Tag Archives: pork

Thanksgiving 2013


Paco and I hosted Thanksgiving for both of our families at our house. We decided on a turkey-less Thanksgiving meal, with bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin roast as the main course. Also on the menu were a mango-chutney glazed ham, stuffed mushrooms, apple herb dressing, roasted squash with brown sugar, goat cheese chive mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy.

My brother Doug took the pictures below; he is the real photographer in the family!

I tied two pork tenderloins together and wrapped them in bacon after rubbing them with the mustard marinade.  I followed Claire Robinson’s recipe, but since I roasted the pork loins together, I roasted them for about 50 minutes, until they reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees. I also brined them overnight to ensure that they would be juicy.


Here’s Lando waiting for me to drop a morsel of pork.


A few of the finished dishes.


For other recipes that I used to inspire this meal, please see:

Happy holidays!

Happy Labor Day! Summer Recipe Recap


It’s been the hottest weekend of the year in L.A., and although Labor Day traditionally marks the “end” of summer, it still feels like it’s in full swing here.

It’s been a busy summer, and this poor blog has been sadly neglected. Even though I haven’t managed to post along the way, we’ve made some delicious summer meals and I have to share a few pictures/links:

Grilled Bacon Salad with Arugula and Balsamic, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen:


Vietnamese Summer Rolls:


Beef Lettuce Wraps, courtesy of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook:


Biscuits and Gravy (not exactly summery but we used chicken sausage to lighten it up):


An Argentine-inspired parrillada, with grilled chicken, sausage, vegetables, and chimichurri:


Here’s to a memorable summer and an even more delightful fall!


How to Glaze a Ham


I think that ham is the easiest way to feed a crowd, especially during the holiday season.  Glazing it is so simple, and it will make your house smell delicious.  I usually use Ina Garten’s recipe.


When shopping for a ham, you’ll want to find a spiral-cut, bone-in ham.  Do not buy one that has water added, but if it says “with natural juices” on the package, that’s okay.

Ham with Mango Chutney Glaze
(Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)

7-9 lb spiral-cut ham
6 oz of mango chutney
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c dijon mustard
4 cloves of garlic, minced
zest of 1 orange or 2 clementines
juice from 1 orange or 2 clementines

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the ham in a large roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the mango chutney, mustard, sugar, garlic, orange zest, and orange juice.

Using a spoon or a brush, coat the ham in the glaze. If the slices a the end start to fall away from the rest of the ham, use toothpicks to secure them.


Bake for 1 hour.  Do not overbake, or the meat will be dry.

Kale Salad with Walnuts and Cranberries


Last night we had grilled pork chops (brined first, of course!) with mashed potatoes. Kale salad was the perfect vegetable side. Kale is a tough enough green to stand up to a heavier entrée and side, but the salad felt summery.

Kale Salad with Walnuts and Cranberries

3 leaves of kale, stems removed and sliced finely
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
handful of walnuts
handful of dried cranberries
black pepper
kosher salt

Toss the kale with the lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then add the walnuts and cranberries.

Taco Thursday!


Paco and I went to Taco Tuesday two weeks ago, which inspired an at-home taco night. We tried out a new Mexican market, and bought some marinated carne asada and tiny tortillas for street taco style tacos.

AND–as a huge bonus, they sell kastakan there! Kastakan is a cross between chicharrones and carnitas — fried pork skin with some meat attached. I read about it before we went on our honeymoon to Playa del Carmen, and I forced Paco to walk across town in 100+ degree weather to get these tacos. 100% worth it. Here’s me in Playa del Carmen with the aforementioned tacos.  Note the large chicharrones served on the side in lieu of chips.

The kastakan that we bought here was not as delicious as the one in Playa, but it was a nice change from carne asada. This is how it looks at the store. Just heat it up and cut it into chunks.

We made a taco bar with carne asada, kastakan, homemade guacamole, tomatillo salsa, roasted tomato salsa, cilantro, red onion, lime, and grilled Mexican scallions.

I love the tiny tortillas!