Friday, February 26, 2010

Tim's Birthday Feast

I've got to start this post by apologizing for the annoying gap between posts! I've been super-busy this week, which is no excuse, so here is a nice long one for those of you who've been so loyally keeping up with my little blog.

The lineup

My buddy Tim celebrated his 25th birthday this past weekend.  Much to my dismay, I had to work Sunday night, so I was unable to join our little group of friends at Charleston Grill.  So, I promised him that our next day off together we would get together and cook a big feast. 

We didn't really have a plan for what we wanted to eat, so we shopped around until we found something we liked.  We ended up with a pork loin roast, which is kind of silly because the last time we cooked we did a pork roast too.  But, they're good, and affordable, and can feed several people at once.

We decided to rub the roast down with a paste of finely minced garlic and rosemary, salt, and pepper.

 All rubbed down.

Then, we seared it to give it a nice head start on the browning process.

  Onion bed.

So, in the oven it went, and we got started with a fun game of Apples to Apples, which always seems to get broken out when this particular group of kids gets together.  While everyone got started playing, Tim and I puttered around in the kitchen and whipped up some Caesar salads.

I love a good Caesar salad.

Tim's girlfriend, Amanda, got started on a kickass risotto, made with lots of chicken stock and wine.

 Tim was a big helper.

When we got closer to eating, we made some green beans with bacon (one of my favorite things to throw together)...

  Bacon makes everything better.

...and some carrots with chile and mint, inspired by this recipe from the March 2010 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.  We didn't roast them because the pork was roasted.  Instead, we blanched them and sauteed them with butter, mint, and crushed red pepper.

Carrots are good for you.

Finally, it was time to eat.  I'm not gonna lie, we managed to overcook the pork, because, well, you saw the wine lineup.  So we threw together a simple red wine-pan sauce-reduction-type-thing for a little moisture, and it tasted fine.  Granted, the pork could have been a little more on the medium-rare side for us foodie restaurant kids, but the taste was there.


It was all good, but I've gotta give it to Amanda- the risotto was outstanding.  She stirred it the entire time- I don't have that kind of dedication.  But it was sooo creamy- and it didn't have a drop of cream or milk in it (one thing we forgot at the store)!

Happy birthday Timmy!

And now for the post-dinner, full-belly, wine-drunk pictures that everyone will just love that I posted:

Patrick, Cindy, Tim

Amanda, me, Brandon  

Let's not forget sweet Stella.

 She was so GOOD the whole time!

Mmmkay so that's about all I've got. Cheers to Timmy on his quarter-century!