Have you ever had that moment when you taste something and it’s so new and so good that it makes your world stop for a few moments? Well, I was lucky enough to experience that yesterday at work; which for me is the Riva Grill in South Lake Tahoe. (It’s an amazing place and you should go there if you’re in the mood to treat yourself really well.) Chef Rob was preparing a dish for an off-site local ‘Iron Chef’ style event (in which he kicked some serious ass, by the way) and it was that was so good it defied words: slow cooked lavender pork belly. The smell had been making me drool all day, and as he was shredding up the pork some of us were lucky enough to get a taste. Mind = blown. I was instantly elated that I had taken out some pork loin to cook for dinner earlier that morning and could try my hand at the ‘pork and lavender’ combination.
While it’s not so odd that inspiration would come to me while working around delicious food and talented cooks all day, I think it’s important to always keep my eyes open for new ideas to try. Whether it’s from a friend’s vacation story, or reading a menu, or (my personal addiction) cooking t.v. shows, if you see something that intrigues you, plan ahead in your budget and give it a go! Every now and then it’s good to remember that it’s just food, it’s not ‘rocket surgery’, and the occasional dud usually paves the way for something outstanding. Although, as far as experiments go, I thought this one was pretty freaking awesome!
Lavender Pork Loin – with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes
Serves 2 – approx $1.48 per serving
- 8 oz pork loin, cut into medallions – or pork chops, cutlets, use whatever is on sale!
- Salt/pepper – to taste
- 1 tsp culinary lavender
- 1 Tbs bacon grease – vegetable oil is fine too
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 lb russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 oz butter
- garlic salt – to taste
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- pinch green onions, sliced – for garnish
Heat the bacon grease or oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Season the pork with salt, pepper and lavender then sear. When the meat is nicely browned, remove it from the heat and saute the onions. When the onions are translucent, add the wine and stock, bring to a simmer and return the pork. Simmer covered for half an hour and uncovered for another half hour. (my pork was about 1/2 inch thick, if yours is thicker or thinner it may require more or less time cooking, respectively)
While the meat is simmering, begin the mashed potatoes using the remaining ingredients. I trust in your abilities as a cook to make it work out…
I hope you enjoy eating this dish as much as I did! Yum!