Recipe: Enjoy friends, family and the holidays, by Charlie Abowd |

Recipe: Enjoy friends, family and the holidays, by Charlie Abowd

Charlie Abowd
Charlie and Karen Abowd of Cafe at Adele’s.
Photo by Leonard Gonzales

Amazing how the holiday season is already upon us. I am left to wonder where the past year – one that brought many changes, has gone?

That said, this is a delightful time of year bringing family and friends together. So now we turn our eye toward the rest of the season. Here is an idea for a holiday dinner that works whether you’re sitting down for Christmas, New Year’s, or simply hosting a gathering of family and friends in the spirit of the season.

The roast pork and butternut squash chutney will be a huge success. One of the things I enjoy most and which adds to the unique flavors of these recipes, is the use of local produce. We’ll be using Peri & Sons Farms sweet onions in the chutney.

How are you going to find these products? That’s an interesting question. Peri & Sons, if not the largest onion producers in the country are at least one of them, and yet it is probably easier to buy their onions in New York City than Northern Nevada. You would think you could find these Yerington jewels anywhere in the local markets. Their organic butternut squash and onions are consistently in stock at Raley’s.

Other great resources for buying organic include Trader Joes and Whole Foods.

When shopping for your meal, I encourage you to buy organic or minimally natural pork rib roast. If you buy at Butler’s (in my opinion, the only real butcher shop in Carson City), they will be glad to French trim the roast. I’m certain your local grocery store would also be happy to do this. The French trim gives a nice presentation at the table.

When serving the pork roast, slice down the side of the bone. This makes portion control easier (one eight rib roast serves eight). For a larger gathering use the 16 rib roast and have it tied into a crown, which makes a nice center area to place your chutney.

I recommend serving Franciscan Estate Chardonnay or Husch Vineyards Pinot Noir either 2015 or 2016, and remember sparkling cider for the littles!

Karen and I wish you and yours the very best through the season and into the new year. Show your love by adopting a family through one of the many programs in the community Northern Nevada Dream Center, (Friends in Service Helping (FISH), Angel Tree at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, Ron Wood Family Resource Center, etc.) or one of our local churches. You don’t have to look far.

As always, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

And Merry Christmas, Mom!

Charlie’s Citrus Pork Rib Roast

Orange zest from 2 oranges (please do not buy green oranges)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

½ tablespoon kosher salt – HALF

½ tablespoon fresh ground pepper – HALF

1 pork rib roast (eight ribs, approximately four to five pounds)

½ cup orange juice from the oranges used for zest – HALF

Mix orange zest and next four ingredients together in a small bowl and then rub over the roast. Make sure you pat the roast dry before adding the marmalade mixture.

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Place roast in a roasting pan and place in oven for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Cook about 40 minutes.

I like my pork roast to have a temperature of 140 to 145 degrees, which is about medium. If you prefer it medium-well, cook it until it reaches a temperature of 165 to 170 degrees. After 20 minutes of this cooking time, pour orange juice over the roast and continue to cook.

To make sauce or gravy:

½ stick of butter – HALF

½ cup flour – HALF

1 cup chicken broth (low sodium, organic), hot

½ cup orange juice, hot – HALF

Drippings from roast, hot

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and mix well with a wire whisk until it starts to bubble. Slowly add the hot chicken broth, orange juice and drippings. Add just enough to get a consistency of a good smooth gravy. You may or may not have to use all the liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Please note: It is important the stock and juice are hot. Adding them while cold is what brings lumps to your gravy or sauce. Because measuring flour is an inexact science and because of the consistency and denseness of the flour, it is very important that in the final stage of gravy/sauce making you pay close attention to these instructions. If you have used all of the liquid and the gravy/sauce is still too thick, use more hot chicken broth or hot water.

As an interesting side note – you can brine the pork roast just as you do a turkey. Use the same solution but omit the sage.

¾ cup kosher salt – THREE QUARTERS

¾ cup brown sugar – THREE QUARTERS

1 tablespoon cinnamon

12 whole closes

3 oranges, quartered

4 cups maple syrup

4 cups apple juice

Add enough cold water to cover roast in large stock pot.

When you make the brine, I recommend you dissolve the salt and brown sugar in the apple juice on the stove over medium heat. Heat just until they are dissolved and then add a little ice to bring the temperature back to cold.

Put this mixture and the remaining ingredients in a pot large enough to hold your roast and add enough water to totally immerse it. After it has sat 24 hours, rinse and pat dry. It is now ready to prepare for roasting.

Sweet Onion Butternut Squash Chutney

½ cup olive oil (does not have to be extra virgin)

½ cup butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice – HALF

2 organic carrots or ¼ cup finely diced

1 tablespoon sweet butter

1 cup sweet Peri & Sons yellow onions

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced (use two if you want it spicy)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple juice, organic

¼ bunch fresh mint or approximately 20 large leaves washed dried and finely chopped- QUARTER

½ tablespoon allspice – HALF

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a six-inch pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat and add the squash. Cook for five minutes until slightly brown. Then add the carrots and cook another 10 minutes. Drain the oil from the pan, adding the butter and onions. Slowly cook until they start to turn golden to dark brown. At this point, add the peppers, brown sugar and 1 T. apple juice. Stir constantly at least 15 minutes on low heat. The mixture should be bubbling at a very mild, slow pace.

When fully cooked and almost dry (reduced) remove from heat and set aside and cool for 30 minutes. Place it in a food processor and add mint, allspice, remainder of the apple juice and sherry vinegar. Give the processor five, very quick pulses. This should not be a puree. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Chef Charlie Abowd co-owns Café at Adele’s with his wife Karen, who is also president of The Greenhouse Project, interior designer and Carson City Supervisor. Café at Adele’s, located at 1112 N. Carson St., Carson City. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday until 11:30 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday until 2 p.m. Lunch served daily, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with pizza and salads available 2:30 to 5 p.m. and until 10 p.m. in the lounge. Dinner is served 5 to 9 p.m., nightly. For reservations call 775-882-3353. For more information, visit