Tag Archives: pomegranate

more of that other white meat: pork loin and pomegranate

10 Aug

If you know me, you’re probably familiar with my disdain for chicken. The only white meat I’ll eat is oinkin’ delicious swine — so there.

Pork loin is pretty much the leanest, healthiest cut that can come from a pig, and therefore it’s often cooked to dry chewy oblivion. In case that happens (as it often happens to me), nothing masks your booboo better than a delightfully complex sauce. It must be the Frenchwomen in me.

pork loin and pomegranate sauce
from the pages of gourmet magazine, cause i’m fancy sometimes

* 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
* 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 pork tenderloins (each about 3/4 pound)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 cup plain pomegranate juice
* 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1 to 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Stir together cumin, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, and salt in a shallow bowl. Pat tenderloins dry and dredge in spice mixture until evenly coated.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to moderate and cook pork, turning occasionally, until meat is browned on all sides and thermometer inserted diagonally into center of each tenderloin registers 145°F, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pork with tongs to a cutting board (reserve skillet) and let stand 10 minutes.

While pork stands, pour off and discard any fat from skillet, then add pomegranate juice to skillet and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 3 minutes (if side of skillet begins to scorch, reduce heat to moderate). Stir together cornstarch and water and whisk into juice, then boil sauce until thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add Sherry vinegar to taste, then swirl in butter until incorporated. Pour sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and skim off any fat. Season with salt. Slice pork and serve with sauce.

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roasted red pepper, eggplant & feta salad

3 Aug

On special occasions, I like to blow a small fortune on cheeses for a fabulous spread… who doesn’t? For everyday cheese eating, I love venturing for a slice of fresh feta from the Mediterranean grocery near my house. Unlike the plastic container of crumbles you normally get, this feta is sold by the pound — delicately sliced to order from a giant brick soaking in brine. It’s perfectly creamy, mild, and not too tart…. perfect to nibble or toss into a salad.

Speaking of cheese, Monday night marked the Bachelorette season finale and we couldn’t have been more excited for “the most dramatic rose ceremony ever.”

The gals and I got together to scream obscenities at the TV and enjoy an equally colorful spread of bites — a leafy salad studded with ripe peaches, point reyes blue cheese and homemade candied walnuts, a DIY platter of grilled bread, steak, onions, fennel and homegrown (!) yellow squash, plus an eggplant and roasted red pepper salad made with my favorite fresh feta. We were bored by the bachelorette’s predictable choice of Latin lover, Roberto, but not disappointed by our fab feast!

Roasted Red Pepper, Eggplant and Feta Salad
adapted from Small Bites

* 2 red peppers, quartered, seeds and stems removed
* 3-4 small eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
* 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
* salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1 small red onion, sliced into half moons
* 6 oz feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 1 tsp cumin seeds
* small bunch of mint lives, roughly torn

dressing
* 1 small garlic clove, crushed
* juice of 1 lemon
* 3 tsp pomegranate molasses
* 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp each salt and pepper

Preheat the broiler to high. Place the peppers skin side up on a nonstick baking sheet. Place under the broiler, cook until blackened, then transfer to plastic bag, seal, and allow to steam 5 minutes. When cooled, peel off the skins and discard.

Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan, set aside.

Brush the eggplant with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook under broiler until crispy on both sides.

To make the dressing, place all of the ingredients in a jar and share to combine.

Arrange the eggplant and pepper, sprinkle with onions, feta and cumin seeds. Spoon on the dressing and garnish with mint. Serves 4 as a salad course.