Warming Winter Dinner

 

Pork Loin with Meyer Lemon Salsa

Adapted from Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Serves 6

pork with meyer lemon salsa

Ingredients:
3/4 cup kosher salt or 1/2 cup (4 1/4 ounces) fine sea salt 
1/3 cup sugar 
1 garlic head, halved crosswise 
1 teaspoon black peppercorns 
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes 
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 
1 lemon 
6 bay leaves 
1 pork loin, about 4 pounds
Extra-virgin olive oil  

Prepare:
Place the salt, sugar, garlic, peppercorns, pepper flakes, and cayenne in a large pot with 4 cups of water. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the lemon zest, then halve the lemon. Squeeze the juice into the pot, then add the lemon halves and zest. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring from time to time. When the salt and sugar have dissolved, remove from the heat and add 8 cups cold water. Allow the brine to cool to room temperature. If the turkey tender-the long strip of white meat on the underside of the breast-is still attached, remove it by pulling it off. Submerge the pork loin in the brine and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours.

Two hours before cooking, remove the pork loin from the brine and let sit at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set a large cast iron pan or other ovenproof skillet on the stove over high heat. Once it’s hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and brown the pork on all sides—4-5 minutes in total. Then place the pan in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 130°F (for rare-medium-rare) or 135°F (for true medium rare)—it'll rest out to 142.5°F. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. 

To serve, slice against the grain (crosswise) on the bias and spoon over Meyer Lemon Salsa.


Meyer Lemon Salsa

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients:
1 small Meyer lemon 

3 tablespoons finely diced shallot (about 1 medium shallot) 
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 
1/4 cup very finely chopped parsley leaves 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
Salt 

Prepare:
Quarter the lemon lengthwise, then remove the central membrane and the seeds. Finely dice the cleaned lemon, including the pith and peel. In a small bowl, combine the lemon bits and any juice you can manage to save with the shallot and vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes to macerate. 

In a separate small bowl, combine the parsley, olive oil, and a generous pinch of salt. 

To serve, use a slotted spoon to add the Meyer lemon and shallot mixture (but not the vinegar, yet) to the herb oil. Taste and adjust for salt and acid as needed. 

Refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. 


Roasted Parsnips & Carrots in Agrodolce

Adapted from Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Serves 4 to 6 

carrots and parsnips

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs parsnips

1.5 lbs carrots
½  red onion, thinly sliced 
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
1 tablespoon sugar 
3/4 teaspoon red chili flakes 
1 garlic clove, finely grated or pounded with a pinch of salt 
16 fresh mint leaves 
Extra-virgin olive oil 
Salt 

Prepare:
Preh
eat the oven to 425°F. 

Cut your carrots in half lengthwise and do the same with your parsnips. Depending on how large your parsnips are, you may need to cut them in quarters. You want them to be roughly the same size as the carrots. Place them all in a large bowl and toss with enough olive oil to coat, about 3 tablespoons. Season with salt and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. 

Place the parsnips and carrots into the preheated oven and cook until tender and caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Check on the vegetables after about 12 minutes. Rotate the pans and switch their positions to ensure even browning. 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the sliced onion and vinegar and allow to sit for 20 minutes to macerate. In another small bowl, stir together another 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, sugar, chili flakes, and garlic, and a pinch of salt. 

When the roasted vegetables are brown on the outside and completely tender when pierced with a knife, remove them from the oven. Combine the vegetables in a big bowl. Stir the macerated onions and their vinegar into the olive oil mixture, then pour half of the marinade over the vegetables. Toss to combine, taste, and add more salt and marinade as needed. Garnish with torn mint leaves and serve warm or at room temperature. 

Buttermilk Panna Cotta

Adapted from Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Serves 6

buttermilk panna cotta

Ingredients:
Neutral-tasting oil 
1 1/4 cups heavy cream 
7 tablespoons (3 ounces) sugar 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin 
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 
1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Prepare:
Using a pastry brush or your fingers, lightly coat the inside of six 6-ounce ramekins, small bowls, or cups with oil. 

Place the cream, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan, and add the bean as well. 

Place 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl, then gently sprinkle the gelatin atop. Let sit for 5 minutes to dissolve. 

Heat the cream gently over a medium flame, stirring until the sugar dissolves and steam starts to rise from the cream, about 4 minutes (don't let the cream simmer-it'll deactivate the gelatin if it gets too hot). Reduce the heat to very low, add the gelatin, and stir to combine until all the gelatin dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the buttermilk. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup with a spout. 

Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight. 

To unmold, dip the ramekins into a dish of hot water, and then invert the custards onto plates. Garnish with supremed Meyer lemons.