African Stuffed Pork Loin over Spiced Rice with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Tonight we’re eating roasted pork loin stuffed with jasmine rice, sun-dried tomatos, raisins, bacon, garlic, and Zanzibar spices topped with a balsamic reduction accompanied by roasted brussels sprouts.

A: So this started as a culinary failure… at least as I was setting it up on the table I was sure we would chalk it up as another culinary failure. But it turned out to be ok.
T: I thought it was really exciting. I like the combo of savory and sweet… I think this meal was somewhat of a departure from a lot of what you’ve done. It was like a carnival in my mouth.
A: I think I heard some of the rides from across the table. You know, coming from your mouth.
T: you’re a weird girl.
A: you’re not the first person who’s told me that.
T: And the brussels sprouts were quite tasty as well… but getting back to the pork-
A: I have to admit, this meal did take me out of my cooking comfort zone. But, I’ve really been wanting to expand. I feel trapped in my mainly american and european styles of cooking.
T: so, I know you named this “african stuffed pork loin”… what made it african?
A: The spice blend I used is a Zanzibar spice blend. And I also know that east africans eat a lot of rice and cook with dried fruit, as I did tonight with the raisins and sun-dried tomatos.
T: cool. Well, it was a nice surprise.
A: sooo, whadaya give it?
T: I give it a 9.5/10.
A: wow. That’s higher of a rating than I thought it would be. I myself give it a 7.9/10. I thought it was good, but I was still a little disappointed. I don’t know what I was going for, but I wasn’t quite there.
T: It got .5 bonus for being innovative.
A: cool, I’ll do whatever I can to get more points, huh huh huh huh.
T: Let’s talk about that first reduction you made.
A: are you really sure you want to do that to our poor readers? We don’t want to drive them away.
T: I walked into the kitchen, and was hit with a dizzying smell.
A: the smell of apple cider vinegar reducing.
T: it was bad. It smelled like somebody collected foot sweat and then soaked sour dough bread in it, and then super-heated the whole concoction.
A: oh, come on now, it didn’t smell that bad. It was a pungent smell, but it was the pungent smell of apple cider vinegar reducing.
T: that’s no excuse.
A: I didn’t think it smelled anything like foot sweat or sour dough bread. there might have been some vinegar particles tingling your nose, but altogether I wasn’t about to pass out from the odor.
T: So, kids, what have we learned tonight? Friends don’t let friends reduce apple cider vinegar.

Kwaherini mabibi na mabwana.

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