Day of the Celebration -- 12 noon

Everyday Divas Celebrations
with Mimi and Sue
 Welcome Back to Buck Hill 2014

 We had to work backwards from when we thought we would be eating dinner to when the pork shoulder was going in the oven.  Mimi used a calculator -- I'm not kidding.  She calculated about 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees.  Our roast was 7.8 lbs so that was about 2 1/2 hours.  Then we would have to remove the aluminum foil, increase the temperature to 450 degrees and roast for an additional 1/2 hour.  Last the pork shoulder had to rest for 1/2 hour before cutting it.  Total time:  3 1/2 hours.  We expected to eat at 8:00 PM so the  roast went in at 4:30 PM.  As it turned out we didn't eat until 8:30 but the pork was just fine resting a little longer.

Sue says you should never cook something for company that you haven't made before.  I like to experiment and talked her into making paella, which neither of us have ever made.  We were both pretty worried about taking on this recipe.

The recipe called for fava beans -- yuck!  We substituted with vegetables we like.  We also substituted baby peppers for piquillo peppers which we couldn't find.   I even went to Williams-Sonoma and bought a paella pan just for the occasion!

Vegetable Paella
Step 1 of 3

This is adapted from Michael Lomonaco's recipe published in Wine Spectator, May 31, 2014.

First get the vegetables ready.
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 scallions chopped (just up to the light green part)
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped (you need 4 tbsps)
  • red, orange and yellow baby peppers, cleaned, seeded, cored and sliced in quarters
  • defrosted frozen peas (you need 1 cup)
  • clean asparagus and cut off the tips so they are about 2 inches long
  • thoroughly clean escarole (you need two cups chopped escarole)

Store all of the ingredients separately in bowls covered with plastic or tightly sealed containers. 

Second get your broth ready.
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
Heat ​broth and wine add saffron and paprika. Simmer for 15 minutes.  Cover with a lid and set aside for later.
Pork Shoulder
Take the pork shoulder out of the refrigerator.  It should be a room temperature and tightly sealed with aluminum foil when you put it in the oven.  

Day of the Celebration -- 3:00 PM

Decorate and set the table ...my favorite part of the preparation! 

Yes ... except all the bees buzzing around us as we cut the flowers and then following Sue who carried them into the house.  Yikes!  Bees scare me. 

Day of the Celebration -- 4:00 PM

Sue went home to change.  I sliced the two baguettes.   I brushed half the slices on one side with extra virgin olive oil and toasted them.  The rest I just lined up on a cookie sheet so everything would be ready for Sue to assemble the crostini when she came back.  I took the anchovy fennel butter out of the refrigerator to soften and I sliced the manchego cheese into thin wedges and arranged it on the serving platter.

Day of the Celebration -- 4:30 PM

I put the pork shoulder in a 350 degree oven.  We used the convection setting.