For every year that I can remember, new years to me means one thing: pork and sauerkraut.
The tender, garlic and rosemary crusted pork loin surrounded by sweet sauerkraut laden with soft apples, caramelized onions, and the surprise of a caraway seed here and there is a meal so special it would be almost a sin to have it more that once a year. And not to mention mounds of mashed potatoes, hot bread with sweet, creamy butter, and a new addition that I added this year; cranberry pomegranate sauce...but more on that one below.
*The festive table setting, the linens are some of my mom's favorites and were actually hand stitched; they're absolutely beautiful, the picture doesn't do them justice!
Pork and sauerkraut is a German tradition that has been passed down on my mom's side of the family for years (right along with Jewish apple cake, creamed beef on toast, prime rib and Yorkshire pudding, and my favorite German coffee cake...well they're all my favorites to be exact). The delicious dish is said to bring good luck for the new year, which is something we could all use a little bit of once and awhile :)
*The pictures a bit blurry, but here's the Sauerkraut master and I right before New Years Dinner, yum!
This dish is my mom's baby. She makes sure it's perfect every year; just the right amount of rub on the pork, not too many onions and loads of apples in the kraut, and a touch of brown sugar and apple cider to seal the deal. Her sauerkraut is like converting religions, a many sauerkraut haters have left our house on the new year full of the delicious goodness, and they swear by the fact that they have fallen in love with the kraut.
And just like any other holiday, you have to finish off with a tasty dessert. I decided to ring in the new year with one of my absolute favorites: dulce de leche cheesecake. It was a hit the first time I made it in bar form, but since it was a special occasion I upped it to the real deal with the cake. My entire family claims it's better than the one at Cheesecake Factory... I have to agree. Cheesecake is the key to my heart, and my heart opens right up for this favorite.
In a medium sized saucepan combine cranberries, sugar, and pomegranate juice over medium heat. Gently stir the berry mixture until it comes to a boil, then add the zest and juice. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the berries have begun to pop and the syrup has started to become thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve with toast, as a sandwich spread, or with your favorite chicken/turkey/pork dish!