Hello all, apologies for the delayed time out. It's been busy around here, and then Sandy took out the servers... Excuses aside, sometimes living life gets in the way of writing about it.
We’re officially well into the Fall, what with it being the beginning of November and all, and sometime midway through last month I made dinner for my brother, R, and P. I guess you could call it a double date – it’s really funny, R and I were housemates in college, so I suppose my brother owes me big time for helping him find the GOHD (I’ll leave you to figure that one out).
Anyhoos, I decided to center the meal around one of my favourite things about the fall – apple chutney. When we were in college, we used to buy brown bags full of apples when the season rolled around, and the house always smelled like apple sauce and cinnamon thanks to my housemate, Ting, who was forever messing in the kitchen making all sorts of wonderful homey things – like spiced pumpkin bread. Oh. So. Good.
So the thought process went something along the lines of… hmmm… I wonder what would be good with apple chutney (the obvious answer is a whole honey-glazed pork roast, but that was far too ambitious for a week day dinner). I settled on herb-and-garlic stuffed pork loin.
The sides came quite naturally after that – Roasted veggies (baby carrots, sweet potato and broccoli), Stuffed mushrooms (or as they’re more affectionately known among my friends, SMOC – Stuffed Mushrooms on Crack), and a starter of Hearts of Romaine Salad with bacon bits (real bacon please! Unless Nabil is coming to dinner, in which case you can sub it out for the fake stuff).
I’m a huge fan of the Romaine starter. It’s nothing fancy, and it’s easy freaking peasy (cut the romaine in half and place it on a plate) to put together, but it looks impressive and plates very, very well.
This time round, I kept the table setting really simple as I didn’t have time to run to the flower market and I forgot to grab some at the grocery store checkout. So let me tell you this much, it’s always good to have large vases and tall candles lying around the house. They’re not particularly spectacular, but they are nice, and if you’re going to put in that much effort into diner, the table should at the very least look nice.
Candles and vases are all available at IKEA.
Scroll on for pictures.
For the Pork Loin: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/garlic-herb-grilled-pork-tenderloin/
For the Stuffed Mushrooms: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/dining/18mini.html?_r=2&