OLIVE RICE AND SORGHUM LAQUERED PORK LOIN WITH MUSHROOM DUXELLES
If Aristotle had quipped “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” about this superb dinner platter before a forkful of this graced his lips, you might have thought him daft. Just saying, what’s not to love about the platter’s parts? It’s hard to resist diving into a pot of hot basmati rice laden with sautéed olives, a sweet baby Vidalia, spinach, walnuts, and cream, with its scentuous fragrance wafting through your kitchen. Or, a fine, rich duxelles finished with a splash of Madeira—it tastes just as good on a saltine as a Wellington. And little has more culinary sensory appeal than the looks, sounds, touch, taste, and smells emanating from your back yard of full of hickory smoke saturated with the sizzling perfume of hot fat drippings from a slow cooked seasoned pork loin, and the spicy, sweet taste of the sorghum dripping from your fingers after you finish basting that loin to get the vaunted lacquered, mineral tasting bark? It’s all good.
But the sum is greater. The creamy, olive complexioned rice bedecked in sautéed walnuts is an unlikely perfect match with the subtle smokiness of the loin, itself formally dressed in sweet warmth with a polarity pairing of the finest Mississippi sorghum and black and red pepper. In a memorable palate shotgun wedding, the subtly smokin hot, spicy, and sweet marries the haute rich and creamy. All doubts about this marriage of distinct flavors are erased with the duxelles’ vows to wed them each into culinary bliss, performed through butter imbued blessings with appetizing grace. All could be fine single dishes, and all are made better with their union. The sum is greater; perhaps Aristotle was a chef.
For the rice:
For the pork loin:
For the duxelles:
Prepare the pork: In your grill light fire and burn to hot coals (use oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit if no grill available). Lightly sprinkle loins with red pepper, then to taste with black pepper (don’t be shy) and salt. Smoke or cook until internal temperature is 135 degrees. Remove from grill and lightly coat with sorghum on all sides. Return and cook until internal temperature is 145 degrees F. Remove and set aside. Before plating with the rice, slice in pieces across grain less than ¼ inches thick. Retain drippings.