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Ginger Citrus Pork Loin

Recently, I got in the kitchen trying to come up with a new way to make pork loin since I have 8,432 of them in my freezer downstairs.  OK, not REALLY 8,432.  Maybe just 8,429 or something like that.  It seems they have multiplied in there!  I found good sales and was a buying fool apparently. 

So I had some fresh ginger in the fridge I had bought to make some stir-fry that never happened.  I ADORE fresh ginger.  Have you ever had it?  Let me just tell you this, if you’ve bought that funky stuff down the spice aisle that’s ground up and think you’ve had ginger, you are so sadly mistaken!  There is nothing in this world that compares to the fresh stuff.  It’s a funny looking little root.  See?  This one kinda looks like a camel!

 ginger root

You simply peel the outside with a spoon.  Yes, a SPOON, not a knife.  The outside is very tender and can be scraped off fairly easily with a spoon. 

Now let’s talk about kitchen tools a minute, shall we?  Do you have a zester?  Sometimes called a rasp.  Sometimes called a microplane.  Different folks call it different things.  I resisted buying one for a long time because I never thought I would use one.  That’s rather funny if you happen to have ever visited my kitchen before because those who have know that I am a kitchen gadget FREAK!  But I held out on that one little tool because somehow I just thought zest would be nasty.  So I resisted.  Until about 18 months ago or so.  OH MY GOSH!  I can’t believe I ever lived without zest in my cooking!  It’s amazing!  So rush right out and get yourself a zester or microplane or rasp or whatever you want to call it!  It’s a vital kitchen tool!

With all that gushing about fresh ginger and cooking utensils out of the way, let’s talk about the actual recipe.  This recipe was born from my fresh ginger that was hanging out in my fridge and the fact I got out the zester to use on the ginger.  Citrus of any kind makes a beautiful compliment to the flavor of ginger.  I happened to have some oranges hanging out in the fruit drawer in the fridge begging to be used.  So I hauled one of those out too.  And I zested it into my bowl.  Then I decided it needed some liquid so I got my trusty citrus reamer out of the drawer and reamed the orange to get all the juice out of it and a little of the pulp. 

I’ve already mentioned my sick love affair with onions.  I also have a very sick love affair with garlic.  MUST.HAVE.GARLIC.  In practically everything!  I love the stuff.  So I whacked some cloves of garlic and roughly minced those and in they went. 

I ended up adding another thing or two for an amazing marinade.  The pork loin hung out overnight in the marinade before going in the oven.  Then I basted it every few minutes with the marinade juices it was cooking in. 

When it was nearly finished, I took it out and sliced it up and decided it just needed a little something else.  So I tried to come up with something that would tie all the flavors together and make a nice “sauce.”  I had a half-empty jar of sugar-free orange marmalade in the fridge and since I already had orange flavor permeating the recipe, I grabbed the jar.  And a groovy little sauce was born!

I “invented” this recipe for my SIL to take to a really good friend who had surgery.  The loin was huge so I was able to save a piece or two for us to try.  My SIL proclaimed it the very best thing I’ve ever made!  So here it is:

Ginger Citrus Pork Loin

*  1 pork loin

*  1/2 cup oil of choice (I used extra virgin olive oil)

*  1/2 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)

*  1 1/2″ fresh ginger, grated

*  4 cloves garlic, minced

*  Zest from 1 orange

*  Juice from 1 orange

*  Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Mix marinade.  Lay pork loin in a baking dish.  Poke holes in it with a knife or fork.  Pour marinade over pork loin.  I think it’s optimal to let this set overnight in the fridge.  But if you only have an hour, you only have an hour.  The longer it has to absorb the flavors, the better it will be.

Preheat oven to 375°.  Roast loin uncovered, basting with the juices about every 10-15 minutes.  The juices will almost all be absorbed or cooked down by the time the loin is done. 

When it’s nearly done, mix up this sauce to pour down over the top.

*  1/2 jar orange marmalade

*  1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

*  1/8 tsp. ground cloves

*  1/4 cup soy sauce

*  4 cloves garlic, minced

*  1 1/2″ fresh ginger, grated

*  Zest and juice from 1 orange

*  Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

Mix ingredients together and set them aside until the pork loin is nearly done.  Slice loin as thin or as thick as you want it.  Turn the oven up to 425° degrees while you’re slicing and mixing up the sauce.  Return the slices to the baking dish and pour the sauce down over the loin.  You may want to save a little to serve with the loin at the table. 

Return the loin to the oven to finish.  Bake an additional 10 minutes or so or until the sauce is becoming thick and bubbly. 

We’re having this at my house tonight.  I put it in to marinate last night after we finished dinner.  I’ve got to work out of town today so one of the ankle biters can put it in the oven for me when I leave my last meeting and it will be ready for me to sauce when I walk in the door. 

We’re having Tarragon Rice, Roasted Asparagus/Artichokes/Carrots/Red Onions, Sauted Whole Green Beans, Corn Souffle and if I can find some green tomatoes, Baked Green Tomatoes. 

One little note about the sliced up loin…….it makes an amazing panini!  The day I made this, I made the tall skinny man a sandwich with it using some sourdough bread, horseradish sauce, slices of Granny Smith apples, the loin and some cheddar cheese.  If you don’t have a panini grill, no worries!  If you have a George Foreman grill, use that.  If you don’t have that, do it in a non-stick skillet on the stove like you would a grilled cheese.  The tall skinny man had himself a spell over that sandwich! 

OK, now I’m hungry!  How ’bout y’all?  Enjoy!  See you all tomorrow!  Go cook something fabulous for those you love!


7 Responses

  1. This sounds awesome. I got loins on sale today, buy 1 get 2 free and this would be a great recipe to try. I like the panini idea too. MY tall skinny man will thank you after I make this.

  2. Amy, my son uses fresh ginger all the time. He even puts it in his Top Ramen soup, especially when he feels like he is getting a cold. Loved seeing the “Tall, Skinney Man” and Ankle Biter #1 post yesterday…what a hoot! Oh, I too love my microplanes! I have two! 🙂

  3. Amy…YUM!!! I have a ton of pork loins, too, and can hardly wait to try this recipe!! I agree with Marlene…microplanes are GREAT!!! I love this plus my cheese shaver…YEA!!

  4. I’m going to try this recipe tonight — it sounds sooo yummy! I love garlic, ginger, onions, and kitchen gadgets too (but I haven’t bought the zester yet sadly). I have a zillion pork loins in my freezers, so I’m always looking for new recipes. Thanks so much for this one — I can’t wait to get dinner served!

  5. I’m looking forward to try it later, but I’m out of ingredients. haha. I will ask my wife to prepare the recipes for me to have it later. I really want to have this tonight. Think it’s very awesome.

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