Friday, January 1, 2010

Notes on a Holiday Meal

I got a little creative today while cooking the holiday meal. My inspiration for this sudden burst of creativity was my husband. He's a great lover of hot sauce and finds the New Year's meal a bit on the bland side. It's not that it doesn't have much seasoning, it's just that it the flavors are more subtle. With this in mind, I set out to kick up the holiday meal.

Here's what resulted:

Roast Pork and Sauerkraut
Since I chose a pretty lean cut, I knew there wouldn't be much in the form of pan drippings for gravy. Instead, I chose to prepare my sauerkraut in the oven. First, I roasted the pork until it reached 140 degrees Fahrenheit and then added a mixture of sauerkraut and chopped granny smith apples. I mounded the mixture over the pork as well as surrounding the entire loin. You can add caraway seeds to this mixture, but I didn't have any and am not a huge fan of caraway. The whole thing cooks together until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. I let the entire roasting pan rest for about 10 minutes and then served the sliced roast on a bed of the sauerkraut and apples.

Mashed Potatoes
Typically, I like to add garlic, horseradish or wasabi to kick up mashed potatoes, but none of those options seemed to match the main course very well. I was making apple crisp at the time and thinking about what to add into the mashed potatoes when nutmeg came to me. A dash of nutmeg and there was an earthy dimension to this wonderful side dish.

Some minor tweaks and our traditional meal took on a whole new dimension. It was a great meal! One that did not require hot sauce. It's a New Year's miracle ;-)

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