Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jan 21, 2006 at 5:14pm

Cooking this afternoon, while A does her homework and John quizzes her. Nice, to have them in the kitchen with me. Little music, little wine, little garlic. Had a good IM discussion with Susie today strategizing potatoes au gratin, inspired me to make them too! She’s doing roasted chicken with rosemary, pancetta, and balsamic. I’m doing a braised pork shoulder roast. Which I did just a couple of weeks ago, a Mexican version that we ate in homemade tortillas, mmmm… Tonight, an Italian version, with garlic and fennel. Just John and me for dinner, which means I can put things like cheese in our dishes (the potatoes, ahhhh). As the roast finishes, my plan is to add sliced carrots and fennel, tossed with olive oil and coarse salt, to roast alongside the pork. I’m sipping an incredible, and to me unusual, Vouvray as I cook, a 1990 Domaine Pichot, very much in the realm of Riesling or Pinot Blanc. Rich, golden, more than slightly sweet, it’s better than I thought it would be. Helped myself to a few thin slices of the aged Gruyere I shredded for the potatoes, pretty decadent little wine-cheese tasty for 4 p.m. Our plan is to build a big fire and eat in front of the fireplace, we’ll see if we pull it off. Sometimes we have good intentions but get too damn hungry and just eat in the kitchen. I also plan to try to take a pic of the roast when it’s done, we’ll see if I can make it work. I’m soooo excited about my new camera!

OK, just ate, my initial reaction is it was too rich – for a moderate epicurean – to have the potatoes au gratin with roasted pork shoulder. Now, it didn’t suck, at all, but to me, over the top. Buttery pork roast with creamy potatoes, eek. Also, I didn’t like the carrots and fennel roasted with the pork and am slapping my head that I didn’t just roast them separately, and then toss in fresh, chopped dill, inspired by our dinner at Luci Ancora, detailed (to death, ha) below. So I’ll revise all my recipes accordingly (in comments). Here are my attempts at photographing the food, hopefully I’ll get MUCH better at this… (I am having WAY too much fun, cooking, writing recipes, taking pics, doing this blog, my family hardly knows me anymore!)

Yes, John did make a fire! And we ate in front of it, awesome.

I cut the – 5 lb.! – roast into three pieces,
here it is in the oven surrounded by
carrots and fennel.

The potatoes out of the oven…

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Older Comments

  1. By Stephanie on February 5, 2006 at 9:07PM

    Potatoes with Gruyere, Cream, and Garlic
    Stephanie Levy
    Serves 4

    This is rich, but delicious. I served it with roast shoulder of pork – too rich, I think. Honestly, would be most delicious with just a simple salad. But VERY decadent and special with a gorgeous beef roast – tenderloin, or a big sirloin roast. Yum.

    2 cloves garlic, minced
    4 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
    5 medium Idaho potatoes
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    1/2 c. cream
    1/4 c. chicken broth
    2 Tbsp. minced fresh parlsey

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a shallow tart or quiche pan with nonstick spray. Spread minced garlic over the bottom of the pan.

    Fill a medium bowl with cold water. Peel potatoes, putting each into the cold water until all are peeled.

    Keep in mind you will be creating five layers of potato, Gruyere, and drizzles of cream. Remove one potato from the cold water and slice into very thin slices, either using a sharp knife or mandoline. Lay slices, slightly overlapping, to cover the bottom of the pan. Drizzle with a little cream, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then some of the Gruyere. Slice the next potato thinly, and continue with the layering process until all the potatoes, cream, and Gruyere are used. If there is any cream left, drizzle around the sides. Drizzle chicken broth over the top and sides. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until nicely browned and tender. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

  2. By Stephanie on January 23, 2006 at 1:29PM

    "A" is my stepdaughter who prefers to remain unnamed on the internet. :)

  3. By Suz on January 22, 2006 at 1:56PM

    Do you know how much I love it that you have photos of your food on here??? And John, of course. (almost as much as I love how often I am mentioned in your blog...AND the fact that I may actually be considered in the cooking realms of YOU, which I am NOT!) Pork Roast and a Jew. I love the combo.

  4. By Stephanie on January 22, 2006 at 11:05AM

    Roasted Vegetables

    This isn’t quite a recipe, more a technique that I use often to make delicious vegetables. Very easy and adaptable to different types of vegetables. The veggies are good hot out of the oven, or cooled to room temp. I often serve these as hors d’oeuvres with some little dip – aioli or rouille. The asparagus and cauliflower are particularly delicious – hot out of the oven, they’re almost decadent.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper (you don’t have to do this, but it does keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan as they roast. Also, clean up is a snap.)

    Here are a few that work well, amount can vary, just keep in mind that the vegetables should spread flat on the baking sheet, without lots of crowding:
    Asparagus: trim away tough bottoms
    Cauliflower: trim into 1-inch flowerets
    Broccoli: same
    Fennel: white bulb only, core trimmed away, sliced into ½”-thick wedges
    Carrots: cut into 4”-long strips, as you would for serving them with a dip
    Onions: cut into ½”-thick wedges

    In a large bowl, toss prepared vegetables with a generous amount of olive oil and then with coarse salt (each piece should be coated thinly in oil; Kosher salt works great, as do other course sea salts). Spread vegetables on prepared baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees, stirring a few times, until vegetables are brown and crispy in places (the juices start to caramelize) and are very tender (at least 30 minutes, up to 50 minutes).

    If it’s just us, we pretty much eat them off the baking sheet. If I’m having a party, I pile them up on a platter. They’re great as is, but also nice with chopped fresh herbs sprinkled over – perhaps dill with the carrots and fennel, thyme with the onions, Italian parsley on the cauliflower.