Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pork Tenderloin Two Ways...And Mice

I'm well aware that mixing content about food and a mention of vermin in the same post may strike many of you as slightly disconcerting if not outright gross, but such is life folks, such is life. Another weekend found me yet again in the country with big culinary ideas and a proper amount of work space in which to execute them. When I went to the nearby grocery store I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do. I knew I had purple potatoes that needed roasting, and that a protein of some kind was in order, but past that I did not know. So when I saw pork tenderloin at a reasonable price (at least in my mind) I thought what the hell, might as well. I had assumed that the packaged loin was folded in half and was one large loin but this was a mistaken impression, as I learned when freeing the flesh of its plastic casing. There were two loins! I considered freezing the bonus one for later, but somehow that seemed wrong so I decided to try two different approaches to the same cut. On the left is a pretty standard rosemary/garlic rub while on the left is a slightly more creative cilantro, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar mix.
I decided to cook them in the same pan, which may have made the resulting juices too much of a mix of the two flavors to really discern between, but no matter.
Meanwhile, the last time I had been up I noticed that the spice rack seemed to be suffering from a case of 'mice have figured out how to get in here.' But the damage was almost entirely to a loose bag of bay leaves. On that visit I cleaned out the leaves, vacuumed the poop, and wiped everything down, thinking that would take care of it, as most of the remaining spices were in plastic or glass jars. This was an oversight on my part. This time around they went to town on a bag of allspice, a plastic container of cayenne, and perhaps one other thing. Cheeky mice. You could hear them in the back of the rack and on occasion when I tried opening it suddenly they'd be right in there foraging, turning their heads over to look at me with the swagger and confidence of a young Johnny Rotten before eventually skittering off.
In addition to the rubs I also brined the pork ahead of time. This led to very juicy and satisfying results. And the tomatoes roasting in the juices were also delicious.
As were the purple potatoes.

The mice also had figured out that trash went under the sink and were just as cheeky about venturing there and not quite having the fear of god put in them by my sudden arrival.
Mice bad. Tenderloin good.

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