"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Leek and White Bean Soup with Garlic Crumble

3 leeks, whites only
4 carrots, cut into 1" pieces
4 celery ribs, cut into 1" pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C. olive oil
4 thyme sprigs
2 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
ground clove, to taste
3 (15oz.) cans Great Northern White beans
1 Qt. water
salt and pepper, to taste

Garlic Crumb:
4 C. fresh bread crumbs
1/3 C. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1/4 C. parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the leeks lengthwise and cut into 1/2" pieces, wash very well and pat dry.  In a large heavy pot, over medium heat; add oil.  Sweat leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic until vegetables start to soften.  Add herb sprigs, bay leaf, and clove.  Cook another 15 minutes until vegetables start to turn golden.  Add beans, stir; add water.  Simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally until carrots are tender, but not falling apart, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile; in a mixing bowl toss breadcrumbs with the oil, garlic, and salt and pepper.  Spread evenly on a baking sheet and put into the oven.  Cook for 12-15 minutes stirring once until golden brown.  Remove, cool and toss with parsley. Reserve for service.
Go back to pot and discard herb sprigs and bay leaf.  With a potato masher or the back of a spoon, mash some of the beans to thicken the broth.  Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  Spoon soup into warm bowls and top with garlic crumble, serve and enjoy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pasta with Lentils and Kale

1/2 C. French green lentils
2 C. water
salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
12 oz. kale
1 # penne rigate
grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, to taste

Simmer lentils in the 2 C. water with salt in a 1 qt. sauce pan, uncovered.  Cook until lentils are tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes.
While lentils simmer, heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a 12" skillet until hot.  Add onions, stir and cook for a minute.  reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Uncover, increase heat and cook until golden brown.
While onions are cooking, cut out and discard stems and center ribs from kale.  Cook kale in a large 8 qt. pot of boiling salt water, uncovered until just tender, 5-8 minutes.  Transfer kale with tongs to a colander to drain, pressing lightly.  Keep pot of water at a boil, covered.
Coarsely chop kale and add to the onions along with lentils.  Add some of the liquid from the lentils.  Simmer stirring for a minute.  Correct seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.
Add pasta to the boiling water you cooked the kale in and cook uncovered until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Drain pasts in colander and add to lentil mixture along with some of the pasta liquid to keep pasta moist.
Toss with remaining olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper.  Serve on warm plates and top with fresh grated cheese.  Enjoy!

Brown Rice, Vegetables, and Mushroom Ragu with Chicken

4 Tbsp olive oil
1 C. Brown Rice
2+ C. Chicken stock
1 C. cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1/2 C. green peas
1# skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2" pieces
3/4 tsp. chopped rosemary
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 (28oz.) can chopped tomatoes with juice
6 C. baby arugula
fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano, to taste

Heat medium pot over high heat.  Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil, heat until shimmering.  Add rice and stir.  Heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add bay leaf and stock.  Season with salt and pepper, liquid should taste like soup.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.  Cook until rice is tender 35-40 minutes.  After 20 minutes check and add additional stock if needed.  Once done, remove from heat and let steam covered for later.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a 12" heavy skillet over med-high heat until shimmering.  Season chicken with salt and fresh cracked black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until golden, about 3 minutes.  Transfer chicken with a slotted spoon to a bowl.  Reduce heat to medium, add onions and carrots; cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, garlic, rosemary.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for about 4 minutes, until mushrooms are soft.  Add vinegar, reduce to almost evaporated.  Add chicken, peas, and tomatoes with juice.  Cook until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.  Add arugula to sauce and stir until wilted.

On warm plates serve portion of rice and spoon ragu over.  Top with fresh grated cheese.  Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pumpkin Soup

I was at Eastern Market in Detroit a couple of years ago and watched Chef Don Yamauchi of Iridescence at Motorcity Casino do this amazing soup.  It's fantastic and considering as I write this it's about 10 degrees out I thought appropriate.

6 servings

3 C. Pumpkin Puree
1/4 C. Carrots, diced
1/4 C. Celery, diced
1/4 C. Onions, diced
1 tsp. Garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Bay leaf
1 Thyme branch
5 C. Chicken Broth or water
1 C. Heavy whipping cream
All to taste: Salt, black pepper, nutmeg, powdered ginger, cinnamon, honey, ground clove

In a large stock pot, heat oil until hot.  Add butter, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.  Caramelize the vegetables giving them a nice brown color.  Add pumpkin puree and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add chicken broth or water, thyme, bay leaf and cook until vegetables are cooked through and soft enough to puree.

