Sunday, 17 April 2011

Recipe #9: Grilled pork medallions in dukkah, za'atar, basil, rosemary and parsley


I love pork, so it is unusual that my first pork recipe comes at #9 in this blog. Nevertheless, here it is: pork prepared in a way that I have never done before.

The spices are fragrant, aromatic and uplifting: dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend, quite easily obtainable from spice shops; za'atar is Middle-Eastern, perhaps less easy to find in some places, although I think it is readily found if you browse the internet. (There are even recipes to make it.) I bought mine from Oxfam.

I don't know what inspired me to come up with this recipe; it was quite spontaneous. Pork is a very amicable meat, as I would put it, as it goes well with almost anything. It isn't overpowering in flavour, and quite easy to cook in a variety of ways. Depending on how it is cooked and the spices used, it can easily suit all sorts of palates, ranging from extremely spicy or sumptuously rich on one end, to mild and subtle on the other.

Ingredients
  • Pork medallions
  • Dukkah
  • Za'atar
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chili flakes

Preparation
Pre-season pork medallions by rubbing olive oil, and salt, followed by a modest amount of dukkah and za'atar. If you've never tried these spices before, start with just a little to get a sense of their flavours and aromas. Allow to sit for a few hours.
Pre-heat griller and when it is hot enough, place pork medallions. I prefer a grilling pan with ridges so that excess juices do not drain away but collect beneath the ridges.
Place rosemary leaves on medallions as they cook and allow pork to turn golden with brown grill lines. Then turn over and allow other side to cook.
When pork is almost fully cooked, toss basil into pan, then quickly remove. Be careful that they aren't overcooked.

To serve
Place pork medallions in serving plate, top with basil, a sprinkle of chili flakes and seal-salt to taste. Then pour excess juice collected from grilling pan. Add more fresh rosemary leaves if desired and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Complement with a light, earthy, aromatic white, such as Gerwutztraminer. Or if you prefer a little contrast, a complex White Burgundy would do well.

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