Pork loin, balsamic cream sauce, apple chutney

91AC521E-7FAB-4B9E-8BE2-D37F0CFE37C3Pan-seared pork loin with a balsamic cream sauce, sautéed mushrooms and sweet onions, cheddar cheese and basil grits, finished with an apple chutney

Today was…a lot. I’m exhausted. I’m mentally and emotionally drained and it’s only Wednesday. But, that’s okay. Because tonight I’m giving you a double dose of awesome. Scroll down for a delectable dessert recipe. Go ahead. You deserve it.

Order of Operations:

  1. Make marinade
  2. Marinate meat
  3. Cook grits
  4. Cook mushrooms and onions
  5. Cook meat
  6. Make sauce
  7. Make chutney

Make Marinade:

Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 3/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T crushed peppercorns
  • 1 t sea salt flakes
  • 2 T grainy brown mustard
  • 3 T packed light brown sugar
  • You’ll also need two 1.5lb pork loins (they’re often sold in packs of 2)

Put all the marinade ingredients in a dutch oven and mix with a whisk.

Marinate Meat:

Throw your pork loin in for about four hours. Remove from fridge one hour from cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.

Cook Grits:

Cook your favorite kind of grits and add 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese. Chop ribbons of basil (chiffonade) and sprinkle on at the end. Boom. Done.

Cook Mushrooms and Onions:

I’m not going to tell you how to sauté mushrooms and onions. Okay, fine. Take like two tablespoons of butter, 1 sweet onion (sliced), and 1 container portabella mushrooms (sliced–I like the whole ones I can slice myself), and add to a cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with salt. Cook low and slow until caramelized.

Cook Meat:

Heat stove to medium high heat and cook pork stove top until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. Let rest until the temperature reaches 145 degrees (no need to tent). When this is finished…make the sauce…

Make Sauce:

  • 2 T heavy whipping cream
  • 1 T milk (anything will work)
  • 2 T flour
  • 1/2 c water

Upon removing the pork from the dutch oven, add the flour until it looks like a burnt ugly sugary mess. Mix with a whisk to remove all lumps. Add the water, milk, and cream. Cook on low until it looks like saucelike happiness.

When everything is sitting and simmering away nicely and NOT burning (here’s looking at you, Brandon), make the apple chutney.

Make Chutney:

Cook two chopped green apples in 1 T of butter. Don’t season. The apple and butter is perfect as is. After about six minutes, remove half of the apples and set aside. Add 2 T of water to the remaining mix and mash just a little. Cook until applesaucy. Add the first half of the green apples back to the mix, warm, and use to top the pork.

Cost Breakdown:

  • 3/4 c balsamic vinegar: $.50
  • 2 T grainy brown mustard: $.10
  • 3 T packed light brown sugar: $.10
  • Two 1.5lb pork loins: $8.0
  • 1 pack mushrooms: $1.59
  • 1 Vidalia onion: $.98
  • 1 cup grit: $.36
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese: $1.0
  • Basil (from garden)
  • Whipping cream: $.50
  • Milk: $.10
  • Apple: $.33

Total cost: $13.56, or $4.52/person

Voila!
B7E10535-D788-4078-8FC2-03960D97F266

Okay, I promised you one more dessert recipe.

Karak tea and crunchy peanut butter cookies

0B849901-DD84-4EBB-8E48-154941A00122Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 T baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 c crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 c room temperature butter
  • 3/4 c light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar, 3 T granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 t vanila extract
  • 1 package karak tea (sub 2 t cardamom)

4B2D6878-F272-4B60-AD62-A9D7570C4BB3

The How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a baking mat.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and karak tea.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla to wet mixture.
  5. Slowly sift dry mixture into wet mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  6. The dough should be just combined and feel a little dry. Roll cookie dough balls in remaining granulated sugar and place on baking sheet 3″ apart. Use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern. I forgot and used a whisk. Only press the cookie ball down halfway.
  7. Bake for 8ish minutes. It’s super easy to over bake. Let cool on a baking rack–don’t skip this part! That’s what makes them not completely crumble.

They should last up to five days in an airtight container…not in this house!

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