pan and set over low heat.  Add the onion and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Trim pork, cut it into 1″ pieces, then toss into the heated pan, set over medium, and brown on all sides, stirring often, 7-8 additional minutes.  Sprinkle meat and onions with flour and stir well to distribute.  Add garlic, cloves if using, and coriander or cinnamon; stir well.

Pour in 3/4 C broth and 3/4 C beer, then stir in mustard and vinegar.  Cover and let simmer 45 minutes.  Add prunes and yams and stir.  Check liquid levels and add broth and beer in equal proportions to keep solid ingredients immersed.  Cover pan and simmer an additional 45-60 minutes.  

For the salad: 

1/2 medium head radicchio                                1/2 small red onion

1 – 2 TB Good Season’s Italian Dressing™            1/2 C slivered almonds 

Wash and dry the radicchio; slice into shreds and place in a (preferably glass; this makes an attractive display) salad serving bowl.  Cut red onion into thin slivers and toss with radicchio.  Drizzle on Italian dressing, toss, and sprinkle with almonds. 

And finally, the better-than-dessert apple muffins

1/2 C All-Bran™ or Grape Nuts™ cereal       1/4 C apple juice or cider

3/4 C unbleached flour                                         3/4 C whole wheat flour

12 drops REAL stevia (or 2 TB sugar)             1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda                                                 1/2 tsp salt

1 C grated havarti cheese (or cheddar)           2 golden delicious apples, grated

3/4 C evaporated skim milk (or whole)           2 tsp lemon juice

1 large egg                                                                    2 TB canola oil

Place cereal in a glass measuring cup; pour cider over cereal.  Let sit for up to an hour.  Whisk together in a large bowl the flours, sugar or powdered stevia, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk together in a small bowl the milk, lemon juice, liquid stevia if using, egg, and oil.   

Toss the shredded apple and cheese with the dry ingredients to coat them well.  Then stir in liquid ingredients gently.  Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes.  NOTE:  I had havarti cheese left from a wonderful turkey, mango chutney, and cheese on crusty sliced bread grilled sandwich I saw in a magazine ad and recreated for my guests over the holidays, so I used it here.  It produced a super-rich, moist muffin with a texture more like an English pudding, but my guests enjoyed it very much.  For a lighter muffin, use a dry, medium sharp cheddar.  

Either way, this wraps up a tummy-warming, soul-satisfying meal that makes the frozen landscape fade away into the background for a few hours.  Can’t ask for much more than that from a bit of winter sustenance.

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About

Recipe. According to Encarta, "a list of ingredients and instructions for making something." The thesaurus offers the alternate terms, "formula, guidelines, directions, steps, technique."

And what is the "something" we are aiming for here? Simply a life of robust good health in every important area - spiritual, physical, cognitive, and emotional.

To that end we offer inspirational real-life stories about PEOPLE OF FAITH AND COURAGE; menus and cooking directions meant to fuel your creative inclinations and your healthy body in the form of MUSINGS OF A MIDWESTERN FOODIE; and ADVICE FOR LIFE from the perspective of those who have lived it to maturity. (Click on the green category tabs at the top of this page to learn more about each section.)

Have a taste and see what you think. If you like what we are serving up, please tell your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors to stop by for a visit, too.

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© Sue Anne W. Kirkham and www.yourrecipesforlife.com 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sue Anne W. Kirkham and www.yourrecipesforlife.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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