Lemon pork loin recipe

This is one dish my mom often cooks in summer and it is awesome because you can prepare it in advance and enjoy it cold as a cold roast or thinly sliced in a sandwich with a bit of lemony mayo. Also, the lemony taste makes it light and perfect for the summer.

Ingredients

  • 2lb pork loin
  • 4-5 lemons
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. All you need is pork loin (about 2 pounds), the juice of 4 or 5 lemons, a bit of olive oil (better if extra virgin), salt and pepper. This dish is best made in a pressure cooker, but you might use a regular pot.
  2. First season your pork loin with salt and pepper, just rub a bit of salt and pepper on both sides of the loin, then put the loin in the pressure cooker or the pot, add the juice of the lemons and a spoon or so of oil. Put the lid on and turn on the stove. If you are using a pressure cooker you should cook it 30-40 minutes from the whistle, for the regular pot it probably needs a hour to a hour an a half. When it’s done cooking, let the steam out and let the meat rest in its juices until is lukewarm or even cold.
  3. Serve lukewarm or cold, slice as thin as you can (use a slicer if you have one) and put on a plate with the juice from cooking.
  4. If you think it might be too sour for you or some of your guest, place juice in a separate bowl. The meat itself is going to be only slightly lemony, the real punch is in the sauce.
  5. This dish keeps well for a day or two in the fridge, so can be prepared in advance and is perfect for potlucks, pic nicks and the like, or simply to make ahead for a busy day.

Italian meatballs recipe

Today I am cooking meatballs. A coupe of days ago I was seeing Tyler’s Ultimate on the food network and he was tackling meatballs, and I decided I was going to make some as soon as possible. Now I do meatballs my way and they are a little different every time, so I use any meatball recipe only as an inspiration. The secret however is to always add enough breadcrumbs to make them fluffy. That’s how I did them today.

Because meatballs are so Italian, I posted it on Manu’s Menu event for the 150 Years of the Unification of Italy.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • vegetables (zucchini, onion, carrot)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 to 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cans of tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • EVOO

Directions

  1. First I diced a zucchini, a small onion and 2 carrots. I sauteed them in a bit of oil starting from the onion and adding first the carrots and then the zucchini. I salted them and cooked them for about 5 minutes, basically until they were all soft.
  2. In a bowl I combined about 3/4 pounds of minced beef, 3 eggs, salt, pepper, the veggies and enough plain breadcrumbs to make the mixture relatively dry but still very soft. I then formed into 12 balls the size of a golf ball.
  3. I rolled the balls in some plain breadcrumbs and then pan fried them in about 1inch of olive oil. When they were nice and crispy I took them out and put them on paper towels and pat them to eliminate the excess oil.
  4. I then warmed up some tomato sauce (about a can and a half) and put the meatballs back in for about about an hour.
  5. I just had one and was pretty good! Waiting for my BF to eat them all!

Oven-baked eggplants two ways

The other day I bought some eggplants at the farmers’ market. I love eggplants and one of my favorite way of cooking them is to roast them in the oven: when you cook them this way they get kind of a smoky flavor, which makes oven-baked eggplants the main character in any meal. As you will see I use the roasted eggplants in two way: one as a vegetarian entree and one as a pasta sauce.

Oven-baked eggplants twoways

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 spoon capers
  • 1 small onion
  • 5 dried tomatoes
  • 1 spoon tomato paste
  • salt

Directions

  1. I cut 2 eggplants in half lengthwise and then made some cuts in the flesh without slicing all the way through the peel. These helps cooking the eggplant evenly. Then I placed the eggplant sliced side up in an oven dish and seasoned them with salt, pepper, oregano and a lot of olive oil. I placed them in the oven preheated at 400F to roast for about 40 min to 1 hour depending on the size of the eggplants (mine were pretty big).
  2. In the mean time, I chopped up a couple of table spoons of capers a small onion and some dried tomatoes. I sauteed this mixture in olive oil for a couple of minutes and then added a table spoon of tomato paste. Seasoned with salt and added a bit of water so that the mixture could cook without burning.
  3. 10 minutes before eggplants were ready, I spread the mixture on the eggplants and then covered them with some aluminum foil. I put everything back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  4. Now as I anticipated I used the baked eggplants in two ways. One eggplant I ate like this as a vegetarian entree and out of the other I made a pasta sauce. For making the pasta sauce, all you have to do is put the flesh and seasoning of the eggplant (about 1 eggplant every 3 people) in a blender with a lot of olive oil and blend until you have a smooth cream. Use this cream as a sauce for some short pasta like rotini or penne. If you want you can add some basil, blak pepper and grated romano cheese.

