First meal in a new kitchen September 1, 2005

Last night was the first time since Amber and I’ve moved that we actually cooked! I like the way the new kitchen feels, there’s much more space in the area near the stove so I can prep and cook much more simultaneously.

The meal: Orange-rosemary glazed grilled pork tenderloin on a bed of mushroom risotto, served with a side salad of mixed greens lightly dressed with olive oil and 10 year old balsamic vinegar.

The only real dissapointment was the wine – we’d been saving an ‘01 shiraz from Yering Station in Australia’s Yarra Valley, which didn’t appear to have travelled too well – it was corked :/ Not terribly, it was certainly drinkable, but it was a bit sad.

The tenderloin was amazing, it was from Trader Joe’s, and I suspect it might have been brined – it was so tender and succulent. (Yes, I know, tenderloin, but still.) I made the glaze by reducing the juice of one freshly squeezed orange with some brown sugar and dried rosemary, and just a hint of red pepper. Tossed it on the grill until 135 and then let it coast over a bit, and yum. The orange/rosemary flavors really came out nicely.

The risotto was my first attempt doing one “by feel” instead of following a recipe, and I was very happy with it. It turns out to be a good food to do intuitively. Just to see if it would work, I chopped a TON of crimini mushrooms and sweated them with fine red onion it some olive oil. Because I work right next door to Surfas Restaurant Supply now, I actually had some Carnaroli to try, and it was fantastic. I just kept adding steaming chicken stock (and then water, after I felt like it was getting a little too flavorful) over low heat with plenty of stirring and frequent tasting. It was neat to feel it go past crunchy to just too chewy to perfection – soft and creamy with just the /idea/ of al-dente.

Amber enjoyed her meal as well – her only constructive criticism was that I’d been a bit heavy-handed with the Alaea Salt when I was finishing the tenderloin, which I would agree with if I didn’t like it so irrationally much. :)

All in all, it was a nice welcome home. I’ve decided my criteria for actually making a place I live in “Home” are:

  1. That it contain Amber (awwwww)
  2. Internet Access
  3. That I’ve cooked in it.
Mission accomplished.