Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Herb crusted pork loin so easy you can cook it standing on one leg

On July 21 I had knee surgery.  What was suppose to be simple turned slightly complicated.  In the end I sustained two arthroscopic snake bite scars and an additional two inch, unplanned, scar.  My inner meniscus, think cushion between the femur/tib fib, was 40% removed.  The outer meniscus was discovered to be torn and luckily sewn back together.  And two ligaments, which help stabilize the knee, had the slack taken in.  I've been waiting for surgery since April and glad it is over...however my recovery is really just beginning.

Recognizing I would be an impact on my wonderful wife, N, the night before surgery I grilled six rib eyes (scotch steaks for my aussie followers), about ten pounds of veggies, a packet of bacon and found a batch of homemade bone broth spinach soup in the freezer.  Last thing I wanted her to worry about was cooking for me.  And after all, I knew I'd be up and back to normal within a few days - wishful thinking.  (If you are interested in hearing more about my knee, read on.  Otherwise scroll down to learn about the awesome herb crusted pork loin I cooked while supported by crutches.)

In a way, knee surgery has been a nice treat.  Fresh cup of coffee when I wake up in the morning. and on demand during the day (always said please).  Breakfast/lunch/dinner in bed.  Even better, breakfast in bed with my 3 year old while watching Cars or Beauty and the Beast on the laptop.  Not being responsible for cleaning up the kitchen, loading dishes, grocery shopping.  Being driven around since the pain meds make me a little loopy.

After being cooped up in the house for ten days I got to go grocery shopping with the family.  I hobbled into the store on my crutches and asked the clerk if I could use the electric cart.  My 3 year old jumped on my lap/good leg and we cruised around picking up the items from our list.  Cruising down the "expires today" sale area I found a two pound pork loin for three bucks and change.  I was craving a meat dish with a crunchy, salty coating.  And a pork loin is so easy I knew I could do it while balancing on one leg.




Ingredients: (Serves 4 if you add a salad or other veggie)
1.5-2lb pork loin
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Parmesan cheese (I used pre grated tonight)
Italian seasoning mix
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Pepper
Spicy mustard
1/4 stick butter
1 head of cauliflower

Based on my mobility I did not scientifically measure this recipe's ingredients.  Trust your gut and just wing it.


Preheat oven to 425.

Start heating an oven safe pan on the stove over medium heat. I'm using my trusty cast iron  Add the butter and after it melts pour one swish around the pan of olive oil.

Mix Parmesan, garlic, italian seasoning, few twists of salt n pepper together in a bowl.  Don't skimp on the salt.




Mix olive oil and two sandwich size squeezes of mustard in another large bowl. Coat the loin in this liquid.




Transfer loin into large bowl with dried ingredients. Using your hands massage the dry ingredients onto the pork loin. Once your are confident it is coated enough transfer the loin into the pan with hot oil/butter.  





Cook in pan about two minutes and gently turn over when the crust gets crusty.







About two minutes later place in the oven.  I recommend you insert a meat thermometer prior to transferring to oven.


Bake for five minutes while you prepare the cauliflower.  


During the five minutes break apart the cauliflower into small trees (as J calls them). 


Remove Pan from oven, add cauliflower around loin.

I coat the cauliflower with olive oil when it's in the pan but you could toss the cauliflower on olive oil prior to adding to pan. Quick twist of salt n pepper.

Bake another 20 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 165. Take out of oven, remove and rest meat for five minutes. 





Leave cauliflower in pan,  mix around in the oil and seasonings and put back in the oven while the meat rests for five minutes.

Remove from oven, slice pork and serve with cauliflower.  Fresh grated parmesan made the cauliflower superb.  













Don't be afraid to scrape the drippings off the bottom of the pan.  You could remove all the cauliflower and deglaze the pan with wine, whiskey or cream.  That would have been awesome on top of the pork.


Sorry about the weird formatting of the photos and text.  I initially wrote my narrative on my iPhone but during the cut and paste blogger started doing some weird formatting.

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