Wednesday, July 7, 2010

tuesday - pork tenderloin, potato salad, & asparagus

I love pork. We didn't eat much pork when I was growing up, and I was a vegetarian for most of my 20s, so it's a fairly recent discovery for me. In particular, I love pork tenderloin--it's extremely lean and completely delicious. This week, I used this recipe from Ellie Krieger. Her recipes are always delicious and healthy, and I make this pork frequently because it's so simple and flavorful. I omit the garlic from her recipe, though, as I've found it burns if you follow the recipe as it's written. I use a meat thermometer to ensure the pork doesn't overcook and dry out; I tend to cook it to 145 to 150°F, which is still slightly pink in the center. It's important to sear the pork on the stove before roasting it to give it a nice crust:

Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of visible fat

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, thyme, and salt until combined. Rub the seasoning all over the pork, pressing gently so the seasoning adheres well to the meat.

Spray a large oven-safe skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Put the pork in the skillet and sear each side, using tongs to turn the meat, about 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer skillet to the oven, and roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork reads 150°F, about 10 minutes. Let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

In general, I don't eat a lot of potatoes (not for any carb-phobic reason, simply because I don't love them), but I've really been enjoying them this summer. In particular, I've been enjoying this potato salad recipe from Bon Appetit magazine. Usually I use fingerling potatoes, but this week I used baby Yukon Golds. Also, I usually throw in a mixture of whatever herbs I happen to have a surplus of in my herb garden.

Roasted Potato Salad with Herbs

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse-grained Dijon mustard
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, chopped

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Spray heavy large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place potatoes and 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet. Roast until potatoes are brown on cut side, about 23 minutes. Using tongs, turn potatoes over. Roast until crisp, deep golden, and tender, about 12 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir green onions, parsley, rosemary, thyme, vinegar, mustard, and 2 teaspoons oil in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer potatoes to dish. Spoon chopped eggs and herb salad over.

Since I had the oven on already, I roasted the asparagus rather than grilling or broiling it like I usually do--trim the ends; toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper; and roast on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes until tender. Drizzle with lemon juice before serving.

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