Monday, May 24, 2010

Quote by Mother Theresa

Give yourself fully to God.
He will use you to accomplish great things
on the condition that you believe much more in His love
than in your own weakness.
--Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pork + Pears = Scrumptious!

Before I talk about the divine nature of this recipe, let me lay out the limitations of my kitchen:
I have approximately 3 1/2 feet of counter space. Actually less considering the electric tea kettle, the french press, 3 water bottles (the bane of my existence are all of Steve's water bottles - the man has a serious addiction to hydration), Thorne's sippy cups and a food scale all take up space. My oven and stove are of the miniature variety. I cannot have any other pan on the stove top if I'm using my 12" All-Clad skillet. There is simply no room. The pilot light won't stay lit for half the burners and the oven door doesn't close all the way. And yet. And yet, I can still make the most amazingly delicious recipes like this one. So if I have no excuse to not cook, then neither do you!

On to the recipe: Pork Tenderloin with caramelized pears and pear-brandy cream sauce. I just ate this, but my mouth is watering reading the recipe again! This is a simple recipe to make but has the taste of extravagance. The perfect recipe for company. Sorry I have no pictures. The meal when ready is shades of beige so there wasn't much to look at. What it lacks in visual appeal, it more than makes up for in taste.

Here are my modifications to the recipe. I took a couple of the recommendations mentioned in the comments section to make it even easier to make:

1. I had a package of two pork tenderloins and I wanted to use both. So instead of creating a paillard of the pork, I left them whole. I brined them in 2 quarts of water, 1/4 cup sugar, and a 1/4 cup of salt for one hour. After patting them dry, I rubbed them with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. I browned them in some olive oil in a skillet and then put the skillet into a 450 degree oven for twenty minutes. The woman who recommended this adaptation said it should only take 12 minutes to cook, but probably because my oven door doesn't close it took longer.

2. I couldn't find pear brandy so I used plum instead. The check-out guy at Trader Joe's remarked that it was ironic I was using Kosher brandy on pork. quite. The plum brandy worked perfectly well. I'm sure a good pear brandy would've taken it up a notch, but the plum certainly didn't detract from the flavor.

3. I couldn't find pear nectar so I grabbed a 100 calorie can of pears that I then pureed in its syrup. I think it made about a cup of nectar.

4. Instead of cream I used 1/2 cup of whole milk instead of the called for 1 cup. One woman commented that the full cup overwhelmed the delicate flavor of pear. So I used a cup of pear nectar and only 1/2 cup of milk.

The pork came out juicy, the sauce was a delicious mix of savory because of the thyme and sweet because of the nectar, and the caramelized pears had a slightly buttery flavor. If I had to personify the fusion of flavors this dish creates I would say it was happy.

Now go make it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thank you Gypsy

My friend Gypsy gave Thorne this adorable dress. I love it because it's girly without being saccharine sweet. Thorne doesn't wear a lot of dresses so when I put this on her she'll twirl around the living room and then stop in front of the mirror and admire herself. Whenever she wears it I envision her as a WWII English child about to be sent by train out of London for the safer countryside. She'd have a note pinned to her with instructions so people on the way could help her get to her destination. Once in the country wilds she would get into much mischief and adventure. Thank you Gypsy for your excellent eye in little girl dresses!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thorne - 17 months