Thursday, May 26, 2011

The meat of king

Giant Pork Loin

“Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!”
- Anne Tyler

My butcher has a sense of humor, so I say, 4 lbs pork loin, he says, this one's over 5, is it ok? And my husband nods like a moron, so I say, OK, FINE! But deep down, I know. Firstly I can't sear the damn thing, I don't have a pan big enough for it, second of all, I have to use my roasting pan because it won't fit in my dutch oven, and lastly, I have to find a big enough bowl to marinate the beast. What a pain in the... anyway.

We eat a lot of pork, it's not red meat and it's not chicken, we just eat so much freaking chicken all the time. Pork loin, pork chops, bacon, ham, the meat of king, and it's made of pig. Who else to ask for. 

Here's a delicious recipe, inspired from my boss's own.
Tasty local honey!
5 lbs pork loin
1 C honey
½ C olive oil
¼ C soy sauce (Tamari if you have it)
¼ C of sesame seeds
1 orange, sliced
6 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 ½ inch of ginger, minced
1 tsp Chinese five-spices

First you want to roast the sesame seeds, heat a small frying pan to medium heat and toss your seeds in, NEVER stop looking at it, stir the seeds with a wooden spoon, when they begin to turn color, take the pan off the heat and keep stirring, the residual heat should keep cooking them. When they turn a nice brown color, they are ready.

Mix all your liquid and spices together and rub all over the loin, along with the sesame seeds and the slices of orange. Marinate for at least two hours in the fridge. Remove the loin from the fridge while your oven is heating so it begins to go back to room temperature.
Tasty raw meat, hmm
Turn the oven to 450F, since we can't sear it for lack of giant frying pan, we'll oven sear it. Bake for 10 minutes then turn the heat down to 300F, if you are (and you SHOULD BE) using a probe thermometer, the target temperature for a medium rare roast is 145F. I recommend using one, or an instant read, otherwise it's just guess work. It should take about an hour to cook but it could take longer, depending on the roast and the oven. 

145F for medium rare, om nom nom

I hope you enjoy it.
Hungry Julie

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A first garden

Strawberry rhubarb pie in the making
I'm well aware that I have a lot of explaining to do, my last post was in March then silence for two months. Not so willingly, I actually have 2 file saved with half written blog entries, I just couldn't find the energy to do it. I'm a lazy person as you might know already. So anyway here's today.

Week One of Garden
Wait.. is that a toilet..?
Full of basil, sage and rosemary, yes
My wonderful boss and aunt, Tracy, and I decided to reanimate the garden patch in her immense backyard. I have to admit, I had never really gardened before, I helped my mom water her tomato patch and that was it, I was never involved more than that, which is something I urge every mother or father out there to do. Involve your kids in gardening, cooking, well, in anything that interest you.

Firstly we had a firefighter help us with the rototilling and then we headed out to Seven Arrows Farm to pick up the poop we were going to lay out. We got ourselves a shrimp/lobster/seafood compost and gosh darn-it, If I had known farmers could be that cute, I would have married one. Me-roow! The farm itself is darling and very pretty to visit, if only to pet the two dogs and the fat cat that greets you through the alleys of herbs, flowers and trees.

Give it a few weeks and it wont look so bare anymore
The day we actually put in the garden was very gray and misty but let me tell you, it was perfect. So sunburn, no horrible sweating, just a lovely mist once in a while and cool wind. So far we have in there: 3 tomato bush, Italian eggplant, radish, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloup, zucchini, basil, sage, sweet banana peppers, hot cherry peppers. And soon we'll have red potatoes and carrots, her little daughter will be helping us by putting the carrots in. More tomato plants will come I think but we have to get more cages.
Early Girl Tomato plant

By the end of summer I will have to share my family's recipe of fruit ketchup but we'll see how the tomato harvest turns out. For now, enjoy this delicious chocolate zucchini bread that I made last week.

I ate the other half, mwahah
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1 & 1/2 Cups Shredded Zucchini
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Dash of salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Oil
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

In a mixer, combine your oil, sugars and vanilla. Mix in your eggs and shredded zucchini. In a separate bowl, sift together your flours, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add this dry mixture into your wet mixture. Beat until combined. Mix in your chocolate chips.
Scrape your batter into a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until done.

I was thinking some cranberries would go well in here, next time I will try.

Now if you're like me and all you have is a 8x4 loaf pan, make sure to only fill it to ¾ and use the rest of the batter in a mini cheesecake pan or a few muffin tins, because otherwise it will explode in your oven. On the same note, It would be good to have one since most banana bread recipe also fit that kind of pan. Enjoy your summer and stay tune for week two of the garden!

Hungry Julie!