Thursday, May 3, 2012


Last night, we celebrated pork and it's deliciousness.  Herb pork loin with balsamic hollandaise, wilted garlic spinach and twice baked fromage blanc mashed potatoes.  This meal took a while to prepare, but it was well worth the effort.  The hubby is always open to new things, but he pretty much loves everything I throw together or "come up with."  He's always asking, "how did you come up with this?"  My answer is usually the same, "I dunno, it just sounded good so I tried it."  I think that's the best part of experimental cooking.  I'm no chef, but at least I try.  If it ends up being a totally weird dish, I usually pick at it and pass along my leftovers to him- he happily finishes the meal off without negative remarks.  Not that he'll eat just anything, but I'm much more finicky than he is.  To him, if there's meat and some sort of sauce (especially if the sauce is made with wine), some well cooked veggies and a decent starch, he's a happy camper.  In my eyes, he's the perfect taste tester for new foods.  Needless to say, he didn't get any leftovers from my plate last night.  I was completely immersed in my dinner and ate the whole darn dish.  It ended up being a decent evening meal, even if the dog sat drooling pressed up against me for the duration of it...

*Herb Pork Loin with Balsamic Hollandaise*
1.5 lb. whole pork loin
2 tbsp. S&S Sauce Brand "Peppercorn" rub (

This is easy.  Roll pork loin in rub (I used a sheet of tin foil to contain the mess) so it is completely covered, brush off any excess.  Place rubbed pork loin in baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Meat temperature should be 160 degrees when done.  Slice and serve with sauce.

*Balsamic Hollandaise* (the easy way, because I'm terrible doing it the regular way)
2 eggs
2.5 sticks of unsalted butter
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
sat & pepper to taste

Fill blender with HOT water and set aside.  In small saucepan, warm butter until completely melted, add balsamic.  Empty blender, crack eggs into blender and turn on low.  While blender is still running, pour melted butter quickly into egg mixture and raise speed of blender until a light foam is created.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Use this to pour over pork loin slices.

*Wilted Garlic Spinach*
1 bunch farm fresh spinach leaves, washed, stemmed and whole
1 clove garlic
salt to taste

Peel and dice garlic, place in unheated skillet.  Turn heat on medium, as the skillet heats up, the spinach will start to "wilt", which takes about 5 minutes.  Spoon flip spinach to cook evenly.  Garlic will cook, but will not caramelize.  After 5 minutes, spinach should be almost completely "wilted"- it is now ready to serve.  Add salt to taste.

*Twice baked Fromage Blanc Potatoes*
1 lb. red potatoes, skin on, chopped into quarters
1 cup of milk
1/2 pint Fromage Blanc cheese or cream cheese (
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
salt & pepper to taste

Cut potatoes (skin on) into quarters and place in large pot of boiling water.  Boil until soft (stab with fork to test tenderness).  Drain potatoes of water, leave in pot once drained.  Mash potatoes in pot with masher or fork.  Add butter, milk, cheese and salt/pepper.  Mix thoroughly.  Transfer potato mixture to large casserole dish and place in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  I completed the potatoes 20 minutes into the pork loin baking, so I just popped them right in the oven along with it for the last 20 minutes. 

Again, this meal takes planning and time...  I prepared the pork loin first, the potato dish second, the spinach a few minutes before the pork would be ready to eat and left the hollandaise as the very last task.  The result was a hearty, fulfilling meal that I will be making again in the future. 

The hubby went back for seconds, but it turns out his eyes were bigger than his stomach.  When this happens, we usually do what everyone with a dog is told *not* to do.  We give it to the dog.  I swear, our pug will be a connoisseur of fine foods by the end of this month.  He'll eat anything and everything.  Except pickles.  He does not like pickles, but he is happy to help with the dishes any day of the week :)

Happy Thursday!

P.S.  Argh! Forgot pictures again!! Must. Remember. Tonight.

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