It’s late Sunday morning and fifteen of us are huddled on the street corner, cameras in hand like a gaggle of paparazzi waiting to catch a celebrity’s morning-after walk of shame. Except this isn’t Hollywood – and we’re not professionals.
This is California Center for Digital Arts and we’re practicing shutter speed priority photography – stop action, blurred action, panning. I learned this long ago – so very long ago – in the days of film and chemical processing and my trusty Canon AE-1. We’re standing on a street corner simply shooting random cars and bicycles passing by.
I’m going back to photography basics because, frankly, I’m bored with the photos I’m churning out these days – and the work of most other amateur food photographers as well. I’m having trouble finding the soul in the ubiquitous bright, side-lit, flat-laid, slightly blown out (IMHO), Foodgawker-esque photographs most amateur food photographers (including me) produce –insipid images devoid of soul.
My food photos may not get better. What I’m currently churning out may be my limit, but the class made me happy, made me remember, just for a few hours, to look at the world with a photographer’s eye.
Did it help? If this photo above is any indication, then, no, it didn’t – same bright, side-lit, flat lay, lackluster nonsense. The pork loins, conversely, were divine – flavorful and mouthwateringly succulent.
Cuban Pork Mojo
- 6 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- zest from one orange
- zest from one lime
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- ¾ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ bunch cilantro
- 2 pork tenderloins
- In a blender, puree all ingredients except pork. Transfer a half cup of sauce into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
- Place pork tenderloins in a dish and cover with remaining mojo sauce. Cover dish and refrigerate at least 8 hours up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a bit of oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade, scraping off excess. Add pork to skillet and sear until well browned on all sides. Transfer skillet with pork to oven. Roast until meat registers 145 degrees F. Remove pork from skillet, tent with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Warm reserved mojo sauce in the microwave. Cut pork crosswise in ½ inch slices, drizzle with warmed mojo sauce and serve.