Pork Loin di Parma

There’s something about a good roast that is just so damn impressive.

It could be a whole chicken with just a few simple dressings, a cheap cut of meat cooked low and slow, or in this case a trussed up pork loin stuffed with mushrooms and wrapped in prosciutto. A roast is the king of all family style dinners: it’s gorgeous, it smells and tastes like heaven, and it’s the only centerpiece you need.

Now, I don’t know who invented “Engagement Chicken”, but ohhhhh baby I think I found it’s usurper. What a man really wants is pork covered in pork anyway, right? Well, that’s what I want too…and as they say, happy wife happy life. So, for happiness all around the table, there’s my Pork Loin di Parma!¬†Feast your eyes on this hunk o’ love:

 

PORK LOIN DI PARMA // the new "engagement chicken" via Hourglass&Bloom

 

To make Pork Loin di Parma, you’ll need:

2.5-3 lb pork loin

3 c. chopped baby bella mushrooms

2 large shallots, minced

1 c. parmesan cheese, grated

Thyme (fresh or dried)

5 sprigs fresh rosemary

6-8 slices prosciutto di parma

olive oil

salt, pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Over medium heat, sauté the minced shallot, mushrooms, and about a tablespoon of thyme. Once the mushrooms just begin to soften, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Now, address the pork loin. Lay it on your cutting board, perpendicular to you. With a sharp knife, cut 1/2″ above the underside of the loin. Continue slicing inward, pulling back the meat with your free hand and unrolling the roast like a carpet, until the entire loin is flat. If it’s not perfectly flat, no worries, because the next step will make it all even.

Place a sheet of clingwrap or parchment paper over the pork, and pound it with a meat mallet to even thickness.

 

PORK LOIN DI PARMA // the new "engagement chicken" via Hourglass&Bloom

PORK LOIN DI PARMA // the new "engagement chicken" via Hourglass&Bloom

 

Uncover the pork and season it liberally with salt and pepper, then spread the mushroom mixture and parmesan cheese evenly over. Now, roll it up into a tight cylinder. Lay the prosciutto slices over the loin, overlapping as you go and tucking the ends underneath.

Now comes the tricky part: trussing. You CAN tie individual pieces of kitchen twine around it at one inch intervals. Or you can try and get all fancy and do it with one long strand. I had to look it up haha, so if you’re in need of a good instructional video, use the one I did: here.

 

PORK LOIN DI PARMA // the new "engagement chicken" via Hourglass&Bloom

PORK LOIN DI PARMA // the new "engagement chicken" via Hourglass&Bloom

PORK LOIN DI PARMA // the new "engagement chicken" via Hourglass&Bloom

 

Once it’s trussed, tuck a few sprigs of rosemary beneath the twine, place the whole thing in a roasting pan, and pop it in the oven. Now, depending on the size of your loin, it should roast for an hour to an hour and twenty minutes…but if you have a meat thermometer, cook until the internal temperature is 145 degrees.

Once the roast is done, let it rest for fifteen minutes (and take off the rosemary sprigs), then slice and serve! (We had ours with a heaping side of home-made apple sauce!)

Enjoy!

 

PORK LOIN DI PARMA // the new "engagement chicken" via Hourglass&Bloom

PORK LOIN DI PARMA // the new "engagement chicken" via Hourglass&Bloom

PORK LOIN DI PARMA // the new "engagement chicken" via Hourglass&Bloom

 

 

 

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Cottage Pie

Well, it’s still pushing ninety degrees over here in SoCal. While my social media is flooded with scarves, pumpkin spice lattes, and actual long pants, I’m shvitzing in front of the fan and trying to remember a time when it wasn’t summer.

In an effort to encourage the arrival of fall weather, I chose the coolest day of the week (78 degrees! Brrrrr!) and made cottage pie. It’s bountiful, bubbling, and downright cozy. It’s the dinner equivalent of a snuggly flannel shirt. And for now, it’s as close as I’ll get to feeling like it’s October.

 

COTTAGE PIE // braised beef with wine, veggies, and butter mashed potatoes

 

You’ll need:

2 lb. chuck roast

2 c. chopped carrots

1 c. chopped celery

1.5 c. frozen (or fresh) peas

1 small yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. rosemary

2 tbsp. flour

2 c. red wine

2 c. beef broth

4 russet potatoes

1 stick butter

salt, pepper

 

COTTAGE PIE // braised beef with wine, veggies, and butter mashed potatoes

COTTAGE PIE // braised beef with wine, veggies, and butter mashed potatoes

 

Dice your chuck roast in large 2″ cubes and dry them with a towel. This is so important, as drying the beef will allow it to brown properly.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large dutch oven or wide-bottomed pot. Give the beef cubes a liberal sprinkle of salt and pepper, then place them in the oil to brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and set them aside on a plate.

Now add all of the vegetables (except for the peas!), garlic, and herbs. Simmer away for five minutes over medium heat, then add the wine and broth to deglaze the pan. Add the beef back into the pot, cover, and simmer on low for 2 hours.

While that is bubbling away, start on your mashed potatoes. Peel your potatoes and boil them until fork tender. Remove to a mixing bowl and whip (by hand or with mixer), adding 3/4 stick of butter as you go. Season with salt and set aside.

