Sunday, January 27, 2013

27 January 2013 – Birthday Weekend

I've had a great birthday weekend! On Friday night, we had dinner at Union Hill Grill, and it was great as always. Beth, the owner, gave me a delicious slice of Lemon Bar Cheesecake for dessert. After dinner, we came home and watched Beasts of the Southern Wild. This movie is amazing, and I highly recommend it! The young girl who plays Hush Puppy is the youngest actress ever nominated for an Oscar, and she truly deserved it. The content is tough, but it is beautifully filmed and acted.

For my birthday dinner last night, Jeff took me to Le Petite Maison in Sandy Springs, and it was divine. Our dear friends Steve Martin, Amado Gabriel, Cory Wilson and John Clark joined us, and we had a great time. For my birthday cake, Jeff baked a Southern Caramel Cake from Nathalie Dupree's cookbook. It was delicious. Today, we drove up to Ellijay to stock up on grass fed beef and heritage pork from Mountain Valley Farm. If you have not been to their Farm Store, you are really missing out! Suzy Wright does an amazing job, and the meat products are incredible. Grass fed beef is much lower in fat and much healthier. Suzy also has a lot of recipes at the store, so pay her a visit. Tell her Bill Grant sent you! Afterward, we had lunch at Jeff's parents' house in Jasper, and Mrs. Brown made me another delicious birthday cake.

For tonight's Sunday Supper, I cooked a heritage pork loin from Mountain Valley. I prepared it like a French style pot roast and made a delicious jus. I served it with a potato galette, one of my favorites, and roasted brussel sprouts. We enjoyed dinner and then watched the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Downton Abbey. It was a perfect ending to my birthday weekend!

The Menu:

- French Style Pot Roasted Heritage Pork Loin

- Potato Galette

- Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Potato Galette Recipe


2 1/2 pounds (5-6 large) Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves (optional)


1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Place potatoes in large bowl and fill with cold water. Using hands, swirl to remove excess starch, then drain in colander. Spread potatoes onto kitchen towels and thoroughly dry.

2. Whisk 4 tablespoons butter, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and rosemary (if using) together in large bowl. Add dried potatoes and toss until thoroughly coated. Place remaining tablespoon butter in heavy bottomed 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet and swirl to coat. Place 1 potato slice in center of skillet then overlap slices in circle around center slice, -followed by outer circle of overlapping slices. Gently place remaining sliced potatoes on top of first layer, arranging so they form even thickness.

3. Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook until sizzling and potatoes around edge of skillet start to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Spray 12-inch square of foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place foil, sprayed side down, on top of potatoes. Place 9-inch cake pan on top of foil and fill with 2 cups pie weights. Firmly press down on cake pan to compress potatoes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 20 minutes.

4. Remove cake pan and foil from skillet. Continue to cook until potatoes are tender when paring knife is inserted in center, 20 to 25 minutes. Return skillet to medium heat on stovetop and cook, gently shaking pan (use potholder—handle will be hot), until galette releases from sides of pan, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Off heat, place cutting board over skillet. With hands protected by oven mitts or potholders, using 1 hand to hold cutting board in place and 1 hand on skillet handle, carefully invert skillet and cutting board together. Lift skillet off galette. Using serrated knife, gently cut into wedges and serve immediately.
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