It’s been a long time.
Instead of having a great opener I’m figuring I’ll stick with that and then it can really only go up from here.
The last six months felt like I got picked up by a tornado and dropped here with these massive changes in my life. I finished my first semester of medical school (and did well!), I met some of the closest friends I’ve ever made, and I’ve laughed harder and had more mental breakdowns than I thought you’d be allowed to have without being sent somewhere. I even met and rapidly fell in love with an incredible man. If you’re worried I’ve changed too much, fear not. I have a hamper with a hole in it full of clothes in my trunk that I don’t know how to move so I have just resigned to never wear those clothes again. I have been staring at it every day for three weeks and have… done… nothing. I am still trash.
It feels like I’m finally exactly where I’m supposed to be. It’s strange to be simultaneously the most stressed and the happiest I have ever been. Sure, every couple weeks I find myself sobbing in the bathtub cradling a bottle of wine like it’s all I have left BUT I also feel myself hitting my stride, making progress, and gaining the confidence I needed to reach farther. I have my first ever “huge massive undertaking project baby” and, while the idea of being in charge of something like this project makes my insides feel wiggly, I’m doing it.
Somewhere along the line, though, I lost this. I lost sight of balance. I let the creative part of me fall by the wayside and threw myself completely into the world of medicine. When I finally had a break to pull my head out of my ass I made my first ever New Year’s Resolution. I had never made one before, primarily because if I don’t then I can’t disappoint myself in the first month, but I promised myself that I would make more time for this. I started cooking again, I’m pulling out my paints again, and now I’m writing. The funny will come back to me… have faith.
Holy shit had I lost my touch. In six months of eating mostly Trader Joes frozen Indian food and whatever quick thing I could pick up from Public (all hail the pub sub), I apparently forgot how to cook. Thank god one of my roommates is in culinary school and takes pity on me and feed me every once in awhile. Took me a week or two to make something that I thought was worthy of sharing but here it is. Big thanks to my guy and my amazing roommates for being my guinea pigs.
- 1 1.5-2lb pork tenderloin
- 4 tbsp coffee (I used Columbian)
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 dried guajillo chile
- 1 dried ancho chile
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 5 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Set a small pot of water over high heat (1-2 cups of water). Once boiling, take off the heat, add the dried peppers, and cover.
- Once the peppers have hydrated and cooled (15 minutes), pour off all but three tbsp. of the water. Add the garlic cloves and blend using an immersion blender or just a good old-fashioned regular blender until smooth.
- Add the coffee, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper and mix well.
- Rub down your beautiful pork with your spice mixture and lovingly (emphasis on the love) place it into a Ziploc bag to marinate for at least two hours.
- Place a cast-iron skillet in your oven and preheat to 450° F.
- Once it has reached temp, pull it out and add 3 tbsp of canola oil. Gently place your pork tenderloin into the pan and place it back in the oven. I say gently because, as you can imagine, I did not do that. I splashed myself with spicy coffee grounds.
- After 10 minutes, pull that beauty out and flip, GENTLY. Again, I did not do this. Instead I once again splashed myself, but this time with hot coffee oil. I never learn.
- Give it another ten minutes, and then begin checking every 5 or so until you reach an internal temp of 135°. Yes, I know 145° is the “safe” temp for pork but let me tell you. Most of those recommendations lead to nasty overcooked meat and carry-over cooking will do the job. Trust me.
- Let rest under tinfoil for at least 10, preferably 15, minutes then slice and serve. Impress yoself.
I’m BACK. This was earthy, it was spicy, and it was the first thing I hadn’t mildly burned in awhile. All in all a big win. I served it over okra succotash (I’ll have to post that on its own one of these days) and rice and Austin cleaned his plate in record time.
The writing muscles need a little exercise, but it feels good to start again. I missed you. See you soon.