Monday, February 18, 2013

Pork Loin and Scalloped Potatoes!

Dinner is served! It has been some time since I was feeling actually ambitious in the kitchen but we had a pork loin out and I have been quite proud of my ability to grill them so I was on a mission! I acquired The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook and figured that is where I will find whatever I wanna make.  Not sure why I wanted Scalloped potatoes but I did, kind of craving them.  I have tried some recipes before but they never quite came out as I wanted, took too long to bake or not creamy; something was always off.  I found an interesting one in the book and decided quite quickly that I was going to make them! I then went to grilling and wanted a dry rub and a glaze and I found both.   I will say dinner that night was awesome! My pork loin was so juicy and flavorful! I will not hesitate to make it like this again and the scalloped potatoes were tasty too.  I will do some tweaks but it is definitely my go to recipe!
This book had a page just of Dry Rubs as well as Wet Rubs; plus the page of Glazes that I was looking for.  I have been keeping Pure Maple syrup on hand and we had some stone ground mustard so I was obviously looking to use them.  I chose to do the Three-pepper dry rub with a Maple-Mustard Glaze.  It was so amazing!
Dry Rub: Three-Pepper Dry Rub:
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. white pepper
1½ tsp. coriander
1½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. cinnamon
Mix together and set aside.
Maple-Mustard Glaze:
2/3 c. whole-grain mustard (I used stone ground)
½ c. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Whisk glaze together and set aside.
**My pork loin was just over 3lbs so I made only half of my glaze. 

The Pork Loin:
1.       Preheat grill.  Rinse and dry pork loin.  Take dry rub and rub it into all parts of your pork loin.  You want it covered and well rubbed down!
2.       Place loin on grill.  At this point I turn my loins every 5-10 minutes.  I have learned that doing this keeps them well balanced in their cooking.  After about 20-30 minutes of cooking, depending on the size, you will begin to glaze.  Glaze and rotate your pork loin every couple of minutes for about another 10 minutes. 
3.       Take your loin off the grill and cover it with foil to rest for 10 min.  Slice and enjoy!

Scalloped Potatoes:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ¼  tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 ½ lbs. russet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 c. heavy cream (I actually used Skim milk because it is all I had)
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (1 c.) (I just used our shredded Mexican Blend)
1.       Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425.  Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the potatoes, broth and cream.  Bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
2.       Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish.  Gently press the potatoes into an even layer and sprinkle with cheddar over the top.  Bake until the cream is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown, 15-20 min.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
I had no problem with the skim milk; I will definitely try it with the cream as I am sure it will be much creamier.  I would next time omit the thyme and use green onions/or chives.  The thyme was a bit strong for us but I did enjoy it. I definitely want to play with the cheeses as well.  Either way it was a great basic recipe that I will use from here on out! 

I definitely LOVE grilling pork loin! 

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