This delicious recipe pairs an elegant boneless pork loin roast with a creamy shallot and tarragon sauce. It tastes even better than it sounds and isn’t very hard to do. Boneless pork loin is not the tenderloin. This is basically a big pork chop roast. It’s an impressive cut, with a nice bit of fat on the top and lean, juicy inside.
For the past three months, I’ve been buying all of my meat and most of my eggs and dairy from Sea Breeze Organic Farm in Fort Pierce, Florida. It takes a little more effort and planning than running to the grocery store, but it’s worth it. We place our twice-monthly order by email. You can choose from nearly one hundred items; including farm fresh eggs, sour cream, milk, any cut of grass-fed beef, buffalo, lamb and goat, free-range chicken and even rabbit. They have fermented products like kombucha tea, sauerkraut and kimchee. Organic baked goods and seasonal fresh produce are also on the list. To pick up our goodies, we meet the delivery truck in a church parking lot late in the afternoon. My husband is usually the one to go on this errand because it involves waiting in line with an empty cooler to swap it out for a very heavy, full one. This isn’t the usual way to go grocery shopping in the heart of Miami, but it works for us.
What has me going back for more is the freshness and quality. Finding the best ingredients drives my desire to cook. My recipes taste better and I’m feeding my family foods raised with care and without pesticides. It’s good to know our hard-earned money is going into the pocket of small farmers instead of industrial food producers.
Back to the recipe! I paired the roast with my go-to roasted potatoes and broccoli rabe sautéed in garlic and olive oil. It was an extravagant change from our usual weekend roast chicken. By the way, keep extra sauce at the table. It was so good, my husband wanted to drink it right from the saucepan!
Yield: Serves 4
Combine garlic, tarragon and olive oil in a small bowl and stir to combine. With your hands, rub the olive oil mixture all over the roast. Place in a plastic bag and marinate 4 hours to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow to the roast to come to room temperature. Remove most of the marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the roast to the pan and brown on all sides. Place the roast fat side up in the oven and cook about 30-40 minutes, until a thermometer shows the internal temperature is 135 degrees. Remove from the oven and transfer the roast to a carving board to rest for 15 minutes. Slice thinly before serving.
Using the same pan the pork was cooked in; drain any excess fat so there is about 1 tablespoon remaining. Saute the shallots on medium heat until they are soft. Stir in the garlic. Add wine, stock and any juices that released from the pork while it was resting. Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered until it is reduced by half. Reduce the heat and add cream. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over pork slices and serve at the table.
Strawberries are not my favorite fruit, but they are the only reliable organic fruit that I can find on a weekly basis at my grocery store. I started roasting strawberries to incorporate into my little one’s baby food purees. They were so good; I became a little obsessed with them. Roasting makes them softer and increases the flavor. The liquid releases from the fruit, creating an all-natural, bright red syrup and the fruit develops an intense “strawberry” flavor. Many more roasted strawberry recipes are in the works, like this delicious brioche French toast with tarragon cream.
I make French toast nearly every time I buy a loaf of French bread or brioche (which isn’t often enough). Here in Miami, I have to drive a bit to get good bread, so it’s a special occasion. We hardly ever get through the bread in the first day, so the rest gets turned into a delicious breakfast. I wouldn’t bother making French toast without really good, thick bread. That’s what makes it so special!
I’ve made a few versions of this dish over the years, mostly using whatever I have on hand at the time. Try macerating the berries and using fresh whipped cream to make strawberry shortcake French toast. Sandwiching two pieces of French toast with sweetened mascarpone or ricotta cheese gives you a cheese Danish flavor. I used tarragon in this recipe, but some substitutes could be chopped mint, basil or even freshly ground black pepper. There are many ways you could make the cream, too. For my version, I used ½ Greek yogurt and ½ mascarpone cheese, thinned with milk. You can use all yogurt for a healthier version, or all whipped cream for a more decadent breakfast. Use whatever goodies you have available at the time and your creativity to create your ultimate French toast.
Yield: Serves 3
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arrange the strawberries in a single layer in a roasting pan. Roast about 10 minutes, until the juice releases from the strawberries and thickens.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk together whole milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt and nutmeg and pour into a wide, shallow bowl. Place bread in the custard mixture in batches, leaving them to soak on each side 30 seconds. Remove bread from the custard and set aside.
Heat butter in pan on medium heat until it bubbles. Add the bread to the pan in batches, and cook until lightly browned on each side, 2-3 minutes. When all the pieces are finished, place them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in the oven and cook until puffed, about 5-8 minutes. Serve with maple syrup, topped with confectioners sugar, strawberries and cream (recipe below)
Mix yogurt, mascarpone cheese, tarragon and sugar. Add milk and mix until you see the desired consistency.