As I smelled the sweet smell of garlic permeating the house, today was one of those days where the planets perfectly aligned. Because it was the kids’ first day of school, I wanted to make a dinner that I knew they’d like. But first, a flashback to last week. I was making a dish and it called for a can of black beans. Nick saw me in the kitchen with them, and asked for a bite. I told him that they were from the can, and not what he thought they were. He shook his head, not caring and grabbed a spoon.
Minutes later … “yuck!” “I told you,” I said. “They’re not the same as the Cuban Black Beans you like.”
He was disappointed, I knew, so I made a mental note to make him the beans he liked for dinner on his first day of school. Although it was one of The Ex’s specialties, I have a tried-and-true recipe that is just as good as his. But what to serve with it? The Ex also makes a wonderful roast pork, something I haven’t attempted to make on my own since he moved out. I happened to find a simple recipe in a recent issue of Maxim magazine, of all places, and by noon, the house smelled insanely delicious, with both the roast pork and black beans doing their thing.
Both recipes called for garlic, so that was the overriding scent of the day, with a flash of my fingers reminding me of what was cooking in the oven and the slow cooker. And this week’s ingredient for Summerfest 2010? Garlic!
As soon as Nick walked in the front door this afternoon, he made a beeline for the kitchen, knowing exactly what smelled so good. It was all he could do to wait for dinner. And the roast pork? Wicked good. For just a few minutes of prep work, you are rewarded with insanely tender meat, full of flavor from the herbs, garlic and wine. Make it. Even if the recipe came from Maxim.
And now for more garlic goodness from my fellow Summerfesters…
Todd and Diane at White on Rice Couple: Garlic Knots
Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Spicy Pickled Garlic
Sara at Food2: Easiest Recipes Ever, Starring Garlic
Michelle on Cooking Channel: Roasted Garlic
Liz at Healthy Eats: 5 Reasons to Eat More Garlic
Kirsten at FN Dish: Garlic Chicken Greats
Margaret at A Way to Garden: Growing and Storing a Year of Garlic
Caroline at the Wright Recipes: Ajo Blanco Soup, and Confit Garlic
The Gilded Fork: Garlic Dossier and Recipes
Food Network UK: Glorious Garlic
Alana at Eating from the Group Up: Pickled Garlic
Caron at San Diego Foodstuff: Italian Marinated Eggplant and Sorrel and Garlic Sauce
Paige at The Sister Project: Spaghetti with Garlic and Zucchini
Both kids switched schools this year, and now no more uniforms and an early start on the bus. I can’t believe they’re second and third graders already!
They barely turned to say good-bye to us. Sniff.
And Madeline joined the school crowd this morning too, starting her first official day of Pre-Pre-K. She really, really, really wanted to go on the bus with the big kids, even though I tried to explain to her that she has a few more years to go.
The Best Damn Pork Butt, Period
Recipe courtesy of Maxim magazine, August 2010
20 sage leaves
3 thyme sprigs, stems removed
3 rosemary sprigs, stems removed
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 T fennel seeds, lightly toasted
1-1/2 tsp medium-coarse sea salt
1-1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
4 lbs boneless pork shoulder, skin on
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry red or white wine
Heat oven to 250. Chop sage, thyme, rosemary and garlic together. Place in a bowl; add fennel, salt and pepper. Stir. Score pork skin in a cross-hatch pattern, making 1/2-1/4 inch deep cuts about an inch apart. Make 10 1/2-inch deep incisions and stuff them with half of herb mixture. Tie pork tightly with twine, brush olive oil over skin and rub with remaining herbs. Set skin side up and roast for two hours. Pour wine over pork and baste with juices. Continue roasting, basting every half hour until skin is well-bowned, 2-1/2-3 hours more. Let rest for 15 minutes. For crispy skin, slice off cap of skin and fat. Broil, skin side up, three to six minutes. Slice roast and skin and serve together on a platter or crusty roll.