Dinner for Friends, Part 1

I orginally started writing this post a few weeks ago. I was waxing on about how I love this cookbook.

Long story short, it just sounded so fluffed (in case you were wondering, I try really hard to proofread these posts!). Here’s what you need to know: (1) The cookbook is amazing. (2) You can go visit Chez Pim, another food blogger, and she’ll lay this menu out for you, allowing you to make it for a dinner party from start to finish in three, yes THREE hours flat (if not sooner). (3) You will look like a rock star in the kitchen.

That’s it. Simple and sweet. Go, invite friends, make dinner.

Kale Stuffed Pork Loin
Recipe slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table

3 large stalks of kale
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 2 and 1/2 LB pork loin roast, at room temperature
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Red pepper flakes

1. Set your roast out to come to room temperature about 2 hours before beginning to cook.

2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

3. Prep stuffing: remove the leaves of the kale from the stalks. Discard stalks, wash leaves, chop leaves finely by rolling them into a cigar together and slicing crosswise.

4. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, season with a little salt and pepper, and cook until onion is translucent. Add half your kale, stir until just wilted, and then add remaining half. Continue to cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a bowl, add raisins, a pinch of red pepper flakes, season with salt, and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.

5. Prep roast: using the bottom of a heavy skillet, press the pepper and coriander seeds until they are all coarsely cracked. Put the pork loin fat side up on a cutting board. Using a long sharp chef’s knife or carving knife, cut it in half along one side without cutting all the way through. Leave about 1/4 inch intact.

6. Stuff roast: open roast like a book and spoon cooled stuffing evenly onto roast. Close loin once again. Using kitchen twine, tie roast at intervals until back to original shape, stuffing in any of the kale stuffing that leaks out.

7. Bake roast: place roast fat side up once again. Using remaining olive oil, rub fat side, season with salt and crushed spices. Place seasoned side
up in a shallow roasting pan. Bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat (not the stuffing!) reads 140 degrees. This will take about 40 minutes.

8. Serve: remove from the oven, cover with foil loosely, and allow to rest 15 minutes. Move roast to a cutting board, cut off all twine, and slice crosswise into thin slices and serve alongside cooked apples, grapes, and endive. Pork should be slightly pink in the center.

Endives, Apples, and Grapes
Recipe courtesy of Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table

2 endive, trimmed
1 tart, sweet apple (I used granny smith)
1 and 1/2 tbsp salted butter
4 small clusters, left on stems, of white, green, or red grapes
4 small rosemary sprigs
Kosher or sea salt

1. Prep: cut endive in half. Cut apple into quarters, remove core. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off a strip of the skin of the apple down the middle of each quarter.

2. Cook: place a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add butter and allow to
melt. Place endive and apples in, cut side down. Nestle in the grapes, scatter over rosemary, and cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. The endive and apples will get soft and caramelized. Gently flip everything in the pan, baste with the melted butter, and cook for another 20 minutes.

3. Serve: remove to a serving platter, pour remaining butter over, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and serve alongside pork.


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