Tuscan Pork and Beans
Beans are a staple of Tuscan cooking. This simple dish uses convience foods to make the cooking easier. When making your own roasted garlic, be sure to use very fresh, hard garlic with no bruises or sprouts. Prepared polenta is available in most supermarkets in the refrigerated section. Serve this with a fresh green salad.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Combine about 1/3 mashed garlic with 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper, salt and cinnamon. Rub seasonings onto pork. Spray pork with olive oil; place on grill. Grill 8-9 minutes on each side, or until internal temperture is 145 degrees F.
- While pork is cooking, spray a heavy nonstick sauce pan with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and 1 tablespoon water; saute 2 minutes or until mushroom are softened. Stir in beans, remaining garlic, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper, 2 tablespoons water and tomato paste.
- When pork reaches 145 degrees F., remove from grill; allow to rest for 5 minutes and then cut into rough bite-size pieces. Add pork pieces to beans and stir. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3-5 minutes. While pork and beans are simmering, spray polenta slices on both sides with olive oil. Place on grill and cook, turning once, until hot. Place 2 or 3 polenta slices on each plate. Top each plate with 1/4 of the pork and beans. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over each portion.
- * Either use purchased roasted garlic or homemade. For homemade roasted garlic, Peel away the dry outer layers of skin from desired number of heads of garlic. Leave skins of cloves intact. Cut off the pointed top portion (about 1/4 inch) with a sharp knife, leaving the bulb intact but exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place the head(s) of garlic, cut side up, in a small baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil (allowing about 2 teaspoons oil for each head). Bake, covered, in a 400 degree F oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until cloves feel soft when pressed. It might be a good idea to roast several bulbs at a time to have on hand for seasoning. Freeze wrapped small portions in heavy plastic wrap; put into freezer bags. Thaw to use.