Tonight’s dinner is a bit of an experiment – but I figured cooking for three lads (one of whom says that beans on toast is his favourite meal :-), and the other two being single) – that they wouldn’t be too critical.. We’ll see!
So for starters I am doing something that I have made before – a really easy and delicious starter that I had at an Italian restaurant in Kildare Outlet Village and really liked.
So you get half a ciabatta, or white crispy roll, drizzle on some olive oil and spread on some pesto. Then you get a jar of roasted peppers (thank you Aldi! You could roast them yourself if you really wanted), and put a few pieces on each piece of bread. Add some goats cheese on the top (thanks again Aldi!), drizzle a little more olive oil on top & put under the grill for a minute or two till its heated up.
The main course is a bit of an experiment. One pork loin – rinse & pat dry. Butterfly the loin and whack with a meat hammer (or rolling pin as I did!). Rub in some salt & freshly ground pepper. Soak 1 cup of croutons in half a cup of chicken stock and leave for 5 mins or so. In a mixer (or chop by hand for a rougher texture), add 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup walnuts, 1 cup chopped apple, 2 tblsp maple syrup, 1 teasp rosemary, 1/4 cup minced shallots (except that I forgot to put them in and rolled everything up, so I added some sliced onions underneath the pork roll, and some on top – hope it will do!) and the croutons. Whizz for a few seconds, and spread onto the flattened pork loin.
Roll it all up, tie with kitchen string (where do you buy that?? None in Tesco today – had to make do with some thread – hope that works too!!). Put some olive oil in an oven dish and put in the pork. You can refrigerate it at this stage until you are ready to cook it.
175 C for about 1hour 15 mins (according to the recipe – haven’t tried it yet), and then slice up and serve.
I am also serving it with a mushroom risotto type thing, and some lightly boiled baby veg (that I got free in Tesco as they overcharged me!!). Not sure about the combination of risotto and the pork, was trying to decide between roasted potatoes and roasted veg, but decided on the rice.
Dessert is a white chocolate mousse – melt 175g white chocolate in a bain-marie. Add 90ml milk (which I forgot to do… I blame Itunes for distracting me and making me forget half my ingredients!), stir and set aside. Whip up two egg whites and 1tblsp lemon juice until stiff, and fold into the chocolate. Whip 225ml cream also until stiff and fold that into the whole mixture too. I filled half my little glass dishes with the mousse, then put on a thin layer of mashed raspberries, and then filled the glasses up. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I am going to put some dark chocolate flakes on top, and a whole raspberry to decorate.
So that’s the plan… I will edit and add photos when we have eaten it all!!!!
Ok so here’s the verdict – the starters was yummy! The main meal was a bit of a weird combination – the risotto & pork didnt really go. The pork was way too sweet for my liking, but it wasn’t yucky! Could be nice with some tweaking perhaps. The dessert was good too – also quite sweet, but the raspberries made a nice sharp contrast – I would put more raspberries in the next time.