All images courtesy of Simply Pure
After honing and finessing entrepreneurial skills, biz and life partners Wanda James and Scott Durrah opened Simply Pure in 2014, an edibles shop and cannabis cooking class space that also sports the cred of being Denver’s first African American-owned marijuana dispensary.
For this week’s edition of our food column, MERRY JANE caught up with Durrah to talk business, storing coconut oil, and how he’s never had a bad experience cooking with herb. He also shared a delectable, meaty pork loin recipe that’s sure to get your next dinner party 100 percent lifted. (It comes from The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Food for Home Cooks, which you can purchase here.)
A photo of Simply Pure's gorgeous dispensary in Denver, Colorado
Smoked Apple-Glazed Roast Pork Loin with Walnut and Cannabis Leaf Stuffing
1 6-lbs. whole pork loin, with a little fat
1 cup cannabis-infused butter or coconut oil
1 cup organic brown sugar, plus some for sprinkling pork
½ cup fresh cannabis fan leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
¼ cup maple syrup
6 sweet red apples, peeled and diced
¼ raisins, optional
String to wrap pork loin
Apple or hickory wood for smoking pork (optional)
Completely wash pork loin and split down the middle on belly side, about halfway through the pork loin. This is where you’ll place the stuffing.
Use about ¼ cup butter, rub entire loin (top, bottom, and inside). Sprinkle with brown sugar and refrigerate for 3 hours minimum.
To make stuffing, combine cannabis leaves, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, walnuts, maple syrup, apples, and raisins in a warm skillet over low heat. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until sugar melts and apples soften.
Add remaining butter to skillet and simmer for 10 minutes on low. Remove the heat and set aside to cool. Once stuffing has cooled, separate and remove any oil or butter that has solidified on top of skillet and place in bowl for later.
Refrigerate stuffing until completely cool.
To roast pork loin, heat oven to 300°F.
Stuff entire loin, starting in the middle and working outward. You may want to save a little stuffing to put on top of the loin before you place in the oven or to pass as a topping when you serve it.
Once loin is stuffed, wrapped tightly with kitchen string and place in roasting pan. Pour remaining butter evenly over top. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roast for 1-1 ½ hours, basting every 20 minutes.
Use meat thermometer to ensure loin is cooked completely to an internal temperature of at least 145°F. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
If smoking loin, place in smoker on low for one hour, then in oven until fully cooked to at least 145°F.
Remove the string before slicing and serving.
Above, Scott Durrah filming a cook sesh with Abdullah Saed of 'Bong Appetit'
MERRY JANE: You've said before you store cannabis-infused coconut oil in an actual coconut shell. Tell me more about how aesthetics in storage as well as preparation play into your work with edibles.
Scott Durrah: I truly believe in freshness and incorporating natural flavors to enhance cooking with cannabis. In terms of storing it in a coconut, I'll keep it in the shell until the freshness or flavor is captured. Like anything else with fresh produce, apply common [sense] with freshness and do it in small batches.
My coconut oil normally last about seven days in cold storage, then I remove with some of the meat from the coconut mix and store in a new container. These are the same techniques and procedures we use at Simply Pure when creating our edibles or when I am doing cooking demonstration. It's all about flavor with me!
Since shuttering Jezebel's Southern Bistro & Bar last fall and focusing on the Simply Pure dispensary with your partner, what else have you been up to? Any food projects you'd like to share?
Wow. I wish I had a break, but the reality is we closed Jezebel's so I could focus with my wife and partner Wanda James to grow Simply Pure and launch our new line of edibles that’s coming soon, as well as explore opportunities in the Los Angeles market. I will be doing my second cooking excursion to Negril, Jamaica in October 2017, as well.
Tell me about Simply Pure's cannabis cooking classes. Describe a typical class.
Well, right now, I have put that project on hold and only do private events — mostly VIP. All my classes and excursions are all about the joy of cooking with cannabis and socializing with friends — it's a lifestyle.
How did you start using marijuana in your cooking in the first place? Any early horror stories?
No horror stories, never a bad experience. I was one of the first chefs to do what I do; I have always enjoyed pot from a very young age, so cooking with it was no problem. Plus, most of my life I have spent years in Jamaica cooking with many Rastafarian friends who helped me along the way and still today. In terms of stories that got me into this business, is too long to type, but let me just say that it was due to a dying man’s request to have a dinner with his wife before he passed.
How did you develop the recipe you're sharing with us today? Any pairing suggestions?
We have a great cookbook that can be purchased online or at our store that features me as one of there chefs. The book really give people the know-how on how to cook with cannabis and has some of my favorite recipes, including the one I shared with MERRY JANE!
For more on Simply Pure and their many awesome projects, visit the company's website here
Follow Beca Grimm on Twitter