Daily Archives: 7 April 2017

2017 Cookery Project — Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Cherry-Thyme Pan Sauce

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Cherry-Thyme Pan Sauce

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Cherry-Thyme Pan Sauce

For whatever reason, I’ve been finding it particularly difficult to get centered now that I’ve returned to the US. It shouldn’t be a problem—I was only gone a couple of weeks—but I’ve been both antsy and low energy since I got back. As a result, I’ve been living on deli and carryout. Good quality carryout, but carryout nonetheless.

Today, for the first time since I left Venice, I made a serious lunch at home.

I turned to an old recipe from Epicurious for Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Cherry-Thyme Pan Sauce. I gave the pork loin a coriander rub, and then pan-fried it in olive oil to give it a golden crust on all sides. Once that was done, I removed it and cooked sliced shallots and a dozen sprigs of thyme in the same pan. Then came balsamic vinegar, red wine, deglazing, and the secret ingredient, sugar. After the sauce cooked down, I swirled in a big hunk of butter, because once I’m in the kitchen, I turn into a total hedonist who cares not a bit about things like high cholesterol levels. The last thing into the pan was a generous portion of dark sweet cherries. The last things out of the pan were those sprigs of thyme.

(This being April, I had to use frozen-but-thawed cherries. Can’t wait to try this recipe again once I can get fresh ones.)

For the side, I used an incredibly simple Martha Stewart recipe. I sautéed minced garlic in—here it comes again—a big hunk of butter, then wilted spinach in it. It always surprises me how much things like spinach and kale cook down. You start with what looks like a three-week supply, and end up with two meagre servings.

It all worked, and it looked great.

Venice Street Scenes

Unplanned Encounters

Some people, places, and things I stumbled across while walking around Venice.


“But He’d Have Walked up that Alley with You, Angel.”  —  Sam Spade, to Brigid O’Shaughnessy

It’s easy to get lost in Venice. You’re supposed to get lost—that’s part of the charm of the city.

You probably have to be born in Venice to really understand the street layout, and all the shortcuts to take and detours to avoid. Some busy “streets” are only three or four feet wide—no cars, remember, so no need to accommodate them by bulldozing your heritage.


A Happy Event


I was wandering around Campo Santa Margherita one afternoon when I ran into a large, loud street party. Groups were singing, people were hugging, and much Prosecco was being put to good use. Many of the young women were wearing the kind of headgear you can see in the picture.

When I asked one of the crowd what was going on, she told me that it was Graduation Day for the Università Ca’ Foscari, the university in Venice. She was wearing a laurel leaf hat to show that she was one of the graduates. Then she called over a couple of her friends, and posed for this picture.


Floating Market

In some of Venice’s side canals, the market comes to you. Buy your groceries right off the boat.


Dueling Weddings

I think there must be a tradition in Venice of having the newly married couple pose for pictures on a tour of historic sites. I was in Campo San Bartolomeo when these two wedding parties collided.

I saw one couple at Piazza San Marco, and then ran into them the next day, still in their wedding clothes, at Campo San Polo. By then, the bride’s gown was muddied and frayed. They didn’t seem to be getting any great joy from the trek, but I’m sure they’ll forget the hassles as soon as they see the pictures.