Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Warm Food on a Cold Day

We woke up this morning to a really good snowstorm. It snowed hard for about two hours, and was snowing when I left to go to the Church about 8:45. It was such a pretty drive, with the big thick snowflakes, that we haven't seen all year. I noted that it was 36 degrees. But just a little while later, it was raining hard (which it has continued to do all day) and only 33 degrees. Does that make sense to you? Weather is really not understandable, no wonder they have such a hard time predicting it. It is just good to know that God makes the weather each day, and we can just stand in that truth, and enjoy it. I do love a rainy day, it's pounding on my skylights right now, and it also makes me want some good hot comfort food. One type of meat that has been really popular for the last couple of years is pork loin. It takes a good marinade to make it flavorful, and I am going to print out a couple of my favorites.

Marinade #1
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/4 C Fresh Lemon juice
1/2 C Soy Sauce
1/2 C Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 C Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon Marjoram
1/2-1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (to taste)

Marinade #2
3/4 C Olive Oil
1/2 C Soy Sauce
1/4 C warmed Honey
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
3-4 Sliced Green Onion
1/2-1 teaspoon Ginger
3-4 cloves of Garlic, minced

For either of these, place ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Place 2-3 lb pork loin (or more) in a large zip lock bag and add the marinade. Seal and shake to distribute. Place the loins in a dish and refrigerate. 24 hours is best, but it can be up to 48 hours as well. You do have to think ahead on this.

 Here are my two loin pieces, placed in the marinade and ready for the refrigerator. It is good to turn them over after several hours, so that both side marinate evenly. By the way, Marinade #2 is for a larger cut of loin, so if you need just a small piece cut the recipe in half.

When it's time to cook, remove the loin from the bag and discard the remaining marinade. Put the loin on a rack in a shallow cooking dish, like the one above if you are going to bake it in the oven. It is also a good idea to line the pan with foil for easy clean-up. Pork loin is also really good grilled on the barbecue, and I will give directions for that at the end. I tend to oven bake this in the fall/ winter, and grill in the spring/summer.

Put the meat into a pre-heated 450 degree oven, and immediatly  turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Roast until the internal temperature shows 170 degrees on a meat thermometer (it doesn't take all that long). Take it out of the oven, tent with foil and let stand about 15 minutes to distribute the juices.

Carve and enjoy the meat. It is juicy and tender and has great flavor with the marinade. *For grilling, place on a pre-heated hot grill and barbecue for 10-15 minutes per side or until 170 degrees internally. I like to quit the cooking process when it is still just a bit pink, and let it finish cooking under the foil, as it sits for the additional 15 minutes. It remains a bit juicier that way. Enjoy it on a cold snowy/rainy day!

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