March 28, 2010

Cumin Dusted Pork Loin with Candied Orange Sauce

This dish comes together quickly for a weekend family meal. Toast 1 1/2t cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant. Mix together the toasted cumin seeds, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4-1t red chile pepper flakes, 2t orange zest, 1t sea salt, 1/2t black pepper and pound into a paste using a mortar & pestle, or pulse together in a food processor. Rub the paste onto a 1 1/2lb-2lb pork loin, cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for 3-5 hours, pull the pork out of the fridge 30-45 minutes prior to roasting.

Preheat the oven to 45o degrees F. Place the pork in a roasting pan on the center rack in the oven and roast for approximately 20-25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast for approximately 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature is somewhere between 140-145 degrees F.

Pull from the oven and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes prior to slicing.
Meanwhile, bring the juice of an orange and scant 1/2 cup of honey to a boil, reduce by half or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.

Pour over sliced pork loin and serve with fresh orange slices.

Buon Appetito!

March 27, 2010

Teeny Tiny Superheros

Tabbouleh is traditionally made with Bulgur wheat; I take the gluten-free route by toasting Quinoa & Millet then simmering the two together until light and fluffy.

I also add Kalamata olives & fresh cilantro, shhhh don't tell the Traditionalists!

Quinoa is a complete protein, with an essential amino acid balance close to ideal. If grains and seeds were villains and superheros, then Super Quinoa would surely be the most powerful of Superheros!

Millet is the perfect sidekick packed full of protein and plenty of Vitamin B. This tiny seed actually increases the level of serotonin in our brain and helps promote the feeling of well-being, optimism and peacefulness.

I am not a huge advocate of measuring cups and spoons outside of baking. However, I'm quite particular about measuring when it comes to rice, grains & seeds. It is so disappointing to partake in a mushy, lumpy, heavy grain dish or a dish that is so dry the grain is crunchy and not cooked properly. I'm all for al dente and tadig, but not at all a fan of undercooked grains and rice.

March 24, 2010

Southeast Asian Lettuce Cups

Lettuce cups are a fun and healthy meal that can be pulled together in minutes. Run your knife through a couple of carrots with a quick julienne. Over medium-low heat saute carrots, minced ginger, the white bit of the scallion and garlic until soft. Add ground turkey, fish sauce, san-j and a touch of sambal olelek. Simmer together until the meat is cooked through. Garnish with fresh cilantro and the green bits of the scallion. Serve wrapped within your favorite type of lettuce.

March 20, 2010