Friday, October 30, 2015

"The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Park Avenue Potluck" & "The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook" - Cider Roasted Loin of Pork and Roasted winter vegetables

Date I made these recipes:  October 25, 2015 – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Park Avenue Pot Luck Recipes from New York's Savviest Hostesses by Florence Fabricant
Published by:  Rizzoli
ISBN: 13-978-0-8478-2989-7
Recipe:  Cider-Roasted Loin of Pork (submitted by Meile Rockefeller) – p. 156-157

The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook by John Phillip Carroll, recipe writer, and Chris Shorten, photographer
Published by:  Time Life Books
ISBN:  0-7370-0008-2
Purchased at Arc's Value Village Thrift Stores
Recipe:  Roasted winter vegetables – p. 148

Eons ago, the Sloan-Kettering book came on my cookbook radar and I asked my brother-in-law, Ben, who works at Sloan-Kettering to see if he could get me a copy (I was unable to source it locally).  And he finally did earlier this year.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was shopping for cookbooks at Arc's Value Village Thrift Stores and came upon the Mayo clinic cookbook and since Mayo is located here in Minnesota, I bought it.

More months went by and as I was changing out some cookbook shelves, I saw the Mayo book and thought of making something from it this summer.  Do note it is now the end of October. At any rate, there it sat for a while in my "cook from" pile.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch Part II, in September I went to an opera (and blogged about it) and used a NY opera cookbook from my "regional" cookbook shelf and while doing so, made a mental note to cook also from the (NYC) Sloan-Kettering cookbook in the near future.

Well finally, opportunity presented itself to me to make something for the blog from each of these books at the same time, the theme of which would be "well-known hospitals."  (By the way, this could be the subject of a Jeopardy category, don't we think?)

And just as I was getting ready to select the recipes, I got an email from a dear friend:  "I have breast cancer."  And so that was a bit of a game changer because now my mission was to make something from each of these well-known (cancer treatment) hospitals in honor of her and all others out there battling cancer.

My mother was a breast cancer survivor.  Every year when I get a physical and a mammogram, I hold my breath until the results come in.  Every time.  I am always appreciative of the fact that every year also brings new advances in treatment and research.  After her surgery, my mom became part of a Reach to Recovery program, helping other women cope with their breast cancer.  I continue to be amazed that my mom reached out like that as she was a pretty private person but she did that for a long time before finally deciding to "retire" from all volunteering in general.  And I'm happy to report that she survived 23 years before passing away from a massive stroke.

In the next couple of decades, the message about breast cancer changed as we went from a more 1:1 counseling environment (survivor to survivor) and fairly low-key fundraising, to the month of October being designated Breast Cancer Awareness month, numerous three-day walks, and numerous Race for the Cures.  And so on and so on.  And cookbooks like these two are just part of the effort to raise funds for important research, care and education although if I may:  I think the general public is pretty aware of breast and other cancers by now leaving me to wonder if the message shouldn't change.  The new message should be about the continued importance of funding cancer research as well as allowing women, particularly low-income women, accessibility and affordability for both screening and treatments.  But that is just this gal's opinion.

At any rate, so the women of Park Avenue came together to create this cook book and I don't know about you, but I find it somewhat ironic if not hilarious that the Park Avenue ladies can well afford all the health care they could ever need and yet here they are, raising more money by submitting recipes to this book.  But fundraising is fundraising and money is money so we'll take.  (And by the way, I know the full title is Memorial Sloan-Kettering but I always shorten it, just like Mayo Clinic's full title is Mayo Clinic but nobody around here calls it anything but "Mayo" which should not, especially on a cookbook blog, be confused with "mayo" as in "mayonnaise.")

And so when the Coco's and Muffie's (I kid you not – please see p. 94 and 148 of the book) of Park Avenue came together to produce this book, they wisely decided to have another cookbook heavy hitter, Florence Fabricant, do the writing.  (In addition to cookbook writing, Florence is also a food critic for The New York Times and other culinary publications).

Now, the Sloan-Kettering cookbook doesn't exactly feature "healthy" foods, focusing instead on family favorites, but The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook does.  Every recipe gives you nutritional information per serving  and many recipes switch out ingredients such as white rice for brown rice or other healthier grains.  Some of the recipes I looked seemed a little bland for my tastes while others sounded delicious even if they weren't made in the same fashion we are all used to, for example, mashed potatoes.

In the end, this unintentional pairing of cookbooks yielded an unexpectedly delicious dinner that paired well together:  "Cider-Roasted Pork of Loin" (Sloan-Kettering) with "Roasted Winter Vegetables" (Mayo).  Even better was that they all roasted at the same temperature – 425F – making it easy to get this dinner on the table without a lot of fuss and muss.  I love it when things work out that way.

