Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Pan-Roasted Pork Loin with Leeks

I think everybody has little weekend rituals they like to take care of to get the week of on the right foot. For me, it's creating a weeks worth of menus on Sunday mornings. I wake up and browse through Martha Stewart's website, through Everyday Food magazines, and through myrecipes.com. Myrecipes.com is probably my favorite recipe search engine because it connects to Cooking Light's recipe archive. It also has a feature that allows you to save the recipe you like to a shopping list where it organizes what you need by grocery section (produce, dry goods, etc). It is so handy and makes for a very efficient shopping experience, which is important when you're having to get your shopping done before the big game starts.

When looking for recipes, I try to mix things up in terms of protein choice and style of cuisine. I also try to stretch ingredients. For instance, this week I planned to buy a pork loin, and at the commissary they sell them in two pound increments. So I chose two recipes that called for pork loin, but that were very different in preparation and flavor. We will have Grilled Fajita Seasoned
Pork Loin with a Pineapple Salsa and Snap Peas, and we had today's featured recipe - Pan Roasted Pork Loin with Leeks. It is a great recipe that was very tasty and easy to prepare. I can get stuck in a recipe rut, so this one was a perfect way to shake up things. The leeks were creamy and tender and perfect to soak up the white wine that was added to the dish. They complemented the pork perfectly. I served this over a cauliflower puree that stood in for mashed potatoes. It's an easy side that so good, and not too bad for you either! Bring a head of cauliflower to a boil in chicken stock. Once tender, puree the cauliflower in a food processor. Add a little chicken stock and a quarter cup of fat free sour cream, salt, and pepper! Delish! It was perfect for this dish because it soaked up every bit of the juice from the pork and leeks.

I hope this recipe adds a little something to you next menu!

Pan-Roasted Pork Loin with Leeks

6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces pork and about 2 1/2 tablespoons leek mixture)
4 large leeks (about 2 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 (2-pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed
1/2 cup dry white wine
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Remove roots and tough upper leaves from leeks. Cut each leek in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (you should have about 6 cups). Soak in cold water to loosen dirt.
Combine leeks, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large Dutch oven or deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until leek wilts. Pour the leek mixture into a bowl.
Heat remaining 2 teaspoons butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan. Cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and wine to pan; cook 15 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return leek mixture to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours or until pork is tender. Remove pork from pan. Increase heat to reduce leek sauce if too watery. Cut pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with leek mixture. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

PS - I halved this recipe, but used the full cup of wine. Turn up the heat if you need to reduce the sauce. Also, I used I can't believe it's not butter sticks instead of butter, and it was still very good. Also, it says two hours, but I like my pork a little pinker in the center, so I'd likely do an hour and a half next time.

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