Puree the soup in a blender until smooth and return the mixture to a pot.  Add cream and season with salt, pepper and other ingredients to taste.  Strain soup through a fine sieve.  Serve hot and enjoy!

Weekly Menu- Jan. 21th - Jan. 27th

Dinner with Jeff and Jeanne at EL Barzon, Detroit (half the menu is authentic Mexican cuisine and the other half classic Italian, a great place)

Pasta with Lentils and Kale
Baby Greens Salad with Shaved Carrot and Fennel, Herb Vinaigrette

Grilled Berkshire Pork Chops with a Peach-Bourbon Glaze
Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Thyme
Sauteed Spinach with Bacon and Shallots

Brown Rice, Vegetables, and Mushroom Ragu with Chicken

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Lasagna
Romaine Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Stuffed Flounder with Crab
Quinoa with Sweet Peas and Mint
Arugula Salad with a Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette

"Smorgasbord Night" - Let's clean out the frig. and see what we get

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekly Menu- Jan. 14th - Jan. 20th


Roasted Vegetable, Bean and Potato Enchiladas
Refried Black Beans
Cilantro Rice

Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin with Roasted Seckel Pears
Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary
Baby Greens Salad with a Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette

Pan Seared Jumbo Shrimp with Garlic Butter
Lemon & Thai Basil Quinoa
Broccoli Florets with Shaved Onions

Grilled Salmon with Asian Spices
Brown Rice with Peas
Steamed Green Beans

Roasted Airline Breast of Chicken with Spicy Tomato sauce
Pasta with Olive Oil and Parmesan
Chopped Salad with Italian Herb Vinaigrette

"Left-Over Night"

"Steak and Martini Night"
Porterhouse Steak
Sauteed Mushrooms
Wedge Salad with Gorgonzola, Grape Tomatoes, and Red Onion

Monday, January 9, 2012

Turkey Cutlets in an Anchovy Butter Sauce

The anchovy paste really "kicks this one up a notch".  It adds a depth and dimension of flavor to the turkey, which let's face it, is not one of the most flavorful birds.  Serve this with a good helping of steamed fresh green beans and you're off to the races.  Enjoy!

1/2 C. all purpose flour
2# turkey breast
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 C. dry white wine
2 tsp. anchovy paste (if you can't find, just finely mince some fillets)
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. chopped chives

Cut turkey across the breast into 1" thick sliced.  Between two sheets of plastic wrap pound each piece of turkey with kitchen mallet (bottom of a small saute pan works great too) until 1/3" thickness.  Reserve cutlets to the side.

Stir together flour and 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper.  Pat cutlets dry, dredge in flour and shake off excess.  Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over med-high heat until shimmering.  Saute turkey in batches, turning once until golden brown on each side and cooked through, about 4 minutes per batch.   Transfer to a new plate and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

In the same pan add remaining oil and brown the shallots, stirring often, about 2 minutes.  Add wine and bring to the boil, stirring and scrapping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, reduce liquid to 1/3 cup volume.  Remove from the heat and whisk in anchovy paste, butter, and chives until completely incorporated.  Return cutlets to the pan with any juices from the plate and turn to coat.  Serve on a warm plate and enjoy!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jamaican "Jerk" Chicken Salad

This is a phenominal recipe given to me many years ago by Lorraine of Sweet Lorraine's Cafe in Southfield.  It's the perfect balance between the heat of the chicken and the sweet of the fruit.  The amount of cayenne in the recipe will make the "jerk" fiery, so you may want to halve the amount depending on your taste.

4 whole chicken breasts
fresh mixed lettuce greens
1 banana, peeled and sliced- soaked in fresh lime juice
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
1 orange, peeled and sliced
6 strawberries, topped and halved
1/4  pineapple, skin removed and chunked
Jerk marinade (see below)

Marinate the chicken breasts overnight in the "jerk" marinade.  The next day, grill the chicken and chill in the refrigerator.  Slice or cube the chilled chicken.  Serve on a bed of mixed greens topped with fresh fruit and lime vinaigrette.  (recipe below)

"Jerk" Marinade:
1 Tbsp. ground allspice
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 C. white vinegar
1/2 C. orange juice
Combine all ingredients in a food processor

Lime Vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic
1/4 C. lime juice
1/4 C. rice vinegar
1 C. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. honey
Combine all ingredients in a food processor.

