Before we dive into the week’s reviews, let’s go back for the abbreviated weekend review. Friday night, we were expecting a crowd and had only four. We ate out. Saturday night, we had a lovely bucatini all' amatriciana, which was simple and tasty despite not being able to locate any guanciale. We substituted pancetta (which was sliced thin rather than cubed) and everyone was quite satisfied. This menu change means that we did not try the moroccan chicken brochettes that were originally scheduled for Saturday night. Those will be appearing on the menu again in the near future. If you made them, please send me a little review. I’m all ears.
Moving on to Sunday night dinner. This meal took a bit of preparation. Ok, a lot of preparation. But it was really good and if you love to cook, I’d definitely recommend it for a weekend evening. Preferably one where the weather is mild enough that turning on your oven does not result in you wanting to throw up your hands and dive in the nearest river. It was maybe not the best decision to wait for the 95° day to make a roasted potato salad, but whatever. I do it all for you. And I also need to feed my kids.
Since we are already discussing the potato salad, let’s start there. This salad is not hard and not time consuming. Toss potatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast. Smash. Toss roasted and smashed potatoes in a dressing of cider vinegar, mustard and olive oil. Add sliced jalapeños and parsley. Done. Delicious salad. In my humble opinion, far better than the traditional mayonnaise festival that one can buy in the deli section of the local market. On the other hand, you don’t have to turn on your oven for that salad in the deli section. And those of you wondering why I didn’t just turn the AC down have clearly never been Idaho. There are cows in a field three houses down, people. Not one or two cows, hundreds. This is perhaps why I can’t find guanciale. It might just be that the lack of air conditioning and the lack of ingredients are somehow connected. I'll have to look into that.
The pork loin is definitely a process. First brine. Then rub. Then grill. Then make a special mustard. Lots of steps. I would love to give you tips on these steps but have to admit that I was only part of a couple of these steps as my lovely husband brined the meat and made the rub on Saturday, and grilled the meat on Sunday night. All I had to do was make the mustard (and the salad) and eat dinner. Despite the work (or perhaps because it was all done by someone else), this is a delicious pork loin. We found the pork a bit salty and think this was probably because we used a boneless loin rather than bone-in. I would suggest cutting the salt by half if you have a boneless pork loin. The rest of the flavors were fantastic. Definitely worthy of a Sunday dinner. This would be a wonderful meal to serve company. Especially on a nice 70° day. Or in an air conditioned house.