Monday, February 6, 2012

Magickal Monday’s: Cranberry Pork w/ Baked Apples Guest Post

I would like to welcome Amanda from A Witchy Woman’s Kitchen. She is a personal friend of mine in real life. Such an amazing person! Below she is showcasing one of her very yummy recipe’s. Seriously from personal experience her food is amazing! I could nom on that stuff all day! Go check out her Blog and try a few of her recipe’s today!
First of all I would like to thank Danni for letting me write this guest blog! As most of you know Imbolc is the cross quarter day between the Winter Solstice (Yule) and the Spring Equinox (Ostara.) On this day we are celebrating that the Earth will soon be reborn from its snowy womb. To celebrate this most people choose to eat foods with seeds as seeds symbolize rebirth, foods such as raisins, apples, and poppy seeds. Imbolc derives from the Old Irish Imbolg "in the belly". This refers to the pregnancy of ewes, therefore in many circles milk is a traditional Imbolc drink. Milk can be sweetened with honey or plain foods like lamb and pork are also eaten around this time as many people would butcher their animals due to the fact that summer is very warm and meat would spoil easily. Personally, I like eating seasonal food for my area. Since the apples were late this year, I knew they would be plentiful. Baked apples are one of my favorite foods. Cranberry sauce is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to make as well…without further ado, here is my Imbolc recipe.
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Cranberry Pork with Baked apples
First things first. You have to make the cranberry sauce.
12 oz of fresh Cranberries
3 cups water
The juice of one orange and about 1 tbsp of orange zest
The juice of ½ a lemon
1 tbsp honey ¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup organic sugar
In a medium sized pot heat the water with the fresh cranberries. Boil this until berries are tender. It really depends on the cranberries you get. Approximately 10 mins.
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Once the cranberries are soft use a masher to mash them (or a whisk if you don’t have a masher…or a heavy duty spoon..just get ‘em mashed!) Once the berries are mashed add the orange and lemon juice/zest and the sugars. Let this simmer until thick. Stir every so often so it doesn’t burn to the bottom and ruin the Cranberry sauce. The best way to check the thickness of the sauce/jam is the frozen spoon technique. Put a spoon in the freezer for about 2-3 minutes. With another spoon scoop some of the cranberry mixture onto the frozen spoon. If it gels then the sauce is done, if it remains watery it needs to simmer a bit longer. Since this sauce/jam recipe makes quite a bit I put it in jars and refrigerate. You can also Can it using a pressure cooker following proper canning technique. This sauce/jam doesn’t last long in my house, we use it on pork, PB& J sandwiches, and toast.
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Now for the Pork
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a pan sear the pork. We used very thin pork chops so I only seared it about 45 seconds per side. Slather as much cranberry sauce as you would like then put the pork in the preheated oven until it is to temp. (keep in mind pork must be at 160 degrees, yes the USDA changed it to 145, but I’m paranoid. )
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Baked Apples
Baked apples are so easy! First pick out your favorite apple. I use Fuji. Core them out about ¾ of the way down with a paring knife (keep the bottom intact) add a little bit of butter (about a tsp) and bake on 350 for about 10-15 mins, until soft. You can add cinnamon and sugar if you like.
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