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Monday, April 21, 2014

Roast Pork Loin with Garlic and Rosemary

Roast Pork Loin with Garlic and Rosemary 1

For Easter luncheon, since it was just family, I imagined an all-American Sunday supper sort of meal -- pot roast, baked chicken, macaroni and cheese. Despite the lack of color, which really gives credence to the slogan of pork being the other white meat, the roast pork loin was quite juicy and flavorful. I cut half a dozen slits on each side of the pork loin and shoved garlic and rosemary into each slit so that they could flavor the meat while it was baking. Since pork loin is very lean, I left the fat on and baked it fatty side up. I figured it was far better for guests to not eat the fat than to have dry pork.

Leftovers were great thinly sliced for a sandwich or served with a simple salad.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Chinese Crackled Tea Eggs

Chinese Tea Eggs 1

The two previous Easters, I made Vegetable-Dyed Crackled Eggs and while they were fun for the kids to peel and to look at, they rarely wanted to eat the hard-boiled eggs afterward. However, Chinese Tea Eggs, seasoned with soy sauce and spices, are way tastier.

I had a packet of tea egg spices in the pantry that I opened with the intention of using them, but the package had a very strong Chinese herbal medicine smell, which I didn't want to flavor the eggs. So I put the package back in the pantry and decided I would just use some of my favorite spices instead.

This recipe is easily adjusted with whatever spices you prefer, the only constants are soy sauce for savoriness and tea for aroma. I used a mix of loose leaf black tea and bagged black tea with orange peel. If you don't have the latter, just toss in a dried orange peel. I added some Saigon cinnamon bark, star anise pods, and a black cardamom pod. The last may be harder to find, so I've listed it as optional.

I prefer to soft-boil the eggs since they'll be simmered for a bit in the spiced tea mixture, so that the eggs won't be rubbery. Crack the shells without peeling them, simmer, and let them soak in the flavorings overnight.

The result is a marbled hard-boiled egg redolent with the aromas of tea and spices. A great snack at any time, but for Easter, I let the kids peel the shells so they can unwrap each egg's unique crackled effect for themselves.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lobster Roll with Sriracha Butter

Lobster Roll with Sriracha Butter 1

A while back, Albertson's had a sale on lobster tails for $3.99 apiece. Granted, they were pretty small, but I couldn't pass up that price and purchased three of them. I froze the lobster until I could come up with a good recipe. Not that lobster needs a good recipe. I like lobster plain, grilled or boiled, and dipped in butter sauce or even, mayonnaise.

Which then got me thinking. If I'm perfectly happy with plain lobster and butter, then I might as well keep it simple and make a lobster roll. I'm always tempted to order one when I see it on the menu, but at upwards of $12, I haven't been able to justify spending that much for a sandwich. Even though my version cost the same, I got two lobster rolls for that price. And because lil' sis doesn't like lobster (I know!), she only had one bite and the rest was all for me.

The recipe is really simple. Baked lobster tails lightly sprinkled with salt, tossed in Sriracha butter, served on toasted hot dog buns. So if you love lobster and Sriracha, this recipe showcases both ingredients wonderfully.