Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin

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This dish comes to me from a recipe I saw on a cooking show, Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin. I do love pork of any kind, but this particular cut is perfect to stuff with a variety of ingredients any of which is up to you. Two reasons I say this, one, is because of the finished dish, and two, and even better is, it can be made ahead of time.

I’m making a few changes of my own and I’ll tell you about those in a minute. Let me start with the filling that’s going to go into the center of my pork loin.

Onions

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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If there is extra filling and you’re not sure how to prepare the fennel and onion mixture that’s leftover. Place the extra filling in a small oven-safe baking dish. Top with a little more of the Panko and grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese. Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and bake at 375-degrees F. for 20 minutes. Place the leftover filling in the oven during the final 20 minutes of cooking time for the stuffed pork loin.

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Now when I went to my grocery store and found this beautiful cut of pork loin, I spoke to the butcher at my local grocery store and had him/her butterfly this one for me. Of course, you can do this yourself but why? If the butcher will do it for you, I say go right ahead! 

I also made some cheesy, buttery French bread to go alongside. Everyone loves bread!

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Yields 4 servings:
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans aluminum foil, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, 1 (3-quart) sauce pot, mixing bowl, mini food processor, 1 instant-read thermometer

Ingredients For Filling:
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Pernod (substitute white wine)

Ingredients:
1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, butterflied
1 red onion, quartered
4 large red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, unsalted
butcher’s twine
3 tablespoons of Kosher salt (2 for the pork, 1 for potatoes)
3 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper (2 for the pork, 1 for potatoes)
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Ingredients For Gravy:
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
3 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
2 dashes of  Kitchen Bouquet browning seasoning sauce
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients For Bread:
1 loaf of French baguette bread
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted and room temperature
3 tablespoons of good mayonnaise
1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions For Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.

For the filling heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter in a large sautépan. Add the onions and fennel with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the onions and fennel are tender and lightly browned add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and thyme and cook for 1 minute more. Add the Pernod to deglaze the pan, by using the back of a wooden spoon to scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Once the fennel and onion mixture has cooled add the breadcrumbs, stir to combine.  Lay the pork on a board fat side down, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Spread the stuffing evenly on the pork and roll up lengthwise, ending with the fat on top of the roll. Tie the pork loin up using 5 pieces of kitchen twine, rub with olive oil and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper all over the outside of the pork loin.

Now at this point, you can put the stuffed pork loin into the frig wrapped really well in plastic wrap the night before or even 2 days before. You don’t want season the outside of the pork loin until it’s ready to go into the oven. The onions and potatoes are only to be prepped right before they’re ready for the oven.

On a rimmed baking sheet, lay out the quartered potatoes and onions in one even layer. Add the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspooon of fresh ground black pepper, toss to coat. Pour 1 1/2 cups chicken stock into the bottom of the sheet pan to prevent the potatoes from burning or sticking. This liquid will eventually evaporate during the cooking process.

Place the rolled pork loin on top of the potatoes. Roast for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 350-degrees F. roast for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 137-degrees F. Note: If the thermometer hits the stuffing it will read at a higher temperature, test the meat in a few different places. Remove from the oven, cover tightly with foil.

Turn the oven up to 450 degrees F. Once preheated, return the potatoes to the oven for another 20 minutes while the pork is resting. The onions will be sweet and tender, and potatoes will be golden brown on the outside and fork tender on the inside. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Allow the pork loin to rest for 20 minutes.

I like to serve this dish family style with the Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin and my roasted potatoes on a large platter then drizzled with light brown gravy.

Directions For Bread:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
In a mixing bowl add the butter, mayonnaise, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Kosher salt, and black pepper, mix to combine. Slice the French bread in half then again lengthwise. Slather the butter mixture on both halves of the bread. Place the tops on, wrap tightly in foil. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and slice. Serve hot.

Direction For Gravy:
In a saucepot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until the raw flour is cooked, paste-like, and golden blonde in color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, Kitchen Bouquet, dried thyme, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Switch to a wooden spoon, adjust the heat to medium-high, bring up to a boil stirring continuously, until gravy thickens. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes.

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Turkey Sausage, Sweet Potato, And Kale Soup

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If you love soup, you will absolutely love my Turkey Sausage, Sweet Potato, And Kale Soup. It’s healthy yet hearty, it’s so satisfying, you won’t feel guilty having seconds. It’s really easy to make, let me tell you how. I start out by using a traditional base for most soups, a *Mirepoix.

