Friday, September 25, 2015

Citrus-Brined Pork Loin with Peach Mustard and Corn Soufflé Stuffed Tomatoes

Bon Appetit's Citrus-Brined Pork Loin
Jeff's Corn Souffle Stuffed Tomatoes
Peach Mustard
Today,  I want to share two great dinner party recipes that we served this summer to great applause.  One is a pork loin from Bon Appetit that originally called for using the backyard grill.  It was a great success with a flavorful crust and meat that was tender to the bone.  Later in the season, when we were in the midst of a monsoon, I took it inside and roasted it to perfection in the oven.  So I think we can get away with calling this a year ‘round option for a great bone-in pork roast.   And if you’re one of those grillers who will stand outside in all but a blizzard, you can grill on.  With it, comes a recipe for peach mustard, a cross between a chutney and a mustard sauce. But the third component of the menu makes this meal far more seasonal.  It calls for using those still wonderful field tomatoes that are everywhere around here now, along with the last of the season’s corn. Put them together and this might be the perfect meal to serve this very weekend.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Blueberry Maple Granola

Gilding the Granola....with yogurt and a slice of plum

Dr, James Caleb Jackson,
Inventor of Granula
When our houseguests John and Mary showed up with homemade Granola as a house gift, I was hooked.  It was so far superior to any store-bought granola it amazed me. Crunchy, crisp, look at it, with its oats, nuts and raisins, it said "Healthy", its taste said anything but.   Now I am not claiming to be a daily consumer of granola. I have probably used the term “Crunchy Granola” to describe a certain Birkenstock  lifestyle  far more often than I’ve eaten the stuff.  But Mary and John's Granola set me on a mission to find a recipe for Granola of my own. (Mary's recipe is from an unknown website that rhymes with 'bitchin'.)  All summer long, I searched for this child of sixties, or so I thought. Granola and its cousin Granula, however,  were both registered trademarks dating back to the 19th century.  American Granula was the invention of a Dr. James Caleb Jackson at his eponymous Jackson Sanitarium in Dansville, NY, south of Rochester, NY, in 1863.  Its cousin, Muesli, was invented in Switzerland by Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner.  This Swiss physician and nutritionist prescribed his invention to patients at his hospital where he was an early proponent of a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables.  While both Granula and Muesli share their births in hospitals,  the difference between Granola and Muesli is that the former is baked until crisp whereas muesli is neither baked nor sweetened.