Progress, Money & Luck… Sounds Good To Me!

Well as I promised, The Hubby wrote a post about his delowcious New Years Day Dinner that he cooked all by himself. Man I wish I would have documented the play by play. I am sure it would have been very entertaining. Surprisingly, everything tasted really good. Not that I did not have complete confidence in my Hubby, but I am not the biggest fan of the items on the menu. Pork, Turnip Greens and Black Eyed Peas. (The food not the music group mind you… Either way, I don’t like either of the them. Or at least I did not think I did.) Well, without further adue, I present to you, my husband. Enjoy!

New Years Dinner

Written By: The Hubby

So since I had yet to cook in this marriage, and it was New Years Day, I figured why not. It was a good way to celebrate the fact that we have eclipsed the marriage threshold of 72 days set by Kim K. Plus, I don’t mind cooking every once in a while, because at least then I know whose hair is in my food.

Now I am not one to simply leave 2012 up to chance. No I feel as if destiny is what you make it. And when you make: Pork, Turnip Greens, and Black Eyed Peas, then your destiny is progress, money, and luck in that order.

I have truly attempted to make one of these items in my entire life, black eyed peas, and from what I could remember, they turned out well. (The opening of the can went off without a hitch and the heating of the beans went fairly well with a nice consistent heat throughout.) Below is my attempts at all three on the first day of 2012.

Pork

With no experience in the area of pork, I set out in search of a pork recipe in the world’s largest recipe book, the internet. My initial thought was to look for a roast recipe as opposed to say chops, because I had intentions of cooking this pork dish within my much beloved Dutch Oven. (Note to anyone who is a novice cook, if you can find a recipe that involves a Dutch Oven, USE IT!  Nothing is able to cover up your inexperience better than a Dutch Oven.) Nothing really seemed to be what I was looking for, especially the portion size, as most pork roasts dishes call for 4 to 5 lb roast. I was looking for something smaller, as I know the old lady had no plans of eating any of these dishes. She’s not a fan of Pork or Greens, thus the reason I was cooking. I was able to get a lean cut of pork loin from my local grocery store butcher that weighed in at 2 lbs. The following recipe is one I developed to use with said 2 lb roast.

 Ingredients

  • 2 lb. Pork Loin
  • 1 whole cooking onion (yellow onion)
  • 1 whole red delicious apple
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • Salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar (If you are not a vinegar fan, substitute 1 cup of Apple Juice in place of the ½ cup of apple cider vinegar.)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Run pork loin under hot water for a quick clean.
  3. Mince Garlic Cloves.
  4. Cut small slits  in the top of the roast. (This roast will be cooked fat side down so thus the side without the fat layer is the top.)
  5. Insert about half of the garlic into the slits cut into the roast.
  6.  Melt butter and the remaining garlic in a small microwavable cup or dish for approximately 30-45 seconds.
  7. Pour melted butter and garlic mixture over roast and rub into top.
  8. Place roast into Dutch Oven.
  9. Chop onion into thin rings.
  10. Chop apple into thin slices.
  11. Place chopped apples and onions on top and around the roast in the Dutch Oven.
  12. Pour the Apple Cider Vinegar over the roast.
  13. Place top on the Dutch Oven and cook for approximately 1 ½ hours, basting the roast in its own juices every 30 minutes or so.
  14. Make sure to check the roast with a meat thermometer to assure that the internal temperature has reached a minimum of 160 degrees F. For pork 160 degrees is considered to be done while 170 degrees is considered to be well done.
  15. Once the roast is finished let it sit for approximately 10 minutes before cutting.

Greens

As I expect many are, I am not the biggest fan of greens (or turnip greens in this case) unless they are truly southern greens. And southern greens to me means bacon and onions. So when I found the following recipe for southern style greens on epicurious. It is by Leon’s “World’s Finest” In & Out B-B-Q House, on Galveston Island. I figured it would work, and it probably would have had I known what I was doing. The greens ultimately were great if they were greens. They ended up being mostly onions and bacon, which is not a bad thing, but it could have been better. Below I listed a few lessons learned, so you don’t make the same mistake.

There were two issues I had, and both were with the greens themselves.

  1. I only used one bushel, or set, or wrap or whatever you call it, of turnip greens from the grocery store. I would say that you likely need three of these to complete this recipe. It will seem like quite a bit at first, but the greens will cook down a lot.  Trust me!
  2. When cooking the greens check them several times to make sure they reach the proper tenderness. I over cooked them (leaving them in the boiling water approximately 19 minutes). I would estimate the 15 minutes is the appropriate amount of time or maybe a little less.

So hopefully through my mistakes, yours will turn out better and actually be greens. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch turnip greens
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and diced
  • Dash of sugar
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Louisiana hot-pepper sauce

Directions

Wash the greens in several changes of water in the sink until no more grit is seen. Chop the greens coarsely. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the greens, the turnip, and the sugar. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

In a large skillet, sauté the bacon until it gives up its grease. Add the onion and cook 7 minutes until the onion is soft. Toss the greens with the bacon and onion. Add the lemon pepper and salt. Serve with Louisiana hot-pepper sauce.

Black Eyed Peas

Now for the difficult part, the Black Eyed Peas.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of Black Eyed Peas
  • Your favorite hot sauce

Directions

Open can of Black Eyed Peas. Add to pot on stove top set at simmer. Add a dash of hot sauce. Cook until warm.

Happy New Year!

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