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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Oven Pork and Oven Veg

Oooh! Vegetable porn! Look at that golden, caramelised garlic! Witness the charred capsicum! See the artistically crinkly pumpkin ;-).
Yes! Note that the pork looks bleacchy and unphotogenic!... So, look at the yummy vegies again... Go on, click on it for more food pornyness.
This meal was supposed to be all about the pork, but ended up with the vegetables as major superstars. See, it's starting to get colder in Melbourne. Despite having an unusually warm Autumn, there's a real chill in the evening air now. The days are still gorgeously sunny and clear, but walking to the train station in the morning and evening fills your lungs with cold, clear air. Autumn is what Melbourne does best; my favourite time of year.
I came home tonight, and before heading straight to the computer to check my email I went up, changed into comfy, slobbing-at-home clothes (is there anything better than pulling on a newly washed comfy top? The crispy, clean washed smell...oh my!), and padded to the kitchen in my fluffy blue moccies to creatively throw together a vegetable and red wine stew, before retiring to the rug by the open fire with my new Nigel Slater cookbook and a glass of the same red, while I smell the stew bubbling away. Yep, all-over happiness.
OK - that has absolutely nothing to do with this meal, but I thought it sounded all poetic and homely. :-)
So, it's not what I'm making tonight, as it's currently still in the oven, and I'm rapidly getting tipsy on the bottle of red wine I opened. Lovely feeling!
This was what I did sometime last week. Or the week before. Who remembers? Who cares? I wanted something interesting for dinner, and found a small fillet of pork in the freezer resting next to a frozen tub of marscapone mixed with salt and pepper. I decided to get out the meat hammer and pound the meat flat to roll it around the marscapone and some avocado going overripe. Oh, did I have such fun bashing my pork; all the stresses and stillness of my workday came out on that bit of meat. WHAM! POW! I added a few sprigs of tarragon to the stuffing, which was a pretty stupidly poor decision, really. I mean, I have fresh sage. Fresh sage goes perfectly with pork. Why didn't I use it? Probably because I'm getting so frustrated at my bunch of tarragon in the freezer, going unused. I want to use my tarragon, dammit! But to be honest, I don't really like the taste of it so much; it certainly didn't work so well with the pork. What can I use to make my tarragon taste more pleasing to me?

At last minute I chopped up some vegies splashed with balsamic vinegar to add to the roasting pan, and these were just fabulous. Actually, the real stars were the red capsicum, which turned out almost candied; so sweet, chewy and crunchy. If they sold packets of Niki's roasted capsicum in pubs and 7/11s they'd have a huge market! (just my own personal marketing idea there...) The garlic was all crispy caramelised on the outside and gooey, fragantly soft on the inside. I think the balsamic was the key, to be honest; it really brought out the sweetness. Perhaps a bit too much with the pumpkin, which I found to be a bit too sweet - maybe that's what you get with organic pumpkin, and I've been tuned to bland supermarket stuff?
But, all up, a yummy dinner, and an even yummier lunch the next day at work.


  • i love your veggie porn, super sexy!

    By Blogger eat stuff, at 5/19/2005 09:17:00 pm  

  • great entry, really enjoyed reading it! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/19/2005 11:41:00 pm  

  • *falls over laughing* My dear, I will never look at vegetables the same way after this post. If you weren't such an awesome muso and cook, I'd suggest you be a writer! And after your description of sitting by the fire with your wine: I wanna do dinner at your house! (I can cook this time? Or actually...Jamie can) ;)

    Hayley who is trying to type this and sit in front of the gas heater. Not really quite as nice as a fire...and I have to fight GT for a spot!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/20/2005 12:06:00 am  

  • Hehe - I blew up the heater here in the study by having it blowing on my cold feet, so until I get another one I have to sit and jiggle my legs. I look like I need to go to the toilet!
    Sure you can come over- please do! Did you know it's the Eurovision semi-finals tomorrow night, and the finals on Sunday? I'm watching it on the big screen here at home because I LOOOOOVE Eurovision; it's so tacky!

    By Blogger Niki, at 5/20/2005 12:11:00 am  

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