Sunday, 24 May 2015

Dad's Rotisserie Pork Roast

Dad's love of entertaining and cooking for crowds has always inspired me. My childhood memories from the cabin are full of large dinners with family friends, usually involving a large peice of meat cooked on the rotisserie. I'm lucky that some of dad's cooking creedos have stuck with me: brown everything (sugar, butter, meat), always use the full fat option (cream, butter, cuts of beef), some recipes take time and the one thing I'm still trying to learn: relax in the kitchen!

I realized last weekend as we were grilling up this roast why Dad always chose it for those summer weekends when cooking for crowds: you can prep everything the night before, then by the time you're a few beers deep, all you have to do to get dinner on the table is sit out on the deck in the sun, looking like a hero as your roast sizzles to perfect doneness. I don't often cook pork, but I remeber Dad's pork roast being as good as beef. I picked this one up from Costco, it could easily have served twenty people, and cost me a total of $30! It came out so juicy and flavourful. If you've never tried it before, it's so worth it, and it's not at all like ham.

I had to trust Dad for this recipe, something that doesn't come easily to me! When he brought out the cumin and curry powder I was weary - told him I didn't want an Indian pork rub, but he just laughed and told me to trust him. What resulted was the perfect rub to compliment the pork. Using the rotisserie was easier than I expected, and I feel as though it's a dying method that no one uses anymore. I'm definitely going to bring it back this summer! We were lucky enough to share this roast with dear family and friends after a pretty classic day at Brereton - a bit of work, walking the dogs, and a lot of shooting the shit at the Kippen's picnic table.  

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Smoked Gouda and Swiss Chard Quiche - Mother's Day Brunch

It has become somewhat of a Mother's Day tradition for Dave and I to host a brunch for our mom's. I love planning a brunch menu - so many tasty and easy options. For mother's day I don't have to consider the tastes of any meat loving men, but only the tastes of my mom and mom-in-law, which happen to align very much with my own. This year I made a quiche, and replicated a recipe that I came up with for our family friend Ashli's baby shower. Ashli was a huge fan of the smoked gouda, egg and pastry combo, not really a huge surprise there though.

I haven't really given my mom full credit for her cooking abilities. I like to poke fun of her for her lack of passion in the kitchen - but I've realized that she does have a number of signature recipes that she puts her heart and soul into. One of them is Quiche Lorraine. She always makes the crust from scratch. This recipe largely uses the same ratios as the one she goes by, from her old Betty Crocker cookbook. Like my mom, I use the pastry recipe on the Tenderflake box and it has never failed me. There's no need to pre cook the curst for this one, a huge bonus in my opinion.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Drunken Mushroom Pizza

I've said it before, pizza at the cottage is always a good idea. As per usual, when you start cooking dinner at 8 pm, intending to use the BBQ, the propane runs out. Not to worry though, the small cabin  oven reaches 500 degrees Fahrenheit surprisingly quick, and at least it wasn't a sweltering hot day. 

Last year at this time there was still ice on the lake and snow on the ground. This weekend, we suntanned, Dave bathed in the lake and we put in the water at the cottage two weeks before May Long = success. It was such a bright and beautiful day for walking. No bugs yet, warm sun, but not sweltering. The dogs were in their element. We found a wonderful surprise on the shady floor of the pine forrest, almost a hundred prairie crocuses! Helllo.... Manitoba's floral emblem. 

Back to the pizza. I first tasted "drunken mushrooms" at Pizzeria Gusto. I make no claim that this  recipe is a good stand-in for a visit to Gusto's patio for the classic Sophia with a class of Santa Margherita. However, drunken mushrooms are easy to make and up the gourmet factor of pizza so long as you have at least one good cheese on hand.