The words that made my day

I had the pleasure of receiving these words in an email from Alex today, “Btw, have any grocery requests? Maybe I can make you some yummy dins tonight?” I can’t think of a better way to start off the week. Especially since I had a cold all weekend and my taste buds are finally starting to come back.

I had quite the homecoming after school tonight as he had just started simmering the port, dried figs, and rosemary to make the fig sauce that goes with the Roasted Pork Loin from Giada’s Everyday Italian cookbook. I roasted two yams under the broiler and made a simple green salad to have on the side. I can’t remember the last time I had such a fancy home-cooked meal on a Monday night. It was super flavorful and tender. It’s looking like we’ll be eating pork and fig sandwiches for lunch this week!

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I forgot to take pictures of the first round so I had no excuse but to have seconds. It's for the blog, people!

I forgot to take a picture when we cut into it and served up the first few slices. As a result, I *had* to have seconds for the blog photo alone. The pictures aren’t all that appetizing because I was focusing on eating rather than taking a nice photo. I’ll have to work on that.

Sauce

  • 2 1/2 cups port
  • 1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 dried black Mission figs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pork

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 (4 to 4 1/2-pound) boneless pork loin

For the sauce: In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the first 6 ingredients. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Discard the herb sprigs and cinnamon sticks (some of the rosemary leaves will remain in the port mixture). Transfer the port mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Blend in the butter. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)

For the pork: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Stir the oil, rosemary, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper in a small bowl to blend. Place the pork loin in a heavy roasting pan. Spread the oil mixture over the pork to coat completely. Roast until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145 degrees F, turning the pork every 15 minutes to ensure even browning, about 45 minutes total.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Let the pork rest 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the chicken broth into the roasting pan. Place the pan over medium heat, and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Bring the pan juices to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Using a large sharp knife, cut the pork crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the pork slices on plates. Spoon the jus over. Drizzle the warm fig sauce around and serve immediately.

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