Another Geek Christmas recipe.

I first made the mushroom sauce a month ago.  I’d just sent off my first novel to find an agent, and I was burnt out on writing.  I decided to cook Something New Every Day for a Week!

One of the reasons I started this blog (as separate from my regular blog) was so I’d know whether I was making new food and trying new things on a regular basis – to taunt myself into reaching the next level, as it were.  Right now, I’m at the point where I make new things maybe once a week.  So trying to do it for a whole week was a bit of a challenge – but it worked.  I think I made five days out of seven, due to time constraints, but it was fun.

Anyway, the first time I made this recipe, it almost killed me.

First, I sauteed the mushrooms, baby bellas, in butter.  Doo da doo, doot da doo.

Then, I added minced garlic and chiptole peppers in their sauce.

Whoosh!  My eyes, my eyes!  I ran around the kitchen, cursing myself for bending directly over the pan when I added the peppers.

After a few minutes, I added some sherry vinegar.  And tasted the sauce.  And almost killed myself out of grief, it was so bad, so awfully, bitterly, stomach-turningly bad.  So I added some cream, because casein (a protein in milk) tones down capsaicinoids, or the chemicals that make chilis spicy.  Still awful.  I added some more cream, covered the pan, and went to complain to Lee.  Fortunately, I was distracted, and by the time I made it back to the kitchen, the sauce had mellowed into a lip-tingling, mouth-loving bitch of a pork topping.

Pork Loin with Spicy Mushroom Sauce
2 lbs pork loin at room temperature
olive oil
1/2 c total salt rub:
-2 T cumin seeds
-1 t coriander seeds
-2 T black pepper
-1 t chipotle powder

2 lbs sliced baby bella mushrooms (button mushrooms should be okay)
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 chipotle peppers from a can, seeds scraped out and minced
3 T sherry vinegar
3/4 c heavy cream
salt to taste

Make the rub: grind the seeds and spices together with a little salt. When ground, add more salt to make about 1/2 to 3/4 c. rub.

Rub the pork loin with olive oil and then the rub and the let it sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Roast in a 400F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until barely barely pink in the center. Cover with foil and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in butter until the sides become brown. Add the garlic and chipotles, standing back from the pan. Saute until the garlic turns slightly translucent but not brown. Add the sherry vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the cream, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the flavor mellows from bitterness to creamy spiciness. Add salt to taste. Serve beside the pork loin.