In This Menu:
- Oven Roasted Pork Loin with White Wine Jus
- Cauliflowers Braised with Leeks
Cooking this time of year can be difficult. The energy and money spent preparing the Thanksgiving meal coupled with the calories consumed is taxing to say the least. Keeping in mind that you have Christmas dinner to prepare next, I’ll try to give you some healthy, simple recipes that utilize things on sale that won’t break the bank. I made this dish for the first time in preparation for this blog and I LOVED it! I need to say a word or two about food combining before I go further. There is a theory in nutrition that when certain foods are eaten together, it is harder for our stomachs to digest which causes our bodies to expend more energy. This results in that “tired” feeling we get for example after the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Although there is a chemical that occurs naturally in turkey (L-tryptophan) that can make you drowsy, the mixing of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates is a much more likely candidate.
The meal presented below is a combination of a protein (the pork loin) and a vegetable (cauliflower); we are not going to serve a carbohydrate. I can tell you from personal experience that when you eat like this, you will have more energy and if you are trying to lose weight, it can help you in this process. At the very least, it might help you get through the holidays without gaining any weight. Wouldn’t that be a great gift!
- 2 lb. boneless pork loin
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse, black pepper
- 1 white onion
- 1½ cup dry, white wine
- ½ cup chicken bullion or stock
Preheat oven to °475. Cut pork vertically down the center so that you have two pieces that are roughly 1½ in diameter. Rub pork with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cut the ends from the onion, cut in half horizontally, and remove peel. Slice onion into thin slices. Grease a metal roasting pan and lay one half of the onions in pan. Place pork on top of onions and lay the other half of the onions on top. Place pork in oven and cook for 10 minutes, reduce heat to °300 and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is °160. Remove pan from oven and take pork off of the pan and set meat aside to keep warm. If you plan on serving soon, just turn your oven to off and place pork on another pan with sides.
Place pork pan on stove top on low heat and add wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and with a wooden spoon, scrape the pan being careful to remove all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. For you newbies, this process is called deglazing and is done because the brown bits clinging to the pan are made up of caramelized bits of protein and are PACKED with flavor! The brown bits actually have a name. They are called the fond.
When the pan looks fairly clean, pour the sauce (pan jus) through a fine mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Place saucepan on high heat and bring back to a boil. Mix the cornstarch with the water to make a slurry and add to the jus, stirring constantly. Sauce should coat the back of a spoon. If you feel it is too thick, add some more broth, too thin and make some more slurry and add it slowly. Keep in mind that cornstarch does not activate unless a liquid is boiling so if, after adding the slurry, the sauce is thin, make sure and let it come to a boil before deciding if the consistency is correct. Check the sauce for salt. It may need a little bit. Slice the pork to desired thickness and lace sauce over the meat. Serve with braised cauliflower and leeks.
- 1 bunch leeks
- 1 head cauliflower
- ½ stick of butter
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Remove the leaves and stem from the cauliflower. Cut or break into 1-inch pieces. Set aside. Cut the root ends from the leeks then cut off most of the green tops. You can leave about 1 inch of the green part of the leeks. If you leave anymore than that, it will be too fibrous and tough. Remove the first couple outer layers of the leeks. Cut leek into 1-inch thick pieces. Check them for any dirt and rinse as necessary. Place a large saucepan (one that has a lid) on stove and melt the butter over low heat. Add the vegetables, salt, pepper, and the stock. Turn heat to medium and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring as needed.
Reduce heat to low again, cover pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove vegetables from the liquid in the pan. Set veggies aside to keep warm. Put pan back on heat and bring to a boil. Boil liquid until it begins to thicken. Pour over vegetables and serve.