Saturday, June 2, 2007

sun, flowers, and pork loin

You know it's going to be a good day when your boss suggests to you that since it's a beautiful Friday you should leave early. How can I turn down an offer like that??

Some people would take this opportunity to get home and relax. Not this busy bee..I decided that this would be a great opportunity to plant (since it's the first non-rain day all week) and to cook a nice dinner. Weekday dinners are usually fast and easy so I thought this would be a nice change. Plus, I wanted to make a special meal for M since we never got to celebrate his well earned camcorder win. To me, this is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

First up...planting flowers and herbs. This is the first year that we've done something like this. The closest we've come in the past is buying pre-planted herbs last year but those died almost immediately. We're hoping these flowers and herbs last at least a month (I'll keep you all updated).

We planted separate containers for herbs. Large leaf basil and Italian parsley filled one large planter and sage, oregano, english thyme, and summer savoury filled a smaller table-top one.

Once all that was done, I could focus on dinner. It's exactly 20 days till we leave for Portugal so I thought it would be a nice tribute to do something inspired by that. I had a pork loin defrosting so I decided to stuff it. Pork loin is a great cut of meat. It's lean, tender and boneless. It takes on any flavour you marinate it in so it's great for the bbq. I've never stuffed it before but how hard could it be? First, I butterflied the meat by cutting a slit three-quarters the way through and opening it up like a book. I then pounded the meat to a uniform 1 inch thickness all around for even cooking.

The stuffing consisted of creamy goat cheese, caramelized onions, baby spinach leaves, and some seasonings like s&p and a few chili flakes to round the flavours off. All these delicious ingredients were mixed together to create the filling. It was then spread onto the pork loin and rolled. Kitchen twine tied it securely, but don't tie it too tight as the stuffing will squeeze out. Placed on the bbq, it took about 15 minutes to grill on all sides.

We had the pork loin on a bed of arugula. The arugula was dressed simply with oil and vinegar.

Okay so by now you're probably thinking 'what did the pork loin have to do with Portugal'? Well, nothing really.
But we did have a bottle of white wine from the Alentejo region of Portugal with that made up for it.


ima said...

I enjoyed so much your last post...the flowers and the herbs you planted left me with such a nostalgic feeling... remembering our garden at the old house in Laval...

Anonymous said...

Well that Pork Loin looked delic! I hope your herbs don't die when you are in Portugal.

Annie Ruok said...

Beautiful flowers! I used to plant some in pots every yr when I 1st got the house...believe it or not tho, I'd get too attached to them & hated seeing them die when the frost would hit in Fall...this yr taking care of the grass will be enough work for me! The sage might take over your pot, it grows BIG usually, but it may stay in it's corner & just grow upward & outward - harvest it often & u can just freeze it (fresh is better tho!)