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We really like pork loin in our house. It’s small, and cooked correctly, tender and moist. The problem with pork is that it can dry out easily, so it is important to keep it moist, or cook it so that it retains its moisture.
I make Pork Chops with Fennel, and I wanted to do something similar with my pork loin, but still keep it moist since I was going to roast the meat.
I put all the ingredients for my crust in a small food processor, then mixed that with Panko bread crumbs. I washed my pork loin under cold running water, patted it thoroughly dry, then coated it liberally with olive oil. Coating it with the olive oil did two things:
- It allowed the crust to stick to the meat.
- It added a moisture that patting the meat had removed
I let the crusted roast rest in the refrigerator for a half an hour to let the crust harden and make a better moisture barrier. Knowing that it wasn’t going to be producing a lot of liquid, I put it on a rimmed baking sheet covered with foil, and cooked it in a medium oven while my Blue Cheese Risotto with Merlot was cooking. Then I let it rest for three minutes while a microwaved broccoli for our Oscar Party dinner. It was a show stopper!
Recipe: Fennel Cashew Crusted Pork Loin
- 1/4 cup fennel seeds
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoon cashews
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pork loin roast, rinsed and patted dry
- Remove the pork loin from its packaging and rinse under cold water. Pat dry and set aside.
- In a small food processor, put the fennel seed, garlic cloves, cashews, onion powder, black pepper and paprika. Process until the cashews pieces are very small, but not until its a paste.
- In a bowl, put the Panko breadcrumbs and the processed ingredients. Mix together.
- Lay the roast on the edge of your cutting board. Use a pastry brush to brush oil entirely on the roast.
- Lay some of the Panko crust next to the roast, and spread it so it is the same length as the roast.
- Roll the roast in the crust mixture a few times so it gets lots of crust on it. Don’t throw any extra crust mixture away, you will be using it shortly.
- Put the cutting board with the roast on it in the refrigerator to rest for at least a half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Get a rimmed baking sheet and line it with foil. Set aside.
- Remove the roast from the refrigerator, and carefully transfer it to the foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Use left over crust mixture to patch any areas that lost crust in the transfer. Pat a little extra of the mixture, then you can freeze the remaining crust for another time.
- Roast the pork loin for about 20-25 minutes, then use an instant read thermometer to check on its temperature. It is ready at 160. Remove it from the oven and let it rest 5 minutes before carving.
When you slice your roast, the pieces should be pale pink in the center. If they are completely white, or worse, gray, then you have overcooked your roast. Always use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature.
You could use other nuts if you don’t want to use cashews. Walnuts or pecans would be a good choice. If you don’t want to use nuts at all, please feel free to omit them.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: Italian
Fat: 22 grams
Protein: 26 grams
Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.