Monday, January 25, 2010

Jen and Tivoni's Pork Loin

There's encouragement all around me. People have started saying things like "I'm so excited for you", recommendations abound within the friendly feedback. I'm slowly traversing the long long list of every preparation of every part of this very edible animal, and I have many guides. Yesterday, my reformed appetite broke a new barrier: I was cooked for.

Jen is a friend of mine from high school, and her and her husband Tivoni live near my neighborhood in South Philly. In the midst of preparing a pork loin for dinner, they thought of their hungry friend Abdullah and invited him over to try something new. I was touched.

Tivoni has his method on lock. Though I feel I will never have a full understanding of the process, much as I never got my head around basic chemistry, I got the idea that there was a some technical prowess required in conjunction with a whole lot of love. He had slathered the long, wide tenderloin with a relish of roasted garlic, peppercorns, and pickled mustard greens. This last choice had been thrown into the mix on a whim during a visit to the Hung Vuong market on Washington Ave. It was an unusual choice for a grilling marinade component, and it piqued my interest. I remember eating these pickled greens on their own as a child in Thailand, a mini-adventure in my lifelong quest for pickles of all kinds. They tend to be a little gross unless used as a garnish, and I was curious to see how they would interact with the meat.

Once caked with this chunky mix, he had rolled it up, seared the exposed sides, and slow broiled it to perfection. This allowed all the juices to remain within the mass, yielding moist and tender meat. He carved it into thin slices that fell apart into thick strands covered in the seasoning mixture.

I'm not certain if it was the cut or the way that it was cooked, but the texture reminded me of a very moist broiled chicken. The slightly spongy bits of meat had absorbed the seasoning well, and each one unfolded like three acts of a play. This, I believe, was the real feat of this pork loin. The flavor of garlic was immediately noticeable and though it was well done, it was nothing new. That's where the bits of mustard green kicked in, the cooking process having released their tartness into the meat while allowing the little crunchy bits to retain their texture. Finally, the pepper, the sleeper. Though it was present in the first bite, it's magnitude culminated after I'd cleaned my plate. I hardly noticed the building heat as I was eating, but at the meal's conclusion, I was left with the pleasant warmth only brought by freshly broken pepper. A clean finish.

Because I was so hungry when I arrived at their house, and also due to the somewhat chicken-like texture of the loin, I was able to trick my brain into allowing me to scarf it down without the image of the animal looming in my mind. It was only once we had finished eating that I gave myself the opportunity to reflect on what I had eaten. Through no fault of this delectable preparation, I felt a little ill. It was the first time I had consumed that much pork without a thought, and it caught up to me.

It had occurred to me prior to last night that each pork dish I consume is still very much an experiment. If I'm hungry, I don't really go for pork. If I'm grabbing a hoagie for lunch while working, I still go for roast beef. If I'm driving a long distance and stop to grab a burger, I don't get bacon on it. Every time I eat pork, I'm thinking about it, and a human being can't be constantly thinking about what it's eating. It tells me that perhaps when this project, this series of experiments, is over, I may very well go right back to my old restricted diet. I may even revert to a slightly stricter diet. While it may seem, to the vast majority of American eaters, an unnecessary pain in the ass hindering daily life, it's what I'm used to. I miss that unawareness, being indifferent as to what's churning around in my insides. However, right now I'm on a mission. The adventures need to continue and, by golly, they will.

Check out Jen and Tivoni's food blog for more of their intrepid concoctions.


  1. شركة تنظيف منازل بتبوك تعتبر من افضل شركات تنظيف المنازل في تبوك والتي تقد بخصم 30% للعملاء في تبوك حيث أن شركة تنظيف بتبوك تقدم لكم الكثير من خدمات النظافة سواء أكانت شركة تنظيف فلل بتبوك أو شركة تنظيف شقق بتبوك كما أن شركة نظافة بيوت وعمائر بتبوك متخصصة بالعمل علي تنظيف أي مبنى مهما كانت مساحته تنظيف شامل باسعار مميزة ورخيصة
    تقوم شركة تنظيف منازل بتبوك بالعمل علي تقديم خدمات تنظيف المنازل وخدمات تنظيف الفلل وخدمات تنظيف الشقق بطرق وأساليب متميزة فهي شركة متميزة في تقديم جميع خدمات النظافة بالمنازل والشقق والفلل ومن تلك الخدمات التي تعمل الشركة علي تقديمها لكم ما يلي
    تقوم شركة تنظيف منازل بتبوك بالقيام بتنظيف المكان سواء كان المنزل فاضي ( جديد قبل الفرش والسكن ) او كان المنزل مفروش ومسكون
    كما أن شركة تنظيف شقق بتبوك تقوم بترتيب العمل بين افراد طاقم التنظيف فمنهم من هو مختص بتنظيف وتلميع الشبابيك ومنهم من هو متخصص بالحمامات والمطبخ والباقي متخصص في الأرضيات
    هذا بالإضافة إلي كون شركة تنظيف بتبوك تعمل علي استخدام المنظفات المتميزة والمضمونة في أداء عملية النظافة
    شركة عزل خزانات بتبوك
    شركة عزل مسابح بتبوك
    شركة عزل فوم بتبوك
    شركة عزل اسطح بتبوك
    حل ارتفاع فاتورة المياه بتبوك
    شركة عزل مائي بتبوك
    شركة عزل فوم بتبوك