Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring: It's just not that into me.

Ah, Spring. You little tease. Just yesterday you tapped at my window, pulling me outside and into the sweetest sunshine.

You flirted with me shamelessly until I started writing your name in little hearts in my notebook. I imagined our future together: you and me shucking bright green peas from the farmers market, our fingers stained purple from the blackberry scones we'd made that morning. We talked ab
out inviting our friends over for a sundressed afternoon of grilled pizzas and prosecco. We fell asleep, whispering to each other about artichokes, lemon sorbet, and homemade strawberry jam.

But when I woke up, you were gone. Just like that. You didn't even leave a note on the pillow. The life we had imagined together seemed to be suddenly erased by the heartless clouds that crowded the sky. You broke my heart, false Spring. How dare you.

Luckily, I found a rebound recipe. And it's su
per hot.

It's called Roast Pork with Sweet-and-Sour-Chile-Cilantro Sauce. It's tangy and spicy and smart and laughs at all my jokes.

With each satisfying sound of pestle meeting mortar, I stamped out memories of you as I ground up the coriander seeds (which combine with honey and chile and lime to create the most mouth-watering aroma).

I roasted some baby yukon gold potatoes and sauteed some green beans in garlic and olive oil and paired it with a bottle of chilled rose.
And it was spectacular.

So yeah, I'm totally over you, Spring. I don't even remember what I saw in you in the first place.

But, you know, if you're ever in the neighborhood, feel free to stop by, okay? Cuz we can totally still be friends, right?

So, we'll talk soon, Spring? Facebook me!

Roast Pork with Sweet-and-Sour-Chile-Cilantro Sauce
Adapted from Gourmet

For pork

1/3 cup coriander seeds
1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 lb center-cut boneless pork loin roast, butterflied

For chile cilantro sauce

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup caribe* (crushed New Mexico red chiles)

1 cup honey

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

*If you can't find this, try any mild, smokey dried chile that isn't too hot. I used ground red California chiles.

Prepare pork loin:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Coarsely crush coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee/spice grinder, then stir together with bread crumbs, oil, pepper, and salt in a small bowl.

Turn pork so a long side is closest to you and season with salt and pepper. Pat one third of seasoned crumbs onto pork, leaving a 2-inch border along top edge. Starting with side nearest you, roll meat into a cylinder and tie securely with kitchen string. Coat pork with remaining crumbs.

Roast pork on a rack in a roasting pan in middle of oven 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325°F and roast until an instant-read thermometer diagonally inserted at least 2 inches into meat registers 155°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more. Let pork stand, loosely covered, 10 minutes.

Make sauce while pork roasts:
Simmer bell pepper, caribe, honey, lime juice, and salt in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Cool sauce to warm or room temperature, then stir in cilantro just before serving.

Slice pork and serve with sauce.


  1. thank you for your kind comment -- i can't tell you how much i appreciate it, although i suspect you understand. and i'd just like to say, the feeling's mutual. also, francie nolan the cat? GENIUS.

  2. Hi, I'm your friend's(Marisa) friend, Carol. She told me about you and what a great writer and cook you are. I enjoy reading your blog and looking at pictures of yummy dishes you made. Thanks!

  3. Thanks, Carol, and welcome! Your photos are really beautiful (Mason looks like such a little man in those that you took!).

    And Cate, thank you for appreciating Francie Nolan. I secretly find excuses to call for her around the neighborhood, because that name should be shared.