Mondays at Latitude 44

We just finished up the second demonstration by Chef David Allen of Latitude 44 in cooperation with CCE Clinton County and our Farmer’s Market Promotion Program.

The "sample" from the Latitude 44 demo, pork loin, with mashed sweet potato and roasted cauliflower.

A sample from the Latitude 44 demo, pork loin, with mashed sweet potato and roasted cauliflower.

Today, David prepared a pork loin, with mashed sweet potatoes and roasted cauliflower.  What I have enjoyed the most is how he has focused on dishes easy to recreate at home, but shows how they are elevated to restaurant status, not only giving you tips to use regularly, but also a few ideas to save for when you are cooking to impress.

The pork loin was rubbed with oil, brown sugar, fresh garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.  Some useful tips were to start with a hot oven (450 degrees) to brown the outside of the loin and then to continue cooking the pork on a low temperature (250 degrees) .  Also to allow the pork to set for quite a while after it was done, both steps will help to keep the meat juicier.

To elevate the pork loin, which was already wonderful, David made a chimichurri sauce which he simply whipped up in the blender.  The key ingredients were fresh herbs, parsley, basil, and mint which he pureed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper.  The sauce was drizzled on the pork and added a big kick of flavor, not to mention a nice splash of color.  David really emphasized not worrying about a recipe and using what you have and what you like.  He did a parsley oil at the previous session (parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper) which was also great and likewise enhanced both the taste and presentation.

The cauliflower was seasoned with oil, turmeric, crushed red pepper, garlic, salt and pepper and roasted at 350 degrees until it was becoming tender and beginning to brown on the edges.  The mashed sweet potatoes began pretty typically, with boiled sweet potatoes, butter and cream, but then were seasoned with cinnamon, brown sugar, and chopped walnuts.  The chopped walnuts were a brilliant addition. Both the cauliflower and the sweet potatoes were delicious but also easy and quick enough for a home cook to pull off on a weeknight.

These classes have been a great learning experience, very enjoyable and nothing beats taste testing!  We do have a few spaces left for our final Latitude class April 4th and hope to offer similar classes in the future.

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