Thursday, January 7, 2010

Here's What's Cookin'

OK, this isn't a cooking blog. The closest this comes to being a cooking blog is me posting pictures of my failed high altitude baking, which is sad. So very sad.

But, today I'm making an exception because I made this dish for dinner that just about Rocked the Casbah. Everyone ate it, which almost never happens. I made it by accident. Story to follow. Of course.

So, last fall I got to choose a free book for helping out at the boys' school book fair. I had my hands on a book for one of the boys when the library aide, and friend, said to me, "Why don't you get something for yourself?" Heck, yeah! Why don't I get something for myself?

I had, in fact, been eyeballing Cooking Light's The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook, so I snapped it up. Now seriously, the last thing I need is another cookbook. My shelves are groaning under the weight of cookbooks I barely use already. It seems like most nights we're having burritos, stuff on the grill, breakfast for dinner--meals I don't need a recipe for. Plus, I find I spend more at the grocery store when I make real food from a recipe. But I got the cookbook anyway and have had good results with it.

Until tonight. When the results were crazy great. It took all my power not to eat everything myself, including the pages the recipe appears on in the book.

And it almost didn't happen. I had planned on one recipe on the facing page of the one I ultimately made, but I didn't realize I was supposed to marinate the meat for two hours, which is no good when it's 5:30pm and I haven't done a darn thing. Fortunately, both recipes called for the same cut of meat and I had nearly all of the necessary spices. Whew. Saved from French toast for dinner again.

So, even though this isn't a cooking blog, I'm posting the recipe here. It's crazy easy. And crazy good. Make it. Soon. But have people around so you don't eat the whole thing yourself.

Peppercorn-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Soy-Caramel Sauce

Cooking spray
1/4 cup minced white onion (I'm too impatient/lazy to mince anything--I just chopped)
1 teas. grated, peeled fresh ginger (didn't have--used dried)
2 garlic cloves, minced (yeah, right. I did use a garlic press though)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 low-sodium soy sauce (I used Nama Shoyu)
2 tbls. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teas. Dijon mustard
2 tbls. butter
2 (1-lb.) pork tenderloins, trimmed (I don't know what it means to trim a tenderloin. No trimming went on here tonight.)
1 tbls. black peppercorns, crushed
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (I only had dried so I used a little less)
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat; coat with cooking spray. Add onion, ginger, and garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add water and sugar; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes. Natalie's note: this took longer than 5 minutes). Remove from heat, carefully stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and mustard. Add butter, stirring with a whisk. Set aside; keep warm. (Note from Natalie: Wait to do this until your meat is in the oven)

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3. Rub tenderloins evenly with pepper, thyme and salt. Heat a large ovenproof non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Add tenderloins, browning on all sides (about 5 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for 23 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees (slightly pink); let stand 10 minutes. (Another note from Natalie: my tenderloins were slightly bigger than 1 lb., so took a little longer to cook)

Cut each tenderloin into 12 slices; service with sauce. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 slices pork and 2 tbls. sauce)

Calories: 227
Fat: 7 g.
Protein: 24.5 g.
Carb: 15.3 g.
Fiber: .4 g.
Cholesterol: 81 mg.
Iron: 1.7 mg.
Sodium: 441 mg.
Calcium: 16 mg.

The cookbook suggests serving the meat with stir fried vegetables and jasmine rice, which would have been good, but I had all of the ingredients for the side dish that was supposed to go with my original marinated pork dish. So I stir fried a thinly sliced red pepper and snow peas with 2 cloves of garlic. Then I added in cooked udon noodles (some random, unknown quantity that looked about right for 4 people and leftovers), 2 tbls. lime juice, 2 tbls. Nama Shoyu, and 1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil. Tossed all that together.

There are no pictures to show you because I didn't think about it beforehand. It's not a cooking blog, remember?

But hey, check this out. Here's a picture I found on a Web site. Where I also found the recipe. Which means I wasted all this time typing it out. I love that.

I bet you could even go here and get a recipe that's nicely formatted to print out when you make this. Right now. And look how many stars it got! I'm telling you, it's good! Great! Whatever.

I'm still full. It's 9:47pm. That's never a good sign.


Leeann said...

Thanks for this recipe. I might even make it tonight. I had never heard of Nama Shoyu but I looked it up. I am learning new things every day!


1dreamr said...

You've certainly sold me! I can't wait to try it!!

sportzmom said...

Always looking for a good (great) new recipe. I'll let you know if 7 out of 7 like it! Happy Weekend!

Mountain Mama said...

That sounds and looks very yummy. Love a full tummy at 9:47 - ugh!