For some reason, I never really cook pork. We just don't eat a lot of it, and as such, I never really have it in the house.
A couple of weeks ago, pork tenderloins were on sale, so hubs picked up a couple of packages to stow away in the freezer. On Sunday, I popped one into the fridge, thinking that I would cook it Monday night.
So I didn't cook it on Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday.....but when I finally got a round to it on Thursday night ( if you're a north American germaphobe, I know that you are totally gasping in horror at the cryosealed 3 days defrosted meat....get over it...), the meal was totally worth the wait. And I didn't get poisoned....
Pork tenderloin is a super versatile cut of meat - initially, I'd been thinking of trying a Thai-inspired stir-fry (coconut milk, thai curry paste, fresh basil, fish sauce, etc.), but I still wasn't really in the mood for that....so I ended up hunting around and found a fabulous and simple recipe on Cooking Light. I highly recommend this - it's company worthy, easy to make and very tasty. I like the simplicity of the ingredients, and it was a great complement to mixed roasted white and sweet potatoes (actually, it would have been just sweet potatoes, but when I asked hubs to pick them up, they were all teeny tiny....so I supplemented).
Mixed Roasted Potatoes
4 small (or 2 large) sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 small (or 2 large) white potatoes, cubed (no need to peel)
2-3 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t sea salt
2 t crushed rosemary
1 t cumin
1. Toss the cubed potatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and cumin.
2. Put on the bottom rack of a 400F oven. Toss every 20 minutes - cook for 40-50 minutes. The longer, the better, IMHO.
Pork au Poivre
(shamelessly ripped off of Cooking Light)
2 pork tenderloins, trimmed
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry red wine
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Butterfly each pork tenderloin, cutting to, but not through, the other side.
3. Open halves, laying pork flat. Sprinkle each side of pork with 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Heat oil a large ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray.
4. Add pork; cook for 2 minutes on each side.
5. Place the pork in a 9x13 glass pan (spray with cooking spray first) and bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). My pork was in for closer to 20 minutes....and it was a bit pink in the middle. If you like your pork not pink, I would suggest starting with 15 minutes, and checking every five minutes after that....my tenderloins were quite thick, even butterflied.
6. While the pork is in the oven, assemble your sauce ingredients and add the wine and shallots to the pan.
Bring to a boil. Add broth and remaining ingredients to pan; stir well with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook until reduced by about half.
7. With a sharp knife, cut the pork into medallions about 1.5 cm thick. Serve with sauce.
Cooking Light tells me that one pork tenderloin should serve four people. I tell Cooking Light that perhaps they should consider testing their recipes on people who have NOT undergone gastric bypass....generally, one regular sized tenderloin will serve 2 people. Three if you are dieting.
I served this with a green salad (with parmesan on top) and the roasted potatoes above. :) YUM. The pork was very moist, the sauce was super tasty and the cumin in the potatoes added just a wee touch of exoticism that really heightened the meal. Two thumbs up from me, and hubs sarcastically told me it was 'pork-tastic' after I bugged him for feedback.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
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