On Eating and Loving Food

Roasted red currant jelly glazed pork loin

Sometimes a clever headline isn’t called for
Posted:  Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 6:45am
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Lucky for me, this absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious dish happened organically, right in my kitchen in Edegecomb — the one with the glossy new forest moss-green floor :-)

It was last Saturday night. One of those brain-numbing frigid days when I had no interest in venturing out to the grocery store.

Unfortunately, Ruby-2-Shoes was out of Temptations, so I had no choice. The chipmunks and squirrels were out of peanuts too. And the mourning doves were almost out of cracked corn. The crows too. Ugh. Unless I was able to ignore Ruby staring forlornly at the empty drawer where her treats should have been, and the creatures outside under the bird feeder staring forlornly at the cold, foodless snow, I had to go.

I am a bleeding heart.

So since I had to go I figured I’d pick up something especially delicious for dinner. I deserved it. I had spent the week before – a vacation week, no less – painting the kitchen floor. (Sorry to keep bringing it up, but it’s kind of a big deal. It had been on my list of things to do for, like, three years.)

So I picked up a pork loin and some endive and radicchio, along with the $15 worth of food for both domestic and wild animals, and headed home.

Okay, I picked up a bottle of Jack Daniels too. I actually spent a little too much time looking over the different bourbons, ryes and whiskeys. There are so many to choose from!! It’s mind-boggling. I always start at the top where the top-of-the-line boozes are, then slowly make my way down. I tend to stop around halfway down, where the mid-priced ones reside. I try to stay away from the bottom shelf.

I actually grabbed a bottle of the delicious Basil Hayden that was introduced to me last summer by a bourbon lover. The bottle is gorgeous. But it’s, like, $40, so I put it back and settled for a bottle of Jack. Got a bottle of cherries, with stems, too.

By the time I pulled back into the driveway it was almost five. Cocktail hour. I love when that happens. I’ll often head out on errands thinking I’ll be back in time to do something productive before cocktail hour. But if I dilly-dally for long enough I can time it just right.

Relax. I’m getting to the pork loin. But it’s not like it’s a complicated, time-consuming recipe.

Okay so I carried the food, booze and domestic and wild animal food into the kitchen, carefully wiping my boots off before stepping onto the beautiful glossy forest moss-green floor :-)

I had to go through that again after throwing the peanuts, cracked corn and black oil sunflower seeds out under the bird-feeder (that was already full of sunflower seeds.)

Then Ruby got her stupid Temptations. She’s really spoiled. I don’t know how she got that way. God she’s adorable though.

Elliot snored throughout. He was relaxed and content with his daily dose of CBD.

Okay! So! It was 5:30 by now – well into cocktail hour. I mixed up a manhattan (duh) and got the pork loin onto a small baking sheet. I dribbled some olive oil (freely) over it and sprinkled it with pink Himalayan salt. I ground some big chunks of pepper over it.

Then I stood there staring at it, one arm akimbo, the other holding the manhattan. It would be good with just the olive oil, salt and pepper. But I was virtually tasting it, and it was calling for something sweet, too.

I opened the shiny new dark metallic grey fridge :-) and stared inside. There was maple syrup. There was honey. There was some Ponzu sauce. There was orange juice (that’s good splashed over pork). There was some cranberry jelly. There was some sweet jalapeno jelly.

Then my eyes settled on a small jar: My new favorite jelly: Red currant! I had never had red currant jelly until a few weeks ago when I bought a jar out of curiosity. Why had I never had it? No clue.

It’s sweet and tart. My old friend Larry Sullivan used to swear that the best-tasting food contained all (or most of ) the basic tastes: salty, sweet and sour. And he was right. The radicchio and endive both have a slightly bitter taste – a good one.

As soon as I imagined all those flavors together I got hungry. Then I got to work. I spread several spoonfuls of the jelly over the loin. It looked really gross, raw, but I knew it would look much better when cooked. 

I sprinkled a little more pink salt over the disgusting-looking thing and threw it in the 450 degree preheated oven, and let it rock and roll for around 40 minutes.

Then I cut the radicchio and endive into quarters and threw them into a cast iron pan with some olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. I let them slowly turn golden-brown on one side while I sipped the manhatttan.

I’ve been making an effort to forgo a starch with dinner for obvious reasons. Have you seen my waist lately? Neither have I. So I feel justified in piling on the veggies, and when they’re this good, I don’t miss a roasted potato. Or a pile of steaming jasmine rice. Or some al dente ziti with a little olive oil and fresh ground Parmesan cheese. Oh ugh. Never mind.

Anyway, the roasted red currant jelly glazed pork loin came out of the oven looking much better than when it went in, and it tasted heavenly.

It was a great dinner, and all the animals, domestic and wild, were happy. It looked like a winter version of the Garden of Eden out there under the bird feeder.

See ya next week!