Thursday, August 14, 2014

Herb Crusted Pork Scallopini




Why was a small 2-pound frozen pork loin roast a problem? Don’t roll your eyes - I wanted the space for rolls of Cruising Cookie dough. You're laughing, right? Refrigerator/freezer space is an ongoing issue when we cruise. I need space for frozen vegetables, meat, poultry, etc. and a little ice cream to carry us through the weeks between towns and provisioning opportunities. The Capt. requires space for bait and fresh-caught seafood when we can’t consume the entire catch immediately. It becomes an interesting dialogue.

Two pounds of pork were too much for a dinner for two, and the roast was only partially thawed. So I sliced off three chops to work with for dinner and put the still-frozen chunk back in the fridge to deal with tomorrow. Next I cut a small bouquet of sage from the overflowing herb pot and paused… now what? 


Sage has such an assertive presence I don’t use it often; it needs other strong flavors to tame it. Garlic, grainy mustard and lemon sounded good, and in the end they all came together better than anticipated.



Sage and lemon are a tasty team, and the mustard and Parmesan add a terrific light crust. The sauce could be fancied up with marsala and cream instead of lemon, but we enjoyed the lighter approach. While I miss having a large in-ground garden,  the herb pot has been great fun to work with once again. 

Herb Crusted Pork Scallopini

3 pork loin chops (1/2-inch thick)
salt and black pepper
garlic powder (to taste)
3 Tablespoons grainy mustard
3 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced +more for topping
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
approx 2 teaspoons smokey paprika
1 Tablespoon canola oil or cooking spray
2 Tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
zest of 1 lemon, divided
juice of 1 lemon
additional salt and pepper (optional)

Sprinkle a small amount of water on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Place a steak on top of the plastic and sprinkle again with water. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and pound until about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining 2 steaks.

Lightly sprinkle the pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Spread one side with mustard, scatter half of the sage and cheese on top and press firmly to attach. Dust lightly with smokey paprika. Repeat on the second side.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pork until lightly browned on both sides but still quite pink in the middle, 2 minutes or less per side. Add the butter to the pan and and heat until melted. Add the lemon juice and half of the zest and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce ingredients blend and pork is barely pink in the center.

Transfer to warmed serving plate and pour the pan juices over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest, a scattering of shredded sage and additional salt and pepper as desired.   


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