Friday, 26 August 2011

The Upper Crust

Filetto di Maiale in Crosta di Cuscus con Funghi Saltati
Couscous-Crusted Filet of Pork with Sautéed Mushrooms

And my newly discovered romance with couscous continues... I guess I really did fall in love with the stuff all over again this year! It is so easy, healthy and versatile... so what's not to love?!! 

I started out by finely chopping some shallots, spring onion greens and parsley and adding these to my couscous. I then poured some hot vegetable stock onto it, stirred-in a little saffron and let it sit and swell and become yummy... and the cool thing is that it DOES. All by itself! That's what I love about it- no cooking, no risk- no problem!

The pork was sautéed in a dry pan as usual, briefly on either side, then grated with a little fresh ginger and de-glazed with a splash of cider. Sound good? Let's make it a little better! Grate a little apple and stir some mustard into it. I would use a Granny Smith or a Cox's Orange apple- something with a strong, tangy flavor and a hot Dijon Mustard. Spread this onto the pork and then cover with basil leaves. Pat them down so that they stick to the mustard/apple mix. Now cover with the couscous and add a light drizzle of olive oil. Off it goes into a moderate oven to finish cooking whilst we take care of those mushrooms...

The mushrooms need to go into the pan you have just fried that pork in... there are good and delicious juices there and we are going to use them! So in they go at a mild heat, so that they start exuding some juices of their own- after a minute or two, add a small pat of clarified butter and some shredded spring onion, a little crushed garlic and a splash of Calvados to pick up on the apple flavor in the pork...  Now crank up the heat briefly to give them a little color, add a tiny squeeze of lemon juice and get ready to enjoy a great meal!

Whilst you lay the mushrooms out on your plate, turn the broiler on, to brown the couscous- this will only take 1-2 minutes. I would serve this with a cider rather than a wine... ice cold, refreshing, fruity and just plain good! All you have to do now is to enjoy!

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