I can count on John to cook dinner two times each year ... Mother's Day and my birthday. He makes dinner other times, too, but these dinners are his gift to me. What is better than that?!?
John likes to use fresh ingredients, preferably from our garden, when he makes sauces, salsas, and soups, but since Mother's Day in May is when we plant most of our garden and my birthday is in November, when the garden is exhausted, he has other tried and true standbys to rely on.
For Mother's Day this year, he made a Pork Roast with lemon and ginger glaze and a risotto primavera. Salad was roasted beet salad with an orange-balsamic vinaigrette. We were delighted to have three of our four children plus our new daughter-in-law home for dinner and my niece and her family who live in Philo joined in, too. Love, love, love big family gatherings. That's the best gift of all.
The pork loin roast recipe and risotto primavera are from The New Basics Cookbook. The beet salad is from AllRecipes.com.
Lemon and Ginger Pork Loin
Boneless Pork loin - 3.5 #
Salt and pepper to taste
2 t chopped fresh rosemary
1 T minced fresh ginger root
1 cup dry white wine (vermouth works)
3/4 cup lemon marmalade (see recipe)
Preheat oven to 350. Place pork loin in a shallow roasting pan on a rack. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary and ginger. Pour wine in pan. Roast basting occasionally for 1 hour.
Remove pan from oven. Place marmalade in a small bowl and add 3 T of the pan drippings. Mix well and pour over the roast. Return roast to the oven for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, basting occasionally.
Let roast rest 15 minutes before slicing.
1.5 cups sugar
Remove zest from all the lemons and cut into thin strips. (Use a sharp knife or peeler.) Juice the lemons and combine the juice, zest and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring frequently until thick and syrupy (about 30 minutes) . Allow to cool. Yield 1 cup.
Spring vegetables - vary according to your taste and what's in season.
1 small yellow summer squash
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Arborio rice
6 to 7 cups of de-fatted chicken stock
12 oz fresh spinach, rinsed, trimmed, and chopped
2 oz fresh snow peas
Asparagus tips from 1# asparagus
2 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 T chopped Italian parsley
Prepare the vegetables. Heat the stock to a boil and then reduce heat to low to simmer.
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, salt and pepper and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes.
Slowly add 1 cup of stock to the rice mixture and when liquid has been absorbed, add 1/2 cup more stock. Continue to add stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring frequently, until most of the stock has been added.
Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Add the snow peas, squash, asparagus tips, and tomatoes. Continue cooking until rice is just tender. Add remaining stock i n 1/4 cup increments. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley.