Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

We have been doing really good about eating better and I’m constantly on the lookout for fresh ideas. I have my go-to recipe when it comes to pork tenderloin but there are times I want something different. When I got the new America’s Test Kitchen Light and Healthy 2012 magazine, I saw on the front cover was a fabulous looking pork tenderloin. This is the first recipe I’ve tried out the magazine, and there will be a lot more to follow.

I loved the combination of fennel and artichokes. I left out the olives because my husband despises them, but left them in the recipe so you can choose to put them in or not. I find it’s very important to get the silverskin off the tenderloin. If you don’t, the pork can be chewy and will get into a weird shape while cooking.

The picture above shows what the silverskin looks like. Take your knife and angle it slightly upward and use a gentle sawing motion to cut the silverskin away from the meat. That’s it! Very simple and makes for a better tenderloin.

Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

  • 2 (1lb) Pork Tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat and silverskin
  • 2 tsp dried herbes de Provence
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, stalks discarded, bulbs halved, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slives
  • 12 oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
  • 1/3 cup pitted nicoise or kalamata olives, chopped coarse
  • 8 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbs grated lemon zest plus 2 tbs juice
  • 2 tbs minced fresh parsley
  1. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat pork dry with paper towels, then season with herbes de Provence, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. 
  2. Combine the fennel and 2 tbs water in bowl, cover and microwave until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain fennel well and toss with artichokes, olives, 2 tbs oil, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and pepper to taste. 
  3. Spread the vegetables in a large roasting pan. Lay pork on top of vegetables. Roast pork and vegetables for 15 minutes. Turn pork over and add tomatoes to roasting pan. Continue to roast pork and vegetables until meat registers 140-145 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes longer. 
  4. Transfer the pork to carving board, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Stir broth and lemon zest into vegetables and continue to roast until fennel is tender and tomatoes have softened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir remaining 2 tsp oil, lemon juice, and parsley into roasted vegetables and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice pork 1/2 inch thick and serve with vegetables. 
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Pork Roast with Hoppin John Stuffing

It’s officially 2011 and I’m so ready for the start of the new year. My family went through a rough 2010 and I am determined to make 2011 much better. I don’t make resolutions at the beginning of the year because I feel we always need to make changes in our lives throughout the years. But it doesn’t hurt to try and use this time to change something. I’m going to be a lot more positive about our situation and not worry about little things. I know that in a few months things are going to be looking up! I truly hope that everyone has the best year yet!
A great way to kick off the new year is by making some good luck food. It’s not too late to make this. Hoppin John Stuffing is a southern dish that combines food thought to bring you good luck. I took this from Wikipedia as it best describes what the ingredients mean.
The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion
We could all use that in our life.
The recipe has a few steps and you don’t have to make the pork in order to have the stuffing. I’ve made the Hoppin John to be served on it’s own. I still recommend using the egg to help bind the stuffing, but make sure to bake it at 350 for at least 40 minutes.
This is what the stuffing looks like after it’s been all mixed together. Yummm
If you are stuffing the pork roast, this is what it’ll look like when you have it butterflied and added the stuffing. Be sure to always season the pork with salt and pepper before you add the stuffing.
Here it is all tied up. There are many methods in which to tie up a roast. Do what you are comfortable with as long as it’s tied, who cares how it looks. It’ll be cut off before serving anyway.
Enjoy!
Pork Roast with Hoppin John Stuffing:
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1/2 medium-size green bell pepper, diced small
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen chopped collard greens, thawed (I used one 15oz can drained, since I could not find frozen)
  • 1 15oz can Black Eye Peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup diced cooked country ham (used leftovers from Christmas)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 (2 1/2 – 3-pound) boneless pork loin roast
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Add rice and next 5 ingredients; stir in egg. Set stuffing aside. (If only using stuffing, place in casserole dish and bake at 350 for 40 minutes)
  3. Butterfly pork loin roast by making a lengthwise cut down the center of 1 flat side, cutting to within 1/2 inch of bottom. From bottom of cut, slice horizontally to 1/2 inch from left side; repeat procedure to right side. Open roast, and place between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap (or ziplock bag); flatten to 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
  4. Spoon 1 1/2 cups stuffing evenly over roast, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Roll up; tie with kitchen string at 1 inch intervals. Place seam side down, in a lightly greased 11×7-inch baking dish.
  5. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in center reaches 150 degrees. Place the remaining stuffing in small casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Source: Southern Living Magazine, Published around 9 years ago.

