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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Simple Summer Meal

Last night in between sewing and laundry and baseball camp I was determined to try a new recipe I found.  I had 30 minutes to get it in the oven and run the baseball player to his All Stars practice...could I do it?  It is the perfect test of a summer recipe.

The truth is...there are so few steps to this recipe that it's not even worth blogging about really.  But it was soooo good!  Really, really fresh...lots of flavor...and easy!  We will eat some variation of this meal once a week this summer :)

First, I got out my Real Simple, April 2011 magazine.  Trust me, finding the magazine that contained the recipe I remembered was truly the longest step to making this meal.

1 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper or chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
4 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin (lucky for me, I had just stocked up on these BOGO's @ Winn Dixie)
2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 avacado, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (I used more because I LOVE fresh cilantro)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red chili pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving

Mix up all the spices, 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, and 1 tsp salt.  Put the pork loin on a rimmed baking sheet, OR I used a loaf pan, and coat it with the spice mixture. 

This is when I was almost ready to leave for practice so I had to think about how to get the meat done by the time I got back without over-cooking it.  Sometimes this is tricky and I have learned to NEVER cook it as long as they say in the recipes!  They are obligated to tell you to cook it till it's shoe leather texture so they don't get sued if someone gets a stomach ache.  I have no such obligation.  I like my meat juicy.  I have never had food poisoning and I have cooked for me my whole life.  And that's all I have to say about that.

So, do what you want, but I set the timer to be done @ 7pm, with a cook time of 35 minutes (recipe said 40-50 min, preheated...psshhhhtt!).  I knew it would take me longer than 35 minutes to get back because I had to walk all the way back to Harrison's field and hand out trophies/pictures/hats and walk through a couple creeks with Eden and Waverly on the way back to the car, then stop @ Publix to get the fresh stuff :)  So that means that the oven had to heat up, and cook, then shut off all in 35 minutes but then it would sit in the cooling oven till I got back. (I was just winging it here.)

This deserves it's own paragraph:  The meat was PERFECT when I got back at 7:15ish!  I know, right?!?  I am amazed myself.  Some days are just like that.  I love summer.

Then I just tossed the rinsed beans, avocado, cliantro, scallions, chili pepper, a few sloshes of olive oil and a little salt & pepper together, squeezed some lime juice over the whole thing and served it up.  The recipe said to do this while the meat was cooking so the flavors could blend but I didn't have all the fresh stuff because I'm practicing to live in Costa Rica when we retire and I run to the market every day for my fresh stuff  :) 

Enjoy your summer!

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