The Ambrose sisters and their sunny mother have returned from eight days on the southeastern coast of Florida, primed for another semester. Their call came in at 11:30 a.m. reporting a safe landing at JFK. “What’s the plan for dinner? ” they asked. I responded “pork loin” and the plan is made.
First stop is the butcher at Schavoni’s in Sag Harbor. I asked for a nice fatty pork loin for six. They cut and tied a 5-lb piece: bring on the visitors! Four-pounds would have been enough for my family but this piece will provide nicely for lunch on Sunday as well.
Tonight, I’ll support the pork with steamed spaghetti squash and green beans sautéed with Cinque Organic Olive oil and garlic. A nice baguette and butter will balance the table.
With the exception of the bread and butter, this meal should fit all of my daughters’ nutritional targets with a few calories to spare.
Recipe will serve 6:
For the pork loin:
Allow 3 hours for prep to service.
1 head garlic, remove cloves and slice into thirds. Save 3 cloves for beans.
1 knuckle of fresh ginger, cut to same size as garlic cloves, equal amount.
½-cup of salt mix: kosher salt, ground white salt, ground black pepper, ground cumin-red pepper
4-lb pork loin
Start the fire well in advance if you plan to cook this over coals. Plan on at least 1-½ hours to cook. Have a thermometer handy and make it a goal to reach 140°F prior to removing from the spit. Then allow the pork loin to rest for at least 10 minutes prior to slicing.
To stud the pork loin, use a steak knife or paring knife to poke holes on the fat side of the loin. Now fill each hole with a piece of garlic or ginger. When all the garlic and ginger is used, season the loin with all of the salt mix. Allow the pork loin to rest at room temperature for an hour as the coals build.
For the squash:
1 spaghetti squash (6 to 8 inches long)
3-Tbsp good quality olive oil
Preheat oven to 350°F
Split the squash from top to bottom. Remove the seeds and place cut side down in a casserole dish. Add 1 cup of water and the oil. Then place in the heated oven, wrapped in tin foil. (Place in the oven once the pork loin has begun to spit and sizzle). Plan to remove the squash when you remove the pork from the spit.
Using a kitchen towel and a large kitchen spoon carefully shred the squash from its shell and return to the casserole retaining all left over juices.
Sautéed green beans and garlic:
1-lb fresh green beans, snapped
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
3-Tbsp good olive oil
Finally, sauté green beans and garlic. Place a large sauté pan on the stovetop over a high flame. Add the oil and garlic first. As the garlic Carmelites, add the green beans and stir constantly for two minutes. Then add the contents of the sauté pan to the casserole with the squash. Keep the dish hot in a warm oven as you slice the pork. Serve all on warm plates.