Things to know before you start:  1) You need to marinate the pork at least 8 hours in advance; 2) it took a lot longer than 30 minutes to roast it to the correct temperature; 3) a full recipe of the roasted vegetables makes a huge amount of vegetables that, despite cutting them approximately the same size ended up 4) cooking at different times.  And that is my one bitch about any type of roasted vegetable dish!  If I made this again and used the same vegetable combination, I might have started by roasting the turnips, then the potatoes and carrots and parsnips as they tend to take longer, and then the squash.  But that said, I'm not sure I'd include the turnips as they tasted more bitter than the rest of the vegetables used (carrots, parsnips and squash are all sweeter).  I normally like turnips but not this time around.  And I'm not sure how I felt about the parsley/garlic/malt liquor combination as it didn't seem to add much to the dish and the garlic might have been better had it been roasted. ("But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?")

So there you go, a delicious fall meal that yields plenty of yummy leftovers while at the same time, raising your awareness (hopefully beyond just October) to the ongoing fight to wipe out all cancers in our lifetime... with a little culinary assistance from two organizations helping to lead the way. Oh, and by the way, thanks too, to Williams-Sonoma for collaborating with Mayo on the cookbook.  I could never work in your store because the paycheck I earned would go right back into purchasing well...everything!

Cider-Roasted Loin of Pork – serves 8 (*must marinate for at least 8 hours)
1 quart fresh apple cider
¼ cup kosher salt or sea salt
2 boneless pork tenderloins, about 1 ½ pounds each
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon ground sage
Rosemary sprigs for garnish

Combine two cups of the cider, the salt, and 1 cup water in a saucepan and heat just until the salt dissolves.  Allow to cool.  Ann's Note:  I have no idea how long this process was supposed to take but I cooked it for what seemed like 15-20 minutes and the salt was still not dissolved.  I strained the remaining salt crystals and used the leftover liquid.  If there's on thing I cannot stand, it's overly salted food so better safe than sorry.

Place the pork loins in a heavy 1-gallon plastic bag with a zip closure.  Add the cooled brine.  Seal the bag and place on a dinner plate.  Refrigerate overnight, 8 to 24 hours.  Boil down the remaining 2 cups of cider until it has reduced to about 2/3 cup.  Place in a container, cover, and refrigerate.  Ann's Note:  I poured most of the brine into the bag, turned away for two seconds to adjust my measuring cup only to find half the brine was pouring out of the bag.  Dammit!  So I moped up the floor and counter and started again, this time heating some more cider and salt only to have the same thing happen.  Each time the bag was upright but the minute I looked away, disaster ensued.  So I ended up with more of a salt-less brine than intended but I was not going to go through that again!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Remove the pork and the reduced cider from the refrigerator.

Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry.  Rub the loins with the oil, pepper, rosemary, and sage.  Line a roasting pan with foil, place the pork on a rack in the roasting pan, and roast for 10 minutes.  Baste the pork with the boiled cider, turning the loins to baste all around.  Roast another 20 minutes, until an instant read thermometer registers 150 degrees.  Ann's Note:  I didn't feel like basting so I just poured the cider reduction over the loins and called it a day!  Plus, the only roasting rack I had was for chicken but it ended up not making a difference except that the loins almost looked like they were on a spit.  Finally, it took more like 30 minutes to get the loins up to 150 degrees and even then, I put them in the microwave for a bit as they were more pink than I'd like.  Yes, I know the trend with pork is to now go to medium rare but I can't bring myself to do that; beef, yes, pork, no.

Remove the pork for the oven and let it stand 10 minutes.  Slice, arranging on a platter, garnish with rosemary, and serve.

PS—we still had two apples left over from our apple crumble so I sliced those up and put them in the roasting pan along with the pork loins for about 10 minutes.  Delicious!

Roasted winter vegetables – serves: 6
1 butternut squash, 1 lb, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
3 red-skinned potatoes, cut into cubes
2 turnips, peeled and cut into cubes
3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into pieces
3 parsnips, halved lengthwise and cut into pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons malt vinegar (Ann's Note:  you can substitute cider vinegar)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 425F.  Coat a large roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Put the squash, potatoes, turnips, carrots, and parsnips in the pan.  Add the oil, thyme, and pepper and stir and toss to combine and coat the vegetables evenly.

Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned and tender when pierced, about 45 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, parsley, and garlic.  Add the vegetables and toss to combine. 

To serve, divide among individual plates.

Nutritional information – per serving:
Calories – 194
Kilojoules – 813
Protein – 4 g
Carbohydrates – 40 g
Total fat – 3 g
Saturated Fat - <1 font="" g="">
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 56 mg
Dietary fiber – 7 g


No comments: