Pork Tenderloin in a creamy herb sauce

This was FABULOUS. As in make again fabulous. As in I could have eaten the entire thing myself.
We found pork tenderloin at Woodman’s last weekend for a good price. I had no clue what to do with it, but figured I’d find something. Joy of Cooking to the rescue.

I’ll be moving back to weekly meal planning this weekend, so maybe you’ll all see a bit more activity here. Unfortunately, much of it will no longer likely be CSA related. We had a few days well above freezing in the past couple of weeks, and a lot of stuff I had stored on the porch didn’t make it. Major fungus. So I cleaned out and there really isn’t much left out there. I’ll miss the baby beets. But not the squash. Though I’ll likely feel bad for quite some time about how much food I had to throw out. *sigh*

Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Next time, I need to have more faith that the thing is cooking, and not rush to cut it up. My habit is to start a larger piece of meat on the stove, then panic that it’s not going to cook through, so I cut it into smaller chunks so it will cook faster. This time I didn’t dry most of it out, but it’s always a possibility.
If you’re making a full dinner, I’d suggest getting water on to boil for pasta some time during the cooking of the pork.

2lb of pork tenderloin, ours came in two nice slabs
Salt and pepper lightly.
Melt 1.5 tsp butter with 1.5 tsp olive oil in a skillet. Make sure your skillet is big enough to fit your tenderloins (might *almost* didn’t fit).
Brown well on all sides, then reduce heat and cook through, turning once or twice.
Internal temperature should reach 155F, and the meat should no longer be pink.
Put it on a plate, and tent it with aluminum foil. Let sit 5-10 min (or rather, until your sauce is done).

Creamy herb pan sauce
I kind of made this one my own, with some subtle and not so subtle changes. You should know I have no fear of fat, as long as they are good fats.

Mince 1/2 c shallots (1 large and 1 small).
Cook in skillet that you cooked the pork in. Cook until many pieces are translucent, scraping up browned bits as you go along.
Add 2/3c cream sherry.
Bring to a boil. (if you’re making veggies, say frozen green beans, now would be a good time to put them on)
Add 4 tsp honey mustard and 1 T lemon juice.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced.
Add 1/2 c heavy cream.
Cook until reduced and thickened to your desire.
Add 1/2 tsp dried thyme and 1/2 tsp dried rosemary (next time I’ll mince the rosemary down, oooo, or mortar and pestle it).
Swirl in 1.5 tsp butter and serve.
This sauce losses something when reheated, but is still quite tasty.


Quinoa Mushroom Risotto

This was incredibly tasty and is definitely a make again. Though I’m not sure what you could serve it with to make it a full meal. Perhaps a salad? But what kind of dressing?

If you’ve not cooked with quinoa, I highly suggest it. It’s the only plant that can serve as a complete protein (as in it has all the amino acids we can’t synthesize ourselves). I suggest rinsing quinoa. I’m honestly not sure if you’re “supposed” to, but when I first started eating it, it was the dogma. So I still do it.

Another helpful tip: parmesan freezes well. I don’t use much of it often, so when I buy a block, I shred the whole thing and freeze what I don’t use. It flakes off pretty easy and I can’t tell the difference.

I got the recipe from A Good Appetite. I changed a few things, and since the recipe originally came from Bon Appetit, I don’t feel to bad republishing it here.

Quinoa & Mushroom “Risotto”
1 c water
1/2 c quinoa, rinsed
olive oil
1 small red onion (about 1/4 c), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced (I filled out my 0.5lb with regular mushrooms)
1/2 t thyme
1/2 c cream sherry
grated parmesan

Boil the water, add a bit of salt and the quinoa. Reduce heat, cover & let simmer for about 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. You’ll also notice that the quinoa is done when the partial ring around the outside starts to separate.

Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion & saute. I let mine caramlize because I don’t like undercooked onions. Add the garlic & saute for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the mushrooms & thyme into the pan. Cook until the mushrooms are tender. Pour in the sherry & stir, cooking until reduced. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.

Lamb Stew

I went back and very slightly modified the Turkey Tarragon soup recipe, in case you were wondering. The only modification was to add salt (as usual). Otherwise it was fantastic.

Tonights adventure is Lamb Stew. It smells fabulous and should be ready in about 40 minutes (hopefully). Other than odd amounts of ingredients, I made no modifications to this recipe, so you’ll have to follow the link to get it, though I did end up adding quite a bit more stock (3.5 c?) to get everything covered so it would cook.
*fingers crossed* it’s as tasty as it is fragrant. This is also my first time cooking with lamb, so I’m a little extra nervous.

Tarragon Turkey Soup

I couldn’t tell you how this tastes yet, but it sure looks pretty. And used quite a few things I have hanging around.
Edited to add: this tasted awesome! And will likely make it into the ‘make again’ pile.

Side note: Turns out our three season porch is a true three season porch. As in all my CSA stuff I’ve had sitting out there froze. *sigh*

Tarragon Turkey Soup
This recipe is adapted from this recipe and one of the comments.

I like chopping almost everything up before I start cooking, so that’s how I’ve written the directions.

1. Chop one smallish/medium red onion and set aside.
2. Chop one large clove of garlic. Set aside.
3. Chop up one parsnip, one turnip, 6 small carrots, 6 small red potatoes. Set aside and top with 2T dried tarragon.
4. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil and cook 10oz-ish of ground turkey and the onion. Cook to the turkey being cooked through.
5. Add the garlic and cook a minute or two.
6. Add the other veggies and top to covering with chicken stock.
7. Cook until the potatoes are done.
Add salt when serving.

I’ll come back and let you know how it tastes (and make any edits for the cooking process).

Baked Festival Squash

I have about a gazillion squash to work through. Here’s one recipe that was actually edible. The base recipe is from the Harmony Valley recipe resource, but I made it my own.

Baked Festival Squash
1 Festival squash, halved
ground cinnamon
dried sweetened cranberries
chopped pecans
brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Cut squash in half and scoop out the innards. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife.
3. Put the cranberries in the bottom of the cleaned out center, then the nuts. Top with a few pats of butter, three fit well in mine. Sprinkle with salt and top with brown sugar.
4. Put both halves in a medium baking pan (my 11 x 9″ worked well) cut side up and add a bit of water to the bottom so that the skins don’t burn the squash doesn’t get dried out. 1/4-1/2″ water should work well.
5. Bake 1 hour or until tender when flesh is poked with a fork.
6. Remove from oven and let cool a little before serving.

What’s left to use

I’ve got a ton of stuff sitting out on the porch that really needs to be used up.
Tons of squash.
turnips galore
baby beets
sweet potatoes
onions, a metric ton

If you any suggestions for what I can do with these, I’m all ears. I want to use this stuff before it starts to rot or gets lost to the porch freezing.