It's raining at a good clip today. I had to go walk in it because I love walking in the rain, but I didn't take the dog because of the whole wet dog issue one ends up with. Let me say it now for those who think it needs to be fixed somehow - I do not want any rain gear for my dog. She does not like it, I don't like it, it makes a nice walk miserable. She can stay home once in awhile.
However, she thinks she still wants to walk because she's incapable of remembering how she hates walking in the rain, but she goes crazy when she sees I'm leaving without her. So I put her out back to go potty and headed off on my walk. There's a covered patio and what we call her "hobo box" to lay in, so it's not like she's cold. But she can't see the front porch from the side fence. That means she doesn't know if I actually walked.
She was whining and barking to get back in when I walked in the front door (she can't see the front door from the back door). I took off my shoes (because she knows when it's walk time based on the shoes) and let her in. "You smell like air!" she said as she pointed a paw at me. "I think you walked without me, but you don't have the shoes. Did you walk without me?"
I ignored her, although as I go in and out of Pooh Corner to pack up my stuff for the craft and hobby retreat, I will have to say "NO" every time I walk through the door. She'll just skitter around, "Now? Are we going now?" And since my Achilles heel is bothering me (yes, that's really a thing) I have to wear my walking shoes all the time until it stops. I'll wear my slippers until I'm ready to leave so she's not totally confused by my intentions (or rather, non-intention - no walkie).
Anyway, all week I've been thinking about Good Food Friday and the phrase that keeps resonating in my mind is Keep it Simple, Stupid (KISS). My Cooking Buddy's recipes aren't particularly difficult, it's one of the things she likes about them, but there is the ingredient issue - having all the right ingredients.
So although I didn't try any "new" recipes per se (I looked that up), I did figure out how to roast a simple pork loin (not to be confused with a pork shoulder, roast, or tenderloin). What's the big deal about that? Well, it's not as easy as you think.
I like to buy pork loin at Costco. They're huge so I cut them in half and freeze the halves individually. But keeping with my desire not to spend a lot of time cooking on shopping days (I did it on Monday this week because I wasn't available last week), while kowtowing to my husband's recent declaration of not liking prepared Costco deli-type food, I decided to cook up one of the halves.
Simple is not browning the outside, simple is not turning the oven up to 450 then down to 350. Simple is quickly preparing the thing and throwing it in the oven. I did, however, have to do research.
I learned that all these years, people have been so afraid of undercooked pork, we've been eating dry pork. It only takes 137 degrees to kill the bacteria that lives in pork, so cooking it to 140 (145 if you're squeamish) is sufficient. Let's face it - when you overcook pork it usually becomes shreddable, then it's just pulled pork, which we cover up the dryness by saturating it in barbeque sauce (although it is a rather tasty and often used recipe in my house, it takes a long time and while simple to cook, has to be shredded).
After reading several "simple" recipes, I threw up my hands and did this with the half pork loin:
Rubbed Johnny's seasoning all over it, put it in a 9x13" pan (fat side up to keep it moist), cut up potatoes to fill in around the pork loin, sprinkled them with Johnny's and baked it, uncovered, on 350 for an hour.
Perfect! Yes, an edema nightmare for those with too much salt intake issues, but you could use any seasoning for the rub. Next time I think I'll cut up the potatoes and put them in the bottom of the pan and place the loin over them. I was worried they (the potatoes) wouldn't have any flavor, but they really picked up the flavor of the pork with its few juices, think what would happen if they were underneath the pork? (Can you say yum?)
Then on Wednesday, I turned around and packed some pork for my oldest (freezer worthy), cut up the rest and made pork fried riced:
- Cook rice (I use brown rice)
- Scramble up some eggs in oil (I used coconut oil - it's slightly sweet, but I usually use olive oil), seasoning with salt in a wok or large fry pan. Set them aside on a plate.
- Saute veggies in more oil, again seasoning (whatever you want - I used onion, carrot, then threw some frozen peas and corn after the other two were soft), set aside in a bowl.
- Add more oil and put cooked rice in and saute it up a bit, then add pork, eggs and veggies, stir it all around until fully heated through, also adding some minced or pressed garlic, more seasonings to taste (again, I'm a salty gal, but you could season with anything you want).
Simple, easy, quick and lots of leftovers for us and a couple servings in the freezer for my oldest. This recipe I often make to use up leftovers like pork, chicken or even seafood; also any leftover veggies is good in it too, like broccoli or brussel sprouts.
So there you have it. Sometimes you just have to KISS the week goodbye.