Who says your protein has to be boring? Copperwood Pork can make your meals come alive with its premium, juicy and tender cuts. Not only is pork an excellent source of protein with seven essential vitamins and minerals, it is versatile and easy to prepare. Today, award -winning caterer Celeste Gordon invites us into her kitchen where she prepares a succulent roasted pork loin with Scotch bonnet ortanique glaze, pork scallopini with fettuccine in a saffron cream sauce, and a pork tenderloin salad with herb vinaigrette. Why not experiment with Copperwood Pork and kick your next meal up several notches. (Photos: Naphtali Junior)
Roasted Pork Loin with Scotch Bonnet Ortanique Glaze
Makes 6 servings
1 3lbs boneless pork loin, rolled and tied
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 stalks escallion
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped from stems
1 large clove of garlic
1 Scotch bonnet pepper (or more depending on how spicy you like it)
2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place pork in large roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a food processor, combine escallion, rosemary, garlic, scotch bonnet and 2 tablespoons olive oil and grind till smooth. Rub this mixture all over the pork and let sit for 30 minutes. This can even be done the day before to let the seasoning soak in more. Put pork in the oven and roast until pork is beginning to brown, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, pour orange juice and brown sugar and boil until reduced to 11/4 cups, (about seven minutes). This should become very syrupy. Baste pork with orange glaze. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; continue roasting pork until thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork registers 150°F, basting often and adding more orange glaze as needed, about 30 minutes longer.
Let pork rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile this is happening, pour the pan juice from the roasting pan back into the saucepan and boil to thicken this gravy. At this point, taste the sauce and see if you would like to add extra pepper, and do so if you would like. Slice pork and place on platter. Pour the sauce over and around pork and serve.
Pork Scallopini With Fettuccine in a Saffron Cream Sauce
Makes 4 servings
1lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut diagonally into 8 pieces
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, ground
1 tablespoon basil, ground
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces brandy
3 threads of saffron
2 cups of heavy cream
6 ounces fettuccine noodles, boiled and drained
Gently pound each piece of pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness. Pat dry and season with salt and pepper and the ground basil and garlic. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan, then sauté the pork in two batches, turning over once, until golden brown, about 4 minutes total. Transfer with tongs to a plate and keep warm, covered.
Once you have finished sautéing the pork, deglaze pan with brandy and pour out this liquid and reserve. Heat remaining butter in the skillet and add the garlic and sauté. Then add the cream and saffron and let the sauce thicken. Once it has thickened considerably, add the brandy liquid. Mix and let everything combine then season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and stir till the noodles are coated.
Place the noodles on a plate and then top with the pork and fresh basil and serve.
Pork Tenderloin Salad with Herb Vinaigrette
Makes 6 to 8 main-course servings
2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds total)
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
6 cloves garlic
3 stalks escallion
8 basil leaves
1/2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs honey
1tbs olive oil
4 tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tbs honey
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tbs ground basil
1 tsp ground parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cups olive oil
5 ounces mixed greens, cleaned
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 plantain, cut in small cubes and fried
1 firm-ripe avocado
Clean and trim the pork tenderloins and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. In a food processor, combine garlic, escallion, basil, soy sauce, honey and olive oil and grind into a paste. Pour this mixture over the pork and let marinate for 30 minutes. In the meanwhile, light the grill and let it heat up. Once it is hot enough, place the pork on the grill and cook till done.
Once the pork is grilling, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper, then add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified. Once that is done put in clove of garlic and refrigerate while the pork is finished grilling and resting.
Once pork is done resting, cut pork at a 45-degree angle into 1/2-inch-thick slices and reserve.
On a large platter, place a mix of the greens and red cabbage and arrange sliced pork, plantain and avocados in rows on top. Drizzle some vinaigrette over the salad top with the almonds and serve.
Pork Chops with Cornbread Crust and Mustard Caper Sauce
Makes 4 servings
11/2lb pork chops
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground sage
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cornmeal
6 ounces vegetable oil
4 tbs mayonnaise
2 tbs coarse-grain mustard
2 tbs drained capers, chopped
Pat pork dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and sage. Set up a breading station with your flour mixture, eggs and cornmeal all in separate bowls. Then dredge pork chops in flour, dip them in the egg wash and then coat them in the cornmeal.
Once the pork chops have been coated, heat oil in a 10-inch non-stick sauté pan over moderate heat until hot, but not smoking, then fry pork chops till golden brown on both sides. Place them to drain on some paper towels till all the pork is fried.
Once that is done, make the sauce by stirring together the mayonnaise, mustard, capers and sage and serve on the side of the pork chops.