Cuisine queen, Sloane Taylor has the answers to meal times.

My guest author today is the talented Sloane Taylor who regularly posts delicious meals  on her Wednesday blogspot.   

Are you  one of those people who stare at the fridge blankly wondering  what the heck are we  going to eat tonight ?  Over to you Sloane…

Once in a great while I’m compelled to cook a Sunday afternoon sit-down dinner like the one mom used to make. These aren’t her recipes, but they are close. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Braised Pork Loin
Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Applesauce
Steamed Asparagus
Crisp White Wine

Braised Pork Loin

3 – 4 lb. boneless pork loin
3 tbsp. lard or solid shortening
2 med. onions, peeled and sliced
1 lg. shallot, peeled and sliced
2 med. carrots, scraped and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock
¾ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. marjoram
½ tsp. paprika
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Melt lard in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, about 20 minutes. Adjust the heat so as not to burn any part of the roast.

Set the meat on a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté onions until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Return the roast to the pot along with any accumulated juices on the plate. Cover tightly and braise in the center of the oven for 1½ hours or until a sharp knife inserts easily.

Set the roast on a cutting board and tent with foil. Skim fat from the braising liquid. Strain the liquid and vegetables through a sieve, pressing down hard with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible before discarding the pulp.

Slice the pork into serving pieces and lay them on a platter. Moisten meat with a little of the sauce. Pour the remainder in a gravy boat and serve on the side.

Mashed Potatoes

1 small russet potato per person
Chicken stock
Butter
Sour cream
Milk
Pepper
Parsley, snipped or chopped for garnish

Pour one inch chicken stock into saucepan. Peel and quarter the potatoes, then place in saucepan. Add tap water to cover by one inch. Put a lid on the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower temperature to a strong simmer. Cook approximately 20 – 25 minutes. They are done when a fork inserts easily into a potato.

Drain potatoes. Stir in butter, sour cream, and pepper. Mash well. Drizzle in the milk. Mash and continue to add milk until you achieve the consistency you prefer.

Homemade Applesauce

6 lg apples cored, peeled, and coarsely sliced*
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1½ tbsp. soft butter

Combine all ingredients except butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer 15 – 20 minutes or until apples mash easily with a fork.

Stir in the butter.

Mash with a potato masher. For a smoother texture pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and puree for a minute or so.

Turn into a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. This recipe also freezes well.

*Mix it up with a variety of apples to improve the flavor. Use six different types

Steamed Asparagus

Photo by SOMMAI

1 bunch asparagus
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup dry vermouth or white wine
Water
2 tbsp. butter
Metal vegetable steamer

Add chicken stock and dry vermouth or wine to a medium size saucepan. Insert vegetable steamer, then add water to just below the bottom holes.

Snap off the ends of the asparagus and trim the spears to fit your saucepan. Add spears and cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, adjusting the heat to a strong simmer. In 4-5 minutes the asparagus should be crisp tender.

Lay asparagus in a serving bowl. Spread the butter over them and serve.

I’m already looking for leftovers!
Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has five explicit romance books released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors.

Subscribe to Sloane’s newsletter. Connect with Taylor on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Italian Food Feast – Delizioso

Award winning romance author, Sloane Taylor, has kindly come to share  some of her international cuisine.

Over to you Sloane…

This scrumptious meal fills your home with a beautiful aroma that teases your taste buds. Sorry, no photos. My family polishes off this dish before I can snap the camera!

Chicken Italiano
Pasta
Spaghetti Gravy, your favorite brand
Parmesan cheese
Fresh Italian Bread
Dry red wine – Chianti Bella Sera makes a terrific affordable one

Marinade

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 ½ cup white wine
Rosemary – 5 springs fresh or 2 tsp. dried
Oregano – 5 springs fresh or 2 tsp. dried

Combine wine and herbs in a plastic bag or glass bowl. Add chicken. Gently mix to coat chicken well. Marinade for a minimum of 2 hours, but no more than 10 hours, in a cool location.

Chicken
¼ – ½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. minced onion
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
A few green pepper strips
1 ½ cups chicken broth
Your favorite spaghetti sauce

Heat the olive oil in a 10-12 inche skillet until a light haze forms, sauté onions, then add breasts and brown well.

Add pressed garlic, green pepper and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. About every 10 minutes baste chicken with pan juices.

If breasts are thick it will take about 25 minutes. If they’re thin, plan about 20 minutes. Insert tip of sharp knife in breast center to check for doneness. Juices must run clear.

When almost done add a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce for color.

Pasta
Fill a large pot with water and follow the package directions to cook, but be sure no more than al dente. If the is done before the chicken, drain them in a colander and set the pot or lid on the top keep them it warm.

REMEMBER: all noodles/pasta can easily be re-warmed by running hot water over them before serving.

Spaghetti Gravy
Pour your favorite sauce into a small pan, then heat on low while you prepare the meal.

To Serve
Arrange cooked pasta in a ring on individual plates. Center breasts, and then ladle a large spoonful of simmering liquid onto breast. Ladle spaghetti sauce onto pasta only. Sprinkle all with Parmesan cheese.

This recipe serves 2

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has five explicit romance books released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Excerpts from her books can be found on her website http://www.sloanetaylor.com, blog http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com/, and all popular vendors.

Subscribe to Sloane’s newsletter. Connect with Taylor on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.