Sunday, January 10, 2010
Herb Encrusted Pork
What good are herbs if you don't use them?
When we first started growing herbs, I was very good about picking them and drying them. But that was where I ran into a snag.
Anyone who has grown and dried herbs knows that it takes a lot of leaves and a lot of time to make a little bit of crushed dried herbs.
So, once I had them all dried and crushed, They became like my own personal saffron. Akin to gold flakes, I hoarded them, put them in little bottles so I could look at them, and didn't use them. It was so hard to put a tablespoon of something into a recipe when I knew how much time and work it took to make a tablespoon.
Let me just add, that, I know that current wisdom says that dried herbs should not be crushed until you are ready to use them, but we have such a tiny home and such limited space that it was our only option.
To be honest, I think we still get pretty good flavor from the crushed dried herbs that we have. Maybe it would be even better if they were whole, and we crushed them as we used them, but I don't have any complaints with what we have.
Anyway, I decided that it would be silly to keep growing herbs unless we started using them, so I have really tried to use our homegrown herbs every chance I got.
Tonight, it was my turn to cook dinner.
I had a package of boneless pork cutlets that I bought at Kroger from the "Marked-Down" section, there were six of them, and they were marked $2.21. I set out to cook them.
I put about 1/2 cup of flour on a plate and added about 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder and Lawry's Seasoned Salt. Stirred it well with a fork.
Then I cracked an egg into a bowl, added an equal amount of cold water and mixed it well with a wire whip. I poured that out onto a second plate.
Finally I put about 3/4 cup of bread crumbs on a third plate and added about 1 1/2 tablespoons of my Herb Blend. This is basically just a mixture of all of the herbs we grew this year. You can read how I made it in this post here.
I put about 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan and put it over medium-high heat.
I patted the pork loins dry with a paper towel, coated them with the seasoned flour, dipped them in the egg and water and coated them with the bread crumbs and herbs.
When the oil was hot enough that a drop of water danced when I flicked it in the pan, I put the meat in, just long enough to brown it nicely on each side, then put them all in a glass casserole dish.
I covered it with foil and put it in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Now, I had quite a bit of seasoned flour and some of my egg mixture left over, although most of the bread crumbs were gone.
This is one of the reasons I don't bread meat as often as I would like to. First of all, it makes a mess and uses a lot of dishes, but then I always have left over flour, egg and bread crumbs and I'm not sure what to do with them. I hate to throw them away and you can't really save them.
I peeled 3 big potatoes, cut them in thick slices and dropped them in a bowl. I threw in the flour, eggs and bread crumbs and mixed it all together, then put them in the frying pan that I had seared the pork in. I covered the pan and let it on medium high heat until I could smell them cooking. Then I lifted the lid and stirred them off the bottom of the pan, added 3/4 C of cold water, and quickly returned the lid. This made lots of steam. After all steam is what cooks potatoes.
I turned them down to medium low and left them cooking.
When my 20 minutes were up, I took the foil off the pork and put it back in the oven at 350 for another 10 minutes, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
By the time the meat was done, so were the potatoes. Not attractive, but yummy!
A can of corn finished the meal.
Voila! Herb Encrusted Pork Loin, Stovetop Potatoes, and Corn:
There is something about growing your own food that makes it taste better than the very same food would taste, grown by the neighbors.
I swear I could taste every single one of the herbs on the meat while we ate it.
I have been invited to join the Grow Your Own round-up with this post. It looks like a fun link-up to join, and I look forward to joining them in the future as well. Grow Your Own is hosted, through the summer months, by Andrea at Andreas Recipes, and will be guest hosted this month, and perhaps more months this winter by Nate & Annie at House of Annie
You can read all about Grow Your Own Here
Once the roundup posts, I will add a link Here.
The roundup posted February 1, 2010. You can see it and read all about different things people made with food they grew themselves by visiting here.
I am also joining these fun blog recipe parties this week:
A Southern Fairytale for Mouthwatering Monday
Blessed with Grace for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
All the Small Stuff for Tuesday at the Table