Sunday, September 24, 2006

first day of fall

sorry for the lack of recent posts; i was out of town from this past monday through thursday for work. unfortunately, no food of note on the trip out of town. having very little non-work time to explore denver, more meals than i’d like to admit were provided by the hotel where i stayed. hence, the food was boring, criminally overpriced, and the “healthful” alternatives included a yawn-inducing salad bar and $9 fruit plate with a container of yoplait strawberry yogurt. ech.

thursday night, after a buddy picked me up from the airport, was spent at a rehearsal dinner for two dear friends’ wedding. friday, of course, was the wedding itself. it was a whirlwind week, and last night i was thrilled to prepare and eat my own cooking for the first time since monday lunch (leftover black beans and rice).

though it’s still comfortably warm here in mytown, fall is certainly in the air and in the market. to celebrate the first day of autumn, i decided to cook a quintessential early fall meal. i didn’t grow up eating pork. in fact, believe it or not, i can probably count the numbers of times i’ve eaten pork chops, roasts, or loins on one hand. after many encouraging remarks from fellow “foodies” regarding the beauty of the pork tenderloin, i decided to take a chance on it (for t’s sake). i prepared a lovely dinner of pork tenderloin with roasted apples and onions (thanks Everyday Food) and mashed sweet potatoes (my own recipe). i must admit it was tasty.

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Onions
(From Everyday Food)

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 T. maple syrup
3 medium red apples, halved, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
1 large red onion, halved and sliced into ½ inch-thick pieces
1 T. olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 pork tenderloins (12 oz. each)

Place one oven rack in the top third of oven, and another rack in bottom third. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Make glaze: in a small saucepan, bring vinegar and maple syrup to a boil over high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has reduced to ¼ cup, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer 1 T. to a small bowl for drizzling and set aside. Reserve the rest of the glaze in saucepan.

On a large rimmed baking sheet (or roasting pan) toss apples and onion and oil. Season with salt and pepper; arrange in a single layer, and roast until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and toss.

Meanwhile, line another rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place pork on foil. Season generously with salt and pepper; brush with glaze from saucepan. Return apples and onions to oven, on bottom rack. Place pork on top rack; roast 10 minutes. Remove pork from oven; brush with remaining glaze in saucepan. Roast until pork registers 150 degrees internal temperature, and apples and onions are tender, about 10 minutes more.

Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Slice ¼ inch thick; drizzle with reserved T. glaze. Serve with apples and onion.

Wellunderstood's Best Sweet Potato Mash
(you can make this ahead and reheat – it’s actually better)

3 large sweet potatoes
½ cup lowfat buttermilk
2 T. light sour cream
1 T. butter or trans-fat free margarine
Salt and pepper
3 T. chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub potatoes and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake one hour and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove skin and discard. Combine potato flesh, buttermilk, sour cream, margarine, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mash together with a fork or puree with an immersion blender if desired. Stir in chives.

1 comment:

Masterfraud said...

Sweet Jesus. That looks amazing. Scribbling down the recipes as we speak. I NEVER eat pork (Ya Harram for both my Jewish and Muslim parts) but Catholics sure can.

Awesome. THANKS!