Chicken Adobo

Adobo Spice Mix: combine all ingredients in small mixing bowl.
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. oregano
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp. tumeric
2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp. paprika

4 cloves garlic, minced
3 C. long grain rice
1 whole chicken cut into 8-10 pieces
olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp. canned chipotles in adobo sauce
4 3/4 C. chicken stock
1 C. frozen peas
1/2 C. pimento stuffed olives, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp. each chopped parsley and cilantro
large squeeze of fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Season the chicken pieces with spice mix.  Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in large saute pan to shimmering.  Add chicken in batches, cook to golden brown.  Place the seared chicken on a baking sheet and place into hot oven.  Cook until done, about 30 minutes.

In the browning pan add another tbsp. oil and get hot.  Add onions and peppers, cook for 4-5 minutes until they start to soften.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add tomatoes and adobo.  Add rice, stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Add bay leaves, stock, and salt and pepper.  (cooking liquid should be flavorful like a soup)  Cover and cook until rice is tender and the liquid has been fully absorded, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat; add peas, olives, cilantro, and parsley.  Gently fluff rice with a fork, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. 

On a warm serving platter spoon rice out on to the bottom of the dish.  Arrange the chicken on top and squeeze lime over meat.  Garnish with a nice sprig of cilantro, serve and enjoy! 

Snapper on Angel Hair Pasta with Citrus Cream

I believe I got this recipe from Bon Appetit.  I've had it a while and although the cream make this pretty rich, it's a winner.  Years ago I was invited to a friend's Book Club meeting to demonstrate a recipe and this was what I prepared. 

4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 shallots, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
(1) 8 oz. bottle of clam juice
3/4 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. white wine
1/2 C. fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. diced sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. herbes de Provence ( if you can't find; thyme, basil, savory, and fennel seeds can sub.)
1 tsp. Worstershire sauce
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. lime zest

All purpose flour
(4) 5-6 red snapper fillets

8 oz. angel hair pasta
2 Tbsp. basil, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
additional orange zest for garnish

Put a large pasta pot filled with water over high heat and add salt to the water; bring to a boil.  I worked with an Italian chef once that said, "Pasta water should taste like the sea". 

While you wait for the water to boil, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in heavy medium sauce pan over med-high heat.  Add shallots and garlic; saute 30 seconds.  Add clam juice, cream, wine, orange juice, sun-dried tomatoes, lime juice, herbes de Provence, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. orange zest and lime zest.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Cook until sauce has reduced in volume to 1 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes.  You can make the sauce a day ahead of time.  Cover and refrigerate.  Rewarm before using.

Place flour in shallow dish.  Sprinkle snapper fillets with salt and pepper.  Dredge fish in flour, turning to coat.  Shake off excess.  Heat the remaining olive oil in a heavy large skillet over med-high heat.  Add fish and cook until golden brown and cooked through, but not dry, about 4 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate and reserve warm.  Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile,  cook pasta in boiling water until tender but, still firm to the bite.  This is called "al dente".  Drain well and then return pasta to the pot and to this add half of the sauce and toss to coat.

Divide pasta equally amongst 4 plates.  Top with snapper, then drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with the basil and additional orange zest.  Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Weekly Menu- Jan. 7th - Jan. 13th

Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with Cranberry Stuffing
Quinoa Cakes with Green Onions
Baby Greens Salad with Fresh Herbs tossed in a Champagne Vinaigrette

Open Faced Salmon Burger, Wasabi Aioli and Pomme Frites
Romaine Salad with Tomatoes and Red Onion, Parmesan Vinaigrette

Brown Rice Vegetable Pasta
Roasted Eggplant Ragu

Mexican Pasole
Fresh Salsa and Chips

Shredded Pork Sliders with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Cole Slaw

Smoky Bean and Thyme Soup
Warm French Baguette

Dinner out with Jeanne - Cork in Pleasant Ridge

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mahi-Mahi Burgers with Smoked Bacon and Caramelized Onions

