Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Last night for dinner, they finally let me cook, and we had "city food". Thankfully it was a success. I always worry that what I think is yummy and good won't be appreciated - but looked at as "funny" food.

I shouldn't have worried. We wanted to keep the day low key - and also get out of the trailer fairly early so that we could beat the rain back to the house. I decided to do the Tuscan Pork Tenderloin (because I have the recipe memorized) - and it's quick and easy.

When I make it at home, I use froze orange juice concentrate because I'm not a big OJ drinker, and I hate to waste the money. Here we had a carton of OJ - and so I think that's why the meat didn't have as much of the flavor. It marinated in one cup of the juice and one cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus white pepper and fresh oregano, for two hours. (That's another thing I like about this recipe, you don't have to start the marinade the night before or first thing in the morning.)

While the meat did it's thing, I packed up my suitcase and then started on the tomato bread salad, also known as Panzella. I knew it would be spectacular - since we were using Roma tomatoes out of IH824's garden, her homegrown basil, and some more of the fragrant oregano. I also jazzed it up a bit by using Assagio Cheese Bread. I diced the tomatoes, pitted some Klamato Olives we purchased on Saturday, and then dressed that mixture with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, a little red wine, and garlic/salt paste.

Then I went to do some writing and she made a mango, blueberry, bananna salad, with a fresh mint/yougurt dressing. IH824 isn't really a stranger to city food - because she had fingerling red-potatoes on hand which we turned into roasted parslied potoatoes to round out the dinner.

The pork went on the grill for 5 minutes on each of the four sides, then I let it rest for ten minutes before slicing it. One tenderloin was cooked slightly more than I liked - and the other was a perfect medium. (my preference is medium rare, but a lot of people are still (needlessly) worried about trechinosis). Just beofore sitting down, I mixed the toasted bread and tomoatoe mixture, and added some slivers of Parmesano Reggiano Cheese to the Panzella.

The dinner was great - and I knew I had a hit when Mr. Fish kept raving over the pork ... and ate all the Panzella he put on his plate. I know he liked it - because he even dipped his fork in the salad bowl and speared a few more chunks of bread! We all agreed it was the lightest meal we'd had so far - and although we were full, we weren't stuffed.

When IH824 gets back from town, I'll show you a picture of the meal.

Now it's off to Little Rock - and back to the daily grind. See ya!


I H8 24 said...

I already miss you!!! Let's do this again!!

The Purple Panda said...

I don't know what it is, but the desciption of food and cooking, preparation, etc., is so much more pleasurable than the physical act of cooking or eating it (w/ the exception of cake). Especially since I'm such a picky eater!

thanks for your simple yet lovely descriptions -- I can practically taste your passions.