Dutch Oven

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Chicken Broth

Turkey Sausage, Sweet Potato, And Kale Soup

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 medium-size leafy-top carrots, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced (include leafy tops)
2 medium sweet potatoes, 1 1/2-inch dice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of fennel seeds
2 pounds of (Jennie 0) turkey sausage, bulk
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped (substitute 1 tablespoon of dried thyme)
2 tablespoons of dry California Sherry (optional), substitute white wine
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 quarts of chicken broth, unsalted
6 cups of kale, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups of Israeli Cous Cous (optional)
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

Directions:
In a preheated large Dutch oven (heavy bottom pot with a lid) over medium-high heat, add olive oil, diced onions, carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes. Add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds. Cook and stirring frequently for 8 to 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Next, add the bulk turkey sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally for 12 to 15 minutes until brown. Add the roughly chopped thyme leaves, stir to combine.

The heat still set on medium-high, add the dry Sherry, the diced sweet potatoes, chicken bouillon cube, and both quarts of unsalted chicken broth. Bring the soup up to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are fork-tender.

At this point add the chopped kale and Israeli Cous Cous. Place the lid on and turn the heat off. The small pasta will automatically cook, in the hot liquid, and the kale will wilt still keeping its bright green color.

Ladle the Turkey Sausage, Sweet Potato, And Kale Soup into a porcelain serving bowl.  Grate some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top. You could also add some homemade croutons to this soup that would be delicious too.

*Mirepoix is a mixture of sautéed chopped vegetables used in various soups and sauces.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

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Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage

 

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I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, with work and remodeling the back yard it’s been hard for me to find the time. I’m here now and this is my Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage.

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Colander-Style Spoon

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, colander spoon, 6-quart saucepot, 12-inch sauté pan with a glass lid, large rondeau pot (deep-sided frying/braising pan with a lid)

Ingredients:
2 pounds (10 links) of sweet Italian chicken sausage
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth, low sodium
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of fennel seeds
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 zucchini, diced (sliced into half-moons and quartered)
1 pint of grape tomatoes, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups of dry white wine, Pino Grigio
1 1/2 pounds (1 1/2 boxes) of (Barilla) Rigatoni
2 cups of starchy pasta cooking liquid
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped plus basil leaves for garnish
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated plus more for serving

Directions:
To start, pour 1/2 a cup of chicken broth into a small sauté pan. Using a fork prick 3 sets of holes in each of the sausage links on both sides. Arrange the links into the deep-sided frying pan/rondeau and cover. Over medium heat, bring the sausages up to a simmer/low boil, turning halfway through, cook for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prep all the vegetables by dicing or mincing according to the ingredient list above. Place onto a rimmed baking sheet pan, set aside.

At this point, remove all the liquid from the sauté pan, turn the heat up to medium-high and sear the sausages, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Allow the links to cool slightly then slice on the bias.

In the same pan sauté pan, over medium heat, add olive oil, tomato paste, and fennel seeds. Cook until the fennel seeds begin to *bloom and become fragrant.

To the pan add the diced onions, stirring frequently, until they soften and become translucent around 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the diced peppers, stir to combine. Add the zucchini and minced garlic, again stir to combine. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, stirring frequently until the vegetables soften, another 3 to 5 minutes.

To release all the bits from the sausage and veggies from the bottom of the pan, *deglaze with 1 1/2 cups of white wine. Using the back of a wooden spoon, scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer everything from the sauté pan to a large rondeau (deep-sided frying pan).

Still over medium heat add the halved grape tomatoes, sliced Italian sausage, and remaining chicken broth, stir to combine. Continue to simmer while the pasta is cooking.

In a large saucepot, on the back burner, filled with salted boiling water, drop the pasta. Cook just under al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a colander spoon, transfer the pasta to the rondeau. Gently toss to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, continue to simmer together, occasionally stirring, for 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Add the chopped herbs toss to combine.

Tip: The pasta will absorb a good amount of the broth. A good tip is to always reserve 2 cups of the starchy pasta cooking liquid to add to the dish if needed.

Finally, transfer everything to a big serving platter. Grate fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese all over the top. This is my Rigatoni With Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage.

*Boom: Blooming spices, or gently frying them in oil, is a quick way to deepen their flavor. Cook just until the spices smell nice and toasty.

*Deglaze: Dilute meat sediments in (pan) in order to make a gravy or sauce, typically using wine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garnish with some fresh basil and who wouldn’t want this for dinner.

 

 

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