Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July 2012

Happy Fourth of July! I hope yours went well, mine was busy, as well as enjoyable.
The day started out early for the band’s usual three parades: Dundalk, Towson, and Catonsville.

Flutes and Piccolos, before Dundalk parade

We survived them, even with the reported 103° heat. I finally learned how long each of the parades were; Dundalk – 6 km (3.7 mi), Towson – 1.4 mi, Catonsville – 1.1 mi. We played “On the Mall” and “Swingin’ Doodle Dandy,” as well as the “Baltimore Fight Song.” I still didn’t have the music completely memorized, but sometimes, it was so hot, I forgot what little I did have memorized.
After I got home, I cooked a dish that I’d been planning on for about a week, Herbed Pork Medallions from the May 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping.

Herbed Pork Medallions

  • ½ c. packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 pork tenderloin (12 oz.)
  • 2 lg. carrots
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pkg. (5 oz.) baby-greens-and-herbs mix
  • ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat large saucepot of water to boiling on high.
  2. Finely chop one-third of parsley. Rub chopped parsley and rosemary all over tenderloin and let stand while oven heats.
  3. Fill large bowl with ice and water. Add carrots to boiling water. Cook 5 minutes. With tongs, transfer to ice water. When cool, remove with tongs to cutting board. Add asparagus to boiling water. Cook 3 minutes or until bright green and crisp-tender. Transfer to ice water. When cool, drain well.
  4. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper all over pork. In 12-in. ovenproof skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil on medium-high. Add pork; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until evenly browned, turning. Transfer to oven. Roast 8 to 10 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of pork registers 155°F; let rest 5 minutes.
  5. While pork cooks, cut carrots into 2-in.-long matchsticks. Cut asparagus into 2-in.-long pieces. In large bowl, toss carrots, asparagus, radishes, green onion, baby greens, and remaining parsley with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper as well as remaining tablespoon oil. Add balsamic vinegar; toss to combine. Divide salad among serving plates.
  6. Slice pork; arrange on top of salads.
It turned out really well. The pork needed to be cooked a little longer than the recipe called for, so that it would be more than medium, but that’s how I like it. The dish was really fresh tasting, and was great for a hot day, like today. It was also filling, it made four servings. Tom loved it, and said it was the best thing he’d ever tasted. He loved the different components; the crunch of the asparagus, the different way of cutting up the carrots, the fresh flavors. He wondered if maybe using a steak, instead of pork, would improve the dish, but I told him that the pork had such a mild flavor, that it was able to showcase the flavors. Either way, I’ll count it as a success.
I also crocheted a little before finally hitting the sack. Wanda turned me on to a Granny Square Along, inspired by a Granny Square Sampler Afghan from a 1982 Better Homes and Garden Treasury of Needlecrafts.

I learned about it in week 7 of the summer-long project, where different size and style granny squares are crocheted each week. It sounded fun, and I think I’ll be able to catch up relatively quickly. I completed week 1 this evening, and so far, I’m pleased with the choices I made for colors.

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