Good Eats

With apologies to Alton Brown.  It’s Friday, and I cooked for probably the first time since Thanksgiving.  I mean really cooked and did something creative.  And it really turned out well.  I have to admit, I got inspired by watching Rachel Ray on Food Network the other night.  Rachel-haters can just deal with it.  She was doing Cornish Game Hens, and made this really simple orange/balsamic glaze for the birds.  I wondered what else it might work with, and I came up with … pork roast.  So, with really nothing else to discuss tonight, let’s do food.

The Ingredients:
2 pound center cut boneless pork roast.
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil.
1 cup (more or less) fresh spinach
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/3 finely chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts.

Start with the pork roast.  Butterfly the roast so that it’s about 4 times it’s original width. It’ll be a nice long rectangle.

The Glaze.
Equal portions of frozen orange juice concentrate and balsamic vinegar.  Doesn’t have to be the expensive stuff.  Add about a third as much Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Whisk together.  Scene.

The Filling
Toast about a quarter cup of pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. In a separate skillet, sweat the chopped onion, mushrooms (I used baby Portobellos), and garlic in vegetable oil.  When the onions are translucent, add the toasted pine nuts, and saute for just a few minutes to combine the flavors.  Salt and pepper to taste.

The Cooking
Lay out the pork roast.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Paint the meat with the glaze.  Lay fresh spinach over about 3/4 of the roast, then spread on the onion mixture. 

Roll the roast into a log and secure with butchers twine or silicone bands.  Salt and pepper the outside of the roast, then coat with the glaze.  Don’t be shy.  Slather it on.

Place the roast on a baking rack in a shallow pan lined with aluminum foil.  Place an oven-safe thermometer in the center of the roast.  Roast uncovered in a 350 degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.  Your pork may be just a slight shade of pink but trichinosis is a thing of the past, and every chef I’ve talked to says 140 is perfectly fine.  Allow the roast to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.  Serve in rounds. 

It was really easy and I’d order it in a restaurant.  Really.  BTW, I picked up the silicone bands at a kitchen gadget store.  They’re basically oven-safe rubber bands that can take the place of butchers twine.  They’re not ideal for every situation.  Sometimes I still prefer food bondage.  It just depends on the recipe.  But for this application, they were perfect.

I really need to try to take some pictures of some of these things as I cook them.  This turned out really attractive and it tasted great.

Not much else going on here at Lake Woebegone By-The-Sea.  But it’s the weekend, so hopefully some new pictures will be in my immediate future.



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Filed under Cooking, Food, Television

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