Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Herb-marinated pork tenderloin
My Christmas day meal was quite delish, but last night I made a pork tenderloin that I believe trumped my Christmas version, and was a lot less difficult. It was a completely last-minute meal--I had learned less than 24 hours earlier that my good friend Jessica would be coming into town for one night on a business trip, and I wanted to make us a great dinner. Without time to get to the store, I had to make due with what I had on hand.
Luckily, I had purchased a nice piece of pork tenderloin at Whole Foods on Sunday for no real reason other than that it looked pretty in the display case. But what to do with it? A quick search of pork tenderloin recipes on the Food Network website turned up a winner by Ina Garten (click here for the recipe). Not only was it rated 5 stars, but it used ingredients that I happened to have on hand. It helps that I have a lemon tree and a rosemary bush in my backyard!
I plucked six juicy, ripe lemons from the tree, pulled off a couple stems of rosemary, and got to work creating the marinade. I only had the chance to marinate the pork for a little over two hours instead of the recommended three, but it was so flavorful I can't imagine that an extra hour would have made a difference.
I served the pork alongside some corn (from the freezer), a spinach salad with pears and gorgonzola (the same one I made at Christmas, minus the pomegranate seeds), and some crusty whole wheat rolls (Alexia's frozen rolls, which are great to have on hand). The meat was super-moist, and SUPER-flavorful. I always find it so hard to make meats that are truly infused with flavor from the inside out, but this recipe was a home run.
I do think there were several contributing factors to why it was so good: 1) high quality meat, and 2) freshly picked and perfectly ripe lemons & rosemary). But I bet that even regular old pork chops and dried rosemary would taste great in this marinade. I'm sure I will be trying it out in several different incarnations over the years--especially since my girls even gobbled up this meat, and getting them to eat meat is one of my biggest challenges in life.
Now, to further inspire me in 2011, I am headed to a knife skills course at Sur La Table. Hopefully I won't maim anyone or chop off one of my fingers.