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Michael Lomonaco's ultimate Christmas Eve dish

RECIPES:

CROWN ROAST OF PORK with APPLE-CHESTNUT DRESSING

Serves 8-10

  • 1-7-8 pound center-cut loin of pork tied into a crown roast, bones facing outward
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary, leaves picked
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Have your butcher tie the pork roast into the traditional crown roast shape, chine bone removed, split between the ribs to facilitate the formation of the crown shape.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

1. In a bowl combine salt, pepper, garlic, oil, thyme and rosemary leaves

2. Sprinkle the seasoning on the pork loin and place the roast on a rack and into a heavy bottomed roasting pan.

3. Add the roughly cut vegetables, wine and broth to the roasting pan and place the roasting pan into the oven, roast for 20 minutes before turning the heat down to 350 degrees F.

4. Continue to roast the pork loin until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 60 minutes more.

5. Remove the roast from the pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving into individual servings, about 1/2 inch thick. Serve with the pan drippings.

APPLE-CHESTNUT DRESSING

  • 3 cups cubed French bread, fresh or day-old
  • 2 onion, peeled, and diced
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    3 apples unpeeled, cored, cut in medium dice
  • 1 cup roasted and peeled chestnuts
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Saute the onions in butter until translucent, add the apples and chestnuts, add the sage, cooking until the apples have just begun to soften (about 7 to 8 minutes). Remove from the heat and cool before combining the onion and apple mixture with the bread cubes.

3. Add the chicken broth, egg, and milk to the bread mixture, let sit for a few minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.

4. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart ovenproof dish. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve hot in the baking dish or may be scooped into the center of the pork roast for a festive presentation.

Broccoli Rabe with Roasted Garlic and Chili Flakes

  • 1 2-1/2 pound bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional : 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes to garnish

1. Clean broccoli rabe by cutting off thick and woody bottom stems, about one inch

2. wash broccoli rabe in colander under cold running water, allow to drain

3. heat olive oil in a large pot over low heat for 1 minute before adding drained broccoli rabe, seal tightly with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes to steam till tender

4. remove lid, add garlic and chili flakes, turn heat up to medium high and continue to cook till the garlic begins to brown, stirring occasionally

5. season with salt and pepper, remove from pot and serve with a drizzle of additional olive oil if desired

For more of Lomonaco's recipes, go to Page 3.