Pasta Fagioli

The colder weather is slowly arriving. There is nothing better than sitting down to dinner with a warm bowl of soup on a chilly night. Pasta Fagioli is a great soup to warm you up. Many people love eating this at a popular chain restaurant, I know I do. But why not make a version of it at home? This recipe is amazing! It’s as good, if not better than what you get at Olive Garden and it doesn’t take that much time to make. This recipe makes a large amount of soup. I would suggest freezing the leftovers, that way you have Pasta Fagioli when you want it.

Pasta Fagioli:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 package sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ½ large (or 1 medium) onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 58 oz. beef broth
  • 28 oz. can tomato sauce (add more if it’s still to beefy tasting)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz. (1 Cup) small dry pasta
  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter.  Once melted, add the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pot and discard any grease that remains.
  2. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pot. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery.  Saute over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Carefully add the cooked sausage back into the pot. Add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), stir, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the beans, and add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Stir in all of the seasonings. Turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes.

Source: Pennies on a Platter

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Spinach and Feta

One of the only ways I can get my son to eat pork is stuffing it with feta and spinach. I’ve been making this for years. One of my best memories with this pork dish is my husband’s late grandfather sitting at our dinner table asking for more. It warms my heart knowing that he really enjoyed something I made. There are several steps in making stuffed pork tenderloin and I’ll do my best to walk you through it. This is one of those meals that I don’t have a recipe for it. I’ve just made it and never thought about how much goes into it. It’s fun trying to figure those things out.

First thing you want to do is take the silver skin off the tenderloin. You will find it in the thicker part of the loin. Take your knife and run it under the silver skin till it’s gone. Next you will want to butterfly the tenderloin. Run your knife lengthwise down the loin, being sure not to cut all the way through. Flatten it out, you might need to make a few more cuts till the meat is flat and even. Season with Salt and pepper.

Place the sautéed spinach and feta on the tenderloin.

With kitchen twine  you want to close the tenderloin around the filling. There are several ways to do this and there isn’t one right way. The main goal is to keep the yummy filling in. The easiest way is to cut individual pieces of twine and tie it down the tenderloin. After the tenderloin is tied up, you will brown them in a pan and then finish it off in the oven and serve with a wine sauce.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin:

  • 1 package pork tenderloin (usually has 2 tenderloins)
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 2 6oz packages fresh baby spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbs oil over medium heat and cook garlic till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach, in batches, and cook till wilted. Set aside.
  2. Butterfly the tenderloins and season with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute the spinach and feta over the opened tenderloins. Close the tenderloins over the filling and tie with kitchen twine. Season the outside with salt and pepper.
  3. In the same skillet used to cook the spinach add the additional 2 tbs over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering add the tenderloins and brown on all sides. (3-4 minutes per side)
  4. Transfer the browned tenderloins to a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 140-145 degrees. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving with sauce. (Skillet will be used to make sauce, do not clean it out)

White Wine Sauce with Rosemary

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3 tbs minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I sometimes add a little more)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (this too can be adjusted)
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tbs butter
  1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat, in the skillet used to brown the tenderloins. Add the shallots and cook till soft, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the wine and scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Lower heat to medium. Add the broth and rosemary and cook till reduced by half, about 8 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the butter 1 tbs at a time and serve.

Source: Gina Marie Original

Football Sandwiches aka Ham and Cheese Yumminess

A few years ago one of my best friends, Kali, was telling me about these sandwiches her mother makes for football season, Christmas Eve and just about any other time of the year. Her mother, Patty, has been making them for as long as Kali can remember. They sounded interesting and I asked her to please get the recipe from her mom. I’m so happy that Patty gave me the recipe. These sandwiches are sooooooo good (yes I used more than one o cause that’s how good they are).

