By Angie Bado, TSB Publisher
For some, it’s a long holiday weekend, and for those of you who love to entertain, why not take advantage of the extra time off and throw together an impromptu star spangled dinner party? It doesn’t have to be a mind-blowingly elaborate affair, but putting together a casual gathering that you and your friends can all enjoy is a way to allow everyone to reconnect and chill. With all the fresh fruits and vegetables now available at our local Farmers Market, it’s a great time to incorporate some of the farm fresh pickins into your menu.
This is an easy, do ahead menu that allows plenty of time to mingle with your guests.
Pork Carnitas (Recipe from Allrecipes.com) Serves 10
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
Mix together salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl. Coat pork with the spice mixture. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the pork on top. Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.
Cover and cook on Low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 10 hours. Turn the meat after it has cooked for 5 hours. When the pork is tender, remove from slow cooker, and shred with two forks. Use cooking liquid as needed to moisten the meat.
Serve with an assortment of condiments such as tomatillo sauce, you favorite salsa, pico de gallo, grated cheese, sour cream, avocado, peppers, and flour and corn tortillas, warmed.
I picked up some very ripe, sweet and juicy peaches at the local farmers market last weekend and used them to make a version on Ina Garten’s Peach and Raspberry Crisp, which is absolutely delicious. Enjoy!
Peach and Berry Crisp
12 large ripe peaches, peeled (see below)
1 T Grand Marnier
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pint raspberries or blackberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl. Add the Grand Marnier, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 6 tablespoons of flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the berries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the peaches into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of the peaches and raspberries. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until warm.
I serve this with brown sugar, caramel or cinnamon ice cream. Of course, vanilla ice cream is also a classic.