Sunday, November 08, 2009

Roast Pork with Sweet-and-Sour Chile Cilantro Sauce (Page 468)

RECIPE #1041

  • Date: Sunday, October 25, 2009 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

I am trying to make progress on some of the meatier sections in The Book so I chose this pork dish for dinner a couple weeks ago. I started by butterflying a pork loin, then spreading it with a mixture of crushed coriander seeds, bread crumbs, oil, salt, and pepper. I rolled and tied the pork loin, then coated it with the remaining bread crumb mixture. I then roasted it, first at 400 degrees, then at 325, for a total of about an hour and a half. Meanwhile, my special gentleman prepared the sauce. He combined chopped red bell pepper, crushed dried New Mexico chiles, honey, lime juice, and salt and simmered it for about 30 minutes. Just before serving he stirred in some chopped cilantro. This dish was quite good. The pork was perfectly cooked and had a nice flavor to it. The coriander bread crumbs made a flavorful stuffing. They were a bit disappointing as an exterior coating on the pork though as they didn't get as crispy as I had hoped that they would. My special gentleman was very proud of the sauce he made. It was indeed tasty -- both sweet and sour, with some kick to it. In fact there was a little too much kick -- we didn't have quite enough dried New Mexico chiles around the house, so we threw in some other chiles from the cupboard. Apparently they were spicy ones, because the sauce came out quite hot! It still had a great flavor to it though, and my special gentleman loved it. Overall this was a solid pork dish.

The recipe is here.

Yesterday was marathon day, and I did it! I ran my first marathon! A weekend summary:

The race was Saturday morning, so we headed up to Indianapolis on Friday night. My special gentleman and I carbo-loaded with a HUGE pasta dinner on Friday night. We went to bed early for a 6:30am wake-up on Saturday morning.

I was super excited on race day. Standing at the Start line, with more than 5000 other people (marathoners and half-marathoners together), I was dancing along to the blaring music. The weather seemed ideal (more on that later) -- cool, but not cold, sunny once the sun came up. When I crossed the Start line I was definitely raring to go!

The first half of the race felt great. My parents (who came for the marathon) were cheering us along at mile 3, and I was happy to have their encouragment. The first 13 miles or so I was going faster than my goal pace, and feeling strong. Around mile 13 my parents were standing on the sideline again, cheering for us. I remember thinking at that point, "This is no problem. I've got this!"

Then, reality set in. The weather, which looked ideal, actually turned out to be extremely windy. At the water stations, cups were flying everywhere. There were a few consecutive miles that were gently uphill, with a few not-so-gentle hills, and all of it facing into the wind. By the time I hit mile 18 I was exhausted. My special gentleman ran the whole race by my side to support me, being the amazing husband that he is! I was appreciating him throughout the whole race but it wasn't until that 18th mile that I really needed him there. During the 18th mile I started to cry. I was just exhausted. In my training runs I always felt exhausted around mile 18 or so, but then I only had another couple miles to go so I pushed through. In the marathon though, at mile 18 I had another 8.2 miles ahead of me and I just couldn't imagine being able to finish. It was a rough point. My special gentleman informed me that there was no way I was stopping. This kick in the pants kept me running through another couple miles. The 20th mile was another rough one, and I definitely needed another pep talk. By the time I hit the mile 21 marker, though, I was feeling much better. The last 5.2 miles were pretty ok. I had to stop for a few seconds during mile 25 so I wouldn't puke, but other than that, the end of the race went smoothly. I listened to a Beyonce song on repeat for miles 22-25, and some Van Morrison to finish of the race. That, plus the almost constant reassurances from my special gentleman: "You've got this!", "You're rocking this marathon!", "You're making it look easy!", kept me going. My parents were cheering me on at the finish. I crossed the line, collapsed on the ground with a space blanket, and ate a banana.

Between then and now I have done a lot of eating and a lot of sleeping. And now, more than 24 hours later, I am pretty much feeling like normal again. My knees hurt a tiny bit, but overall my body feels pretty good. Up until about a year ago, a marathon seemed like something I could never do. Training was long, and the race was a little rough, but I pushed through and I did it! I'm proud of myself.


ana rita said...

WOW. Amazing. Congratulations, Teena! I am so happy for you :)

I have the feeling that anything you set your mind to doing, you actually go and get it done: the cook-through, the marathon,...

Teena said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, although we have yet to see if I ever finish this cook-through project!