Monday, November 5, 2012

Dijon-Crusted Pork Loin with Slow Roasted Acorn Squash in Almond Raisin Sauce

Pork loin was on sale last week at the market, so guess what we've been eating a lot of lately.  I'm very much pro-saving money whenever possible and let's face it, food isn't cheap now a days so I watch sale flyers and cut coupons for things we use anyway (I can't stand the idea of buying something just because I have a coupon).  Needless to say, we stocked up and I was presented with the challenge of making pork loin into something delicious and unique each time we eat it.

Tonight's creation: Dijon-Crusted Pork Loin.  Take your loin (mine is about 2 lbs) and rub it down with salt and pepper to season.  Next create a mixture of 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon herbs de provence.  I also added fresh cut herbs to the roasting pan to help infuse flavor.  Rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano all work nicely.  Thoroughly coat the meat and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until 165 degrees in the center.  Side bar - if you don't have a meat thermometer, get one.  It's the best $5 investment to prevent dried out meat.  Unless of course, you like chicken that resembles shoe leather.

As a side dish, I prepared acorn squash in our slow cooker (love the slow cooker) with an almond raisin sauce.  Combine 1 tablespoon butter, 3 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in your slow cooker (I always recommend using a liner for easy clean up) with a small handful of golden raisins and slivered almonds.  Quarter your acorn squash and clean out the seeds.  Lightly salt the squash and lay them in your slow cooker face down on top of the sauce mixture.  Cook on low for 5 hours or on high for about 3.  It'll make your house small amazing as a bonus.  Spoon the sauce over the squash to serve.

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