Dawn and I went to the North Market in the Arena District the other day to look at the cheese shop, the outside farmers market, and we refrained from some of the most incredible ice cream in the world (Jeni's). I had a pork loin brining the refrigerator that I was unsure of how I was going to cook before we went on our adventure. Call me crazy but there is some kind of last minute instinct in me concerning cooking that makes the composition of a meal fascinating . To think that the small amount of salt and vinegar with water can seal in the juices of a pork loin so well. Each element working like a collage and then topping the collage off with whole grain mustard to roast.
The mustard caught my eye as I was looking through their case for their assorted cheese curds that make me happy. On the top of the clear plastic container was written in permanent ink Pommery. I suspected this was some region of France with their mustard infatuation. I later learned after a short conversation that French Pommery mustard is typically made in Meaux. They refrained from telling me if this particular mustard was made locally or actually in Meaux, but it looked and tasted incredible, so it made no difference to me.
We also had some gorgeous golden beets and many other alliterations to go with the meal. The kind fellow at the local farm where we purchased the beets told us they purchased a planter that allows them to plant the golden beets when already partially germinated. Why does this matter you might ask? Golden beets have a much longer germination period which disallows them to be harvested at the same time as red beets if at all here in Ohio. Enough beet factoids, though and on to the recipes.
Cider Brined Pork with Pommery Crust
1- 2 1/2 # pork loin roast
1/4 C Pommery or similar whole grain mustard
6 C. Water
3/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/4 C. white vinegar
5 T. coarse kosher salt
6 garlic cloves halved
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
Place pork loin in large bowl and submerge in water combined with vinegars and salt. Let sit covered in refrigerator for at least twenty-four hours up to seventy-two. Remove from brine and pat dry. Cut small incision in roast just large enough to insert garlic cloves. Rub with oil and cover roast liberally with pommery mustard. Pour brining liquid into roasting pan and place roast on rack inside pan and cover with aluminum foil. Make sure liquid is not touching bottom of roast. Roast at 400 degrees for approximately an hour or until thermometer registers 150 degrees. Let roast rest for about fifteen minutes before slicing.
Warm Golden Beet and Quinoa Salad
3-4 Medium Sized Golden Beets; Stems Removed; Unpeeled
1/2 Cup Red Quinoa; rinsed
1 Cup Water
2 Cloves Garlic; Chopped
1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Fresh Dill
1/4 Cup Goat Cheese Crumbles
1. Preheat oven to 400. Wash beets and wrap individually in foil. Once preheat, place beets on baking sheet or in roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until can easily be pierced with a fork.
2. After removing beets from oven, allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, add olive oil to heavy saucepan and saute garlic over medium high heat until beginning to brown. Add quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Allow to simmer until grains begin to separate; approximatley 15 minutes.
3. While the quinoa is simmering, remove beets from foil. Peel, and cut roasted beets into bite-sized cubes.
4. Once quinoa has completed cooking. Remove from heat. Add cubed beets and quinoa to serving dish stirring lightly. Squeeze juice from half of a lemon over salad. Add chopped dill and goat cheese crumbles. Salt & pepper to season as desired and serve immediately.