Herb-Crusted Pork Loin

A few weeks ago, I was the one with a few minutes of free time, so I made dinner for David and I. I picked out this dish and I think it turned out really well. I got this one from The Paleo Mom. 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs pork center loin or sirloin
  • 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary (about 2 Tbsp chopped)
  • 10-12 sprigs fresh thyme (about 2 Tbsp chopped)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp cracked Pepper
  • 8-9 cloves Fresh Garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp Paprika

1.    Preheat oven to 350F.
2.    Blend spices in the small cup of your Magic Bullet or a small Food Processor. If you are using entirely dry spices, you could blend in a Spice Grinder.  Alternatively, you could chop extremely fine and then grind in a mortar and pestel.  (I used the mortar and pt
3.    Rub spices evenly over entire roast (if you don’t quite have enough for an even coat over the whole roast, focus on the top of the roast, which should be the side with the fat cap).
4.    Optionally, you can wrap the roast in plastic wrap, place in your fridge, and let “marinate” for a few hours or even overnight.
5.    Place roast fat side up on a roasting pan.  Cook for 20 minutes per pound, until internal temperature reaches 160F.
6.    Remove roast from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Chipotle Meatballs.

one last meat-tastic recipe, these are a rick bayless recipe.

3 slices bacon, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs (could shift to some amount almond flour for paleo)
1 1/4 lbs gr. pork (again, meat could vary here)
1 28 oz. can of diced tomato, mostly drained (1/4 cup juice left)
2-3 chipotles in adobo
1 med. onion, diced
1 tsp oregano, dried
1.5 tsp chili powder
1.5 cups broth (beef or chicken)
bonus: 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (didn’t use)

preheat oven to 400.

in a bowl, combine bacon, 2 cloves garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, pork, mint, chili powder, and 1.5 tsp salt. make into small meatballs – we used out minimuffin tin and it was a good decision, i think. bake about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

while they bake, saute your onions well, until in they brown a touch. add remaining 3 cloves garlic for a minute, then add tomatoes, broth, chipotles, and oregano. mix well, add salt to taste. when meatballs are ready, mix well and you can serve.

we’ve served this with cauliflower rice, and it’s a nice pairing. it’s also fine by itself, as a sort of appetizer.

Spicy Breakfast Stew.

from paleomg, anything we can put a fried egg on top of is a popular choice around these parts. this was pretty easy and pretty tasty; had enough for probably 4 servings. i would consider doubling it to have enough for a week…

4 pieces bacon, cooked and chopped
2 links chorizo, chopped (~8 oz, and loose instead of link is fine here)
1 onion, diced
1 can diced tomato
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp chili powder

heat oil, saute garlic and onions until translucent. add the chorizo and cook it. Then add diced tomato, paste, stock, and chili powder. Bring a to a simmer, then reduce heat to low until you’re ready to eat. Add the bacon just before serving; serve topped with a delicious pair of fried eggs (or poached if you’re feeling fancy).

this was very tasty, and we’ll have it again, I’m sure.

Meatloaf.

our eating has shifted towards a more paleo-oriented diet. this meatloaf is a blend of ina garten’s recipe and one from the paleomg cookbook.

2.5 lbs ground meat (i’ve been doing 1 lb gr. pork, 1.5 lb ground beef)
1-2 chopped onions
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce (considering this as a more strictly paleo version)
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup almond flour/meal (i didn’t measure last time i made this, but i def. needed a bit more than i cup to get the right consistency)

NOTE: the paleomg recipe uses 1 shredded sweet potato in here. i’d like to try this out.

preheat oven to 325. mix everything into a loaf, then put into a greased meatloaf pan. cook for 60-75 minutes. ina says a pan of water on the lower rack will prevent the top from cracking, though i don’t pour ketchup on this like she does.

anyways, it has been a solid start to meatloafing. we’ll see where it takes us.

 

Brittle.

another christmas gift was making some brittle. it wasn’t too hard, based on alton brown’s directions.

1.5 cups peanut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 cups sugar
1.5 cups water

clean your heavy bottomed saucepan pretty well, then brush the sides with oil to prevent chemistry weirdness from happening. place the sugar in the center of the pan, then add the water and stir to mix well. then place it over high heat. alton says to turn heat down as the boiling begins, but i found that then my mixture just never got hot enough (probably a combo of my pan and my stovetop). don’t stir or mess with the liquid, just be cool. have a baking pan lined with a silpat ready.

as the mixture begins to change color to an amber color, things are ready to go. pour in the peanuts, then immediately pour the liquid out onto the silpat. it will cool very fast, but try to press it into a single layer and keep turning back the liquid portion over the top. once it hardens, break into pieces and eat. it’s very sweet (obv) but good.

Chili Rosemary Roasted Nuts.

we made these for christmas gifts, but they just happen to be superamazing snacks that i just want to eat all the time. they are taken from ina garten’s recipe here.

here is the nut mix i used; obviously, this is very flexible. i don’t like walnuts and peanuts are cheap to buy, and so this plays a factor.
2 cups cashews
2 cups peanuts
1 cup pecans
1 cup almonds
2 tbsp oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp chili powder (we have a nice blend with lime zest)
fresh rosemary (ina calls for 4 tbsp, but i use a little more than half of that)
salt

preheat oven to 350. mix the oil, syrup, sugar, juice, and chili. then toss with the nuts. then toss with 2 tbsp minced rosemary and 2 tsp salt. put onto a well-greased baking sheet and send it into the oven for about 18 minutes, mixing it up twice along the way. (ina says to roast for 25 minutes, but that was way too long for me.) by the end, the liquid portion should be bubbly and sticky.

remove from the oven, toss with 2 tsp each of rosemary and salt, and stir pretty regularly. these will harden and cluster up pretty quickly, and a metal spatula is the best way to get them off the pan and break them up once they are finished.

they will be delicious warm, and they will remain delicious until you are done eating them all.

Apple, Sage and Chestnut Stuffing

This was a hit at our recent Thanksgiving dinner. David and I have made this before, but we wanted to be sure to include it here to remember. We didn’t use packaged stuffing bread mix, but we have in the past. It usually turns out better with half stuffing bread mix and dried bread.

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 cup thinly sliced celery, about 4 celery stalks
1 1/2 cups chopped onion, about 1 medium onion
4 cups chopped Fuji apples, about 3 apples (we used Braeburn apples)
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
10 cup (1-inch) cubes from assorted whole-grain bread, toasted until dry (we used white bread)
2 cups coarsely chopped cooked shelled chestnuts
2 cups cooked crumbled lean sweet Italian chicken sausage (optional)(We used regular sausage.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 1/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth, heated
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Coat a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with 2 teaspoons olive oil.

2. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add apple, parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes.

3. Combine apple mixture, bread, and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl. Add hot broth; stir well. (Mixture should be moist but not soaked.) Spoon into prepared baking dish. Dot with butter. Cover with foil.

4. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let stand 15–20 minutes before serving.