what are we having for dinner?

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October 31, 2017

1 comment

Fall Dinner!

It’s FALL!  The weather is fabulous and dinner calls for a comforting meal!  I love a slow roasted pork or beef on days like these – the entire house smells divine, and the meat ends up being flavorful and tender. I saw a similar menu recently in a magazine and made few tweaks to make it my own.  I’m including lots of colorful and flavorful and healthy sides to go with the pork.  Recipes are below (and at the last minute I threw in some roasted tomatoes that I had on hand – recipe is on my blog):

Slow-Roasted Pork Roast

Kale and Walnut Salad

Brussels Sprouts and Ricotta Salada Salad

Garlic Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes


Slow Roasted Pork Roast

(Adapted from Ina Garten)IMG_9992

1 (~7 lb) bone-in pork butt

6 garlic cloves

1 yellow onion, chopped

1/2 jalapeno pepper, ribs removed, seeded, and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves

1 1/2 TBSP ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp chile powder

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 (750 ml) bottle dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

Lime wedges, for serving, optional


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Score the fat on the pork diagonally with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern. With a small paring knife, make a dozen 1/2-inch-deep cuts in the top and sides of the pork to allow the seasonings to permeate the meat.

Place the garlic, onion, and jalapeño in a food processor and process until the ingredients are finely chopped.IMG_9964

Add the cumin, chile powder, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and process for 30 seconds to make a paste.IMG_9965

Add the vinegar and olive oil and process to incorporate.IMG_9966

Rub the mixture all over the pork, including the sides and the bottom, and place the pork in a large roasting pan, fat side up.IMG_9967

Sprinkle with the fresh oregano. Pour 2 cups of the wine into the pan and cover the whole roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil.IMG_9968

Roast for 2 1/2 hours, then remove the foil.


Roast for another 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours (depending on the size of your roast), until the meat is very, very tender when tested with a carving fork. Every 1 1/2 hours, add another cup of wine to keep some liquid in the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven.IMG_9976

Once out of the over, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow the meat to rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Slice, sprinkle with salt, and (optional) serve with lime wedges on the side.IMG_9984

Kale and Walnut Salad
(Adapted from Epicurious)

6 cups roughly chopped, de-stemmed curly kale

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

2 TBSP fresh lemon juice (approx. the juice of one lemon)

1/2 cup finely chopped roasted/toasted walnuts or pecans


Take kale by the handful and mince it until all the kale is chopped. Assemble kale with olive oil and salt and evenly distribute both throughout the greens.IMG_9980

Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the kale. Add the remaining ingredients, blend evenly, and serve.IMG_9990

 Brussels Sprouts and Walnut Salad

(Adapted from Epicurious)

1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed and thinly sliced

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

2 1/2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/4 lemon (which is roughly half of a tablespoonful)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 1/2 oz ricotta salata (I ordered from Amazon here)


Toss the Brussels sprouts, walnuts, olive oil, and lemon juice together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.


Shave or crumble the ricotta salata over top; toss and serve. IMG_9982

*Note: Ricotta Salata is an Italian semi-soft sheep’s milk cheese. It easily crumbles and grates.  Flavor is dry and strong.

Garlic-Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes

(Adapted from CaliforniaBountiful.com)

5 to 8 cloves garlic
2 lb purple sweet potatoes, rinsed but not peeled (I bought them on Amazon here)
1 TBSP SMOKED paprika
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning                                                                                                                   2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 large lemon (or 2 TBSP lemon juice)
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mince or press garlic and put in a large bowl.

While garlic “rests,” chop potatoes into a medium dice, making sure pieces are similar size for even cooking. Leave the skin on for maximum nutrition value.IMG_9977

Add smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, olive oil and lemon juice to the bowl. Then add garlic too. Toss sweet potatoes and mix well to ensure all pieces are well-coated. If mixture is too dry, add more lemon juice.IMG_9978

Sprinkle with pepper and place on a cookie sheet.IMG_9979

Roast until tender—check after approximately 35 minutes and then every 10 minutes until ready (stir to ensure even cooking). Season with additional pepper and a sprinkle of salt, to taste.

And there you have it!  An easy yummy and satisfying Fall menu!  How gorgeous is this plate?IMG_9995




One thought on “Fall Dinner!

  1. Nice recipe


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