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I've noticed that sometimes when I get in the midst of writing and testing my own recipes I can fall into a rut and don't explore other cuisines out of my comfort zone. To help remedy that, I turned to the amazing Dinner at the Long Table cookbook, which has a great variety of incredible recipes. I picked the olive medley and the freekeh salad to complement a simple sous vide pork loin.
The sous vide pork loin was the familiar part of the meal for me. I seasoned it with salt, sealed it, and cooked it at 140°F (60°C) for about 3 hours. It usually takes 2 to 4 hours but you can use my Sous Vide Timing Ruler for an exact time, or my beef, lamb and pork pasteurization chart. I finished off with a light sear to add a little color and then cut it into 1" (2.5cm) slices. I prefer 140°F (60°C) but some people prefer a little lower, around 135°F to 137°F (57.2°C to 58.3°C), or for a more traditional dryness, up to 150°F (65.6°C).
When I want a special piece of meat there are a few good butchers in my area, but I've also been enjoying the super flavorful pork from Snake River Farms. I also enjoy trying the different ranchers that Crowd Cow has available.
The olive medley was probably my favorite part of the meal. It was such an unusual side dish, with warm, citrusy olives, spicy chile peppers and a great herbal backbone. It was really easy to put together and it was packed with flavor. It's great as a side, or could be used for an amazing starter or snack at a party.
The freekeh and herb salad was also a big hit. The freekeh has a light, nutty flavor and the salad is filled with herbs, dried fruit, and citrus. It paired wonderfully with the pork loin and helped round out the meal.
All in all, it was a great reminder that I need to keep pushing away from what I know because there are so many amazing dishes out there to explore!
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Preheat a water bath to 140°F (60°C).
Mix together the spices in a bowl. Lightly salt and pepper the pork loin then sprinkle with the spices. Place the pork in a sous vide bag then seal the bag. Place the bag in the water bath and cook for 2 to 4 hours, until heated through or pasteurized.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chile peppers and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the olives and rosemary. Remove the zest from the lemon and orange using a zester or vegetable peeler, then add to the pan. Juice the lemon and orange into the pan. Add the bay leaf and cook until heated through.
Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir well to combine.
Take the sous vide bag out of the water and remove the cooked pork loin from the bag. Dry it off thoroughly using paper towels or a dish cloth. Lightly salt the pork then quickly sear it for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until just browned, then remove from the heat. Slice the pork into serving portions.
Serve the sliced pork loin with the olive medley and the freekeh and herb salad.
Healthy Sous Vide is the latest cookbook from Jason Logsdon, the best selling author of 10 sous vide and modernist cookbooks, and it shares many of his favorite recipes developed over the years so you can eat nutritious, flavor-packed meals that taste amazing. If you are a looking for a way to boost the flavor of your healthy meals, this book will help you create amazing food that your friends and family will love!