Chris H Olsen

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Chris H. Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.
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Meal

Ingredients

Filling

1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large shallot, peeled, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups dried apples (packed)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pork Roast

2 1/2 pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast (short and wide - about 7-8 inches long and 4-5 inches wide)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method

1 Before starting on the pork, put the pork roast in the freezer for 30 minutes to make it easier to cut. While the pork is chilling, you can make the filling.

2 Bring all the filling ingredients to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the liquid. Use a rubber spatula to press against the apple mixture in the sieve to extract as much liquid out as possible. Return liquid to saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside and reserve this liquid for use as a glaze. Pulse apple mixture in food processor, about fifteen 1-second pulses. Set aside.

3 Preheat oven to 350°F or prepare your grill for indirect heat. You will be "double-butterflying" the pork roast. Lay the roast down, fat side up. Insert the knife into the roast 1/2-inch horizontally from the bottom of the roast, along the long side of the roast. Make a long cut along the bottom of the roast, stopping 1/2 inch before the edge of the roast. You might find it easier to handle by starting at a corner of the roast.

Open up the roast and continue to cut through the thicker half of the roast, again keeping 1/2 inch from the bottom. Repeat until the roast is an even 1/2-inch thickness all over when laid out.

If necessary, pound the roast to an even thickness with a meat pounder.

4 Season the inside of the roast well with salt and pepper. Spread out the filling on the roast, leaving a 1/2-inch border from the edges. Starting with the short side of the roast, roll it up very tightly. Secure with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals. Season the outside of the roast generously with salt and pepper.

5 Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan, place in oven, on the middle rack.

You can also grill the roast, using indirect heat either gas or charcoal. If you are using charcoal, use about 5 pounds of coals, bank them to one side. Preheat the grill, covered. Wipe the grates with olive oil. Place roast, fat side up, on the side of the grill that has no coals underneath. Place the lid on the grill, with the vent directly over the roast. If you are grilling with gas, place all the burners on high for 15 minutes to heat the grates, brush grates with olive oil, turn off the middle burner, place roast fat-side up on middle burner. If you are grilling, turn roast half way through the cooking.

Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature of the roast is 130 to 135 degrees. Brush with half of the glaze and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove the roast from the oven or grill. Place it on a cutting board. Tent it with foil to rest and keep warm for 15 minutes before slicing.

5 Slice into 1/2-inch wide pieces, removing the cooking twine as you cut the roast. Serve with remaining glaze.

Appetizer

Appetizer
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 baguette, cut into about 24 slices (1/2-inch-thick)
1/2 preserved lemon, rind only, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, divided
1 cup fine-quality ricotta
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the squash on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 50 minutes, until tender and edges are crisp, tossing once halfway through.
About 15 minutes before the squash is done, arrange the baguette slices on another baking sheet, brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bake in the oven until golden and toasted, 8–10 minutes.
While the squash roasts, make the relish: Stir together the preserved lemon rind, shallots, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble, spread each crostini with ricotta. Top with a few pieces of butternut squash and a small amount of relish. Arrange the crostini on a serving platter and garnish with the remaining chopped parsley.
Make Ahead The butternut squash and relish can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated in a separate airtight containers. Reheat the squash on a baking sheet in a 425° oven until warm, about 5 minutes. Notes Preserved lemons can be found in Middle Eastern and some specialty foods markets.

Craft

Create a pretty fall scene with a terrarium, bell jar or glass cake cover. Here, a bell jar on top of a shallow terra-cotta bulb dish spotlights mini pumpkins and a sprig of oak leaves on a bed of moss.

Drink

The green-eyed monster
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss,
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger:
But O, what damnèd minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!
Othello Act 3, scene 3, 165–171

Chris' Chartreuse Martini – or –
The Green Eyed Monster

This is a fun drink for Halloween, but is actually nice to serve any time. At Halloween I call it the Green Eyed Monster. The rest of the time it is simply my Chartreuse Martini. Have fun with it.

1 Part Gin – Bombay Sapphire recommended
1 Part Green Chartreuse – VEP Diffusion Green recommended
1 Part Sweet Vermouth – Dolin recommended

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy.

This recipe can easily be made in larger batches. Just increase all parts equally.

Visit the Colonial Tasting Bar at this link

Plants

Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae.

 

The latest Chris H. Olsen news!

October 23rd, 2014 - Spooky Halloween Decor and Citrus Pumpkins!

October 15th, 2014 - Decorate for the Children at Halloween! - Video

September 29th, 2014 - Chris shows you how to soften your yard with plants - Video

September 14th, 2014 - Build a backyard fireplace! They are awesome! - Video

September 13th, 2014 - Make a lasting pet memorial - Video

September 8th, 2014 - Fall Containers are the way to go! And EASY! - Video

September 3rd, 2014 - Show support for your favorite football team - Video

August 25th, 2014 - Chris' store Botanica Gardens keeps all kinds of cool fountains in stock. Video

August 24th, 2014 - How about some help with your summer garden? Let Chris Help

August 11th, 2014 - It's time to TRIM those TREES - Video

August 4th, 2014 - Everyone collects something! Why not living plants? Video

July 26th, 2014 - Updating your bathroom can add so much to a home. Look at how this one was done! - Video

July 23rd, 2014 - Why not a plant collection? Video Feed Birds? Do it in style! Video

July 22nd, 2014 - Create a "Destino" out of your front or back yard! - Video

July 21st, 2014 - Latest Creations! Summertime Prep for the Holidays and Garden Hose Wreath!

July 13th, 2014 - Houseplants really can make the home especially in groupings - Video

July 6th, 2014 - Use Lanterns in your Yard for a great effect - Today's Home

July 2nd, 2014 - Chris has some awesome July 4th ideas - Video 1 and Video 2.

June 28th, 2014 - Why not save $$$ and re-do the bathroom with accessories? Learn more

June 25th, 2014 - How about a Red, White and Blue Centerpiece! Video

June 23rd, 2014 - Every year when Chris goes to the Dallas Market people want to know - what does market look like? Well - Chris made a couple of iPhone videos to share with you. Video 1 and VIdeo 2.

June 23rd, 2014 - You know GREEN is a COLOR! Remember that in your landscaping! video

June 22nd, 2014 - Chris wants to educate you about dealing with slugs and snails - video

June 21st, 2014 - Why not make a Garden Treasure Jar? - video

June 14th, 2014 - Have bland walls? DO NOT put up just anything to fill space! Make a personal statement with your walls - see video

June 11th, 2014 - How about some tips on taking care of Day Lilies - and some Father's Day gift ideas!

June 10th, 2014 - Ready to make-over your Master Bedroom? Bring it to perfection with tips like these! - video

June 9th, 2014 - Here are some unique ideas for using Bling Bling - PLUS us Basket Spheres!

 

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