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Almond-Crusted Pork Loin

The spicy yogurt marinade keeps the pork loin moist, and the toasty chopped almond crust produces an appealing contrast of texture and flavor.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 boneless center-cut pork loin roast (about 3 pounds)
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

Whisk the first six ingredients together in a small bowl. Place the pork loin in a shallow baking dish and pour the marinade over the roast. Roll to coat all sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 500F (260C)

Mix together the almonds, breadcrumbs, and salt. Scrape off most of the marinade, then roll the roast in the nut mixture and press it into the meat.

Roast for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 250F (120C) and roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 145F to 150F (63C to 66C), 1 to 1-1/2 hours (the temperature will continue to rise about 5F (2.5C) out of the oven). Remove the roast to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Skim the fat off the pan juices. Slice the meat and serve with the pan juices.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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