Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Susan's Kale Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

Today was a snow day for us...we got a bit of snow and a bunch of what they called an "Icy Mix"...
sooooooo being stuck in the house I decided to play.
I usually get in this sort of mood when they weather is not so desirable and I have lots of time.
I was very lucky that I had gone shopping before the storm- this way I had an assortment of different ingredients in the house to pick from.

Kale was the ingredient I chose to play with today. We all enjoy it but I usually end up making it the same way all the time. foto courtesy of the web

If you are not familiar with Kale...

The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide an earthy flavor and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around. Although it can be found in markets throughout the year, it is in season from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste and is more widely available.

A non-heading member of the cabbage family (the Brassica family) a group of vegetables including cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts that have gained recent widespread attention due to their health promoting, sulfur-containing phyto-nutrients. Kale has a mild, cabbage-flavor. Kale has long ruffled leaves that resemble large parsley sprigs with hues that vary from lavender to chartreuse. The variety most common in the US is deep green tinged with shades of blue or purple. Kale can grow in colder temperatures and withstand frost — which helps produce even sweeter leaves. "Kale" is a Scottish word derived from coles or caulis, terms used by the Greeks and Romans referring to many cabbage-like plants. It is easy to grow and can grow in colder temperatures where a light frost will produce especially sweet kale leaves.

Season: available year-round

How to select: Choose richly colored, relatively small bunches. Avoid limp or yellowed leaves.

How to store: Keep in the coldest part of the refrigerator 2-3 days, after that the flavor becomes very strong and the leaves limp.

How to prepare: Remove the tough center stalk before use.

Matches well with: bacon, cheese, cream, garlic, lemon, olive oil, onions, potatoes

Garlic 2 cloves diced

Onions 1-diced

Celery 1 stalk diced

Kale 1 cup

Parsley diced

Tomato sauce ¼ cup



Parmigiano ¼ cup

Butterfly the pork: Place the roast on your work surface with one long side facing you. Using a sharp knife, make a horizontal cut in the roast lengthwise one-third down from the top and all the way from end to end. Do not cut all the way through to the other side; cut only to within ½ inch of the other side. You have just created a flap like the cover of a book. Open that flap.

To make the next cut, press the flat side of your knife against the inside of that flap. Using the tip of the knife, make a 2-inch downward cut along the entire length of the roast. Now place your knife, blade down, into the cut you have just made. Create your second “book cover” by cutting back through the remaining thick part of the meat with a horizontal cut just like the first cut you made, to within ½ inch of the side. Open that flap. You should have one flat piece of meat about 1 inch thick.

Place plastic wrap or butcher paper over the meat and gently pound it with a meat pounder or other heavy object such as canned tomatoes, to a thickness of about ½ inch. The meat should be one relatively flat piece. If it does not lay flat, make small cuts in the thickest parts; this will help. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

Prepare your stuffing mixture: In a in a saute pan add

olive oil and garlic, and celery and onion.. Set aside.

To prepare the kale: Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the kale, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes (if it is sticking to the pan, add a little water). Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To assemble: Place the roast on your work surface with one long side closest to you. Carefully spread the mixture over the meat, leaving a 1-inch border around

the roast.

Starting at the side of the meat closest to you, gently roll the meat away from you to enclose the filling. Using kitchen string, tie the roast about every 1½-inches to make sure it stays closed.

In an ovenproof sauté pan large enough to hold the meat,

warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the roast and, using tongs, turn constantly to brown it evenly on all sides. This will take about 10 minutes. Once the outside of the meat is light brown, transfer the pan to the oven. (you can add a bit of chicken broth to your pan if you like so making a gravy will be a bit easier later)

Cook for 40 to 45 minutes or until the meat measures between 148°F and 153°F on a meat thermometer and the meat feels firm but not stiff. Remove the meat from the oven, and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Slice and serve.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Bit of Useful Info...


I was reading some really great info this morning , and I realized that everyone might not know how to substitute in the kitchen when you run out or haven't purchased a needed ingredient... so I decided to share it with everyone as a sort of informative 1st blog of the New Year!
Some things you may already know and others I hope are new and informative for you.


Keep this posted on your refrigerator!
3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon
4 Tablespoons = ¼ cup
5 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon = 1/3 cup
8 Tablespoons = ½ cup
16 Tablespoons = 1 cup
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces (½ pint)
4 cups = 32 fluid ounces (1 quart)
16 cups = 128 fluid ounces (1 gallon)

Missing an Ingredient?
Simple substitutions...

Almond extract
Use Amaretto

Brown sugar
For each cup: use 1 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon molasses

For each cup: Mix 1 cup of plain yogurt or sour cream mixed with ¼ cup skim milk (use only 1 cup of the mixture)

Cake flour
For each cup: Measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 Tablespoons and replace with 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch

Chili Sauce
For one cup: Combine 1 cup tomato sauce, ¼ brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon, dash of ground cloves and dash of allspice

Use green onion or scallion tops instead

Cornstarch (for thickening sauces)
For each Tablespoon: Use 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Corn syrup
Replace with honey

Cream of Tartar
For ½ teaspoon: Use 1½ teaspoons of lemon juice

Ground Red Pepper
For ¼ teaspoon: use 8 drops of Tabasco (or other hot pepper sauce)

Pumpkin Pie Spice
For 1 teaspoon: Combine 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Use red onion

Sour cream
Use plain yogurt

Tomato Sauce
For a 15-oz can: Combine a small can of tomato paste with 1½ cups of water. Mix well!

Unsweetened Chocolate (melted)
For each ounce: Use 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa mixed with melted butter or margarine

Vanilla Extract
Use brandy

Whipped cream
Chill a 13 ounce can of evaporated milk for 12 hours. Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Whip until stiff

For ½ cup: Use ¼ cup of wine vinegar (red or white wine vinegar depending on what the recipe calls for) mixed with 1 Tablespoon of sugar and ¼ cup of water

Low-fat Ingredient Substitutions

Canadian bacon, turkey bacon or lean ham

Reduced-calorie margarine or margarine made with safflower, soybean, corn, canola, or peanut oil

Chocolate, unsweetened (1 oz)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon margarine

Cream Cheese
Nonfat or light process cream cheese, Neufchâtel cheese

Egg (per egg)
1/4 cup egg substitute or 2 egg whites

Fudge Sauce
lowfat chocolate syrup

Ground Beef
ground turkey

Ice Cream
Nonfat or lowfat frozen yogurt, sherbet or sorbet

safflower, soybean, corn, canola, or peanut oil in reduced amount

soybean, corn, canola, or peanut oil in amount reduced by one-third

Sour Cream

Whipped Cream
Whipped evaporated skimmed milk (chilled)


A special thank you to the WNEP TV food section...