Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Issues with Ina

Sorry about yesterday; I was gone from home for 16 hours. By the time I made it through the door, I was too tired to read blogs, much less cook and post to my own. It was just a walk-through-the-door-and-go-straight-to-bed kind of night. This has been a busy week with meetings in the evenings; there is another tomorrow. However, I should get home in time to make the oh-so-simple vegetarian meal I have planned.

Which brings me to Ina. Certainly, the Barefoot Contessa has yielded some winners in the dinner department. And she certainly makes it sound easy--and it is. None of her recips have been complicated or required tricky, professional-chef techniques. What they are, though, is time-consuming. I find it hard to get dinner on the table in less than an hour and a half when using any of her recipes, and many of them aren’t even in the realm of possibility for weeknights. I still want to finish cooking recipes of interest from Family Style, but I’m going to have to branch out to manage weeknight dinners.

On my very best work days, I’m gone from home 12 hours. I just can’t give two and a half more to dinner and blogging. (Unless, of course, I give up other habits, like washing my hair or feeding the dogs.)

So, this weekend I’m going to take a look through some other cookbooks, perhaps Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals. Sara has never steered me wrong, so perhaps that’s a good next direction.

Tonight’s dinner was out of the second-most-recent edition of Joy of Cooking. I got my first copy of Joy when I got married in 1978. I would never get rid of that copy; the pages fall open to my favorite recipes. Plus, there are enough drips and splatters on those pages to see us through a blizzard some winter if we got really desperate! I wanted to do something with pork tenderloin, so I revisited a recipe I hadn’t made for quite awhile, Pork Tenderloin Scallopini with Citrus Balsamic Pan Sauce. One of the tricks to this recipe is to be sure to allow the chicken broth to reduce sufficiently. Otherwise, you end up with more soup than sauce. Don’t ask me how I know; just trust me!

Paired with some roasted broccoli studded with Peppadew peppers (piquant, sweet-hot peppers found on the olive bar of my local supermarket) and twice-baked potatoes (first in the microwave, then in the oven), we had a satisfying dinner. Plus, we had pie. Long story. Let me just say, though, that people at work should NOT talk about pie all day long!


Erika said...

That looks fantastic and delicious!

I didn't know you had a blog... :-) I will be by frequently to visit. One of my goals this year is to cook out of all my cookbooks, your posts are cracking me up and already providing inspiration, even if the inspiration is on the "paper side" of dining.

Michelle said...

Stop by any time; the more the merrier. I'll always be happy to set a plate for you at my table. :0)