I just made this tonight for dinner and it was met with raved reviews.  I served it with a curried carrot slaw that had shaved onions and raisins in it.  Enjoy!

serves 4

4 strips of good quality smoked thick cut bacon
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
olive oil
4 Potato bread rolls
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 C. baby arugula leaves
fresh slice tomatoes

2# Mahi-Mahi
olive oil
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
squeeze fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp each of the following; (depending on your taste)
onion powder
garlic powder
chili powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a saute pan heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium low heat.  Add sliced onion and salt and pepper to taste.  Slowly cook the onions, stirring often, until deep golden in color, about 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine all of the spices for the fish.  Place fish in a shallow dish and sprinkle each side with spice mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Squeeze a good amount of lemon on each piece of fish, add vinegar, and olive oil.  Coat both side of fish well.  Reserve.

While onions continue to cook, slice the bacon strips in half and place on a baking sheet.  Put into the oven and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove tray from oven, turn each piece and return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes or until bacon is cooked crispy.  Remove strips and place on paper towel covered plate, reserve warm.

To the same pan the bacon was just cooked in add the fish and place in the oven.  Cook until fish is firm, but not dry.  Depending on the size of each piece cook about 10-15 minutes.

Once done remove fish from oven and let rest 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, slice each bun and spread with a little bit of mayonnaise, top mayo with caramelized onions.   Portion fish equally and place on top of the onions.  Top each piece of fish with bacon, arugula leaves, and tomato slices.  Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


(2) small containers Greek yogurt
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded
1/4 C. sour cream
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, fine chopped
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Grate the cucumber, squeeze the grated cucumber with your hand to remove some of the liquid.  Combine all other ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the squeezed cucumber, mix well.

Serve as a condiment for grilled meats or vegetables.  This also is great with pita chips.  Enjoy! 

Shredded Barbecued Beef Sandwiches

3# beef chuck shoulder
2 C. ketchup
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 C. cider vinegar
1/4 C. dark molasses
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
potato bread rolls or any soft bun (I've used pretzel rolls before that were amazing.)

Cut roast in half and place in crock pot.  Combine all other ingredients in large bowl and then pour mixture over the beef.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

Let beef cool a little so you can handle it.  Pull it with two forks or with your hands.  Serve on the buns with extra bbq sauce and pickle slices.  I also like to serve this with cole slaw.

Can be made 2 days in advance, covered with plastic and chilled.  Just reheat and serve with extra bbq sauce.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mongolian Stew Pot

Here is a classic family recipe.  We usually do this one around New Year's.  It makes a great dish for a dinner party.  There's nothing like getting everyone around a fragrant couldron of hot stock with long forks and tasty morsels.  We have a blast with this one.  There are four dipping sauces as well and I serve everything with a big bowls of steaming  jasmine rice.  Have fun!

Serves 4-

1/4 # each beef, lamb, pork, and skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into very thin slices
4 shrimp, remove tails and sliced lengthwise
2 Qts. beef broth
3 thin slices of peeled ginger root
4 baby bok choi, cut in half, lengthwise
4 medium sized leeks, whites only cut into 1/2" rounds
16 fresh white mushrooms
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2" rounds
2 turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly
soy sauce, to taste
4 C. fresh spinach, washed and sliced very thinly (chiffonade)

On 4 small plates arrange equal amounts of the raw meats and shrimp.  Cover each with plastic and chill.   In a large pot bring the broth and ginger to a boil, add all the vegetables, except the spinach.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with the soy sauce, to taste.
Arrange the plates of meat, dipping sauces, bowls of rice, and individual bowls for each guest on the table.  Transfer the soup into a fondue pot and bring the hot pot to the center of the table.  Everyone, using long forks cook their own meats in the hot broth.  Add the spinach last and ladle the hot soup into everyones bowls.  Enjoy!

All the sauces can be made a day ahead and chilled, except the Chinese mustard which is best if made right before service.

Sesame Sauce-
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. tahini
1/2 C. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. sweet sherry
2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. saki
1/2 tsp. chili oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Serve.

Hot Tomato Sauce-
4 scallions, chopped
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 Tbsp. beef broth
2 Tbsp. hot bean paste
1 tsp. sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Serve.

