Wednesday night menu – Pork Tenderloin

I’m working the kinks out with this whole blogging thing.  Just on a logistical note it looks like Wednesday cooking days will be every other Wednesday.

We have officially entered the world of house fixing around here and it is eating up my time chomp chomp chomp (no fork required).  So I only had time for a quick meal Wednesday.  With dinner called for 6:00 pm and a disaster in the kitchen at 4:00 pm it was time to cut my work day a little short and head down to the kitchen for clean up before I could even start cooking.  By the time I was happy with my kitchen set-up it was 5:00 pm and I was really going to have to hustle to get dinner on the table in just one hour!!

Canele's Pork Tenderloin over Corn and Black Beans

Canele's Pork Tenderloin over Corn and Black Beans

Inspired by a pork tenderloin I ate at Canele a couple weeks ago I stopped off and picked one up on the way home from my work out Tuesday night.  Everything else was going to have to be in the fridge or pantry or garden!  I didn’t even have time to write a menu down.  I flipped open The Joy of Cooking and read quickly about pork tenderloin.  It told me that I should have bought the smallest one and I should have bought two of them.  Instead I had bought the biggest one, weighing just over a pound, and I only bought one.  No time to worry about that.  This was going to be a speedy whip up dinner!

I rinsed the pork tenderloin and patted it dry with a paper towel and put it on a clean plate.  I remembered my trusty Zuni Café salting equation and threw about 1 teaspoon of salt all over the pork plus some fresh ground black pepper.  I left it on the counter while I dug around the kitchen to decide how to present this.

Here’s what I found:

  • 1 ear of corn
  • half a red pepper
  • a handful of sugar snap peas
  • a bunch of asparagus
  • some basil
  • garlic
  • heirloom tomatoes
  • and some mint growing in the yard

I would follow the technique for preparing the pork from Joy of Cooking, make a quick veggie stir-fry, plate the sliced loin over the veggies and top with a Dijon vinagrette.  And it would be great because had to be!

I used to cook a little more manicly.  I would turn the heat on the pan and start chopping.  But I learned about getting all my ingredients together and now I am a much happier cook!  I cleaned and prepped all my veggies and herbs and then I turned the heat on high.  Let it heat up a bit, poured in some olive oil, patted the loin dry one more time and, using tongs, placed it into the hot pan.  Sizzle.  I wanted to get a good crust on there.  And thanks to Joy for pointing out that pork tenderloin can dry out very easily due to its low fat content (only slightly higher than boneless, skinless chicken breast!) so high heat is essential for this pan roasting method.

With the loin in the pan cooking away I had some time to make a quick vinegrette.  Shallot, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon, salt, pepper and a little agave nectar.  Great sear on the pork, ready for flippage.  Set the table.  Then I checked the pork and got a little more crust on it by holding it with the tongs to get the sides.  It was looking great.  And smelling great too.  Stuck it with the instant read thermometer, 150, get it out of the pan!  I moved it to a plate and covered it loosely with aluminum foil.  Deglazed with white wine, poured glass of white wine, added white wine to salad dressing.  Then I added a little more olive oil and the garlic to the pan.  Then the rest of the veg went in one at a time until it was time to turn off the heat and add the tomatoes and herbs.  Short cooking time for crispy veg!  Plenty of salt and pepper.

Time to slice the pork and serve it on top of the veggies and top with vinagrette.

Pork Tenderloin over quick stir-fry veggies

Pork Tenderloin over quick stir-fry veggies

I was really pleased with this dish as were my eating companions.  It is light and easy to make.  So tasty.

After dinner we cleaned up and talked about dessert.  I had made a rose apple granita a few days prior.  My parents have a prolific rose apple tree in their impressive yard.  Rose apples have a very floral taste and can taste a little bit like…well…soapy.  I added lime juice and agave to the mix to sweeten it up.  Click for rose apple fruit facts.

Then we made white chocolate apple cookies together.  Recipe coming soon!

White Chocolate Apple cookies with Rose Apple Granita

White Chocolate Apple cookies with Rose Apple Granita

I’m thinking about what to make for the next cooking adventure.  Feel free to leave comments if you’ve got ideas.