Tuesday night dinners
Here is a fun concept…get a bunch of friends together on a random night for a fantastic meal! I’ve been inspired to break out of the weekend entertaining and to try something different. The idea of eating together on any given night isn’t new so why are we not doing it more? It’s simple. Make time every week to invite people over to have a meal together. Some people won’t make it every week but keep at it. This is exactly what happened at my place. I kept doing the dinners and slowly people could hardly wait for Tuesday night to come around. Make it as complex or as simple as you want. Get people to bring something along or do all the cooking. Basically do whatever you feel you’re capable of doing and not just once but week after week. For me it’s all about trying new dishes or things I’m really excited about. I get my friends to bring $10 each and a bottle of wine. Very affordable and it means that I can experiment but still remain thrifty. The result; three or more courses at a very reasonable price.
Fall has set in and so the menu for this Tuesday dinner was inspired by harvest and warm comforts. Bresaola, a cured beef thinly sliced with fresh shaved Parmesan and lemon juice starts the meal off. Gnocchi with butternut squash brings smiles while the aromatic roast pork with fennel, cinnamon and chili round off the meal on a savoury note. Finish it off with a Tarte Tatin topped with cardamon spiced vanilla bean ice cream and you’ve got some happy happy friends!
I’ve included the roast pork recipe from this dinner as I felt that it was this that I built everything else around. So here’s the challenge…what would you build around this dish?
Roast Pork with fennel, chili and cinnamon
This recipe was inspired by the flavours of southern Italy.
Pork Loin – You get about 3 servings per 1lb of loin with the bone in and about 3.5 for boneless
fresh cracked pepper
dried chili flakes
dried fennel seeds
Mix equal amounts of all the ingredients (except salt) in a pestal & mortar and bash up a bit. Lay the mixture on a chopping board and roll meat until completely covered. Sprinkle a few pinches of salt all over the loin. Sear the pork in a stainless pan until completely brown. Roast in a roasting pan for 20-30 mins for each pound at 350 F. Remove from oven when you’ve got an internal temperature reading of between 160-170F if you have a thermometer or follow the roasting guide. De-glaze roasting pan with some white wine and add stock. Reduce rapidly to desired thickness, strain off and return to stove on low temp until ready to serve. You could add a knob of butter to the sauce at the end to mellow it out. Serve with your favourite side dishes in season.