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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

OLIVE-SPIKED PORK TENDERLOIN (from Robin Miller Quick-Fix Meals)

SERVES 4




Prep Day:
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

To Finish the Meal:
WALK-AWAY TIME: 30-35 MINUTES
RESTING TIME: 10 MINUTES

One day I decided to jazz up plain pork tenderloin. I found some olives in the fridge and started poking holes all over the tenderloin so I could jam in the olives. Suffice to say, when the meal was served, the crowd roared! Seriously, now I can't make pork tenderloin without stuffing bits of sweet and savory ingredients inside it. I've used capers, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, jalapenos, apricots, dried cranberries, and pepperoni! Not only does the "spiking" add incredible flavor, it keeps the flesh moist while the pork roasts. No doubt this dish will turn you into a "spiker," too.
     For a complete meal, serve this with Garlic-Spiked Broccoli Rabe with Dried Mango (see "Sides") and Parmesan-Herb Dusted Polenta Rounds (see "Sides"). Since you've got a fair amount of walkaway time, you can quickly whip up those side dishes and still have time to relax.

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One 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of silverskin if necessary (see Prep Pointer below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup stuffed green olives (stuffed with any thing-pimiento, onion, garlic, jalapeno), cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Cooking spray

Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, make several slits in it about 1/2 inch deep. Stuff the olives into the slits all over the pork (sometimes it's easiest to put the olives in as you make the slits, so you remember where they are!). Place the pork in a zip-top plastic bag.

     In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, brown sugar, mustard, and oregano until the sugar dissolves (if necessary, heat the mixture in the microwave for about 30 seconds to help melt it). Pour the mixture all over the pork and seal the bag.

- -IF YOU'RE STOPPING HERE:
Refrigerate the pork up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator or microwave for about 5 minutes on LOW before baking.

--WHEN YOU'RE READY TO EAT:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray. Remove the tenderloin from the bag, place it in the pan, and pour the sauce over it. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads at least 160°F, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the pork stand 10 minutes before slicing crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices.

PREP POINTER:
Most pork tenderloin is very lean, meaning you won't find a layer of white fat like you would on a pork roast. If you do find fat, simply cut it away with a small, sharp knife. You will frequently find a thin, silvery membrane attached to the surface. This is called the silverskin and you should remove it because it shrinks during cooking and distorts the shape of the meat. To do so, run the tip of a sharp knife under the shiny membrane
and peel it away.

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