Pork Loin with Apples-Prune Mustard Sauce, Browned Butter-Caraway Noodles and Sweet -Sour Red Cabbage
I recently discovered a series of Swedish crimes novels that I'm really enjoying. I like crime novels for their intrigue and suspense but have read all of latest and greatest American authors and have grown quite tired of them. They've become formulaic, predictable and in may cases could be understood (or even written) by a third grader. Are there exceptions? Of course. My commentary is a gross generality only expressed here to highlight my love of this particular series. The Millenium Series by Stieg Larsson (1954-2004) and published posthumously are by far the best crime novels I've read since Michael Connelly's "The Poet". There are three novels in the series and unfortunately that is all there will be. I had just finished the second only to discover that I now have to wait for the US release of the third book until May! Arrrgh!
All of this romping around Sweden solving murders makes a girl hungry! Pork loin stuffed with apples and prunes can be found in one form or another in most Scandinavian countries and I like to think that Mr. Larsson supped on this very thing to feed his mind and his soul while writing these fantastic books.
I put these three separate recipes together for dinner a couple of nights ago and they went together famously! The pork roast was juicy, the sauce had a light sweetness from the fruit with a mild tang from the mustard. The noodles were warm and fragrant and the more sweet than sour red cabbage balanced the meal out perfectly. Njuta av! (Enjoy!)
Recipe: Pork Loin with Apples, Prunes, and Mustard Cream Sauce
Gourmet magazine; February 2004
Makes 8 servings
1 (4-lb) boneless pork loin roast, tied by butcher
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 Granny Smith apples (3/4 lb total)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup packed dried pitted prunes (4 1/2 ounces), quartered
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (12 ounces)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard
1/2 cup dry white wine
Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
Halve pork loin crosswise, then pat dry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper(total). Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown pork, 1 piece at a time, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes per piece. Transfer to a small flameproof roasting pan as browned (do not clean skillet) and roast pork until thermometer inserted diagonally at least 2 inches into meat registers 150°F, 40 to 50 minutes.
While pork roasts, peel, quarter, and core apples, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet, then cook onion in skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add apples, prunes, broth, and water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in cream and mustard and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and keep sauce warm, partially covered.
Transfer pork to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Add wine to roasting pan and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir pan juices into cream sauce along with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper and heat sauce over moderate heat, stirring, until hot.
Discard string from pork and cut each half crosswise into 4 slices. Serve pork with sauce.
Recipe: Browned Butter Caraway Noodles
Bon Appetit; November 1995
8 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2-1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
16 ounces fettuccine
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. When butter foams, add caraway seeds. Reduce heat to low and cook until butter is light brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Cook fettuccine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return pasta to same pot. Add browned butter; stir over low heat until coated, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
Recipe: Red Cabbage with Onions and Apples
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium sized onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium head red cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup currant jelly, to your liking
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a deep casserole sauté the onions in the butter over a medium heat until translucent. Add the cabbage and sauté until slightly wilted (about 15 minutes). Add apples, lemon juice, vinegar and currant jelly and mix well. When this mixture comes to a simmer cover loosely and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours.
Can be made two days ahead and reheated in the oven. (Actually it gets better after one day.)