Bon Appetit’s October issue covers a topic near and dear to me: home entertaining. I got several great ideas from the editors, but they almost lost me with this weird punch recipe. Well, weird in that it calls for peaches, which have already disappeared from the market. Once I got past that oddness, there’s a great idea here. Andrew Knowlton uses a bundt pan to make a drink-specific ice ring for the punch. In this case fresh peaches and thyme, which is absolutely beautiful, but you could use anything–limes, pineapple, raspberries, or if it’s fall maybe…apples and cinnamon sticks.
And what to nosh on while imbibing? How about this dip? Mix a couple of sliced onions and shallots with thyme and olive oil. Put it in a roasting pan and bake at 425 degrees for 45-55 minutes, stirring every 10. Ditch the thyme and add a cup of white wine and 2 tbsp of sherry vinegar, scraping up the brown bits before returning the pan to the oven for 15 more minutes. Allow the onion mixture to cool before mincing and mixing with 2 cups sour cream, minced chives, 1/4 cup yogurt, and 2 tsp onion powder. Salt and pepper, then cover and chill.
The other two recipes feel very season-appropriate. I got excited about pork loin in milk and nutmeg. Brown the meat and then simmer in the milk on the stovetop for 2 hours, flipping every 30 minutes. Cook down the liquid for your sauce. Sounds good, but then I found an even better recipe, this for pork shoulder. It cooks in the oven, covered, at 300 degrees for 4-5 hours submerged in chicken stock, apple cider, and ginger beer, and surrounded by shallots, garlic, and quartered apples. This will work with that spiked apple cider with the apple and cinnamon ice ring!