Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette

For this year’s Easter celebration at our house, I was put in charge of the vegetable.  After tossing around a few different ideas about what this vegetable might be, I landed on asparagus.  I’m always one to go a little outside of the box (sometimes a lot outside of the box) and since we served beef for the holiday, I thought I should bring the pork in somewhere.  So, when I was flipping through a cookbook from Food and Wine and came across this recipe for Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette, I knew it was the one.  It was a little salty for my taste and I’m unsure whether that was the pancetta I purchased or the salt in the dressing, so in a future edition, I’d likely leave the salt out of the dressing and go with the basics.

Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette.jpg

Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette

2 pounds medium asparagus
1/2 pound very thinly sliced pancetta
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped thyme

Tightly wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of pancetta and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, stir the orange zest and juice with the mustard and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus over moderate heat, turning often, until they are just tender and the pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve.

Pork Shoulder Roasted with Citrus Mojo

After making some salsas as of late, and pulling out the Twin Cities Chef’s Table cookbook to throw together the Crusher Cookies, I was flipping through it and one recipe caught my eye.  This recipe for Brasa’s Pork Shoulder Roasted with Citrus Mojo looked ideal for a week when I had evening commitments and could eat on this recipe over and over.  The cookbook is a collection of recipes from different restaurants in the Twin Cities, this one from Brasa.  Click on the website and tell me you don’t want to go there today to eat.

Pork Shoulder Roasted with Citrus Mojo

Brasa’s Pork Shoulder Roasted with Citrus Mojo

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c minced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 c fresh lemon juice
1 c fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
5 lb bone-in pork shoulder

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the lemon and orange juices and simmer for 2 minutes.  Stir in the vinegar.  Transfer half of the mojo to a blender and let cool.  Refrigerate the remaining mojo.

Meanwhile, in a jar, shake together the garlic and onion powders, pepper, and cumin.  Add 2 tablespoons of this dry rub to the mojo in the blender, reserve the remaining rub.  Add Worcestershire sauce and 1 tablespoon salt to the blender and puree until smooth.

Put the pork in a sealable 1-gallon plastic bag and pour in the marinade.  Press as much air as you can from the bag and seal.  Refrigerate pork for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.  Bring the pork to room temperature before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set a rack in a roasting pan large enough to hold the pork.  Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels.  Rub the meat all over with the remaining dry rub and transfer pork to the rack.  Roast pork for 3 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees.  Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees and roast the meat for approximately 3 hours longer, until very tender and an instant-read thermometer reads 180 degrees.  Remove the roast from the oven and cover with foil; let rest for 30 minutes.

Shred the meat, discarding the bones and excess fat.  Season pork with salt and pepper.  Serve with the remaining mojo.

Cinnamon Roasted Chicken with Orange-Cinnamon Sauce

As I shared earlier this week, I had some friends over for dinner and I was looking for some recipes which would be entertained by a 5-year old, but also stay towards the realm of healthy.  In addition the more complex vegetable slaw (perhaps the riskiest of the dishes put together), I pulled out another cookbook I’d purchased called Poor Girl Gourmet.  I have a couple other items on my to-cook list for the year in this cookbook, but I was scouring it looking for a main dish option.  And, the goal was to not make it spicy.  The Cinnamon Roasted Chicken with Orange-Cinnamon Sauce looked to be the winner.

Cinnamon Roasted Chicken

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Orange Scented Green Beans

Well, now that we’re part way into January, I suppose we should add a little more green into our diets, huh? This is yet another recipe from the holidays – I’m down to the last few, but I was making new recipes and it was a reason to write things down and take pictures, so I’m going forward with them. For the holiday gathering with some extended family, I made these green beans, using some green beans which were found in the freezer. The recipe turned out well – I would definitely cut in half if only using 1 lb of green beans, as the orange flavor was quite extensive.
orange scented green beansOrange-Scented Green Beans
2 lb green beans
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread green beans on the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, orange juice, and orange zest. Sprinkle with coarse ground black pepper and sea salt. Bake for about 20 minutes or until green beans are cooked-through and heated.

Quilt for my Bed


I’ve been loving my knitting stuff, and it’s been great. However, I’ve also spent the last couple weeks working on a new quilt for my bed. I’ve had the fabric for over a year and I’m happy to say I am finally making progress! This is especially good because after this quilt is finished, I’ll need to make a quilt for the guestroom, although my plan for this is to finish off a quilt-a-long that I had folks make a block for me months ago on. So, for starters, I’m doing the Wild Things pattern by Thimble Blossoms for my own room.

The pattern originally calls for charm packs and is based on a throw size quilt. I didn’t take the time to do the math to figure out what I needed to do in order to double the quilt. And, blocks don’t always turn out the same anyway, so I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. Instead, I doubled the amount of squares needed and just started cutting! I haven’t finished sewing blocks together yet, so more to come on that. I’m hoping to finish pressing the blocks so I can finish sewing blocks together tomorrow night!

For now, here’s a sneak peek!