Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Tomorrow morning, my eldest child is going to board a commercial flight and fly alone for the first time ever.

Alone. Single. Solo. Unaccompanied and unescorted.

Whoa.

While I am confident that she’ll be just fine, she’s a bit…… nervous. Which I can completely understand, because I know it’s not the flying part that makes her (or me) tense, it’s the process of getting through security unscathed. It can be a real pain sometimes (and I am always the one that gets stopped – clearly I’m a sketchy individual), but hopefully Austin airport won’t be too crazy at 5:00 a.m.

So night, I’m having a little going-away soiree for her – a party for two, really, it’s just she and I – and I’m making one of her favorite dinners – Chicken Milanese with Lemon over Arugula.

And then we head to bed extra early since we have to be up at 3:30 a.m.

Lovely

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Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin – adapted from Ina Garten

1 lemon, zest grated
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
Good olive oil
2 tbs. minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tbs. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and mustard in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the tenderloins from the marinade, and pour the marinade from the bag into a small saucepan, and set the pan aside for the moment. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork tenderloins on all sides until golden brown. Place the saute pan in the oven and roast the tenderloins for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. While the meat is resting, bring the reserved marinade to a boil – lower the heat, and simmer for 5-8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink and the thinnest part will be well done. Serve with the thickened sauce.

Red Chile Braised Pork

Day one of the six- day heat wave we are currently being suffocated with.

Baby ….. it’s hot out there.

My grand plans for this weekend? Before I get to that, let me tell you, first and foremost, what they don’t include:

…. turning on the wall ovens and baking anything that won’t fit in the counter top oven….

Now ….. onto what they DO  include: breaking out the ice cream maker, slow cooking ribs and chicken on the barbecue (a first for me – usually I do them in the oven first), preparing a few cold salads, consuming copious amounts of ice cold strawberry lemonade, and spending plenty of time floating in the pool under the umbrella.

And daiquiris….. there will be daiquiris…. or maybe mango peach sangria…. hmmmmm…..

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Red Chile Braised Pork – adapted from food and wine

The chiles that I used for this dish are a new experience for me, but considering I had such success with them when I made the Grilled Chicken with Board Sauce last week, I was inspired to use the rest here. I was not disappointed – this sauce had lots of flavor but was not painfully hot/spicy. I turned it into a tamale pie, making a simple cornmeal crust and topping it with green onion, cilantro, cheddar cheese, sour cream and sliced avocado. The posse and I loved it :)

10 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
10 garlic cloves
1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder

Using tongs, briefly toast the guajillo chiles over an open flame or in a cast-iron skillet until fragrant, 5 seconds per side. Transfer the guajillos to a blender. Add 2 cups of hot water and let stand for 15 minutes.

Add the garlic, chipotle, black pepper and oregano to the blender and puree. Pour the sauce into a large slow cooker – then add the pork and 3 cups of hot water. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours, or until the pork is tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl and let cool slightly. Transfer the sauce to a pan and boil it until it is reduced to 4 cups, about 20 minutes.

Shred the pork with 2 forks and return it to the slow cooker along with the sauce. Cook on high, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced and just coats the pork, about 30-45 minutes.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

Just on the off-chance that I haven’t mentioned this (at least) a dozen times before, I have a serious love affair going on with my slow cooker.

I can’t help it. They (yes, I have 4) are my favorite kitchen appliance and I rely on them for everything. Cooking, reheating, keeping side dishes warm, baking desserts……..the list goes on. I think I have an addiction, though, because each time I’m in a store, I always stop and check out the latest models. Sometimes, I’ll even get as far as putting a new one in the cart, only to have Sabrina take me by the shoulders, give me two slaps across the face (not literally, of course) and say, “Mother! You DO NOT need another crock pot!”.

And then, I put my head down sheepishly and return the crock pot to the shelf.

I hate it when she’s right.

I came across this recipe for kalua pork two summers ago, when I had a little Hawaiian-themed soiree at the house. We also made Ahi Tuna (Sabrina’s favorite), sesame noodles, and snow cones. It was lot of fun – and considering my crock pot did all the work that day, it was indeed a very easy party for me.

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Slow Cooker Kalua Pig – adapted from la fuji mama

5-6 pound pork butt roast
1 tbs. Hawaiian sea salt (coarse sea salt)
1 1/2 tbs. liquid smoke flavoring

Pierce the pork roast all over with the tip of a sharp knife.  Place the roast in a large slow cooker and rub the salt all over the meat.  Drizzle the liquid smoke over the meat. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 16 to 20 hours, turning the roast over once half-way through the cooking time.  Depending on how hot your low setting is on your slow cooker, you may or may not need the full 20 hours.  When the meat easily shreds with a fork it is ready. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and remove the excess fat. Pull it apart into medium sized chunks and place the meat in a disposable foil pan. Ladle the juices liberally over it, and place it under the broiler for a few minutes to get the meat a bit crispy. Serve over steamed or fried rice, along with extra pan juice. (The kids like theirs with a splash of teriyaki sauce on top as well.)

MWM – Gaelic Stuffed Pork Roast

Well…………that was fast. Ask, and ye shall receive.

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For this week of Mondays with Mom, here is her famous stuffed pork roast, as lovingly carved by Dad. I remember her making this all throughout my teenage years, and she always served it with Coleman’s English Hot Mustard….. but my favorite was Major Grey’s Mango Chutney.

mmmmmmm, mmmmmmm – bringing back those delicious memories…….

Gaelic Stuffed Pork Tenderloin – from Mom

1  pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 teaspoon rœsemary
Salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 slice bacon, cut in half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split tenderloin lengthwise partially through to butterfly. Open and pound flat between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender. Stir in breadcrumbs and continue cooking until slightly crisp. Add parsley, herbs, salt and pepper. Let cool, and stir in the egg. Spread the stuffing on half of meat,
leaving a 1/4 inch border. Fold to close, and tie with kitchen string. Lay bacon on top, and roast for 1-1 1/2 hours or until meat is done.