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Ondine Brooks Kuraoka


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Posted By Ondine Brooks Kuraoka

Most of us, by the time we reach our 40s are comfortable cooking meat- I mean, come on, most of us have been cooking meat for at least 15-20 years. Well, I’m one of the few who have not been cooking meat for that long. And I haven’t recently renounced vegetarianism; as much as I love veggies, I’ve always been a carnivore- an omnivore.

I just get a bit frazzled by all that can go wrong when you cook meat, it’s always given me an inner spasm of anxiety, so I’ve avoided it as often as I can. For the past 10 years I’ve cooked meat only on a handful of occasions; mainly, I’ve left the meat cooking to John, figuring he’s so at ease with the meat arena, why bother? John cooks the meat and I throw together a big heaping salad- that’s just where my comfort zone in the kitchen has been.

But now that salmonella and e-coli are regularly popping up in Vegetable Land as well, I figure, well, a heck and a scratch, I might as well venture into the land of meat.

So here I am, braving my little wobbly-kneed raw meat fear. And I have to say, it’s liberating! Last night I dug through my recipe box and saw“Turkey Tenderloins and Apricot Sauce,” from the June 2008 issue of Woman’s Day, and I thought, “I bet that would be good with the pork loin roast we have in the freezer.”

So insteadof asking John to make it, by gum I just rolled up my sleeves and got busy. I decided that as long as our meat thermometer is working what’s the big deal anyway? I mean honestly, the likelihood of a car accident is way higher than some nebulous kind of meat accident. No problem! Just call me Ms. Raw Meat.

 After letting it thaw in the fridge overnight it was still pretty frozen, so I did a slow cook at 250 for a couple of hours, on John’s recommend, so the outside wouldn’t burn while it was getting up to temperature.

And I had so much fun mixing up the apricot sauce. I used the last of our Safeway Select Apricot Jam, and then opened the Trader Joe’s Apricot-Orange Fruit Spread we had in the pantry.

The garlic, mustard, soy sauce and jam smelled so good I could have just stood  at the counter and sipped it with a spoon. I didn’t, but I could have.

So there I was, basting the pork loin with this angelic sauce over a couple of hours of slow cooking. It was great- I was even wearing an apron. I felt like Nigella Lawson. The only reason I had the oven on for a couple of hours on a summer day in San Diego is due to a wonderful cool snap- 75 degrees for the past couple of days. Anyway, the pork was so easy and yummy, I’ll definitely be making it again. And John the meat man made veggies (broccoli and carrots) and jasmine rice.

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