Cooking for one can be a pleasant experience...


So you have the day off and the house to yourself, decided to sleep in and save the chores for another day, and the calendar has been cleared of appointments and commitments. This is your selfish day, shared with no one else but you and self indulgence. Afterall, you've earned and deserve it. As lunch approaches, you pop in your favorite CD, crank up the volume, and watch the rest of the world go by from your window as the late morning sun fills your space with the  brightness and warmth that Winter all too often tries to make scarce.

On days like this, be creative and prepare lunch for one. Today, you're not going to fight the traffic, stand in long lines at your favorite restaurant, or be disappointed that you didn't get a window seat. You already have the best seat in the house and the lunch you are about to prepare won't be found on any menu but your own. You are about to enjoy an open face pork loin sandwich with a lemon Dijon sauce, and as an option, a side of Frisee drizzled with olive oil. A simple dish, yet full of contrasting flavors of tart and sweet, this will certainly pamper your taste buds. Let's start with the ingredients.

1 4 oz. pork loin steak (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 thick slice of rye bread or country white bread (3/4 inch thick)
1/2 crispy apple, peeled and chopped
1 small celery stalk, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of pimientos
2 green onions (scallions), sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper

For the sauce:

Juice from 1/2 squeezed lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of tomato paste
5 to 6 large capers

Make sure you have done your prep work, chopping, slicing, and getting your ingredients together before you start. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute your pork loin, turning it over each minute until done. It is ok to leave a little pink in the loin, but it is your choice. Once cooked to your liking, remove the pork and set aside with foil covering it. At this time, toast your slice of bread and set aside.

In the same saute pan, remove any excess oil and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery, apple, pimientos, and green onion, and saute for about 90 seconds. Salt and pepper to taste and remove pan from heat.

Prepare your sauce by adding all the ingredients, except the oil, and mix well. While mixing, slowly add the olive oil and continue to stir briskly until mixture is smooth and velvety. Add the capers, gently stir, and set aside.

Place your pork loin over the toasted bread and with a sharp knife, cut around the pork so that the toast will be the exact size and shape as the meat. Now you are ready to assemble your sandwich. Start by setting the toast on your plate. Next, with a soup spoon, add the mixture from the saute pan to the toast, covering the toast to about 1/2 inch high. Now add the pork loin on top. Finally, drizzle your sauce over the pork, allowing it to drip down the sides. You may serve this with a Frisee type of lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Enjoy your gourmet lunch and continue your day as your started, with an afternoon nap and soft background music.

9 comments:

  1. I agree, cooking for 1 is the best. No need to worry about what other people like/don't like, are allergic to, etc. Pick the things that YOU are hungry for and enjoy the entire process of making something for yourself.

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  2. wow, I'm sure this was great eating by yourself - but think of the complements you could have had with an eating buddy - like me! wish I could have sharred this one....

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  3. It looks amazing, very yummy.

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  4. Oh dear- everytime I look at your blog, I get VERY hungry...and seeing this dish, I'm feeling starved! :)

    Wishing you and yours a very Happy, Healthy New Year!

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  5. I know I thought I left a comment and don't see it so here is goes again.... pork and apples are one of my favorite dinners... this sandwich looks amazing. Then the sauce that goes over the top is just incredible sounding...I know I will love this one!

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  6. You're totally right - why should eating alone mean unhealthy no-fun stuff??

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  7. I do not mind cooking for one. Did that for awhile last year. It can be very luxurious!

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  8. Gorgeous deliciousness! I agree - cooking for one can be delightfully indulgent.

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