Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fun In the Kitchen

I really enjoy cooking with cider. A month or so ago, I brined some pork tenderloins in a mixture with cider as its base and put a couple of them in the freezer surrounded by the brine. A few weeks ago I thawed one out and decided to experiment. I bought a skillet that can go in the oven at that time (the first time I've ever owned one) and so I decided to start out on top of the stove. I put a great dry rub on the pork and then browned it all over in some olive oil. I looked around my kitchen to see what I had that might work well and so I added some sliced red onions and the surprise ingredient: some orange slices.

Once everything was nicely browned, I added the cider brine to the pan and then popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes or so. I then pulled it out, removed the pork and then boiled the remaining liquid down until it was reduced to a thick syrup. I strained out the onions and the orange slices then put the liquid back in the pan. I added some more cider, some cream, some spicy ground mustard, a couple tablespoons of butter, a squeeze of orange juice, a dash of apple brandy and let it simmer until it was nicely thickened. I sliced the tenderloin and poured some sauce over top and was grinning from ear to ear from how tasty it was. I think it's the best improvisation I've ever come up with, and so I tried to recreate it last night. I've decided it's my signature dish. It's got one of those sauces that you want to lick clean. I derive a lot of pleasure from whipping up something tasty from the top of my head like this. It's a good diversion from thinking about a certain woman.

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