Wednesday, March 07, 2007


It hasn't been the best of times for me, these past couple of weeks. Things have been highly stressful at work, due to a situation mostly out of my control. I have been operating in and out of sanity for a while, coping with an injury that just isn't healing. Suffice it to say that though things could be worse, they didn't really feel like they've been getting better.

And no, this post isn't going to end with a miraculous cure for my malady or my troubles at work, but Our Hero got some great news today, and after a few days of moping, I seem to be (hopefully) on an upswing. I had plans to cook dinner on Monday and Tuesday night, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. We ended up with delicious (albeit impromptu) California club sandwiches on Monday (turkey, uncured bacon, and avocado) and take-out (an awfully rare occurance in the Hero-Understood household) last night. It was a good excuse for sushi.

But tonight, after a reasonable day's work and a good workout at the gym, I was ready to get my skillet dirty. This recipe is so delicious and healthy. I highly recommend using butter as indicated; it gives the meal needed richness and flavor. I roasted the garlic and shallots a few days earlier, which made this recipe quite easy to prepare for a weeknight. This is also from this month's Cooking Light.

Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin
1 whole garlic head
6 medium shallots, quartered
2 T. butter (always unsalted), divided
1 1-lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 1/4 t. chopped fresh thyme, divided (I used dried with great success)
3/4 t. salt, divided
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
1 1/4 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
1/3 cup dry white wine
6 cups baby spinach or arugula

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove white papery skin from garlic head (don't peel or separate cloves). Wrap garlic head and each shallot in foil separately. Bake for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp.

Place 1 T. butter in a bowl, microwave until melted (about 15-30 seconds). Brush butter over pork and sprinkle with some of the thyme, salt, and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Slide into oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (slightly pink). Remove pork from pan, tent with foil, and let sit 10 minutes.

While pork is cooking, melt remaining butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic; saute 2 minutes. Stir in potato; saute 2 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, salt, and pepper; saute 2 minutes. Stir in broth and wine; bring to a boil, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender (6-10 minutes). Stir in greens and thyme; cook until greens are lightly wilted. Slice pork crosswise. Serve pork over potato mixture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I look forward to trying this recipe! I've just discovered pork tenderloin (never had it growing up) and the herbs/spices will give this recipe some flavor. Since I cannot add any salt (medical diet), that's important to me. I'd like to try your lamb stew, too, though I don't have a tagine. I'm more used the Irish stew variety -- with a good slosh of robust red wine (in part to make up for having to leave the salt out). I look forward to even more of your recipes. And I appreciate the photos -- makes this site like flipping through a good cookbook.