I wanted something special for Friday night, so I decided to try Julia Child's ratatouille recipe (Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1, page 503). I matched this with a pork dish I have been working on, and the old standby sweet potatoe dish. The ratatouille was good, but not outstanding. I do not have the right size casserole dish (2.5 qt) so I had to fudge it in a larger cast iron pot. I am still debating whether to go to Pantry Magic and try to pick one up on their final weekend of business. I probably won't as there are other things to spend money on - like food - and space is becoming an issue in the Beijing kitchen.

Ever since my dining experience at ,LM Plus I have been fascinated with pork tenderloin. For now I am mostly concerned with getting the cut correct and the cooking time exactly right. I start with wrapping the loin in plastic wrap and placing it in the freezer for about 40 minutes. Its nice and stiff but not frozen. Then I slice that thinly at an angle to get nice oval medallions of pork about 3/16 inch (4.5 mm). Its similar to how I scallop flank steak and venison. For this dish I chose a marinade of soy sauce and sesame oil. for about 1 hour.

Quartered mushrooms are browned in butter and olive oil, then removed. Then the pork is browned on each side in small batches, about 1 min per side and removed. After that I toss in a one chopped shallot and saute for 3 min or so, then clear with red wine and reduce. Add heavy cream, 1/4 cup of chicken stock, bring to a boil then salt and pepper to get it right. Let it reduce for a while, maybe even 10 min. Add shrooms and pork back to the sauce plus juices, toss in a nice handful of chopped parsley and some chopped rosemary, simmer for a minute or two and serve.

Next is to steer away from the heavy sauce, probably even eliminate the wine. I want to try and base the flavor strictly on the pork/marinade and the herbs. Then serve that over fresh greens so the flavor of the pork really comes through.