 

COTTAGE PIE // braised beef with wine, veggies, and butter mashed potatoes

 

Remove the beef chunks from the pot and shred with two forks…it should be falling apart tender. Meanwhile, leave the juices and veggies to simmer and reduce. Add the flour and a knob of butter to help it thicken. Now add the shredded beef and frozen peas, stir, and remove from the heat.

If you are using a dutch oven, you can add the potatoes directly on top now. If you would rather use a casserole dish, then pour the beef and veggie stew into a casserole and cover with the mashed potatoes. With either method, finish in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the mash has a golden crust.

 

COTTAGE PIE // braised beef with wine, veggies, and butter mashed potatoes

 

Serve with an enormous glass of delicious Cabernet.

 

COTTAGE PIE // braised beef with wine, veggies, and butter mashed potatoes

 

 

Bourbon Bread Pudding

Yeah, yeah I love bourbon. I’m sure you have all gotten this by now.

So, one Sunday I was hanging out at my parents house (probably sipping a Makers and coke), watching the Food Network when this recipe came up. Have you ever seen Farm House Rules? You haven’t?? Well you should. It’s like Barefoot Contessa meets Pioneer Woman. It’s glorious. And shining in all of that glory was this: Bourbon Bread Pudding Cups.

 

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

I knew right away I HAD to make them.

(I’ve halved the recipe because unknowingly I made enough for a small army with her original recipe. These are heavenly, trust me, but no-one can eat that much bread pudding. No one.)

 

For the Bread Pudding:

Non-stick spray (for the cups)

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup chopped pecans

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

6-8 slices cinnamon raisin bread (stale)

 

For the Bourbon Sauce:

1/2 cup apple cider

1/2 cup bourbon

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Splash of orange juice (about a tbsp.)

Pinch of salt

 

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners and spray the inside of the liners with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Add in pecans, butter and bread and stir to coat. Set it aside to get happy for about 10 minutes.

Carefully fill the muffin tins almost full with the bread pudding mixture. Cook until the puddings set, about 25-30 minutes.

In the meantime, set a saucepan over medium heat and add all of the ingredients for the bourbon sauce. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced by half. (Ahem, we had made bacon that day, so I went ahead and made the sauce in the same cast iron pan the bacon was cooked in. I can’t say I was wrong.)

Remove the pudding cups from the oven and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. While still warm, use a fork or a skewer to make a few holes in each one, and pour a few tablespoons of sauce over. Serve immediately.

 

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

BOURBON BREAD PUDDING // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

 

Grandma’s Christmas Cookies

Decorating cookies has always been my favorite part about Christmas. Top five, at least.

Every year the whole family would squeeze in together at the table with paper plates, toothpicks, spoons, and about eight rolls of paper towels. My mom would set out the tupper of sugar cookies and a huge array of sprinkles and we would just go. to. town. They’d all start out reeeeeally intricately decorated and by the end of, oh say two hours, we’d be slopping on whatever frosting color was near us just to get through the last couple of cookies. The oddly shaped so-called “music note” was always the last picked to be decorated.

That’s kind of how it went last night.

I wanted to share my Grandma’s classic sugar cookie recipe with you in hopes that maybe you’d give them a try. Cover the kids (and your furniture) in plastic, pour the adults some Christmas “spirit”, and have fun! I promise, if you don’t already do this every year, it will absolutely become an instant tradition.

 

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

For the Cookies:

1 c. sugar

1 c. butter, softened (but my Grandma always insisted that an extra bit of butter was completely necessary…like a tablespoon or so)

2 eggs

3 c. sifted flour (extra for rolling)

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

Using your stand mixer on a lower speed, mix the sugar and butter together until creamed. Crack in the two eggs, and continue beating until evenly mixed. Next, working at a medium speed, add in your dry ingredients a little at a time. At the end, the batter should be soft and lump-free. You really can’t over-beat this dough, so don’t worry too much about that.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least one hour.

Drink some eggnog.

Remove the batter and set aside as you liberally flour a board or countertop. Making sure that your rolling pin is floured too, roll out a chunk of the dough into a fairly thin sheet. Cut out as many shapes as you can using your favorite cookie cutters, and place them on a non-stick baking sheet. (PS, you don’t need to spray or grease the sheet as there is plennnnnty of butter in these cookies as it is). Add the excess batter back into the main bowl, grab another big handfull, roll that out, cut, and repeat until all the dough is used!

Bake each batch of cookies should bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until just turning golden around the edges. Keep in mind that the cooking time will change by a few minutes or so depending on how thick or thin you’ve rolled them.

Let them cool on a rack until room temperature – then they’re ready to decorate!

 

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

For the Frosting & Decorations:

1 large bag of powdered sugar

water

liquid food colorings

assorted sprinkles

In a big bowl, mix a teensy tiny amount of water at a time into the powdered sugar. Seriously – for each cup you’ll only need about a tablespoon or so. You definitely don’t want the frosting too runny, or it won’t stay on the cookie!

Pour a bit of the frosting into four or five smaller bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring to each, and stir until you have the desired depth of color.

Now decorate!!!!!!

 

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com

 

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grandma, the hummingbirds are for you…..and this martini, well that’s for me!

 

CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES // via hourglassandbloom.com