Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pork. 'Nuff said?

So thanks to the generous lovelies that gave me a Trader Joe's gift card for Christmas, I was able to stock up on some delicious ingredients this week.  I have been craving juice (pretty much any fruit juice indiscriminately) for a few weeks now.  So one of the first things I picked up was some antioxidant-loaded pomegranate juice.  Aside from making lovely cocktails, turns out it makes a pretty awesome pork marinade as well.  For the marinade, I used the juice of two small oranges, 1 tsp orange zest, 2 cloves minced garlic, juice of one lime, 1/3 cup pomegranate juice, 1 Tbsp dijon mustard, dash of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.  Let my 1.5 lb. pork loin roast soak overnight (although it could be ready in a couple hours) before grilling that baby.

While that is busy working its magic in a large plastic bag in the fridge, try mixing this up:
In cocktail shaker full of ice, shake one shot Grey Goose Citrus Vodka, one shot pomegranate juice, the juice of half a lime, and some Cointreau or other orange liquor if you have it.  Pour in a martini glass.  If you are like me and do not own that type of glass, pour it in a tall glass with ice and top with a little club soda.  Yummy.

It's been so cold outside lately, I was really feeling the need to experiment with some homemade bread.  So I followed the recipe in my Nordstrom Cafe cookbook for rosemary focaccia, and added a little sliced garlic.  Here's how it turned out:
I gotta say, it was pretty tasty.  But next time i would double the amount of sliced garlic and rosemary garnish on top and add a few very thinly sliced tomatoes before baking.  A little course Australian pink salt on top made all the difference.

Next up:  I removed the pork loin from the sauce and put the leftover used marinade in a small saucepan.  Bring it to a boil and simmer until it's reduced to 1/3 its original volume, and you have a tangy and wonderful finishing sauce.  Meanwhile, Jeremy tended the grill while I whipped up a salad.

For the salad:  2 cups arugula, a handful of dried cherries, 1/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese, 1 oz. crushed cashews, and 1/2 cup sugar snap peas get tossed with a citrus dressing.

For the dressing, combine the juice of one clementine or tangerine, 1 lemon, 2 pearl onions or one shallot, 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, 2 tsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Give it a good shake and toss with the arugula mixture just before serving.

I chose a merlot for this meal (I used the Whole Foods house brand which set me back a grand total of $6), but you could go with a nice Zin as well.  I was pretty pleased with the final product.
I dedicate this blog post to my best friend and sister, Lori, who faithfully reads all my self-indulgent dribble and is my biggest cheerleader.  Poor baby LoLo, I applaud you for your bravery in having all four wisdom teeth removed this week and still being "cheeky" enough (no pun intended) to set me straight and tell me what's what.

After a great weekend, it's back to the daily grind.  Let's make the most of every hour this week, shall we?

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Bewuzzled said...

Can I eat at your house? Yummmm!!!!

Blink said...

Very nice. My Digeorno frozen pizza now has a complex...

schlombie said...

Thank you Mel. Even if blood and friendship didn't hold us together...this blog would. It's so irresistible! and OMG that is the best LOOKING meal you have made yet. Please don't give up on the pillowy focaccia. Try some other time and perfect it. It looked pretty perfect to me. The pork looked beautifully done with that incredible sauce!

jdlloyd said...

What a fab meal! Nicely done, Mel.
This thing with pork is's what you Links DO.