Thursday, February 24, 2011
Creamed Spinach with a Marinated Pork Loin
Somehow, someday, some of you may meet my sainted mother. I am begging you to please not tell her how much I like creamed spinach. I would be afraid she would make her recipe. It's just better if she goes to her reward (40 years from now) without being tempted to whip her's out. Now, if I could teach an old Mom new tricks, I would teach her this recipe.
But before we get to the tasty spinach, here's the quick version of the pork loin...
1 Pork loin
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBS finely minced Ginger
1 TBS "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence"
Mix the marinade (Honey, Vinegar and ginger) in a large plastic bag, add the loin, seal and allow it to marinade in he refrigerator for 8 hours.
In a heavy skillet, brown each side of the loin. Sprinkle the herb mix (I keep a monthly supply of fresh "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence" made ahead of time. Feel free to substitute whatever spices and herbs you have on hand and think would blend well with the marinade) over the top.
Rest the loin on a sheet of aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and roast in the oven at 325 until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Especially with pork, you want to use one of those remote prop thermometers to keep track of the internal temperature. The price has dropped again, and you can pick one up for around $20... A great investment. Pork has changed over the years. It is much leaner now than when "Joy of Cooking" and Julia Child cook books were first published. Cooking times for pork have changed. Remote prob is the way to go.
When it reaches 145 degrees, remove from the oven, seal up the loin with the aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. This allows the meat to rest, allowing the juices to moisten the meat. If you cut too soon, all the juices run out and you have a dry piece of meat.
When you cut, whatever juices are in the bottom of the foil, pour over the meat!
But, god help me... The star of this meal is this rich, creamy, garlicky, nutty, cheesy Spinach.
Really, it is...
Here's what I did...
1 bag of Spinach (be sure it is washed)
1 medium size Shallot Cut into thin slivers)
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
2 TBS Butter
In a large saute pan, cook Olive Oil over a medium heat. Add the shallot and saute for 10 minutes, being careful not to burn the shallot. Add the garlic and saute for another 3 minutes.
While that is cooking, remove the stems from the spinach. After the garlic step, add the spinach and saute until it has completely wilted down. Add the cheese and mix until it has all melted. Add the butter (feel free to substitute milk for the butter if you must) and saute until it is all melted and adds to the creaminess of the spinach.
And like I said... please do not let my sainted Mother know I like this as much as I do...
It's not my Mama's recipe!
A little spinach, some pork loin and a potato souffle' and I had a pretty good meal!