Chineses Mustard- make one hour in advance
4 Tbsp. Coleman dry mustard
6 Tbsp. Vodka, Gin, white wine, saki, or water

Combine ingredients in a bowl.  Serve.

Daikon Sauce-
4 scallions, chopped
1 daikon radish, peeled and grated
4 lemon slices
1 C. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1/4 C. fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Serve.

Easy Mexican Casserole

If I'm in a  pinch for time,  feel like Mexican food (most days), this dish is incredibly fast and easy to put together.  You can substitute just about anything you like for the chicken.  It's obviously a very easy recipe to convert to vegetarian.  I've sub'd out the chicken and added rice instead, it came out very good.  Have fun with it!

2 C. Slightly broken tortilla chips
1# shredded cooked chicken
(1) 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
(1) 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
(1) 15 oz. can corn kernels, drained
8 oz. good salsa- I like the one at Trader Joes, if not making it myself
1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
1 green pepper, medium dice
4 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. oregano
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1/2 C. each of shredded cheddar and monterrey cheese, combine

Garnish- Fresh chopped tomatoes, sour cream, green onion sliced thinly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using vegetable oil, grease a 9x13 casserole dish.  Scatter tortilla chips on the bottom of dish.  In a large mixing bowl combine all other ingredients except the cheese and garnishings.   Layer half of the chicken-bean mixture over the tortillas.  Top this layer with half of the cheese.  Repeat layering the remaining chicken-been mixture and then top with remaining cheese.  Place casserole in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes.  Once done, remove and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Top each portion with a little of the garnishes, serve and enjoy!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, and Fig Flatbread

Elizabeth and I had lunch recently at Diamond Jim Brady's in Novi.  I saw this on their menu and thought I'd like to put my version of this flat bread together for our NYE party.  It was met with raved reviews and couldn't be easier to make. 

4 Naan Breads (I used one from Trader Joe's)
8 oz. prosciutto, sliced thinly
6 oz. goat cheese
4 oz. fig jam
1 C. baby arugula

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay out the naan on a baking tray and spread on a good layer of goat cheese on each.  Spread some of the fig jam on top and then lay down some of the prosciutto on each.

Place tray with flat bread into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.  The prosciutto should be a little crispy and bread golden brown.  Remove from oven and top each with a little of the arugula.  Cut flat bread into four equal pieces, serve and enjoy!

Posole (Mexican Pork and Hulled Corn Soup)

So, I bought a very large pork loin for our New Year's day dinner and was thinking about what to do with the extra?  I am absolutely in love with Mexican cuisine and thought, "Let me use the loin instead of the classic shoulder cut and make one of the best things ever, Posole!"  Pronounced poh-SOH-lay, be careful with this one, it's very addicting.  It's best garnished with lots of cilantro, cheese, and lime.  Serve it with warm flour tortillas, OLE!

The recipe below has the shoulder cut in it, because this is how I would usually make this dish.  For the pork loin cut, I will season it the exact same way, but will roast it in a 375 degrees F oven for 20 minutes per pound.  Then I will let the pork cool slightly and cut it into strips to be served on top of the soup. 


1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
(1) 2-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ red onion, sliced

¼ cup vegetable oil
½ red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
6 C. low-salt chicken broth
      (1) 28 oz. can undrained pinto beans
      (1) 28 oz. can white hominy, drained
      (1) 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with juices, puréed in blender until smooth
      1 Tbsp. oregano
      2 tsp. ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shredded mild cheddar
Chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges
Flour tortillas

For pork-  Do ahead!  Can be done up to 3 days before making the soup.  Just cover and chill the pork and juices separately.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Line a small roasting pan with foil.  Mix spices in a small bowl.  Rub spice mix all over the pork.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Place pork in the pan, cover with sliced onions and pour 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the pan.  Cover tightly with foil and roast until meat is very tender, 5-6 hours.  Let pork rest until cool enough to handle.  Using 2 forks shred pork into bite-sized pieces.  Skim the fat from the juices in the roasting pan; reserve meat. 

For posole-

Heat oil in large pot over medium-low heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes.  Add the diced fresh tomatoes and stir until softened, 2 minutes longer.  Stir in broth and the next 5 ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.  Add reserved pork to the soup.  Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes longer.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding reserved juices from the roast pork. 

Divide among bowls, garnish with shredded cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges.  Serve with warm flour tortillas and enjoy!