The spirit of Puerto Rico is playful and happy. Puerto Ricans love to gather together for big parties with lots of food, good drinks and great music for dancing. Over the 30 years that I have been visiting Puerto Rico I have made many friends there and whenever I visit we try and get together for a celebration.
This recipe was inspired by my visit to Tuscany and the flavors of the autumn season that were so prevalent while I was there. Searing the pork loin to lock in the juices keeps the meat moist and the rich sauce is made from caramelizing the mushrooms with garlic and sage. I like to put the garlic cloves in with the skins still on them so they sort of roast inside their case.
An ingredient like bacon automatically boosts the flavor of a recipe because of its salty, smoky, rich flavor, but it also adds important moisture to a cut of meat that is typically very lean. Also, some of the rendered fat from the cooked bacon adds a layer of flavor to the peas and lettuce. This quick simple recipe is very easy to make at home but will taste and look wonderful.
Le Bernardin’s pastry chef, Michael Laiskonis, who proves that truly everything is better with bacon showed us how to integrate savory flavors like bacon, pepper, salt and herbs into his desserts. The bacon ice cream is a very intriguing flavor that enhances the flavor of the figs and a great marriage of sweet and savory ingredients.