Adventures In Food and Wine

Join me in my kitchen while I embark on a journey of cooking and enjoying food and wine.

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Once again I find that I have been working some extra shifts and have very little time to spend in the kitchen. I am taking a couple vacation days before Christmas, so maybe I can play then. I always have all these big plans for goodies to give and I never seem to find the time to do it all. Ah well, such is life I guess.

I did manage to make a batch of Almond Rocca yesterday. This is a recipe that has been on the Cooking Light Bulletin Boards for years and is the creation of Anna Ginsberg who won the Pillsbury Bake-Off this year. This is a rich and decadent toffee candy. I made it the first time last year and it was requested again for this year. An accurate candy thermometer is a must if you decide to give this a try. You cook the toffee to 240 F, stir in the almonds and continue cooking to 290 F. Add soda and spread in the pan. Top with the broken chocolate pieces and spread to coat the top once it has melted. Top with more almond slices and let cool completely. This time I used a mixture of milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate as the coating and I think I liked that better. I cannot find Cadbury chocolate here so I always use Ghiradelli chocolate bars. You can find a posting about this on Anna's blog (Cookie Madness) here.
Anna's Almond Rocca

I tried a new pork roast recipe from Cooks Illustrated the other day that was exceptionally good. Herb-Crusted Pork Loin Roast is first brined for an hour to add some moisture to an otherwise lean (and thus somewhat dry) piece of meat. Stuff with an herb/garlic mixture and brown on top of the stove. Transfer to the oven to finish cooking with more herb/garlic mixture and bread crumbs on top. Rest, slice, and serve. The meat was very moist and flavorful and made a beautiful presentation as well.
Herb-Crusted Pork Loin Roast

Back to work tomorrow so I hope to get some more goodies made today. I bought some cute Christmas jars with lids at the Dollar Tree that I plan to fill with goodies as gifts. On deck to make yet is some Glass Candy, biscotti, and maybe another kind of cookie. Stay tuned.


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