A few weeks ago I knew it was time to get back on track with my regular eating plan, which meant cutting out a lot of the “treats” which have become a regular indulgence. (Is that an oxymoron, like “jumbo shrimp”?) The reality is my body can’t seem to handle the extra carbs, especially the sugar and wheat that has crept back into my meals and between meal snacks. Rather than going “cold turkey” (mmmm, Cold turkey sounds good. We didn’t any for T-day, as you know.) I’ve been reducing the sugar and carbs gradually, until this week when I’ve switched back to my regular low carb, protein and vegetable focused, eating plan. Well, except for that last matafan. LOL. I’ve been eyeing this week’s Dorie recipe for quite some time. Pork stuffed with swiss chard, onions, garlic, red pepper and raisins, seasoned with cracked pepper and coriander is close to ideal both for our eating plan as well as our taste buds. I only wish I had this recipe back when we were looking for new and interesting uses for our weekly shipment of chard from the CSA. At any rate, we love roasted pork, whether its a loin, or a slow roasted shoulder, or even a fresh “picnic ham,” The leftovers are great with an egg on top, but they don’t usually last long regardless of the size of the roast, as we enjoy it that much. The most difficult part of this weeks dish was finding a loin roast in the 2.5 lb range! The tasting verdict: we both enjoyed it. I can’t quite put my finger on what I love so much about coriander. There is an underlying almost perfume-like quality to the flavor, that compares to little else. The seeds have a fresh flavor that one could compare to eating a green herb, yet they taste very little like the leaves of the same plant. Combined with the heat and sharpness of the pepper, I understand why cooks prior to refrigeration used this combination of spices to preserve and enliven meat. The fat cap on the loin crisped up beautifully and the meat was juicy. I would absolutely make it again. Notes:
- After last week, its should be no surprise that I cut back on the onion in the stuffing. (Seriously? Another onion?) I went with half a small onion and thought it was just right.
- D got a break this week from sweet-savory combinations since I only sprinkled a small amount of raisins on one half of the chard stuffing once it was inside the roast. I tried both ends of the roast and decided I liked both the completely savory version, as well as the one with the touch of sweetness from the raisins. Raisins are quite carb loaded anyway, and its good to know the dish was not too affected by their absence.
- Although Dorie does not mention doing this, I did salt the inside of the cut roast before filling with the seasoned stuffing.
- Tying the roast gave me fits for a moment since I’ve not trussed or butcher-tied anything in a while, but I eventually got the hang of it and the stuffing all remained inside. It would have been easier to just do 4 or so individual tied sections, but I was trying to get fancy. LOL.
- The roast was 3lbs at the start and looked much thicker than the one in Dorie’s picture. It needed to cook for 1 hour and ten minutes to get to the desired 140 degrees. After resting for 15 minutes, it registered around 154 degrees, and for my taste, it could have baked just slightly less time. An hour would have been enough.
Catch what all the other French Fridays with Dorie cooks did with their recipe this week. We are not publishing recipes from this book, so if you like what you read, pick up a copy of Around My French Table and consider cooking and blogging along with us.