Monday, November 9, 2009

J'adore Le Cruset

I have been in a cooking funk lately. The wedding drawing close, I long for the part of my brain back that has been relegated to questions of favors, flowers, and dresses. With a large part of my brain power (not to mention my daily energy) now commandeered by these trivialities, it's been hard to answer the usually exciting question of "What's for dinner?" In these last weeks to the finish line, I've also had to balance out my stress eating (a girl's best friend) by cutting out red meat and refusing to make any sweets myself. If other people make sweets and they happen to cross my path, however, well that's just fair game. Take Out has become an unusually large part of my sustenance, and Indian, Chinese, and hot dogs have filled out my diet. Meanwhile I've glared at my pots and pans and informed them I simply did not have the time for them this week.

The wedding was ruining my urge to cook, but that all changed when the first wedding present showed up at my door this week. A simple brown box, I gasped with glee when I read those beautiful words on the side, "Le Cruset." God bless you Mr. and Mrs. Jacobson. I tore into the package with glee, emerging with a 5.5 Quart dutch oven in Carribean Blue. Will may have been laughing at me as I celebrated my new equipment, but I was ignoring him. Men don't understand the possibilities contained in new cookware. My mind was on two things. One, getting rid of the crappy five quart pot I'd gotten second hand from someone when I moved to New York, and two, the pair of apples sitting unused in the fridge. This was, it seemed, the perfect time to tackle one of my favorite fall dinners, Pork Roast with Apples and Onions.

My schedule being what it is, I of course didn't get to it over the weekend, but so determined was I to use my new exciting cookware that I started the meal at 7:30 pm last Monday night. Luckily Will doesn't mind eating at 9 pm, and was making cocktails for me in the interim. The original recipe calls for 2 tbs of mustard with fennel seeds pressed into it. Will is not a fan of mustard, nor do I adore fennel. Therefore I use a touch of mustard--just a thin layer to create a glaze--which Will doesn't mind as much and I pressed in Rosemary from the pot on my window sill. I find these to be great improvements, but follow your own tastes. The original recipe also calls for 15 minutes of roasting, which was a woeful underestimate. It took about 25 minutes, and I threw the lid on for the final ten, so use your best judgement there as well. In the end you will have a fantastic fall meal, all cooked in one pot. My only hope is that your pot is as awesome as the one I used.
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:
1 large pork tenderloin (about 14 ounces)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard (or to taste)
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup dry white wine


Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°F. Season pork with salt and pepper.


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to plate. Cool slightly. Spread mustard over top and sides of pork; press fennel seeds into mustard. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onion slices and apples; sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Spread evenly in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Place pork atop apple-onion mixture.Transfer skillet to oven and roast until apple-onion mixture is soft and brown and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150°F, check after about 15 minutes. If not done, cover and roast another 10 minutes. Transfer pork to platter and tent with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.


Meanwhile, pour white wine over apple-onion mixture in skillet. Stir mixture over high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Cut pork on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon apple-onion mixture onto plates. Top with pork and serve.


Note to the readers: By next Monday I will be all married and honeymooning in Ireland! This is exciting, nerve wracking, and a bit time consuming. My hope is to have a blog scheduled for next Monday, but I can't promise. Keep and eye on the Twitter feed for the status of this. The good news is I'll have my wedding brunch and a bunch of Irish restaurants and bars to review once back, not to mention the upcoming exciting project of the Thanksgiving Lobsters. Oh yeah. It's always an adventure at Epicurette in New York.

2 comments:

Screamin' Mama said...

I've always wanted one of those pots. I've always heard great things about it. Congrats on your upcoming wedding. All the best.

DhaleB said...

I love Le Creuset and what an awesome wedding gift! I've been eyeing the mini cocottes for a few months now but they are so expensive. I saw some mini Staub cocottes in France this past summer and they were surprisingly inexpensive!

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