I have to be honest. When I realized I wouldn’t have more responsibility at Thanksgiving this year, I was pretty bummed. Sometimes it is hard for me to remember that there are other people that enjoy cooking and want to have some ownership over what is served. Seriously world, didn’t you know it is the Angela show? Why can’t I cook every meal for everyone I want, whenever I want?
Self absorbed much?
Maybe my family’s lack of willingness to give me more responsibility in the kitchen has to do with the fact that for twenty-three Thanksgiving/Christmas/Family dinners, I steered clear of the kitchen. I would not be caught dead in a kitchen. Mashing potatoes? Prepping green beans? Lifting things? Soooo not my thing. The only help I was good for was making the Caesar salad dressing which has a total of 5 ingredients and mainly involves putting those ingredients in a bowl and whisking.
I’m not sure if they would admit it, but I could see the look of disappointment in my aunt’s/grandmother’s/mom’s/uncle’s (not Dad, because lets face it, I probably got this trait from him) eyes at my reluctance to help. I used to be somewhat of a feminist and thought that if my brothers didn’t have to be in the kitchen, then I didn’t either.
Well, I’m an idiot. If I’d just sucked it up and gotten in the kitchen the first time they asked, I might have discovered the joy I have now a long time ago. Working together to create something is so satisfying. I was really missing out on that experience and that family bonding. Plus, now that people actually let me plan dinners, I get to be in charge. And I love to be bossy.
Side note: When we were young, my brothers and I had a book series designed to teach little kids how to behave. There was a sharing book. There was a manners book. But, my brother’s and cousin’s favorite was the BOSSY book. Whenever I was bossy (83% of the time, the other 17% I was asleep) the boys would take out the book and pretty much smack me with it.
Coming back to the point I’m very slowly trying to make, thankfully my family loves me. They love me just enough to have given me a whole meal to cook to prove my worth. Thanks guys.
I decided to go with some recipes that would…
1. Not be so time consuming that we eat at midnight
2. Not turn my Aunt Peggy’s kitchen into a hazard zone the night before Thanksgiving
Herb marinated pork tenderloin, roasted potatoes and asparagus and root vegetable soup with truffle oil was just the ticket.
I chose the marinated pork because it is something I have done before that doesn’t require too much attention but is a real crowd pleaser. That and I really like herbs.
Herbs are really pretty. Peggy had some fresh rosemary and it smelled so good I might have piddled myself a little from excitement.
To piddle is to pee a little.
Now, I know the meat doesn’t look that appetizing. That is because I over crowded a pan that was not hot enough so I did not get the beautiful sear that you should get when you make this properly. However, the inside was cooked perfectly.
Side note number two: I highly suggest you get a meat thermometer. They are cheap and so necessary when cooking meat properly. I have an electric one, but I liked Peggy’s regular one better. Electric is to high tech for me.
Now get in the kitchen and make some pork!
And send me your picture when you are done so I can drool. And maybe piddle.
Love and Beer Floats
1 lemon, zest grated
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork tenderloins on all sides until golden brown. Place the saute pan in the oven and roast the tenderloins for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it's just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.