30 November 2010

Post-Thanksgiving Meal

Oddly enough, the day after Thanksgiving was when we decided to make a more traditional meal for the family. My brother-in-law's mom is a buyer for a food distributor and they routinely get big packages of food, in this case a pork roast. Or so we thought. After planning out the meal, herb-crusted pork roast, and prepping my herb paste and fresh bread crumbs, I open the package and find out they are cuts of pork. Oops! Oh well, I made a couple of adjustments and made them into rolls. Unfortunately, I did not forgo the breadcrumbs right away and ended up with a mess of fried bread at the bottom of my pan that I had to scrape off.

To accompany the pork, I made fluffy mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts with pine nuts and garlic, and for those not sprout-inclined, green beans blanched, then quickly sauteed in the leftover garlic oil.

Brussel sprouts are finally gone! Sort of...there were some leftovers of this dish, too. Potatoes put through the ricer make for extra fluffy and creamy potatoes.

Pork rolls resting after being browned on the stovetop, then put on a rack in the oven for 20 minutes.
Pork Rolls (adapted from Cook's Illustrated recipe)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Herb paste
1/3 cup parsley
2 T freshly minced thyme
1 T fresh minced rosemary
6 T grated parmesan (I used parmigiano reggiano)
3 T olive oil
-Process until smooth, about 12-15 1-second pulses

To make the rolls
Depending on the type of pork you have, the meat may be flat enough to roll. I pounded mine out just a little bit to be able to roll it up easily. Some were easier than others. Dry off the cutlets then spread a generous amount of paste in the middle, roll and secure with twine. Some pieces may take 2 or 3 ties. You could also use toothpicks depending on the size of the cuts.

[Now, here's where I made my mistake. I put some paste on the outside of the rolls and attempted to put the breadcrumbs on them. First of all, that was the wrong move in the recipe itself, secondly, my gut was telling me that it was all going to fall off...but I did it anyway. Lesson learned. What you really want to do...]

Heat a couple of tablespoons in a pan over medium-high heat. Place the rolls in the oil and brown on all sides. In the meantime, have a cookie sheet lined with foil and a wire rack placed over it ready. Once the rolls have been browned, transfer to the wire rack and allow to bake in the 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Times may vary depending on the thickness of your meat. You want an internal temperature of about 150 degrees.

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