“Spring is far more than just a changing of seasons; it’s a rebirth of the spirit.” ~ Toni Sorenson
Hey y’all from the Hungry Southern Belle house! So…two years have gone by and just like the changing of the seasons with a rebirth of spirit, there’s been a rebirth of our beloved food blog. Don’t y’all worry! We’ve still been busy cooking, trying out new restaurants, traveling etc., but life has a way of keep us busy and didn’t allow for the time for me to write. I’m back now though and super excited to share a few new of our favorite recipes that we made for our Easter dinner (recipes courtesy of www.epicurious.com).
ON THE MENU:
- Cider-Brined Mustard Pork Loin
- Asparagus with Tarragon Sherry Vinaigrette
- Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon and Maple
Cider-Brined Mustard Pork Loin
- For the brine:
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 12 thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups apple cider, divided
- 1 (5-pound) boneless pork loin (tied if desired)
- For the pork:
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup country Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
- 2 cups apple cider
- Make the brine:
- Bring salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, thyme, bay leaves, 2 cups apple cider, and 2 cups water to a low boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking, until sugar and salt dissolve, about 4 minutes. Transfer brine to a large bowl and add remaining 2 cups apple cider and 2 cups ice. Let cool to room temperature.
- Place pork and brine in a large resealable plastic bag; turn to coat. Seal and chill at least 8 hours.
- Roast the pork:
- Remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
- Place rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400°F.
- Season pork all over with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Sear pork, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides (including ends), 10–12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine mustard, brown sugar, syrup, and thyme in a medium bowl.
- Pour apple cider into a large roasting pan or glass baking dish. Transfer pork, fat side up, to pan. Brush all over with mustard mixture. Roast pork, basting every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 140°F, 50–70 minutes.
- Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Asparagus with Tarragon Sherry Viniagrette
- 1 1/2 lb medium asparagus, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 large egg, hard-boiled
- Steam asparagus on a steamer rack set over boiling water, covered, until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes (depending on thickness), then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
- Whisk together vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in tarragon.
- Halve egg and force each half through a coarse sieve into a bowl. Toss asparagus with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette and divide among 4 plates. Spoon remaining dressing over asparagus and top with egg.
Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon and Maple
- 1 1/2 cups strong hot coffee
- 9 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (about 8 medium), peeled, cut into 2 1/2″-3″ pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped smoked almonds (or toasted almonds)
- Stir coffee, maple syrup, sugar, and espresso powder in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil; cook until thickened and reduced by half, 6-7 minutes.
- Remove syrup from heat; add bourbon and 2 tablespoons butter. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is reduced to about 3/4 cup, 40-45 minutes (mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon, but not sticky, and will thicken as it cools). Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before serving.
- Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°F.1 Melt remaining 7 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan; pour into a large bowl. Add sweet potatoes and oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide potato mixture between 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast, turning potatoes often and rotating sheets halfway through, until potatoes are tender and start to turn golden brown and crisp around the edges, 30-35 minutes. DO AHEAD: Potatoes can be roasted 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm before continuing.
- Transfer potatoes to a serving platter. Drizzle some warm sauce over and sprinkle with almonds; serve remaining sauce alongside for those who want more.