It wasn’t a traditional Irish dinner, but in the spirit of the season, we decked out the dining room in green. We served 470 for dinner with 200 pounds of boneless pork loin roasts, broccoli rice casserole, sweet potato casserole, and dinner rolls. For dessert we made 30 cheesecakes with fresh strawberries and a strawberry glaze on top and 5 gallons of chocolate pudding. Here are a couple of requested recipes from our dinner:
Roasted Pork Loin
5 pound boneless pork loin, rubbed with a mixture of 1 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 clove crushed garlic. Marinate in refrigerator overnight with the rub, or go ahead and cook right away. Roast uncovered at 325 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.
Mix glaze ingredients in saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until bubbly and thickened.
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 TBSP soy sauce
Brush roast with glaze and return to oven for an additional half hour. Rest the roast for 10 minutes before slicing.
Basic Cheesecake adapted from The Foster’s Market Cookbook
1 ½ pounds cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
½ cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 325*. Cut cream cheese into small pieces and blend with electric mixer until soft and creamy. Add sugar and flour slowly until completely incorporated. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, beating after each addition. Combine the cream and vanilla in another bowl and slowly add to the cream cheese mixture, blending thoroughly.
Pour filling into prepared pan (see below). Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan or baking dish. Add enough water to come 1 inch up the sides to make a water bath. Place the roasting pan with the cheesecake in the oven to bake for 1-1 ¼ hours, until the cheesecake sets and is firm about ¾’s of the way into the center, the center will be slightly loose.
Remove cheesecake from oven and remove from water bath. Place on a baking rack to cool completely. Leave in the springform pan and place in the refrigerator to chill several hours or overnight. Add topping.
1 ½ cups graham crackers, crushed
3 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Combine and press into bottom of greased springform pan, pressing about 1 inch up the inside of the pan. Place in refrigerator and chill until ready to use. Before adding filling, wrap the bottom of the pan with a large sheet of foil, going up the sides about 2 inches to prevent any water to seep in from the water bath.
Strawberry Glaze: from Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook
1 cup strawberry jelly
½ cup apricot preserves
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water
½ cup pureed fresh strawberries
Mix jelly, preserves and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Blend in strawberry puree. In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the water, then whisk into the glaze mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook until it boils, thickens and turns clear. Strain the glaze and drizzle over berries on top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate until cold and glaze has set, about 2 hours.
NOTE: Since we made 30 cheesecakes, we did not use a water bath. The tops of the cheesecakes crack a bit, but when you cover them up with strawberries who can tell? Also, in making the glaze, we opted not to strain it in the interest of time and it still looks and tastes great.