2010.03.27Almond-Crusted Pork Loin w/Pico de Gallo

Found this recipe for almond-crusted pork loin w/pico de gallo in the December 2009 & January 2010 issue of Taste of Home Magazine, in the "Cook Smart" section — brought to us by the Almond Board of California:

6 oz.bag of slivered almonds
2medium garlic cloves, crushed OR 1 tsp minced garlic
2egg whites
1.5 lbsboneless pork loin
2medium tomatoes, diced (about 2 C)
1/2 Cred onion, diced
1jalape~no pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tspground cumin
2 Tbsplime juice
1/4 Cfresh cilantro, chopped
 salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line roasting pan with foil and place meat rack on the foil. If the rack is not non-stick, spray with vegetable oil spray. Coarsely grind almonds in food processor. Mix almonds, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl; set aside. Whip egg whites to form soft peaks, and remove the fat from the pork. Roll the pork in the egg whites and then in the almond mixture. Place the pork on the rack and roast for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F. (In my oven, this took about 40 minutes.) While the meat is roasting, mix the pico ingredients together. Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes; slice and serve with the pico.

I couldn't find a 1.5-lb. pork loin; they were all about 3 lbs. at my grocery. I used a food processor to grind the almonds, and believe there were enough left over to have done the other half of the loin. To cover the loin with the almond mixture, I used two baking sheets — one containing the egg white and the other, the mixture. It's also fair to note I forgot to whip the egg white — and I'm not entirely sure what whipping it would achieve (not because I'm that smart; it's because I'm that dumb). Finally, I used a "remote" meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the loin. Such a device simply has a separate probe and CPU, connected by a long thin wire. The CPU sits atop the oven and the wire runs through the oven door to the probe inside the meat.

Oh - P.S. - Facebook post tonight: "You make me want to marry you everytime you post what you're cooking." :-)

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