27 January 2010

When Appearances Do Matter

A couple of years back R bought me Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook.  I fell in love with it immediately and read it cover to cover within a 24 hour period.  [Yes, I do read (good) cookbooks the way most people read novels.]  It's full of really helpful tips, is a good "how-to" for many basic techniques, and is delivered in a thoroughly 'Bourdain' manner.  I've never enjoyed being called such terrible names so much!

The other night, in preparation for hosting Dinner Divas next week, I tried out a new recipe -  mignons de porc a l'ail.  It's a two day process, but very easy and very delicious! 

Night 1: Make the garlic confit, tenderize the 2 tenderloins, smother them in some of the wonderful garlic confit, stick a slice of bacon in there and then stack them on top of each other, using kitchen twine to secure them.  Here's the problem -  no kitchen twine at the house that night, so I just wrapped it up as tightly as I could in plastic wrap and prayed for the best. 

Next Afternoon: Buy kitchen twine.

Night 2: Sear the tied tenderloins in oil and butter then finish them off in 350 oven.  While pork is resting, sweat some thinly sliced shallots in more butter (YUM!), then add in some white wine and reduce to a glaze.  Add in dark chicken (or veal) stock and reduce by half.  Stir in the extra garlic confit (if you didn't eat it all on a sandwich at lunch earlier in the day), whisk in one last tablespoon of butter along with a little chopped parsley.  Slice pork into 1 1/2 inch medallions, serve with mashed potatoes and drown everything in the delicious sauce.  Your kitchen will smell heavenly!

The flavor I achieved was absolutely phenomenal (I ate two massive servings), however, as I sliced my medallions the two halves would not stay together.  UGH.  I wanted to cry.  No, really, I was on the verge of tears.  I wanted the dish to look as good as it tasted.  I'm not sure if it was due to the fact that I did not tie the tenderloins together until right before I cooked them or if it had to do with my slicing technique. 

Obviously I will be researching this over the next few days and will attempt to make the dish one more time before my Dinner Divas night. 

Luckily I have a very kind hubby and lovely neighbors willing to be my taste testers... again.

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