Friday, July 13, 2012

Garlic Crusted Sliced Pork Loin with Fresh Succotash

recipe adapted from

Succotash?  Ever heard of that?  Remember good old Sylvester the cat off of Looney Tunes always saying, "Sufferin' succotash!"  Well, little did I know that it is an actual dish.  I came across this recipe and thought that with sweet corn being in season it would be the perfect time to try it out. 

Pork Loin:
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped fine (I used about 3/4 Tbsp dried thyme)
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced fine
3 pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed and tied

2 cups frozen baby lima beans
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4-6 ears fresh sweet corn, scraped from the cob
1/3 cup heavy cream (I used evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
2 shakes paprika
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley (I used about 1 Tbsp dried parsley)

To make the pork loin, place the mustard, salt, thyme, pepper and garlic in a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles a coarse paste.  Rub the paste over the surface of the pork and allow pork to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours. If refrigerated, allow roast to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.  Roast the pork for 30-50 minutes, check internal temperature with a meat thermometer.  The temperature should read 140 degrees F.  (I cooked mine to 150 degrees F because that is what my meat thermometer recommended for fresh pork.) Remove the pork as soon as it reaches the correct temperature, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.

To make the succotash, place the beans in a saucepan and cover with salted water.  Simmer until tender, 6-8 minutes.  Drain the beans, and using the same saucepan, add the butter and  corn and saute quickly, about 2 minutes.  Add the cream, sugar, beans, and salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for about 3 minutes more.  

Spoon the succotash into 6 shallow bowls, sprinkle with paprika and parsley.  Top each with 3-4 (1/2-1 inch) slices of the pork loin and serve.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Braided Sandwich Loaf

 recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks it Up and Mel's Kitchen Cafe

There are several variations you can experiment with when making this sandwich loaf.  We have tried barbeque chicken, ham and cheese, and the latest (pictured below) is a pepperoni and cheese combination.  It turned out great and is a lot like a calzone.  

I used the recipe and instructions from Jamie Cooks it Up, but as far as getting the whole idea of the braiding technique, I really like the tutorial on Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  So, here's the recipe!
*Recipe makes 2 large sandwich loaves

1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt (I used a little bit less)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 Tbsp yeast
5-6 cups flour
1 egg

You can choose what variation you would like.  For the sandwich braid pictured above, I used pepperoni slices, this pizza sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese. 

You could also use slices of deli meat (about 16 slices) and your choice of cheese (about 8 slices).

Barbeque sauce, shredded or sliced cooked chicken, sliced red onion, and mozzarella cheese would make a delicious loaf.

Be creative!

1. To make the dough, dissolve 1 Tbsp yeast in 1/3 cup lukewarm water.
2.  In the bottom of a stand mixer, mix the sugar, salt and butter together with a fork until well combined.
3.  Pour the boiling water over the sugar mixture.
4.  Pour the cold water over the sugar mixture.
5. Pour the yeast/water mixture over the sugar mixture.
6.  Add the flour 1 cup at a time while mixing.  You know you have enough flour with the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
7.  Once you have enough flour, knead the dough on high for 7-8 minutes.
8.  Let the dough rest for 2 minutes in the bowl.
9.  Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and let them rest on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray for about 5 minutes.
10.  Sprinkle your surface with a small amount of flour and roll the dough out into a large rectangle.  Using a pizza cutter, cut 11-12 one inch wide strips along both longs sides of the rectangle. Be sure to leave about 5 inches down the center uncut. You want to leave room for your fillings.
11.  Place pepperoni down the center of the dough and then spread enough pizza sauce over the top to cover the pepperoni.  Sprinkle cheese over the sauce.  (If you are using a sauce, try to put a "drier" ingredient on the bottom layer and then cover with sauce.  I have found that if you put the sauce on the bottom layer, the bottom of your loaf tends to be a little soggy.)
12.  Over lap the dough strips in the center over the top of your fillings.  (Again, see Mel's Kitchen Cafe for a great tutorial on how to do this.)
13.  Place the sandwich loaf on a large cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with a silpat.
14.  Beat the egg with a fork until frothy. Brush the egg all over the loaf.  Sprinkle with desired seasonings on top.  I used freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Depending on the type of loaf you have made, you could also top with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, Montreal Steak Seasoning, dried onions, or cheese.
15.  Repeat these steps with the other piece of dough.
16.  Let the dough rise in a warm oven (about 170 degrees) for about 20 minutes.
17.  While loaves are still in the oven, turn oven up to 400 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes.  
18.  When the loaves are golden brown on top, turn the oven down to 350 degrees, and switch the pan on the bottom rack to the top. Bake for another 5-7 minutes.
19.  Let the loaves rest for about 5 minutes, then cut and serve.