Wednesday, December 15, 2010

easy like sunday evening

It was a dark and cold night. Father-in-law was in a cab on the way over to our house after dropping his bags at the hotel and making his usual just-got-into-New York pit stop at Uniqlo. The man is very stylish.

I was standing at the kitchen counter, figuring out what to make for dinner. It was a few days after Thanksgiving and all I wanted to eat was a big mess of greens, but I knew that wouldn't cut it. How would you feel, entering someone's home for supper, shrugging off the horribleness of air travel and frosty air and dirty sidewalks, and being presented with a bowl of salad? Not good, I'll bet.

But at the same time, I didn't want to go overboard. Sundays are all about comfort in our house. It's a day to maybe spend a little extra time on supper, but it's about eating simple things that taste good, watching 60 Minutes, and cozying up on the couch.

The day before, I bought a pork tenderloin and a bunch of nice looking carrots. Some olives for snacking. There was some celery root puree leftover from Thanksgiving. (I'm not a big leftovers person but this puree is delicious and reheats really well.) Oh, and a salad. I really wanted that salad, dammit.

This would not be a feast for the record books, but hopefully father-in-law would be so delighted to see us (and his Uniqlo goods) he wouldn't even notice.
I rolled the tenderloin in a mix of thyme, rosemary, grated garlic, salt, and pepper. Into the oven it went. I sliced the carrots into rounds and boiled them, then sauteed them in a few pats of butter, a handful of parsley, and a squeeze of lemon. Boiled carrots sound like something on a school cafeteria menu, but that little bit of lemon and butter elevated them into something much tastier.

We sat around the table, tucking into our lettuce, and pork, and carrots. Dinner was eaten up unceremoniously, with a quickness. We talked about Obama, and birthdays, and Britney, then retired into the living room for ginger-apple crisp and Boardwalk Empire

It's a nice feeling to serve guests what you'd normally eat and discover that they are happy with exactly that.
Sunday dinner with Larry
Olives

Red leaf lettuce with pickled red onions and blue cheese
Herbed pork tenderloin
Parsley carrots
Ginger-apple crisp

Herbed pork tenderloin
(Serves 4 to 6 people)

1 pork tenderloin
3 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 2 Tbsp. dried)
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated (I use a microplane for this)
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil

Create a rub for the pork by combining the herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir the mixture together and slather on the meat, covering all sides. Place the meat on a baking sheet and cover. Store in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or overnight.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Roast pork until the exterior is golden and a thermometer inserted into center registers 155 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to cutting board and let it rest for minutes. Slice pork as thinly as possible and place it on a platter. If you have any pan juices, spoon them over the meat before serving.

7 comments:

Larry said...

So sweet!

retro sweets said...

Simple yet yummy looking dish. I really envy people for having a great time with their dads because I seldom see mine.

Margaret said...

And the fact that this is your 'normal Sunday night" already puts you in a special category! This looks gorgeous and so tasty. G;ad it left you with such a good feeling- that's what I love about dinner parties :-)

Lisa said...

Retro sweets: Thanks! Yes, we hardly see our families too so it was a nice treat.

Margaret: Aw, thank you. I probably wouldn't have served this much food for the two of us on a normal Sunday, but there were leftovers involved (apple crisp and celery puree). And I had to have salad!

Tender Branson said...

I'm always hesitant to do just that, serve what I eat on a normal day, but you are right that a lot of times it is the simple things that make people happy.

Michele Napoli said...

Lovely. Perfect Sunday night comfort food to share with your father-in-law.

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