Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dinner with a New Friend

Last night, I had my friend Casey over for dinner.  I met Casey at Bible Study at CHBC earlier this summer.  She overheard me tell someone I am an intern for the summer, and so introduced herself.  Turns out, she lives two streets away from me, is interested in human trafficking, and loves the same music that I love!  We have quickly become close friends and I am very thankful for her this summer.  I decided to make just some of my favorite things for Casey, which was perfect, because they are her favorite things too!  It's like we were meant to be.

~ Roasted pork with apple butter and ginger
~ Fried sweet potatoes with cumin and cinnamon
~ Brussels sprouts sauted in butter and garlic

The night before, I created a marinade of balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper.  I then let the pork marinate in this overnight.  I used a boneless pork rib, but any cut could work, this just was on sale.  A little tip, if you would like, when you buy your pork, you can make this marinade and freeze the pork in the marinade.  Then, all you have to do is defrost the pork and it is all ready.

To make the pork roast, I preheated the oven to 350.  I put the pork and the leftover marinade in a glass bake dish and placed it in the oven, uncovered.  The general rule with pork is to roast it 20 minutes per pound.  Since this was a two pound cut, I set the timer for 45 minutes.  I then mixed together about 1/3 cup of my mom's amazing homemade apple butter and about 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger.  When the timer had about 15 minutes left, I spread the apple butter mixture on top and returned the roast to the oven to finish cooking.  When the pork was finished I took it out and let it sit for five minutes before I sliced it.

To make the sweet potatoes, I first peeled two medium sized sweet potatoes.  I then cut them into slices about 1/4 of an inch thick.  I put a couple tablespoons of butter in a frying pan on medium high heat.  I then placed a layer of the sliced sweet potatoes in the pan, sprinkled them with cinnamon, cumin, salt, and pepper.  I repeated adding layers until I had used all of the sweet potatoes.  I stirred the sweet potatoes occasionally, and removed them from heat once they were slightly charred and soft.

To make the Brussels sprouts, I cleaned about two cups worth of Brussels sprouts.  All this entails is cutting off the end and peeling the outer layers off.  I sliced them in half and put them in a frying pan on medium heat.  I added about a table spoon of butter and three cloves of minced garlic to the pan and sauted until the Brussels sprouts were slightly browned.

Doesn't it look lovely?  And it tasted even better than it looks!

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