Friday, March 14, 2008

Three Little Pigs

"Britons seem to have given up on assimilating their Muslim population, with many British elites patting themselves on the back for their tolerance and multiculturalism." - Linda Chavez

Across the pond, the busy-bodied, hand wringing pantywaists, all to eager to turn Mother England into an Islamic caliphate under Shari'a law, are wringing their thongs over the childrens' classic story of the three little pigs. It seems that something so seemingly innocent could hurt the "feelings" of the oh-so-benign and peaceful Muslims. Maybe they could change it so instead of the big bad wolf meeting his match at the house of bricks, he could just fly an airplane in it and emerge from his ambitions the victor this time. I never completely understood what the wolf's problem was with the pigs in the first place. Perhaps this story was a prophecy of things to come.

Anyway, it is Muslim Menu Friday, and it is about time I give you another useful menu suggestion. This time with an obvious anthema.

Moroccan stuffed pork loin.

I prepared this dish with some regularity as a former chef. I never really thought it would be "offensive" to anyone, otherwise it would not have been such a success with my patrons. My clientele was a particular sophisticated lot, since the restaurant itself was located inside the local museum of art. This was pre 9-11, and I really did not see the glaringly obvious "hate dish" I was serving, since Morocco is overwhelmingly a Muslim nation.

Anyway, it's tasty, so here goes:

First, get a nice sized pork loin from a butcher who has a clue what he or she is doing. This is difficult to find these days. Do not confuse "meat cutter" with an actual butcher, or you are going to be disappointed. Ask for a "magazine cut" which will basically turn your pork loin into a rather large flap. If you can't find a butcher or know how to do this, go here. Pepin knows what he is talking about. Its not a cook book per se, but more of operator's manual for a kitchen.

Use the brining method I described here. After that, using a mallet with the smooth surface, pound out the loin until it is no more than 1/2" thick.

Now for the stuffing:

1/3 cup couscous
1-1/4 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried mint
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/3 cup raisins
Salt and pepper

You can also throw in some dates and apricots if you like. I usually leave out the pine nuts. Prepare the couscous as directed. Saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add this and the other ingredients to the couscous and mix well. Let stand until cool.

Lay the brined pork loin on a flat surface and spread the stuffing evenly. Roll the pork into a roulade and tie with string.

Season the roulade, or roll, with salt and pepper. In a very, very hot pan, sear the loin on all sides. Place in 300F oven for twenty minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140F. Remove from oven and tent with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes to finish internal cooking.

Slice thin. Serves 6.

Enjoy, you godless infidels! Invite some "Palestineans" since they make for such great house guests.

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