Who needs rhyme or reason when you’ve got chewy, piping-hot handmade focaccia? This was one of those times where you have to play quartermaster- look at your stores and ask, what am I going to feed the troops tonight?
Elizabeth had had some success in the savory baking department and we decided to bake first and ask questions later. I had had a pork tenderloin in the fridge (they had been on sale that week); usually the little ones come pre-brined (they always have a flavor on the sleeve), but this week I had found a small one that was completely unadulterated. I have no real issue per se buying pre-brined stuff, my main concerns are the lingering saltiness and the fact that flavored brines force you to tailor the rest of the meal (I have a hard time serving Parmesan rice with teriyaki pork), which can be fun, but also a pain in the neck.
I topped the roast with a red wine sauce, not *quite* a reduction, which, as I’m learning, require hours to be done properly. I have been researching the red wine reduction and am transitioning to the laboratory testing phases quite soon.
This sauce was just some 1 cup red wine, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (this is up to you) and a tbsp of honey simmered in my wonderful saucier for about 20 minutes. You can add herbs if you like. To finish, remove from the heat and add a tbsp or two of butter while still warm. Do not let the sauce boil or go cold after the butter’s been added or you will regret wasting that wine.
The pea puree one of these concoctions that can vary based on what’s at hand. With something like pork, I’d puree one package of thawed, frozen garden peas with a clove or two of fresh garlic and cup of basil leaves or half a cup of mint or parsley, whatever’s on hand. As it’s blending, add up to 1/2 cup of good olive oil (I tend to go light on this) and then 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, more if you like. Finish it with 1/2 tsp salt and a pinch red pepper flakes for a kick, increasing either to your taste.