Sunday, March 3, 2013

Super Simple Scrumptious Supper

This is, hands down, once of the simplest and most delicious meals I have ever made. They always say that keeping food simple is best, and this is a fantastic example of that. The pork is 3 ingredients plus good old salt and pepper. The roasted vegetable side is thrown in the oven with the pork at the back end of the cooking time. Easy peasy.

My family was all abuzz about pork this weekend. Yesterday my step mom called asking if we wanted some pork from Costco. She had already bought a couple of pork loins and was going back for more. Because they were $11 bucks for just over 7 pounds!!! What!?! Of course I wanted some. So my step mom called my brother, my brother called me, and a few hours later I had 15 pounds of pork. Oh yeah.

Obviously a pork roast was in order for dinner tonight. A quick Google search turned up this recipe for Pork Loin Roast with Garlic and Rosemary. This one's a keeper folks. The pork came out perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned, and incredibly juicy. I'm sure this is a testament to both the recipe and the meat itself (Costco's meat is so good, right?).

Okay, pork is in the oven. What will we eat with it? I had a few vegetable contenders- sweet potatoes, parsnips, or carrots. I went to my new go-to vegetable book Ripe by Cheryl Sternman Rule. This book is my new favourite. Beautiful photography, simple recipes, and witty commentary. I also love the fact that the author has organized the recipes by colour i.e. Yellow- there is a page for corn, one for pineapple, one for yellow onions. Each fruit or veg has a funny overview on the vegetable, a few suggestions on how to use it (not recipes but simple uses like Nectarines: Relish = diced nectarines + cherries + red onion + ginger), and then a recipe highlighting the produce.

The parsnip recipe won me over. The recipe in the book is for Roasted Parsnips with Pears and Thyme. I didn't have any pears, but apples with pork are classic, so I swapped apples for the pears. Now, I actually am just warming up to the sweet with savory deal. I have never had a pork chop with applesauce. It just weirded me out. BUT the apples were the best part of this meal and went perfectly with the pork, other vegetables, and thyme. I will make this again and again.

By the way, how do you like the alliteration in my post title? I enjoy it myself.

Three Years Ago: Ricotta Gnocchi

Vegetable recipe adapted from Ripe by Cheryl Sternman Rule
Serves 4
I used dried rosemary on the pork and it was great, but I bet it would be even better with fresh rosemary. Ditto for the thyme with the vegetables.
Get the pork loin in the oven following the recipe linked above. Keep in mind that you will putting another pan in the oven beside the pork or on the rack underneath, so plan accordingly.

Cut parsnips in half across the width. Cut the thinner ends in half again lengthwise. Cut the wider ends into quarters lengthwise. Cut the apples into wedges, discarding the core.

Place apples, parsnips, and carrots on a baking tray lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss and arrange everything in a single layer, ensuring the apples are not sitting with the skin side down (you want the flesh to touch the tray so that it gets caramelized for optimal deliciousness).

After turning the pork halfway through cooking, put the tray of vegetables in the oven with the pork, either side by side on the middle rack if you can, or on the rack below. Roast for 15 minutes then flip the apples and veg with a spatula. When the pork is done let it rest as per the recipe, keep the apples and veg in the oven cooking until the pork has finished it's rest. Serve with ketchup if you are 2 years old, otherwise nothing else is needed.

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