Recently my boyfriend and I were asked to dog/apartment sit for my mom’s best friend and her daughter. We immediately jumped at the opportunity for a little getaway from normal life and have a chance to spend some time just the two of us. This of course meant that we needed to figure out meals. The first night we went out and the third day we had take out for lunch. The second night, however, was my first chance to cook a full meal. Ever.
I will admit I was a little nervous. I’m used to having leftovers in the fridge and just having to throw things on a plate and microwave it. My aunt had a package of Pork Loin Steaks in her fridge and a couple of potatoes on the counter. I used these two items as the base for our meal. My boyfriend told me that he wanted a sauce with mushrooms and onions. I turned to Pinterest, as always, for help and found a simple recipe for Pork Loins in a Creamy Shallot and Mushroom Sauce.
I then browsed around for a good side dish recipe for the potatoes. I will admit that besides popcorn, potatoes are my go-to. There are so many things you can do with them. I settled on making Italian Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Potatoes. I’ve never been great at cooking meat but this recipe was so easy, even I could do it!
The last thing I did was try and figure out what I wanted to do for vegetables. No meal is ever complete without them. For some reason I was craving green beans, which never happens. I’ve never been a big fan of them but ever since I started Altshift I’ve found that I want them more than I want broccoli.
I was really proud with how this meal came together. It gives me hope for the future when I actually will be on my own and need to figure out dinner plans. My boyfriend loved every part of the meal. Both the potatoes and the green beans had a kick to them because of the red pepper flakes. Personally, I think that I’ll leave them out next time because I’m not a huge spice person unless its Sushi or Mexican food.
Pork Loin Steaks in Creamy Shallot and Mushrooms Sauce
- 4 pork loin steaks
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2-3 large field mushrooms or portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 2 rosemary sprigs, chopped
- a splash of cognac or brandy (optional)
- ¼ cup stock, pork or chicken
- 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
- 200 gr/ ⅔ cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rub your pork loin steaks with some sea salt.
- In a cast iron pan or a stainless steal pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil and brown your steaks in it for no longer than 2 minutes on each side.
- Remove your meat on a separate plate and set aside.
- To the same pan add shallots and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning for 3 minutes, than add mushroom and chopped rosemary and cook for 5 more minutes.
- When shallot and mushroom juices evaporate and the pan is dry, hit it with a shot of cognac while scraping the burnt bits with a wooden spoon.
- Add stock,whole grain mustard, creme fraiche and stir to combine.
- Return pork loin steaks to the pan, bring to a boil and let it simmer for 2 minutes longer and take the pan off the heat. Taste and add salt and peeper if needed. Enjoy with rice or potatoes.
Recipe by Julia at Vikalinka
Italian Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Potatoes
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 55 minutes | Serves: 4-5
- butter, for greasing the pan
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin but it doesn’t have to be), divided
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed between fingertips
- 4 minced cloves garlic
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- red pepper flakes, optional
- fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter an 8×10-inch casserole dish.
- Peel and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise then lay each half flat and slice lengthwise into ½-inch wide half moons.
- Place the potatoes in a big mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Toss with the seasoning, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and half the Parmesan (plus a few pinches of red pepper flakes if you like).
- Pour into the casserole dish and scoop out any spices or garlic left in the bowl.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of Parmesan over the top and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil.
- Bake 30 minutes then remove from the oven and toss well. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top and drizzle with the remaining oil.
- Bake 25 more minutes. Toss well and season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Place them in a serving dish and pour any remaining oil at the bottom of the pan over them and garnish with a little fresh parsley.
Simple Skillet Green Beans
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes | Yields: 5 cups
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flake, or to taste
- 1.5 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add red pepper flake and stir to coat the pepper in the oil. Add green beans and cook, stirring often until the beans are blistering and browning in areas, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and salt and cook, stirring constantly until the garlic is fragrant and browning, about 30 seconds. Add water and immediately cover. Cook covered until the beans are bright green and crisp tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Katie at Healthy Seasonal Recipes