Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cranberry-Glazed Pork Loin and Strawberry Ice Cream

A couple of weeks ago Matt and I attended a wine dinner at the Taj with our friends Zach and Jen (original post here). At this dinner the four of us decided to split a case of wine that Matt and I just picked up last week from Charles Street Liquors. Jen and Zach decided that they should pick up their 6 bottles, probably before we could drink them, last Thursday so we made a dinner party out of the event. This ensured that we at least had great wine to drink but I also tried to plan a beautiful dinner to compliment the amazing wine! The final dinner menu included Cranberry-Glazed Pork Loin which was originally from Cooking Light, November 2004, but was a recipe my manager recommended I try a couple of months ago. I also steamed two heads of Boston Organic's broccoli as our side. As the finale I made Perfect No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream which was of my saved recipes from Epicurious, originally from Gourmet's August 2009 edition. Matt and I have had our ice cream maker for about two years and, aside from a disastrous surprise attempt from Matt, we haven't had a chance to use it. Learning from Matt's first attempt we knew that the ice cream container needed to be in the freezer for at least a day and that the ice cream was supposed to be transferred to another container and kept in the freezer at least over night. It was a good start! It meant that I knew I had to make my dessert Wednesday night.

Jen brought a beautiful selection of cheese and prosciutto from the South End Formaggio. Zach had got stuck in traffic with a dead phone, typical man (sorry!), so they arrived a little late. Needless to say all of the cheese and prosciutto was gone by the end of dinner. It tasted fantastic with our Stephen Ross zinfandel and pinot noir!

After we ate half of our cheese platter I served dinner. Now, Zach was kind enough to take the blame for my super dry pork but it was all my fault. I haven't quite figured out how to cook pork. The dinner was delicious just dry. Everyone was kind enough to say that they loved it which I appreciated. In addition to the pork being over cooked I didn't make enough for the 4 of us. The two slabs of pork tenderloin that I picked for our dinner looked like enough but I think they shrank in the oven. Oh well, you live and learn. Luckily there was plenty of cheese, prosciutto, broccoli, and ice cream!

After a short break from eating I dug into dessert. I turned into my mom serving the ice cream and gave everyone more than enough, a whole bowl full. Maybe I was compensating for my small dinner portions? Again, everyone really enjoyed the recipe. It was very rich and creamy! Definitely a great first attempt at ice cream. I can't wait to try another ice cream recipe!

Final reviews of both recipes from my dinner party was that they were both keepers! So they have made it into my recipe box.

One last picture from the evening. Bailey loves to sneak onto the couch and right into Jen's lap whenever she comes over to visit. It would be sneaky if he wasn't almost 85 pounds. Jen is kind enough to cuddle with our giant sized baby!

Cranberry-Glazed Pork Loin


1 (8.5-ounce) jar cranberry chutney *I used Stonewall Kitchen's Apple Cranberry Chutney*
1 cup apple jelly *I used a little less than a cup because my chutney had apple in it too*
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 cup chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh or 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 (4 1/2-pound) center-cut boneless pork loin roast
Garnishes: Granny Smith apple slices, fresh thyme sprigs

Stir together chutney and next 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly on pork roast; place roast in an aluminum foil-lined roasting pan. Pour chutney mixture evenly over pork.

Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 160°, basting every 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish, if desired.

Serves 8-10

Perfect No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream


1 pound strawberries, trimmed, halved if large
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream

Equipment: an ice cream maker

Coarsely mash strawberries with sugar, lemon juice, and salt using a potato masher in a large bowl. Let stand, stirring and mashing occasionally, 10 minutes.

Transfer half of strawberry mixture to a blender and purée with cream until smooth. Return strawberry cream to bowl with remaining strawberries and chill, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours.

Freeze mixture in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

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