Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Peach, Basil and Raspberry White Sangria

Brady and I co-hosted a Stock the Bar couples shower with his brother and sister-in-law a few weeks ago in Minneapolis. Brady's sister is getting married next month and she and her fiance are in the process of remodeling their basement and adding a bar. We thought that a Stock the Bar couples shower would be a fun way to get everyone together before the wedding and a good excuse to load them up with fun bar accessories and alcohol.

I recently came across the below sangria recipe and thought it would be perfect for the party. Our peach, basil, and raspberry white sangria ended up being a huge hit. It's pretty and refreshing and a nice change from beer and wine. We served the sangria in a pretty glass beverage dispenser and had frozen cubed peaches and raspberries on the side so that guests could drop in some fruit and keep their drink cool.

Peach, Basil, and Raspberry White Sangria

Serves 12

1 Bottle of white Zinfandel wine
1/2 cup Amaretto
1 cup peach nectar
1qt ginger ale
2 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced into wedges
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn

Mix everything well in a large punch bowl or large pitcher. Chill and serve cold.

 ** If using a drink dispenser with a spout, I suggest freezing a handful of raspberries and cut up peaches that you can then add into individual glasses when serving.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sweet Tea Braised Pork Shoulder with Cornbread Stuffing

I don't think I can say enough about how great this recipe is. Instead of telling you the details about why I made it, how I made it, etc, I think it's better to just answer a few possible questions. Yes, this recipe is as good as the title sounds. No, it's not nearly as hard or labor intensive as one might think. Yes, it requires a little time but it's so worth it. Yes, you need to make this dish!!

Sweet Tea Braised Pork Shoulder with Cornbread Stuffing

Serves 4-6
Prep/Cook Time: 4 hours

Sweet Tea Braised Pork Shoulder
2.5 pound boneless pork shoulder
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 3 large pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 3 large pieces
1 onion, cut into large pieces
64 ounces sweet tea

Cornbread Stuffing
1 package of Jiffy cornbread mix
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 spicy chicken sausage links, chopped
2 poblano peppers, roasted, seeded and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 egg
salt and pepoer

For the braised pork:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pork shoulder in a dutch oven and arrange the carrots, celery, and onion around it. Pour the sweet tea over it. I only used about 3/4 of the bottle. Braise the pork in the oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the the meat falls apart easily.

When the meat is done, strain out the vegetables and discard. Set the meat aside and heat the braising liquid over medium-high heat until slightly thickened. Serve the sauce on the side or drizzle over the pork.

For the cornbread stuffing:
In a small bowl, combine the Jiffy mix, egg, and milk. Stir until combined and then pour into a well greased baking dish or cake pan. Cook according to the package directions. Let cool.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil and then saute the onions and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped chicken sausage and saute an additional 3 minutes or until the chicken sausage starts to brown.

Cut up the cornbread into small pieces and then crumble up the cornbread in a large mixing bowl. Add in the onion mixture, chicken broth, and an egg. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Spray the dish that the cornbread was cooked in with a little more cooking spray and then pour in the cornbread mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (this can be done the last 30 minutes when the pork is cooking).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Quinoa with Peaches and Pistachios

As you may have noticed from previous posts, I love to cook with quinoa. I'm still living down my comment that it was "my new favorite grain." Someone, who will remain nameless, thought that was a pretty funny statement. The thing is, it still is my favorite grain and I'm pretty sure that I have converted this certain someone into a quinoa fan as well. Quinoa is healthy, filling and you can literally mix it with anything. It has become my go-to for a quick and easy weekday lunch. I loved the below combo and thought it was perfect for this time of year when peaches are at their best.
Quinoa with Peaches and Pistachios

Serves 6
Prep/Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 cup quinoa
2-3 peaches, pitted and diced
1/2 bag arugula or spinach
1/4 c. pistachios, chopped
1/4 c. shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 c. dried cranberries

1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the peaches, arugula, pistachios, shallot and dried cranberries. Add in the cooked quinoa once it has cooled slightly and toss with the prepared dressing. Serve warm or cold.