Saturday, June 27, 2015




Pork Loin Bone-In Roast over Stuffed Bean Puree' with Chipotle Corn

This post is two-fold, as I will be posting two recipes in this one post, which is a continuation of my Budget Pantry Meal series. First up is a meal in which I used two canned pantry items and one freezer item.  I seared and seasoned a pork loin bone-in roast and finished it off in the oven, made a bean puree which I call stuffed, because there's much more to it than just mashed up beans, and a can of corn which I skillet cooked with chipotle in adobo.  There are a couple of more ingredients that I used, but I will list them momentarily. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, the Big Idea behind this series is to show you that, if you are in a position where you cannot possibly, due to whatever circumstances - whether for a day or weeks - go to the grocery store, you can use the bland, mundane items in your pantry and dress them up and proudly serve them to your family, full of of flavors and love. 

Let's get to it, shall we?

Pork Loin Roast Seasoning 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fennel seed
2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, dried
2 tablespoons stone ground spicy mustard
salt and pepper

In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the fennel seed, cumin seed, rosemary, salt and thyme leaves. Add them to a small bowl.  Add the extra virgin olive oil and mustard to the bowl and stir together thoroughly. 

Now, preheat the oven to 375-degrees.

Next, in an oven safe skillet, which is what I prefer, add three tablespoons of evoo to the skillet over medium-high heat.  Wait for the oil to ripple.  In the meantime, season the roast with salt and pepper on all sides.  Add the roast to the skillet and sear all sides, as possible.  Remove once you have a good crust on the top and sides, particularly.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before rubbing the Seasoning mixture over the roast.  Place the roast back into the skillet (or roasting pan, if that is what you must use, no problem) and roast for 30 minutes covered with foil, and 20 minutes without foil.  Remove to a plate or cutting board after the 50 minutes and let rest.  This allows the juices to redistribute.  If you cut it too soon, the meat can become quite dry.  After about seven minutes, cut between the bones.  

While the roast is enjoying the sauna, this is the time to prep the base of the dish.  I decided to make a pinto bean puree. I purchased a double flat of pinto beans a bit ago for a catering job I did not get, sadly, and so I have become somewhat of an expert as to how to turn beans into just about anything.  In this case, I decided to make a puree stuffed with 1/4 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo, half an 8-ounce can of corn and finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley. I had begun caramelizing half an onion in bacon grease and balsamic vinegar and on a whim, decided to add it to my pinto bean puree, which I had pulsed and pureed in a food processor. While the puree was darn good to begin with, the balsamic caramelized onions made an amazing difference.  I "done good" on a whim!  

Note to self:  Follow your instincts!

In a skillet, I added a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a couple of light turns around the skillet, and added the corn when the skillet was hot. In addition, I added a good rounded tablespoon of chipotle in adobo, seeds and all.  I added a sprinkle of parsley, as well.  The aroma is spectacular!  This skillet method takes only two minutes before the corn and adobo sauce have about caramelized, and there is a partial glaze on the corn.  At this juncture, I must let it be known that I grated fresh parmesan cheese over the bean puree in the processor as well as over the corn, once I'd removed it from the heat.  I wanted the cheese to act as a binding agent, as I had tried - key word, Tried - to plate the corn in a biscuit round, but, alas, it feel apart.  I should have let it set longer and with more cheese, perhaps.  Lesson learned!

I must apologize, because I normally take a million photos for the blog post, but I for some reason took five videos of the process, none of which I could upload to this post.  I must have been quite focused on the food aspect, not the photo aspect.  So sorry.  

To plate, I placed a glob of the bean puree on my serving platter and spread it with a spatula.  I placed a biscuit round, as mentioned above, scooped lightly cheesy corn into it, and let it rest for a moment whilst I placed a slice of the pork roast atop the bean puree spread. I garnished the plate with more finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley.  You could serve on a platter family style, or, on plates for individuals.  Either way, it is a grand presentation for mundane, formerly bland pantry items.  And the best part?  You saved a lot of time and money using these pantry items. 


Elegant, flavorful, filling.  A Budget Pantry Meal?  You bet!

And on to my next Pantry Meal........

Pesto Chicken over Balsamic Caramelized Onion and Bean Puree

This recipe is far easier than the first, because, the bean puree is already done!  For this recipe, I simply seasoned four bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with salt and pepper, seared them, skin side down first, in an oven-safe skillet, flipped and then topped each thigh with a heaping spoonful of jarred pesto.  I placed the skillet into the oven which I had preheated to 375-degrees and roasted for twenty minutes.  I flipped the thighs, spooned on pesto and roasted another twenty minutes.  

While the chicken was roasting, I started half an onion in bacon grease and 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar over medium-high heat.  I reduced the heat when it came to a boil to low and allowed it to simmer for forty minutes. 



I spread a generous heaping of the bean puree across a serving platter, placed the finished balsamic caramelized onions atop that, and placed three chicken thighs atop that, and garnished with yet more flat-leaf Italian parsley. It is the only herb that has lived through this last part of the month. 

I drizzled evoo over the top for a little more richness.

 
A few simple pantry ingredients, one protein from your freezer, vegetables as a side, if you have them, and you are ready to serve an elegant dinner to a family of four. 

I hope you enjoyed this short series - though I think I have one more dish up my sleeves tomorrow - about stocking up your pantry and creating delicious, healthy meals from simple items you have in your cupboards and freezer.  

Now, Go Cook Something for somebody you love!!!

Thank You for your time and consideration!