The Perfect Holiday Meal – with Farmer John LA

Emily Farren Weiczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares three of her favorite holiday recipes with Farmer John LA.

Sponsored by Farmer John and The Bacon Party, but our opinions are our own!

The holidays can seem like a never ending circle of parties, eating out, hosting, and bopping around from one cocktail party to the next. Don’t get me wrong, I love every single minute of it. But when it comes time to actually hosting Christmas Dinner, Joe and I are always running on fumes. The – night before – last minute – present assembly doesn’t help anyone either …. but, hey, it is what it is.

Anyhow, in our family we’ve made it a tradition to make cioppino (a spicy red sauce seafood stew) on Christmas Eve. And on actual Christmas day, we like to make something beautiful and festive, but easy as well. So I’ve put together the easiest holiday meal here – in partnership with Farmer John LA.

These recipes are easy, delicious and beautiful – all things I look for when I am entertaining for a crowd. I love food that looks just as amazing as it tastes, and all of these recipes do just that. Not to mention, I have a bunch of great time saving tips for you – because who wants to be stuck in the kitchen all day on Christmas when you should be enjoying your family!

I’ve also showed you how to plate these meals – they are all so easy – you just can’t go wrong.

Emily Farren Weiczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares three of her favorite holiday recipes with Farmer John LA.

Emily Farren Weiczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares three of her favorite holiday recipes with Farmer John LA.

Emily Farren Weiczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares three of her favorite holiday recipes with Farmer John LA.

Emily Farren Weiczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares three of her favorite holiday recipes with Farmer John LA.

Emily Farren Weiczorek of Two Peas in a Prada shares three of her favorite holiday recipes with Farmer John LA.

Easy Pull Apart Bacon Cheddar Garlic Bread

Ingredients:

1 Pack Farmer John All Natural Bacon

1 Round loaf of bread – we use sourdough or ciabatta

2 Cups of shredded cheese – I love cheddar

7 cloves of garlic

2 sticks of butter

Green onions for garnish

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and arrange your bacon lengthwise on your baking sheet.
  • Place the bacon in the oven. I bake my bacon for 20-24 minutes, but I like my bacon nice and crispy. Just watch it! This is the easiest way I have found to cook bacon and my own personal favorite.
  • When the bacon is done, place the slices on a plate with paper towels to absorb any extra grease.
  • Next, slice the bread lengthwise, and then the other way, you are essentially making a grid on the loaf. Just be sure not to slice the bread all the way through, as you don’t want it to fall apart.
  • Next, take your 7 cloves of garlic, and chop them.
  • Timesaving tip – I used to peel and chop my own garlic, but really, who has the time? I buy the pre peeled garlic and I throw it in our mini food processor. It works like a charm and then the whole thing goes in the dishwasher. Score.
  • Put the garlic and the two sticks of butter in a small saucepan on the stove. I like to sprinkle a little kosher salt in there – I love salt – and cook on medium until the garlic is fragrant but not browned. It should just be sizzling.
  • Pour your garlic butter all over the bread.
  • Next, stuff the bread with your bacon and your cheese.
  • Place your stuffed bread in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese starts to look gooey and delicious!
  • Garnish with some chopped green onions, and enjoy!
  • Really… the best part about this recipe is  that you can’t mess it up, and you can add anything you like to it.

Arugula, Beet, Goat Cheese and Bacon Salad

Ingredients: 

1 Box of pre washed baby arugula

1 Pack Farmer John All Natural Bacon

Fresh goat cheese

Shelled pistachios

Golden and red beets (2-4 of each)

Dressing:

1/2 finely chopped shallot

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

1 squeeze of dijon mustard

1 squeeze of honey

1 dash of salt

Directions: 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and arrange your bacon lengthwise on your baking sheet.
  • Place the bacon in the oven. I bake my bacon for 20-24 minutes, but I like my bacon nice and crispy. Just watch it! This is the easiest way I have found to cook bacon and my own personal favorite.
  • When the bacon is done, place the slices on a plate with paper towels to absorb any extra grease.
  • Next, trim all the leaves off your beets, wash them well, and wrap the beets in tinfoil.
  • Cook your beets for 90 minutes – or until fork tender.
  • Once your beets are done, let them cool. Once they have cooled you should be able to easily remove the skin with your hands. Peel your beets, cut them into fourths, and then into little triangles.
  • Next, arrange your arugula in a large serving bowl.
  • Crumble the whole pack of crispy, cooked, bacon over the top.
  • Next arrange your beets over the top of the arugula and the bacon.
  • Next sprinkle as many pistachios as your heart desires over the top.
  • And last but not least… it’s time for the goat cheese. Now, goat cheese, to me is hard to work with, so I have found a way to make it super pretty.
  • Take your package of goat cheese and with kitchen scissors, snip off one of the corners. This way you can create pretty, little, dabs of goat cheese (kind of as if you were frosting a cupcake) and this way your hands don’t get messy, you don’t waste any, and it looks really nice as well.
  • Serve with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette.
  • (If you want my recipe… here goes nothing, I take half a finely diced shallot, 1 cup of olive oil, .5cup of very good balsamic, a squeeze of dijon mustard, a squeeze of honey or agave nectar, a large dash of salt, and a good sprinkle of herbs de Provence. I put all that in a mason jar and shake to my heart’s content!)

Roasted Pork Loin with Cranberry Apple Chutney

Ingredients:

1 Farmer John Pork Loin

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

1 Granny Smith Apple

1 Bag of Cranberries

1 Orange

1 tablespoon of agave nectar

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of water

Rosemary for garnish

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Take your pork out of the wrapping and wash and dry thoroughly. You want the outside to be very dry so you get a nice browning on the outside when you sear it.
  • Liberally salt the outside of the whole pork loin. You can’t over salt pork – I am 100% convinced.
  • Next add as much pepper as you like to the outside.
  • Then, heat about 1/4 cup olive oil in a sauté pan, and bring to medium high heat.
  • Brown all sides of the pork. This will take a good amount of time to get the right color. It took me about 20 minutes for all sides to sear properly. And here’s one of my best tips. Put the meat down in the pan… and don’t you dare touch it… at least for 5 minutes. Otherwise you’ll totally mess up that delicious browning process.
  • When you have finished browning your pork, put it on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.
  • Ok, now while your pork is cooking… You will make my cranberry chutney. This is a cranberry sauce that I put on pretty much everything in the fall/winter. It is just sooo good.
  • Wash your cranberries.
  • Chop up the granny smith apple, skin on.
  • Put the whole cranberries and the chopped apple in a large saucepan.
  • Start cooking this mixture on low.
  • Add in the 1/4 cup water.
  • Next juice the orange and pour all of the juice into your pan.
  • Next add a good squeeze of agave
  • Pour your sugar over the top
  • Cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. You will know when it is done. You can also add in a couple dashes of cinnamon if you are feeling really festive. 🙂
  • By now your pork will be done. Take it out of the oven, and tent it with aluminum foil for 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute.
  • Slice your pork, and serve with the cranberry chutney over the top.
  • I like to serve my pork loin on a bed of mashed potatoes surrounded by rosemary – as you can see in the photos. I also sprinkled some extra fresh cranberries around the sides to make it extra fancy and festive.

I hope you enjoy these recipes, and if you end up making any of them, please tag us!

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