Archive for February 4th, 2009

JT’s sister and her son (nephew Brian) were over for dinner on Saturday night. This pork loin roast is a fantastic recipe that we originally saw on Martha Stewart, when she had her Mom as a guest on the show. I’ve adapted the recipe, of course, but will link to the original in the title.

The Menu

Cocktails: Spanakopita

Appetizer: Lemongrass soup with shrimp

Main course:
Roast Loin of Pork with Pan Fried Apples and Apple Cider Gravy
Braised Red Cabbage
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes (trying to keep the carbs down, but I have two yukon golds left over in the fridge that I want to use up!)

Dessert: Apple Strudel with Caramel Sauce

Lemongrass Soup (spicey Tom Yum) adapted from this website (this really is not as complicated as the list of ingredients, but don’t miss one, you will know it!)
Serves 4

  • 3 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, cut into 4″ pieces and smashed
  • 4-6 whole (double) torn kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 slices galangal (about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 3-20 small thai chilies, to taste
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms (straw mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, black mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, etc.)
  • 1 tomato, cut into 8 pieces lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons white soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1-2 stems coriander, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 4 shrimp, cooked skinned, cleaned and tail off
  1. Add the water/stock to a sauce pan. Crush the lemongrass and cilantro root in a stone mortar & pestle or with the butt of a knife, then add them to the water. Tear the lime leaves to release flavor, and throw them in too along with the galangal.
  2. Turn on your heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Boil your herbs for about 5 minutes or so, to release the flavors. The color of the water should be a light green when you’re finished.
  3. Add the mushrooms, and chilies and boil for 2-3 more minutes, until mushrooms are soft.
  4. Add the sliced tomato, and cook until soft, probably less than a minute.
  5. Turn off the heat. Add your soy sauce, sugar, and at the very end the lime juice. Taste to make sure the flavor is right… It should be very sour & spicy. You may need to add more lime juice depending on how sour your limes are.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with one shrimp and cilantro leaves.

Roast Loin of Pork with Apple Cider Gravy

  • 1 boneless pork loin (4 to 5 pounds), tied
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large mayan onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jonagold apples sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  1. Make incisions in the pork every 2 to 3 inches, and insert garlic slices. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, sugar, and marjoram, and coat the pork evenly with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle flour over the pork to lightly coat. Shake to remove any excess flour. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork, and brown on all sides. Transfer pork to a large roasting pan. Add the chopped onions over the pork. Add 1 1/2 cups water to roasting pan, and roast, covered, for 1 hour, basting occasionally.
  3. Remove pork loin from roasting pan, and let rest for 10 minutes. Place roasting pan on stove, heat over medium-high heat, and cook pan juices until reduced and thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, set aside for the apple cider gravy (below).
  4. In a frying pan, melt the butter, and pan fry the apple slices until slightly browned on both sides.
  5. Slice pork, arrange on a serving platter with the apples, and serve with gravy (below).

Apple Cider Gravy (this is an adaption from President’s Choice first cookbook)

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup low fat evaporated milk (not condensed) or heavy cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a saucepan, bring apple cider to a boil and reduce to about 1/2 cup (this does take some time).
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the dijon mustard and the cream.
  3. Return to heat and simmer until reduced about 3/4.
  4. Add the juices from the roasting pan. Mix well.
  5. Season and keep warm until ready to serve.

Apple Cranberry Strudel


  • 6 Jonagold apples, peeled cored and grated coarsely.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts or almonds
  • 6 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 1/4 cup melt butter (unsalted)
  • Sugar for dusting strudel top
  1. Mix apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cranberries and lemon peel together and set aside.
  2. Take 3 sheets of phyllo pastry and drizzle with melted butter in between each sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with ground nuts.
  4. At one end, add enough apple filling to form a roll about 3″ in diameter, all the way across the pastry.
  5. Fold in edges and roll up.
  6. Repeat with second set of three pastries.
  7. Brush with melted butter.
  8. Bake at 350°F until phyllo is golden.
  9. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, drizzled with caramel sauce, and yogurt (to cut some of the sweetness).

Caramel Sauce (adapted from Epicurious Bon Appétit | April 2006

Makes about 3/4 cup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup carnation 2% evaporated milk (not condensed)
  1. Combine sugar, 1/2 cup water, and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Increase heat and boil without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Carefully add evaporated milk (you may want to stand back — mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir sauce over low heat until any caramel bits dissolve and sauce is smooth. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat just until pourable, then let caramel sauce cool to room temperature.)

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