379. Loin of pork with bay leaves
380. Rhubarb custard
These two recipes are from the first menu in the Dinner chapter. There is supposed to be a Casesar salad as a starter, but I was tired and it was cold, and I couldn't be bothered going out to buy fresh free-range eggs for the dressing (they're supposed to be eaten almost raw, so really fresh eggs are necessary).
I cooked this all after I returned home from work.
The pork loin is rubbed with a mixture of olive oil, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic. (Mum, thankfully, went out to buy the pork for me during the day - I am so grateful.)
Then you place thinly sliced onions around the pork, and bake it at 200C until done.
While it was baking, I made the rhubarb custard - the final of How to Eat's many rhubarb recipes. The recipe says to stew some fresh rhubarb, but I had a bag of frozen pulp in the freezer, which I defrosted for the recipe. To make it, you whisk up eggs, egg yolks and sugar, then add pour over warmed milk and the rhubarb pulp. Pour it into a dish, and it needs to be baked in a waterbath at 160C for 1 hour (or until set). I did this in our rickety old microwave convection oven (which lives in the pantry and is hardly ever used for the oven purpose).
So this is the cooked pork... mmm... golden and crunchy.
As it was resting, I made the side dish - tinned butter beans (Nigella says to soak and cook pulses from dried, but I was seriously not in the mood), warmed through with oil and garlic. Then I made the sauce by deglazing the pan with white wine and water.
You serve the pork slices with sauce drizzled over and surrounded by bay leaves.
Dessert time. This is what the rhubarb custard looks like when cooked.
Now, although it seemed quite set and not-liquid when I shook the dish, when we cut into it, most of the inside was still liquid.
The edges, however, were set, and the liquid centre was warm and tasted like ordinary pouring custard (i.e. DELICIOUS), with the soft fragrance of rhubarb permeating through. It was quite lovely indeed.