…we were having pork for dinner last night.
After I got home from a long day, I had no intention of making an elaborate dinner.
A pre-packaged garlic-marinated pork loin was in the fridge and needed to be eaten. There was brown rice and salad to go along with it. Simple, right? Except after a trying day at the office, I had cheese on the brain. Beautiful, gooey cheese, all warm, melty and happy. I needed cheese and nothing was going to stop me!
So when the beau called on the way home from work and asked if we were having pork loin for dinner, I responded with an emphatic “I’m having a gorgeous, cheesy, melty, quesadilla and you can’t stop me!!! To which he replied “Could we put some pork in there and have pork quesadillas?” Well, fine, if you want to be all nice and normal about it.
1lb pork loin*
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2c. olive oil (plus an additional 1 tbs)
2 tsp each: Sea Salt & Black Pepper
1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and diced
1 red onion, diced
6-8 button mushrooms, diced
1 packet Taco/Cajun seasoning (or 1tsp each: cumin, paprika, salt and chili flakes, salt)
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 bunch cilantro, de-stemmed, roughly chopped (or flat-leaf parsley)
4 green onions, chopped, green and white parts
80z Blend of Cheddar/Monterey Jack/Mozzarella
4 tbs peanut sauce (trust me)
4-8 WW tortillas (we like La Tortilla Factory or Flat Out Wraps)
Sour Cream/Greek Yogurt & Limes for serving
**the pork loin was delicious, but pork shoulder, cooked slow and shredded would be awesome, as would marinated chicken or slices of tofu – whatever you have on-hand.
In a large bowl,combine pork loin, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Allow pork to marinate for 20 minutes or 2 hours, covered in fridge.
Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a roasting dish with tin foil and place pork in the center. Bake for 22-28 minutes, until pork is no longer pink in the thickest part.
While pork is baking, heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add peppers, red onion and mushrooms. Allow vegetables to cook for a few moments before adding Taco/Cajun mix and lime juice. Continue to cook vegetables until they are browned and fork-tender Remove from heat, set aside.
Once pork is done, remove from oven, and let rest for a few minutes on a cutting board. Slice very thin slices (almost shavings) of the pork and set aside.
You’re ready to assemble quesadilla magic.
Lay one tortilla on a plate, add a tablespoon of cheese, a thin layer of pork shavings, several tablespoons of vegetables and top with more cheese. Add a sprinkle of cilantro (or parsley) and green onion. Drizzle the whole delicious thing with peanut sauce. It works. Gently place the second tortilla over the fillings (or close the flap of a large tortilla if that’s what you’re using).
You can cook these in a grill pan or quesadilla maker, or use my high-tech method:
Set a clean, dry skillet over medium heat.Gently place your quesadilla masterpiece into the pan (you can lightly butter or oil it if you wish), place the second pan right on top of the quesadilla (we want to flatten it a bit and ensure even cooking – I used a teapot with tin foil wrapped around the bottom and it worked perfectly). Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, then gently flip over and repeat the process, we just want to melt the cheese and toast the quesadilla a bit.
Cheese = Happiness.