25 January 2008

Carribean Queen (Roast Pork Loin)

We went home to visit my parents in Nashville over Christmas, and my Dad (Chef Love) showed me his new cooking gadget: The Big Easy. This thing can roast poultry like deep-fryin' a chicken or turkey without the fat!! He stuck a big ol' turkey in there, seasoned with Creole Butter and Injection-- only to find the bird completely cooked to tasty perfection, but also completely blackened!!

We peeled the blackened skin away to reveal tasty, moist meat. This was served with yellow (saffron) rice and black beans, and I added a bit of fresh salsa to complete the dish. YUMMM!!! It reminded me of a meal I had at a restaurant in Nashville called The Calypso Cafe.  I just read their online menu and it made my mouth water...

Since then, Tom has been telling me to try and replicate this dish. I tried a grilled chicken breast with the beans and rice a couple weeks ago, but this week I got closer!

So- I was going to get a whole roasting chicken at the grocery, but pork loin was on sale-- I'm always a sucker for a sale.

I rubbed a 2 lb. boneless pork loin roast with a bit of olive oil, and some Carribean Seasoning. I did a quick google and got a few suggestions for a mix. The following is what I ended up with. I put it in my spice grinder (aka my old coffee bean grinder) and came up with an aromatic delight.

Carribean Seasoning:
1 Part:         2 Parts:                      3 Parts:
cumin seeds coriander seeds whole cloves
black pepper ground ginger ground red pepper
brown sugar ground cinnamon
grated lime rind kosher salt

I put that puppy on a roasting rack and roasted at 450 degrees for 10 minutes to sear, and then
reduced the heat down to 300 degrees for about 80 more minutes.

To accompany, I made some black beans and yellow rice. And--my favorite, pico de gallo.

Yellow Rice:
Buy a bag of Mahatma Yellow Rice. Follow instructions and use olive oil instead of margarine.

Black Beans:
Heat 1-2 tsp of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add about 1/4 cup diced onion and 1-2 cloves minced garlic and sauté until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add chicken broth to cover, about 1/2 cup. Bring to a boil, and add one can drained, rinsed, black beans and 1 tsp Carribean seasoning.  Reduce to low to simmer, and keep warm until serving.

Pico de Gallo:
Seed and dice 5-6 plum (Roma) tomatoes. Finely dice 1/2 red onion, 1 medium jalepeño, and about 1/4 cup cilantro leaves. Mix tomatoes, onion, jalepeño, and cilantro with 2 cloves of minced garlic and the juice of one lemon. Add a dash of coarse salt to taste.

Here is the final plate (again with my laptop camera...)

Tom's quote for this meal (which I think he's just trying to get quoted...) was: "So good, It's !@#$% up!"

We watched the first couple episodes of Season 3 of The Wire.

1 comment:

erin said...

Carrie,

We made this last night just for making the cubanos, and discovered just how amazing this recipe is. We used a .89 pound pork loin and rubbed it with olive oil and the following amts of spices (mixed together):


1/2 tsp each:
cumin seeds
ground red pepper
black pepper
grated lime rind

1 full tsp each of:
ground coriander
allspice
ground ginger
ground cinnamon
kosher salt

We forgot the brown sugar, but it was tasty nonetheless. We cooked it at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then cooked it the rest of the way at 300 degrees until the internal temp was 158 degrees.

Then while waiting for our cubanos to cook we proceeded to finish off the pork loin with our hands. We will SOOO be making this again. THANK YOU!!