Monday, April 23, 2007

Pork and Birds

It was a good weekend for food. It was not a good weekend for birds. But first the food part.
Since The Boy is now working Sundays and has Friday and Saturday off, we are now doing Saturday Dinners instead of Sunday. Plus we usually feeding some of the boy’s male friends, as sadly, it’s one of the best meals they get all week.
I decided on a Greekish theme for this weekend, so I marinated a pork loin in a yogurt mixture and served it with olive oil and rosemary potatoes, and a vaguely greek salad.
Recipe for pork loin:
1 pork loin, defrosted and butterflied. To butterfly- slice down the middle lengthwise, only going about halfway into the loin. Then carefully slice the sides to open up. Take a meat cleaver and pound the hell out of it to flatten it out enough to stuff it.
2/3 of a large container of yogurt
½ cucumber, peeled
4 cloves garlic
½ lemon, juiced
greek seasoning (I had this in my cabinet so if you don’t salt and pepper will work.)
fresh dill
roasted red peppers* (optional but they really added a nice flavor)

Puree the above in your food processor or blender.
Place the pork loin in the marinade and let sit for at least 6 hours, if not more.

½ of a large red onion
feta cheese
1 tomato
red wine vinegar

Dice the above ingredients and douse in the vinegar. Let sit for at least ½ an hour.

When ready to cook, pre heat your oven to 350.
Take the pork loin out and lay flat on the cutting board. Place the mixture on the pork and roll. You can seal with toothpicks or use twine to hold it together. I recommend twine as toothpicks can be hazardous to eat with. (I couldn’t find my twine so I used the toothpicks and well, that was not so fun.)
Spray your pan with non-stick spray or a thin coating of olive oil.
Place the loin in the pan and cover the top with leftover marinade.
Bake for about an hour, 30 minutes per pound, or until pork hits 145. Take out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. The carryover heat will cook the pork further.
Slice and eat.

You can take the leftover marinade and bring it to just under a boil and let cook for a few minutes. This can be used as a sauce for the pork if desired. The cooking kills of any harmful pork juices left in there and it doesn’t change the flavor at all, just the color.

This was totally something I just threw together but the flavors worked well. There weren’t any leftovers either. So it was good for pork.

As for the birds, well, for one of them it was not a good Saturday evening/Sunday morning. We let the girls out to run on the weekend nights. They don’t go very far, in fact they rarely, if ever leave the yard. Gabby is a hunter, something even the neighbor has noticed, and Punk is a lounger and sometimes stalker. But they love to chase bugs and things around the yard.
Earlier this week, Gabby had brought in the head of a lizard that they had apparently been torturing for days. That was lovely. Sunday morning it got even better. I came downstairs only to discover a dead bird on the rug in the kitchen and some bloodstains around it. There was no blood trail from the door, so I can only assume that the final kill occurred inside. It was definitely dead though.
I ran upstairs to let the boy know and his reaction was “Is it all in one piece?” “Yes.” “Easy clean up then.” And with that he went back to sleep. So I had the fun job of picking up the bird and disposing of it and then cleaning up the blood and feathers.
We still don’t know who did it, as neither one claimed it nor did they come looking for validation, but I suspect Gabby. They did bring it inside though.
Ah well. That’s the price you pay for having cats and letting them outside, especially with Gabby, master tree climber and carrier of things in her mouth.

UPDATE: Bird #2 today was in the hallway to our guest bedroom. This one was lying there with guts exposed and feathers all over the guest bedroom. Sigh. It was disgusting. I have a feeling that I may come home to a LIVE bird one day. They do seem to have been alive when they come inside.

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