The sauce is what takes the sandwiches from plain ole’ ham and cheese to ham and cheese yumminess! It’s made with butter, horseradish mustard, grated onion and poppy seeds. Doesn’t get any better than that! The other great thing about these sandwiches is that you can make them ahead of time and pop them in the oven when you are ready. Kali says they can be put in the freezer. I have yet to try that because they are gone before I need to think about freezing. The sandwiches are great to take to tailgates parties. They are individually wrapped in foil so they stay nice and warm in an insulated bag.

Patty, my family and I thank you for this recipe. It’s become a staple on game days. And when Penn State starts playing Nebraska again after they join the Big Ten; we will be thinking of you as we are eating the sandwiches and watching the Lions run all over the Huskers. 🙂 GO STATE!

Note: I doubled the sauce recipe because I love slathering on a lot of sauce. Also, when using Kaiser rolls, they tend to be a bit bigger than regular hamburger buns and need the extra sauce.

Football Sandwiches:

  • 12 Kaiser rolls or regular buns
  • 1 1/2 – 2lbs sliced ham
  • 1 lb swiss cheese

Sauce:

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 6 tbs horseradish mustard
  • 2 tbs grated onion
  • 2 tbs poppy seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Split the rolls and spread the sauce on the inside of both sides of the buns.
  3. Place a slice or two of ham and a slice of cheese on the buns and replace the top of the bun.
  4. Individually wrap each sandwich in tin foil. At this point you can refrigerate the sandwiches till you need them.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted. Serve hot.

Source: Patty and Kali Johnson

Spicy Sausage Dip

Last week was a busy one and I apologize for not posting many recipes. Kids started back to school and I was busy celebrating. Now that we are getting back to a regular schedule I will try and be better about my postings. We are now in the throws of football and I couldn’t be happier. This past weekend I went to the the Penn State/Youngstown State game and had a wonderful time. I made football sandwiches for tailgating and plan to post those later this week.  In the meantime here is a wonderful spicy sausage dip that’s extremely addicting!  The dip goes well with a cold glass of beer and your favorite team on the TV. I like to have the ingredients always on hand so when we are craving it I can make it. It’s only got a few ingredients and within a few minutes you can enjoy a tasty dip.

Spice Sausage Dip

  • 1 (16 ounce) package hot pork sausage
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese; room temperature
  • hot sauce to taste
  1. Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until evenly browned and no longer pink. Drain off the fat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in the tomatoes and cream cheese until evenly blended. Cook just until heated through and the cream cheese is all combined. Serve warm.

Source: My Baking Addiction

BBQ Spare Ribs

Most people have their own version on how to make great spare ribs. But for those who are a little scared of making them, take a deep breath, it’s going to be ok. You can do it! These are very easy but they do need a little bit of advanced preparation. That’s the key to making really good ribs. Letting the ribs sit overnight in a nice dry rub, helps get the flavors into the meat. The next step is cooking it low and slow in the oven and finishing it off on the grill.

I am going to unveil my top secret ingredient. You can find it in your local grocery store or Walmart. I use this in so many ways. I make potato salad, homefries, chicken salad, ribs and many other things with it. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning is amazing. I can’t even begin to explain the magic that happens when you put it in potatoes. I will post my potato salad recipe soon.

Before the grilling season ends, make sure to make some spare ribs

BBQ Spare Ribs

  • 1 package of Pork Spare Ribs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ( I use splenda brown sugar on these)
  • 1/4 cup Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (use a little less if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1 bottle of beer
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite BBQ Sauce
  1. Rinse and pat dry the spare ribs. On the side of the ribs where you see the bones, there is a thin layer of skin, pull it off. (It might take you a few tries but it will come off. Key is getting it started at the sides)
  2. Evenly spread the brown sugar and Creole Seasoning on both sides of the ribs. Set in a baking pan, big enough to hold it. Place in the refrigerator, covered, and let sit overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Take ribs out of refrigerator, add the beer and cover with tin foil. Bake for 4-5 hours, till the meat is tender but not yet falling off the bone.
  4. Heat your grill and when ready, place the ribs on the grill. Get a good sear on both sides of the ribs. Once you have the sides seared start putting on  your BBQ sauce. Continue flipping and adding the BBQ sauce each time you flip it. You will probably flip it 10-12 times.