Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Monday, Monday - Apple Honey Mustard Roast Pork Loin

You can thank The Mamas and the Papas for today's ear worm.  If you are old like me, nothing screams the 60's like their four part harmony, except possibly extra wide bell bottoms and platform shoes. 

Monday, Monday
Can't trust that day
Monday, Monday
Sometimes it just turns out that way

Oh, Monday morning you gave me no warning
Of what was to be
Oh, Monday, Monday
How could you leave and not take me ...

But whenever Monday comes
You can find me crying all of the time

Flowers outside the Florida Radiology building.  Of course they are pink!

Monday, Day 34 - I hate to give up my fine parking spot outside Florida Radiology, but I'm waiting on some CDs to be burned, which is going to take a little while, and I really do need another cup of coffee.  The lot was practically empty when I got here just an hour ago; now, it's filled up all the way to left field.  Minor inconvenience standing between me and my coffee.

Chelsea, hating her new shirt

I am finding it just a tad overwhelming to have medical appointments of one sort or another, every day this week. Last week I "only" had them four out of five.  And did I mention that every single one has been way outside of my home zone? How do other people do it?  What well of strength do they draw from, that I seem to be lacking?

When I feel sorry for myself, I go shopping - food shopping, that is, and that's how I found myself at the Winter Park Whole Foods this morning.  You can't tell me it's not therapeutic to stroll up and down aisles where almost everything is marked "organic".  I know I feel better for having gone there, and it only cost me $9.32 for steel cut oats, Bob's wheat bran (I don't know Bob, but I like his products), zante currants, and Popchips brand sweet potato chips.  That's a lot less than a therapy session, although I have to go to one of those this week as well.

Feeling lower than Chris Christie's poll numbers, I finished at Whole Foods and then struck off on a trip to nowhere.  I missed the easy exit to I-4 and kept going, exploring roads and locations that were hardly known to me.  I love to explore, and the day started to shape up the way I like it, finishing with yet another food shopping foray inside Publix.  If it wasn't for my back trying to crack in two, I'd say it was a pretty damn fine day.

Orchids and Hydrangea at Whole Foods

I want to Talk Pork with you today. First of all, it's a good thing I don't keep kosher, because pork is still affordable, unlike beef, lamb, and veal. Second, the best deal on pork is a honking huge boneless pork loin, in cryovac, from BJs warehouse.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Costco and Sam's Club likely carry the same hunk of porcine glory in their meat case.  They run between nine and twelve pounds and every single ounce of it is edible.

Last time I bought one of these, I divided it into thirds, used one piece and froze the other two, but before freezing them, I seasoned them rather well and swaddled them in aluminum foil.  One was seasoned with my mild Jamaican jolt spice blend while the other got showered with garlic salt and lemon pepper.  Just as I feel secure in the knowledge that one cannot starve with a drawer full of sliced cheeses, it satisfies my balaboostah's soul to see hunks of meat - pork loin, pillow packs of chicken thighs, eye round roasts - tucked into deep freeze.  One could survive a zombie apocalypse with such provisions at hand, assuming your living dead next door neighbor had not destroyed the local electrical grid.  In that worst case scenario, throw the frozen protein projectile at the marauding zombies, grab a couple of cheese sandwiches, and run like hell.

Because I need to do some serious advance cooking for this week and next, I pulled the garlic salt and lemon pepper loin out of the freezer, and thought I would figure out a recipe by the time it defrosted.  I did, and I have it on good authority that the flavor combination rocks.

Apple Honey Mustard Roast Pork Loin

1 - 3 pound piece of boneless pork loin
Garlic salt
Lemon pepper
5.5 oz. can apple juice
1 bottle Ken's Steakhouse Honey Mustard Dressing
kosher salt, black pepper, granulated garlic
Raging River Five Pepper blend or cayenne pepper, to taste

Season the pork with the garlic salt and lemon pepper.  Refrigerate several hours or overnight.   Heat a heavy skillet on medium high; sear the pork roast on all sides.  Remove to a baking dish into which the apple juice has been poured.  Cover with aluminum foil, then place into a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and squeeze or pour on enough of the honey mustard dressing to coat the pork loin. Use a fork or flat wire whisk to incorporate any honey mustard that has dripped dow, into the apple juice in the pan.  Return to the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, and with tongs, carefully move the pork to another dish. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Whisk the cooking liquid until well-combined.  Taste and adjust seasoning with the salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and Raging River.  Place the pork back into the pan, and baste with the cooking liquid.  Finish cooking the pork for 10 to 20 minutes, basting twice more, and until the internal temperature reaches 145 to 150 degrees.  Let rest before carving.  Slice into fairly thin slices, and pour the sauce over the slices.

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