Pasta Salad Recipe

Today I am invited to a dinner on a boat and I was asked to bring a salad. I am not an expert on Cesar salads and dressings so I decided to make a pasta salad with roasted vegetables. Very summery and perfect to prepare ahead.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1 eggplant
  • 3 zucchini
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • basil
  • salt
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. I took an eggplant, 3 zucchini, 2 red bell peppers (yellow ones would also be great) and 3 tomatoes. I sliced the eggplant, the zucchini and the tomatoes width-wise in slices about 2 inches thick and I placed the vegetable slices and the whole peppers on the barbecue to grill.
  2. I used the barbecue because I was already grilling something else for dinner, but you can as well use the oven or an iron grill pan on the stove with basically the same results. Obviously the different vegetables have different cooking times: 1 minute per side for the tomatoes slices, 3 to 5 minutes per side for the zucchini and the eggplant slices, 20 to 30 minutes for the peppers, turning it 3 or 4 times so that is roasted on all the sides.
  3. All the vegetable should be very soft when you get them off the grill: the pepper should collapse as soon as you take it out of the heat, the tomatoes should be almost the consistency of the ones in chunky tomato sauce and zucchini and eggplants should be soft.
  4. Once you are done grilling put the peppers in a paper bag to cool down (I don’t know why, but it makes it much easier to peel it), dice the eggplants, zucchini and tomatoes, and, once cooled down, peel, seed and dice the pepper.
  5. Season the vegetables with basil, 3 or 4 whole cloves of garlic (do not mince or cut the garlic), salt and a lot of olive oil. At this point you can let the vegetable sit in your fridge for up to a day before adding pasta.
  6. Now cook about 1 pound of pasta, short pasta like penne, rotini or bow-ties works best, in hot boiling salted water. Make it “al dente”, the cooling down and marinating process will make the past a little softer so if you overcook it by the time you eat your salad it will be very mushy.
  7. To cool the pasta down you can either rinse the hot pasta in running cold water (fast method, but it washes away some of the flavor) or let the pasta sit in a strainer and add a bit of olive oil (with this method the past will keep cooking until is cold, so make it extra al dente). When pasta is cold and you are almost ready to eat (if you let the past in the marinating vegetable for too long it will soften and become mushy) add it to the marinating vegetable and enjoy!
  8. This much past salad can serve a party of about 10-15 people at a potluck or 5-6 people as an entree at a seated dinner.

3.1

Other things you can add to the pasta salad, if you like them, are mozzarella (the one shaped like balls and preserved in water, not the Kraft mozzarella sticks), crushed red pepper, black pepper, and/or capers.

Recipe exchange and pork loin

I disappeared for a while, but I guess that’s not a big problem, as I am sure you can find a lot of other recipe online much better than mines…. Anyway I was invited to participate in a recipe exchange which is kind of a cool thing: you send e-mails to 20 Friends and they send it to another 20 friends and they send you a mail with a recipe, and theoretically you should receive 36 recipe back….. I am still waiting for mine…. In the mean time this is the recipe I sent. Last time I cooked it for a Halloween party and it had a huge success!

Recipe exchange and pork loin

Ingredients

  • Pork loin (1 to 2lb dpending on how many guest you want to impress)
  • 15-20 pitted prunes
  • about 10 slices of bacon
  • 1 or 2 apples
  • about a cup of milk
  • about a spoon of butter

Directions

  1. For the roast take the pork loin and with a sharp long narrow knife make create 2 or 3 long and narrow pockets that run lengthwise trough the pork. Stuff the prunes in the holes. Wrap the loin in bacon and tie everything so that the bacon doesn’t move and the loin keeps its round shape while cooking (I used to skip this step but now I think it is quite important).
  2. Season the pork with salt, pepper and if you like it a bit of rosemary, don’t overdo the seasoning there is plenty of flavor in the bacon, I often skip the salt completely. Put the bacon-wrapped loin in an oven dish with a tiny bit of oil (the bacon will render a lot of fat) and place everything in the oven at 380-400F for about 1 and 1/2 hour (don’t worry you cannot really overdo this so when in doubt leave the roast in for an extra 10 minutes), if the bacon becomes too dark too fast just turn the oven down to 350-360F. You will need to turn the roast a couple of times during the cooking time to make sure the bacon gets evenly crispy.
  3. For the apple sauce, melt the butter in a large skillet and when it is golden brown add the apples sliced thinly and let them caramelize. After about 5 min blend the apples into a thick sauce adding as much milk as you need to make it creamy but not thin.
  4. Serve the roast with the apple sauce and enjoy!
  5. I know this recipe might sound weird but give it a try, you might be surprised! Plus I guarantee it makes you look like a top chef!
  6. Hope you’ll enjoy it