Friday, October 5, 2012

Chopped Challenge #5, Part 1: Coffee-Crusted Pork Loin

This time around, my ingredients for the Chopped challenge were pork, bourbon, Texas toast, and coffee. Something about those ingredients just clicked for me, and it took me all of 5 seconds to decide what I'd be making. I was actually really excited about this challenge, too, for whatever reason, so I definitely was looking forward to making it. I have to say, I was not disappointed. So far we've been pretty lucky and haven't made anything really terrible, or even halfway terrible for that matter. I know we're only 5 challenges in, but that's still pretty good.

For this challenge, I decided to make a coffee-crusted pork loin, maple bourbon barbecue sauce, and a savory, white cheddar bread pudding. (I'll discuss the barbecue sauce and bread pudding in separate posts and just stick to the pork loin in this one.) I've never actually made or even had coffee-crusted anything before. I know that it's a thing that a lot of restaurants do it, so I figured it can't be bad, right? I'm glad I gave it a try because it's really easy to do and tastes great. I liked the pork with the crust by itself, but Justin thought it was much better when paired with the barbecue sauce because the coffee crust is a little bitter and the sauce was nice and sweet. I agree that they complimented each other nicely, but I was just fine eating the pork alone as well. It made for a nice change to plain ol' roasted pork.


2 1/2 tbsp ground coffee
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 - 3 lb pork loin


In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except the pork loin. Mix well.

Use paper towels to gently pat the pork loin dry on all sides. Rub the dry ingredients all over the surface of the pork to full coat it. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Place pork loin in a roasting pan fat-side up, and bake at 350 F for 40 - 80 minutes, depending on weight. (The general guideline is 20 mins/lb, but I find it sometimes takes a little longer than that.) Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Internal temperature should be at least 160 F.

Servings: 6

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