One of my favorite foods to eat is mushrooms. I love any type of mushroom cooked any which way.
Although many people may view them as a vegetable, mushrooms are actually fungi and are about 80 to 90 percent water and very low in calories, there’s the perfect reason you should love them. Maybe people don’t know this, but mushrooms have health benefits as well, they are a great source of potassium which is a mineral that helps reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke. Who knew, mushrooms are good for you. One medium portabella has more potassium than a banana or even a glass of orange juice. One serving of our dearly beloved mushrooms also provides about 20 to 40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardioprotective properties.
And to top it off, recent studies have discovered that white button mushrooms can reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. One other thing I discovered, is that shiitake mushrooms, which by the way is one of my favorite mushrooms, have been used by the Chinese and Japanese to treat colds and the flu.
Well if that isn’t enough for you to start eating mushrooms, I don’t know what is.
Let mushrooms be your friend, they are mine, and I love cooking with them. Today I had just plain old regular white button mushrooms. This dish was very simple to make, when I make these types of dishes, I don’t usually follow any recipes, I just use whatever comes to me, or whatever I have in the fridge that day. Sometimes that makes the best and most delicious dishes, cooking without recipes.
I had a small piece of pork loin, probably about a pound, which I just seasoned with salt and pepper, and some cayenne for a bit of spice. The mushroom and bacon ragu was just as simple, ingredients I had on hand, and I decided to add bacon at the last minute because I still had some and well, as I’ve said many time, everything is just better with bacon.
Here’s the exact recipe I used:
- 1 lb pork loin
- 4 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5 slices of bacon, cut up in pieces
- ½ cup half and half (cream)
- ¼ cup vodka (yum)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- Season the pork loin with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. In a large skillet, sear the pork loin on both sides, until it has a nice brown color all around. Transfer the pork loin to a baking dish, pour the olive oil over it and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until it's cooked through.
- In the meantime, in the same skillet, add the butter and place the skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and the bacon and cook until the onion is translucent, but not burnt and the bacon has rendered most of its fat. Season with salt and pepper and cumin.
- Add the mushrooms and saute a bit until the mushrooms soak up most of the butter and bacon fat. At this point add the vodka and cream. Let it start boiling and turn down the heat to low.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes then remove from heat.
- When the pork loin is done, remove from oven, cover it up with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. You don't want to cut it up right away because all the juices will drain out of it.
- To serve, slice the pork loin, and top it up with the mushroom ragu, sprinkle with some fresh parsley and serve.