Wednesday

[cooking] Pork Dinner

Dollar and I had a couple people over for dinner last night. I served pork, potatoes, asparagus, corn and bread. OR, as I like to call each dish:

~ Pan-seared Pork Medallions
~ Roasted New Potatoes with Sicilian Herbs
~ Sautéed Asparagus Infused with a Garlic Essence
~ Arctic Corn Frizzled via a Technologically Advanced Contraption
~ Warmed Mini French Loaves

First I cut the new potatoes (why are the sometimes called "creamer" potatoes?) in half and tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I roasted them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Here's my trick- after 30 minutes I sprayed a few squirts of white truffle oil across the browning beauties and sprinkled on a Sicilian blend of spices. I have a single container of four different bread dipping spices and I was getting tired of used Goya's Adobo seasoning for my roasted potatoes all the time. I thought, Hey! I'll use some of these funky spice blends instead! The first time I did it I sprinkled a flavor on the raw potatoes right when they went into the oven but the herbs and spice bits were kind of charred by the time the potatoes were done. So this time I added the good stuff half-way through and the result was crispy potato bites with great flavor.

I got strips of pork loin (or was it boneless ribs?) from the grocery store, cut them into stewing size chunks and sprinkled on a little salt and pepper. I let the meat come to room temperature and then browned them in 3 or 4 batches in a little olive oil. I put them into a serving dish in a mildly rare state and then put the dish into a warm oven to rest (after the potatoes had come out and the oven had been turned down). I wanted to make pork like this after I made the Braised Pork with Persimmon recipe last week. For that recipe I browned chunks and tasted a bite right out of the pan. Seared, juicy, hot, delicious pork nugget. I gave Dollar a bite and he nearly chewed my fingers off. It was so good I knew it would be able to stand on its own- without covering it with spices or mixing it with something else.

In my pork pan, I deglazed the bottom with about a third of a cup of vegetable stock. I would have preferred to use white wine but I didn't have any on hand and came THIS close to using sake, but I wasn't sure how that would turn out so I didn't risk it. I used a little stock, scrapped up all the brown bits, added minced garlic and the asparagus spears. They kind of cooked/steamed in the stock, and when the stock boiled off, they sautéed a little. I took them out of the pan before they could get all bendy- I like my asparagus al dente.

The corn was just frozen corn I cooked in the microwave. The rolls were warmed in the oven (alongside the resting pork), cut in half (they were slightly oversized) and nestled inside a tea towel in a bread basket. Mmmm, warm bread with butter.

Besides being inappropriately smacked on the behind by one of my dinner guests (she made up for it by doing all the dishes), the evening went very smoothly. I have a knitting get-together on Thursday night and I think I'll bring my special macaroni and cheese. I've been craving it but Dollar doesn't dig on anything wicked cheesy. So I'm going to make tons and bring it to the knitters.

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