Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pork with cider spices and mixed green/celery root salad

Yes, this is an adventurous dinner.  I saw the mulling spices in the store the other day and NEEDED to figure out how to use them other than in apple cider.  If you have a coffee grinder I think grinding them up a bit would be a good idea, otherwise you can do what I did and just scrape most of them off the pork after it's cooked.  The pork will soak up the spice flavor while cooking and you won't get the surprise of crunching down on a whole clove or piece of orange rind.  And on the salad front, I am a fan of the celery root. It's ugly, but it has a great subtle celery flavor without being too strong.

Oh, and please forgive the photo quality this time.  I misplaced my camera so these are taken with my phone.

Spinach/Celery Root Salad

1 bulb celery root, peeled
1/2 white onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 cups fresh mixed greens, washed
1 avocado
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

To peel the celery root I just attacked the top portion of it with a regular vegetable peeler, and then cut off the skin from the bottom portion. They tend to have a lot of knobby ends and veins of what look like the outside skin; folding inside. Just cut these off and out to leave you with the white celery root.  Discard the green tops or use to flavor a soup or stock.

Once peeled, cut the celery root into matchstick pieces, or julienned. I cut the root into 8 pieces, then cut these into flat disk and then into matchsticks. Once it is all cut, add to a small saute pan along with the coconut oil. Heat over medium and cook 2 minutes. Add in the onion and cook until both are soft, another 5-7 minutes. The onion will get soft and the celery root will soften, but will still have a bit of a bite to it. This is ok.

Remove from the heat and place on a plate in your fridge to cool. Then cut the avocado into chunks and then toss into the mixed greens along with the almonds and cooled celery root mixture.

2 lbs pork loin
2 tablespoons mulling spices (if grinding them I'd reduce this to 1.5)
sea salt and cracked pepper
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

Cut the pork into managle pieces.  I cut mine into roughly 2x4 or 2x6 inches so they'd all fit in the pan.  Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper, and then coat both sides with the mulling spices.

Then heat a large saute pan over medium and add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.  Evenly space the pork around the pan so they aren't touching.  If they're too squished, then cook the meat in 2 stages, adding half the onion at a time.  Cook the pork on the first side for 2 minutes before flipping (you want it to get brown).  Flip over and continue to cook another 2 minutes for the other side to brown.  Then add in the sliced onions and another 1 tablespoon coconut oil.  Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Continue cooking until the pork is cooked through, about another 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your meat.  Remove from heat and serve with salad.
I just used an oil and vinegar to dress this salad.  Simple and delicious.

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