Christmas Day Menu

Brined Roast Pork (Recipe Follows)

Potato Pie (Recipe Follows)

Green Beans (Haricots Verts) Almondine (Recipe Follows)

Kale And Egg Pie (Recipe Follows)

Brined Roast Pork

4 1/2 Pound Pork Loin Roast With Bone

6 Cups Of Water

12 Ounces Of Apple Juice Concentrate

1/2 Cup Of Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Of Brown Sugar

1/2 Spanish Onion Left Whole

10 Black Peppercorns

10 Mustard Seeds

8 Sprigs Of Fresh Thyme

A Bay Leaf

Into a large pot, add the water, the apple juice concentrate, the sea salt, the brown sugar, the onion, the peppercorns, the mustard seeds, the thyme, and the bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring frequently. After the boiling point is reached, turn the heat off. Let the brine sit until it reaches room temperature. After the brining liquid reaches room temperature, place the pork roast into the brine and weigh it down with a plate. Place the pot with the brine and the pork into the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

After at least 24 hours have passed, remove the pork roast from the brine and pat it down thoroughly with a paper towel.

Place the pork roast in a roasting pan and put it into an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees. Roast the pork for two hours or until an internal temperature of 140 degrees is achieved. Note: because of the sugar in the brining liquid, the pork may start to turn dark brown during the roasting process. If this happens, just cover the roast with aluminum foil.

Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. When carving, cut the roast into chops by following the rib bones with your knife. Serve with apple sauce.

Potato Pie

6 Yukon Gold Potatoes With The Skins Removed And Boiled In Salted Water Until Tender

A Beaten Egg

Two Tablespoons Of Pancetta Cut Into About 1/4 Inch Cubes

Four Tablespoons Of Olive Oil

3/4 Cup Of Diced Spanish Onion

A Minced Garlic Clove

1/2 Cup Of Half And Half

3/4 Cup Of Grated Romano Cheese, Divided

1/4 Cup Of Panko Bread Crumbs

Salt To Taste

Black Pepper To Taste

Into a 12-14 inch saute pan, add the pancetta and two tablespoons of olive oil. Cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes until the pancetta becomes crispy. Add the onions and the garlic. Cook while stirring frequently for three minutes. Turn off the heat. Set the pancetta, onion and garlic mixture aside making sure to retain all of the pan drippings.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rub a 10 1/2 inch wide by 2 inch deep pie pan with unsalted butter or olive oil.

Into a mixing bowl, add the boiled potatoes, the grated cheese, the half and half,  the onions, the pancetta and the garlic (with all of the pan drippings). Mash the potatoes until smooth and mix well so that all of the ingredients are incorporated.  Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Add the beaten egg. Mix again.

Add the potato mixture to the pie pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and a 1/4 cup of the grated cheese uniformly over the top. Drizzle the top with two tablespoons of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the top turns golden brown.

Green Beans Almondine

12 Ounces Of Green Beans With The Ends Trimmed And Cut Into About Three Inch Long Pieces

1/2 Teaspoon Of Minced Garlic

1/2 Teaspoon Of Finely Diced Red Onion

1/2 Teaspoon Of Anchovy Paste

The Juice Of 1/2 Lemon

1/4 Teaspoon Of Red Wine Vinegar

Two Teaspoons Of Dijon Mustard

2 1/4 Teaspoons Of Sea Salt, Divided

A Pinch Of Ground Black Pepper

Three Tablespoons Of Olive Oil

Two Tablespoons Of Sliced Almonds

Into a salad serving bowl, add the garlic, the red onion, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and the black pepper. Mash with a fork until a paste is formed. Add the the anchovy paste and the Dijon mustard. Mash again. Add the lemon juice and the red wine vinegar. Whisk the mixture until smooth. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue to whisk until the dressing is well blended and thickened slightly. Taste and add more sea salt and/or pepper, as needed.

Add two teaspoons of sea salt to a pot of cold water. Note: the pot should be large enough to accomodate the green beans. The water level should barely cover the green beans. Bring the water to a boil. After the water reaches the boiling point, add the green beans to the boiling water. Cook the green beans for three to four minutes until the beans are tender.

Drain the beans well in a colander. While the beans are still hot, add them to the salad serving bowl with the dressing. Mix gently so that all of the beans get coated with the vinaigrette dressing. Top the green beans with the sliced almonds and serve.

Kale And Egg Pie

Two Heads Of Kale With The Stems Removed And Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces

1/2 Diced Spanish Onion

Two Minced Garlic Cloves

Six Beaten Eggs

1/2 Cup Of Panko Bread Crumbs

1/2 Cup Of Grated Romano Cheese

1/2 Teaspoon Of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Two Tablespoons And A Teaspoon Of Sea Salt, Divided

Two Tablespoons Of Olive Oil

Add two tablespoons of sea salt to a pot of cold water large enough to accomodate the kale. Bring the water to a boil. Cook the kale in the boiling, salted water for three minutes. Drain the greens and then squeeze out as much water from the kale as you can. Set aside.

Put the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions, the crushed red pepper flakes, and a teaspoon of sea salt to the olive oil and cook the onions for 4 minutes stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the greens. Stir so that the greens get coated with the olive oil, the onions, and the garlic. Taste and add more sea salt and/or crushed red pepper flakes, if necessary. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a greased baking dish, add the kale and spread it out evenly on the bottom of the dish. Add the beaten eggs and smooth them out uniformly over the top of the greens. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and the grated cheese evenly over the top of the eggs. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until the top becomes golden brown.