Provençal Pork Stew
Recipe: 2 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 leeks, chopped 2 fennel bulbs, chopped 28 oz crushed tomato, canned 1 cup white wine 4 cloves garlic, minced 3 medium carrots, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 2 bay leaves 1 tbsp herbs de provence 1/8 tsp saffron, crushed
1 orange juiced and zested 3 cups chicken stock (low sodium) 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper
1 baguette, sliced 1 cup mayonnaise 2 cloves garlic 1/8 tsp saffron 1/2 tsp cayenne 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Sprinkle pork with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook pork in batches with 1 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat to brown. Remove and set aside. Add the other 1 tbsp olive oil, leeks, fennel, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, herbs de provence, saffron, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, orange juice and zest and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Add pork back, chicken broth, tomato paste and simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Slice baguette diagonally into 3/4 inch thick slices and back at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and refrigerate. ( can be made 2 days ahead)
Smear 1 tbsp of aioli on crostini and place in the bottom of the bowl. Ladle stew on top and enjoy!
Starting a food/nutrition blog has been harder than I thought it would be. Developing my own recipes and doing all the nutritional leg work is time consuming. However, it has made me really think about the concept of healthy eating. I think there is a lot misinformation floating around about what makes for a healthy eating plan. Eating only "healthy" food to keep calories, fat and sodium low just makes living dull. What constitutes a healthy eating plan, in my opinion, is increasing fruits and vegetables and watching portion control. This means you can still eat that burger and fries but counter balance it with making healthy choices at other meals during the day. Spreading out the fat and calories throughout the day so an indulgence does not spiral into "oh well, my diet is blown so I guess I'll eat that pint of ice cream too...." Life should not be filled with deprivation, it's too short.
To that end, I created this recipe inspired by a traditional French fish stew, bouillabaisse. It can be quite expensive to make so I substituted pork tenderloin for the fish and shell fish and I think pork is a natural complement to the saffron and fennel flavors. I increased the vegetables (because that's my motto) and it is all poured over crusty bread smeared with a spicy saffron aioli.
The vegetables provide tons of vitamin A to this dish. Vitamin A is very important to prevent night blindness. It is used for cellular differentiation, growth, reproduction, bone development and immune system function. It is a fat soluble vitamin so having the aioli smeared crostini helps the vitamin to be absorbed. This dish is also rich in niacin and vitamin B6 which are important for enzyme function within the body. Choosing vitamin rich foods is a great way to give your body what it needs to stay healthy and functioning well. I hope you will try this recipe and l would love to hear back from you. Enjoy!