Thursday, August 06, 2009

Pork tenderloin and warm succotash with heirloom tomatoes and bacon

Damn, I'm rusty. I've almost completely forgotten how to use my camera. I should probably just restore it to its factory settings and start over. Stupid blurry corn. Sigh.

Hey, I cooked! The week of 105 degree temperatures followed by the week of 90+ degree temperatures has been chased by the pleasant partly-cloudy and low 80s that I can really get with. My garden is exploding with corn the size of my forearm and state fair tomatoes, my scarlet runner beans are hanging heavy on their vines and the peppers are nearly ready. I feel reinvigorated (being thoroughly sick of Vietnamese takeout gave me a much-needed kick in the ass, too).

A perfectly-cooked pork tenderloin surprised me after not having cooked meat in what feels like forever. I brined it quickly in Kumquat Dry Soda with a tablespoon of salt and a pinch sugar. I seared it on all sides and finished it in the oven, pulled it at medium (to the touch test), rested for five minutes and was delighted to find it rosy and juicy when sliced into thick medallions.

"Mmm...Heather cooking," Scott approved as he dove into the succulent pork bedded down on a bowl of summer warmth: corn cut from the cob and sauteed with red cipolline onions, bacon and sliced scarlet runners (pods and all). When the beans were al dente*, I added some lemon zest and a fat knob of butter, some chopped thyme and summer savory, and a couple of handfuls of chopped black brandywines (the garden's first!) and sliced cherry tomatoes. They brought a nice twang of acid to the fatty, creamy succotash.

Enjoy with a crunchy Reed's ginger beer. Here's to hoping that a new-found nesting instinct includes getting my sealegs in the kitchen again.

*These scarlet runners were probably a week older than what would be ideal for eating with the pods - the waxy cuticle needed to be removed from the pod and the skins on the beans could've benefited from a longer cooking time. I'll look forward to letting the rest of them completely ripen and shell them for cassoulet or feijoada. Never eat scarlet runners raw - they are high in phytohemagglutinins and can cause stomach problems like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.


matt said...

love this dish. great flavor combinations. Never knew that about scarlet runners.. will stop eating them raw from now on!

Brooke said...

Good to have you back, Heather. That pork looks delicious.

Oh, and I love your new comment caveat.

joe fusion said...

The succotash sounds great! And I didn't know that about scarlet runners.

Yesterday we had peppers, tomatoes and squash, stuffed with a spicy-pesto-lentil putty. Ate it with crenshaw and sharlyn melons, our friends' homemade beer, and a three-berry pie. I love summer cooking soooo much.

SHM said...

This looks like a great dish!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You've been missed. And your corn looks... not fuzzy - happy, to be surrounded in other goodness, making a nice, happy pillow for the pork.

Can I come over?

Christine said...

Yay! This is a delicious way to make a comeback I must say. I'll have to look into the dry sodas.

The Duo Dishes said...

Ginger beer! That'd be a nice baste for pork too...

Peter G said...

Great to see you cooking the pork and the summery corn combo...Voodoolily is def back! Mmmmm...ginger beer!

Foodycat said...

Sounds like you have been way too busy being Earth Mother in the garden to actually cook! This looks great.

Choosy Beggar Tina said...

Gorgeous looking pork tenderloin.
"Hey Ma, look, it's not even grey!"
And you have corn in your garden? Seriously? Where in god's name do you live?! <- Don't mind the rampant jealousy.

Melissa said...

Well I'm glad you're feeling better! That heat was unbearable...seems like no one cooked for a while. Your meal looks divine! Maybe one day I'll learn to cook like that!

Heather said...

Matt - My friend Natasha just found this out, too. It only takes 5 raw beans to make you sick - luckily, she only ate 4. :)

Brookie! - I actually don't know how to set it to only block anonymous comments, but allow non-Blogspot bloggers to still comment. Shh..don't tell anonymous.

Joe - You could totally make it without the bacon. I'd add more butter and/or a splash of cream if you did, though. Mmm...lentil putty.

SHM - Thanks! Those are some crazy diving fins!

Jen - I'll set you a plate.

Christine - Not to be too shill-y, but their sodas are really nice and grown-up tasting.

Chrystal - I actually did add a splash to the pan when I put it in the oven (and I've brined with it before). So good.

Petah - Baby steps, though I hope to be blogging more about the food from my garden.

Alicia - I haven't been that busy, but I'll take the excuse. ;)

Tina - It looked more pale in that window's light, though, it was strange. When we took our plates through the kitchen, the light inside made them look more pinkish.

Melissa - You'd be surprised how simple this kind of food is. No recipe required, just fresh ingredients.

peter said...

Thufferin' thuccotash. Phuckin' phytohemagglutinins.

Gotta love any post that ends with "nausea, vomiting and diarrhea."

tons of land said...

i envy your garden.

Manggy said...

Thanks for the tip-- I didn't know phytohemagluttinins caused so many problems (eek, a disjunction between my biology and medical training!).

Ya know, Scott said what all of us were thinking ;) Nice to see you back in business hun! :)

Lo said...

Hey! It's great to see you back in action. And you're making succotash. Hurrah!!

Love the dry soda brine for the pork -- brilliant, I tell you. And I'm all about all the garden freshness here.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

whenever a recipe calls for a 'fat knob of butter', I'm right there.

Good stuff, H. I'm with you on the ginger beer, too. Currently trying to find a decent recipe so I can make endless bottles of it all for myself.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Your blurry corn looked quite tasty to me.

Heather said...

Jube - There oughta be a category for that.

B - My garden envies your bright eyes and boyish smile.

Marky! - I totally geek out on phytochemicals. Still can't figure out why I did so crappily in organic chem, though.

Lo - I had a bit leftover from the pig roast, and wanted to try different ways to use it (other than just drinking it).

Sketti - Ooh, now wouldn't that be a dandy! You know, you could just add seltzer to homemade ginger syrup. Easy peasy.

Rachel - It was definitely better than it looks. :)

Bellini Valli said...

It has been far to hot for far too long to enjoy cooking or eating food. Maybe that is why fall/autumn is my time:D Corn is definitely in season and woth every mouthwatering bite.

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