Pork Loin et al

Pork loin with pan gravy and roasted asparagus

Pork loin with pan gravy and roasted asparagus

 

Saturday morning and I’ve already made Pork Loin with a simple pan sauce (recipe to follow), and I am planning on making my Chicken dish which I am going to enter into the National Chicken Cooking contest (that’s for tomorrow).  Monday I am doing the peach cheesecake again and making stuffed heirloom tomatoes which I decided to stuff with basmati rice instead of quinoa.  The quinoa just did not work for me.  Perhaps another time.  By Monday I will have posted another three recipes, so check back often!

Pork Loin with Pan Gravy and Roasted Asparagus

1 (2 and 1/2 pounds) pork loin

Olive oil, salt and pepper

1 bunch asparagus

Salt

1 shallot, chopped finely

1/2 cup red wine (cabernet, whatever you have handy)

1/2 cup chicken broth

Splash Worcestershire sauce

1/2 stick cold unsalted butter

Fresh ground pepper and salt

Working with a meat thermometer is the way to cook pork.  Take the pork out of the fridge and rub down with olive oil, and sprinkle well with salt and pepper. 

Preheat the oven to 400F and place the meat in a large dutch oven as you will be using the dutch oven to prepare the pan gravy.  Roast until a meat thermometer reaches 140 degrees.  While the pork is roasting, prepare the asparagus by breaking them at their natural snapping point and slicing into three piece each.  Toss with olive oil and salt and roast in the same oven for about 12 minutes until beginning to color.  Remove from oven and let cool to room temp, covered. 

When pork has reached 140F, remove from oven and take out of the Dutch oven.  Cover with foil while you prepare the sauce.  The meat needs 10 minutes of resting time and this sauce will be done by then. 

Place the Dutch oven over a medium flame.  Add the shallot to the pan and stir until shallot begins to give off its fragrance.  Add the wine and the chicken broth and the Worcestershire sauce, and stir well, scraping off any brown bits. Simmer for 5 minutes to reduce a bit and then stir in 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, stirring constantly to emusify the sauce.  Check for seasoning, adjust and serve. 

Cut pork loin into 4 servings, split asaparagus amongst the plates and split the sauce 4 ways!  This is a 45 minute meal…if that. Enjoy!

Serves 4.

Fried Pork Chops

Fried pork chop with arugula avocado salad

Fried pork chop with arugula avocado salad

As I turned the pork chops in the frying pan, I knew that these would be special. I’d never made fried pork chops before. My foray into pork chops was always oven fried, as in Shake and Bake (remember the TV commercial from the 70’s….. “and I helped!”). These were no shake and bake pork chops! After soaking in buttermilk for the better part of the afternoon, I gave them a quick egg wash, and then dipped them into seasoned panko crumbs.  And when I say seasoned I mean salt, pepper and a good tablespoon of creole seasoning!  And then, into the frying pan.  About 3-4 minutes on each side was all it took for the pounded pork chops to sear nicely and contain all of their juices until serving time!  Topped with an arugula avocado salad (which was dressed with a lime vinegraitte) and it was dinner time!

Fried Pork Chops with Arugula Avocado Salad

4 double cut pork chops, pounded into 1/3 inch thickness

2 cups buttermilk

Salt and pepper

2 eggs

2-3 cups Japanese Panko crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper

1-2 tablespoons creole seasoning (I used McCormick’s but feel free to use Emeril’s or whatever you like)

Peanut Oil for frying

3 cups arugula

2 avocados, chopped into 1/2 inch dice but not done until right before you serve

Juice from 2 limes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon mustard Grey Poupon, Dijon, Creole…any mustard is fine

Place buttermilk in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper–a good amount. Soak the chops in the buttermilk in the fridge for 2-3 hours. If you’re making these for dinner putting them in the buttermilk at 2PM would be fine.  When ready to start making dinner, place the panko crumbs in a shallow pie pan and season with salt and pepper and the creole seasoning. Season heavily because panko is very loose and you don’t want the seasoning at the bottom of the shallow pan.  Stir well.  Beat up two eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Take each chop out of the buttermilk, shake off excess and dip in the seasoned eggs.  Then dip in the panko and press panko into the pork and set aside. Repeat with each chop.

Heat the oil in the frying pan (you may have to use two frying pans), about 1/4 inch of oil or so, and when it sizzles as you begin to place the chops into it, it’s ready.  Fry the chops for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Take out and keep warm in a foil covered dish.

Stir the lime juice and olive oil together with salt and pepper.  Add a teaspoon or so of any mustard.  Stir well. If you want to precut the avocado now would be a good time because you can toss it into the dressing and the acid will prevent the avocado from turning brown.  Toss this together with the arugula. Place a heaping handful on top of each chop.  Serve.  Serves 4.