Friday, February 26, 2010
A FEW PORKIES!
Presently a delicious-looking piece of shoulder pork sits patiently in my refrigerator defrosting in readiness for roasting, and impatiently, I sit here drooling over the thought of its end outcome.
My appetite already whetted and tormented, I have a desperate desire to share my torment with you.
Every time I open my fridge door I'm confronted by the glorious piece of meat sitting there tempting and tormenting me, waiting to be altered to a culinary delight! Perhaps I should stop opening my fridge door so I don't succumb too early to its blatant enticement. Like a seductive siren, it beckons me forth! I can’t wait to get my teeth around its crisp, golden crackling!
It's constant presence reminds me of a particular episode when I was living on Newry Island, north-east of Mackay. Upon taking over the island (I sound like a pirate, don't I?)I discovered a couple of very large legs of pork, together with some frozen, cooked mud crabs in the freezer. Not knowing how long they'd been in the freezer, and not willing to take a chance on their longevity, I decided to discard them.
Not one to litter, I pondered the situation over a chilled beer as I decided their fate. Digging a monstrous hole was one option. Another was to throw them into the ocean. Adopting the latter option, with the sun departing the western sky, I tossed the frozen consignment into the bay, knowing they’d eventually be carried out to sea where they'd become fodder for the abundant sea creatures. Earth to earth, dust to dust, food to the fishes of the great blue yonder!
Ignorantly, I discounted the fact that the first incoming tide during the night would return my bountiful donation to shore!
Early next morning, I heard the sound of a boat motor. Rushing down the beach to greet my unexpected visitors, with a group of island guests hot pursuit, you can imagine my panic and embarrassment when I spotted, gaily bobbing up and down on the gently rippling waves in front of me the errant legs of pork and bright orange, cooked mud crabs!
As I jumped about waist-deep in water with a pole in one hand trying to hold down the rampant crustaceans and pork and my other arm flailing in a frantic attempt to drown the returned reprobates out of the way of prying, inquisitive eyes, a little boy yelled out excitedly;
“Look Mum! Mud crabs! Lots and lots of mud crabs!”
“Yeah,” I replied, dementedly. “I’m lucky. They come already cooked here!”
Balsamic Roast Pork:
Preheat oven 180C; season 1.5kg boneless pork loin with freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large pan to smoking point; add meat; seal on all sides for 3-4mins until golden brown. Transfer to roasting dish. In pan, melt 50g unsalted butter; add 2 red onions, cut into 8 wedges and 15g fresh, chopped rosemary. Sauté for 5mins until onion has softened. Tip into the roasting tin; pour over 125ml balsamic vinegar. Make sure the pork is well coated. Place in oven; cook for 40-45mins, stirring onions occasionally and basting the pork. 40mins before pork is ready add 6 small green apples, halved and pour over another 125ml balsamic vinegar. When apples are tender and pork is cooked, remove pork from roasting tin; allow to stand 10mins before carving. Place apples in serving dish; cover and keep warm until read to serve. Stir some dry white wine into roasting juices; simmer 3-4mins over medium heat. Serve with pork and apples.
Roast Pork Loin with Horseradish Crust:
Preheat oven 220C. In heavy skillet, cook 1c fresh breadcrumbs in 1tbl olive oil, salt and pepper over medium heat until golden. Transfer bread crumbs to a bowl; toss well with 2tbls bottled horseradish. Pat 2kg piece boneless loin pork dry; season with salt and pepper. In skillet heat 1tbl oil over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking; brown pork on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a shallow baking pan. In a small bowl, mix 1.5tbls each Dijon mustard and mayonnaise; coat top and sides of pork evenly with mixture. Press bread crumb mixture evenly onto mustard; roast pork in middle of oven 25-30mins (if bread crumbs begin to get too browned, arrange a sheet of foil loosely over pork). Transfer pork to a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes.
Lemon Pork Scallopini:
Brush 2 pork scallopini on both sides with 1/4c Italian dressing; season with lemon pepper; set aside. Mix together 1/3c each plain flour and grated Parmesan cheese on shallow plate. Coat pork generously; shake off excess. Heat 1-2tbls butter and a dash or two of lemon juice in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Quickly cook scallopini, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes, buttered broccoli spears, sliced tomatoes with blue cheese vinaigrette.