Earlier this year I was in Bethesda, Maryland for a conference - nice town, good restaurants, and the Doubletree really knows how to host a group of people begrudgingly far away from home (All.Day.Snacks. Good ones).
I asked someone for restaurant recommendations and she gushed about the creative menu at this place up the street. She of the bouffant hair and heavy makeup and six bangle bracelets and high heels (hello, it's a business conference!!)recommended a restaurant with dishes like "Capon stuffed with Chinese broccoli and diced currants glazed with a port-mustard reduction on a bed of whipped celery leaves and saffron cream." There was not one menu item - including coffee - that hadn't been fussed over and forced into an unhappy, arranged, polyandrous marriage.
First off, not one of those things goes with any other. I have a whole rant on that stored up for later. Secondly, I'm increasingly inclined to believe that high-maintenance folks like high-maintenance food. When I returned to the hotel she asked me if I liked the restaurant; actually, I had stared at the posted menu in horror and scurried off to the Indian place down the street. I very nearly said "It looked great, but I'm really more of an Ann Taylor/Tahari kinda girl." As if that would've made any sense to anyone but me.
It's apparent in my dogs, though... Boy Dog will sleep anywhere, take whatever petting he can get and, when we don't catch him in time, eats poo. Girl Dog likes to survey her domain from the sofa, tells you where to pet her and likes her pink collar just so. When I refill their water she waits to see if maybe I'll float some cucumber slices in the bowl. Occasionally at dinnertime she shoots me a look that says, "Waitress? Oh, waitress! I ordered the canned food, with a side of piggie."
If you're looking for a constant stream of dessert recipes that go on for four pages (I make one of those maybe once every two years), or fish recipes that incorporate five aquatic species and eleven pieces of specialized equipment before you get to the second sauce, this probably isn't the blog for you.
So anyway.... today's shopping list! Tomorrow's Learn To Cook/No-Fuss Recipe is Garlic Sesame Pork Tenderloin, which sounds much more complex than it is. While it's not any more difficult than the other Sunday recipes we've done, this is one you could serve to guests at a dinner party. Also, this freezes well.
Honey (if you don't keep honey on hand, two or three of those honey packets from Starbucks should do the trick - you don't need much)
Soy sauce - I usually get the low-sodium kind
Sesame oil - it really does need sesame oil. The flavor is integral to the dish, and regular vegetable or canola oil just won't deliver.
Dry sherry or dry white wine - this adds a nice complexity but it's not essential. If you'll never use sherry again or hate dry white wine or don't drink, just leave it out. Thee are non-alcoholic versions available in the supermarket if that's an option for you.
Pork tenderloin OR boneless loin pork chops
A frozen lasagne - having a backup dinner available takes off all the pressure while cooking because, even if the recipe happens to not turn out, you're not dinnerless.
Since pork tenderloin can be expensive, I recommend making this recipe once to make sure you like it before planning to make extra for freezing.
This marinade is too heavy/intense for fish. It could work for beef, but my understanding is that beef tenderloin is very expensive and probably should be prepared simply to let the beef taste shine through.
Good side dishes include rice, broccoli, carrots, soba noodles, grilled pineapple, and/or spinach. I'm eating breakfast at the moment and just had a black plum, which I think would go nicely with the pork for dessert.
Off to the farmer's market, recycling center, etc.... have a wonderful weekend and I'll post the recipe tomorrow.