Category Archives: Pork

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin2I’m convinced there’s a little old lady living inside of me. I love Sunday night dinner. It’s my favorite meal of the week. The recipes I make for Sunday night dinner aren’t always time consuming or complicated {this one sure isn’t}. But what I love about cooking on Sundays is there’s no time pressure like a growling belly after a long workday. I cook at my own pace and take my time tasting and experimenting so the process is just as satisfying as the end result. I also enjoy indulging my old lady side on Sundays by eating dinner around 5pm or 6pm so I can have plenty of time to get full and digest. Just hand me my walker now!

I’m so thrilled with how this recipe came out. I tend to keep things super simple when I roast pork tenderloin–usually just some olive oil, salt, and cracked black pepper–but the marinade I made here gives the meat a hefty punch of flavor. This is definitely my new go-to. Plus, all of the ingredients are pantry and refrigerator staples. Just mix them together and pour into a plastic baggie with your tenderloin so it can bathe for a few hours. Brown the meat on the stove and then stick it in the oven to finish cooking.

Whether you save this for a leisurely Sunday night dinner or marinate the meat in the morning and cook it up after a long day at work I promise you’ll be equally satisfied the moment you dig in.

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 (1 lb) pork tenderloins

Preparation:

In a bowl, add the apple cider vinegar through black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour marinade into a large zip-top bag. Add the pork tenderloins. Use your hands on the outside of the bag to make sure the meat is covered in the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a grill pan (spray with non-stick spray) or cast-iron pan (heat about 1 Tbsp olive oil) over medium high heat. Brown the pork tenderloins, about 2 minutes on all four sides for a total of about 8 minutes. Transfer pork tenderloins to roasting pan or foil-lined baking sheet and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145 degrees, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Source: Slightly Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod 

Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Mushroom stuffed pork tenderloin ABalancedLifeCooks.comAs you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m a complete and total homebody. Always have been always will be. So even after spending an entire workweek at home there’s nothing I love more than spending an entire weekend at home, too.

This past Sunday, which I spent mostly in our kitchen, was pretty close to my ideal day at home. I woke up early (thanks DST!) and got started on our meal plan for the week (thanks to my Pinterest boards). I put together a grocery list (I’m loving the GroceryiQ App — thanks for the recommendation Facebook friends) and headed off to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Once home, I got to work unpacking and prepping. I whipped up some two-ingredient applesauce–just apples and cinnamon. I made a pumpkin chocolate chip bread; it was good, but still needs some work.

And for dinner there was this mushroom stuffed pork tenderloin. If stuffing any kind of meat sounds as intimidating to you as it did to me, this is the perfect launching pad. The ingredients are straightforward–pork tenderloin, mushrooms, chopped parsley, and breadcrumbs. It comes together really easily and the result is restaurant-quality. I served it alongside this mashed butternut squash that contains sautéed onions, apples, and a blast of spices as well as a simple salad with baby greens and roasted beet. For me, the entire day was bliss, right down to the very last bite.

Mushroom stuffed pork tenderloin. ABalancedLifeCooks.com

Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped plus extra for garnish
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about .75 lb – 1 lb each, trimmed of fat)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp. Add the mushrooms to the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and stir in breadcrumbs and parsley. Set aside.

Slice each tenderloin almost in half lengthwise and open like a book. Cover the pork in plastic wrap and using a meat mallet or heavy pan, pound until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly between the tenderloins and spread through the middle. Fold one half of the tenderloin over to meet the other. (Alternatively, you can roll up each tenderloin and secure with kitchen twine or toothpicks, but it worked for me just to fold it without rolling.) Rub the pork all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork tenderloins and brown on one side, about 5 minutes, then flip and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Place the pan in the oven and cook about 15-20 minutes until pork is cooked through. Garnish with chopped parsley. Let pork rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Slightly adapted from Elly Says Opa, adapted from Food Network 

Pork Chops with Apples & Onions

Pork Chops with Apples & Onions (and roasted broccoli)

Pork Chops with Apples & Onions (and roasted broccoli)

Sometimes, when I’m making a brand new recipe, using an ingredient that’s new to me, or cooking with a new technique I kind of spend the day thinking about it. Without realizing it, I’ll visualize the different steps involved like an athlete preparing for a big game. I’ll look up a handful of similar recipes to get a sense of how others have done it.

Then, when it’s time to prepare what I’ve planned to make sometimes I get a little nervous–but also excited–before I start chopping. I now realize how ridiculous this sounds, but there you have it. Of course it’s all just because I care.

I never thought about the full spectrum of my cooking crazy until I planned to make this meal earlier this week. I noticed that no matter what I tried to do my thoughts kept drifting back to these pork chops. I planned out the sear, telling myself I had to channel the self restraint to not touch the pork chops for a good five minutes once I laid them in the iron skillet so I could get the perfect brown crust. Only then could I flip them and it would be hands off again. I contemplated how, exactly, one cuts onion into those thin loops and whether I should add the sliced apple with the onion or wait for the onion to start to caramelize. (I added them together. Good move.)

Nailed it!

Nailed it

At times I wish cooking came a little more naturally or intuitively to me. But then again, I’m not sure the process or my successes would bring me as much joy as they do if that were the case. This meal felt like a major achievement in my cooking journey. It was cozy and comforting without being too heavy and it was bursting with the ideal balance of sweet and savory flavors. I nailed the sear. The caramelization was totally there. What more could I possibly ask for on a Tuesday night…besides, perhaps, a glass of wine?

Delicious things are happening

Delicious things are happening

Pork Chops with Apples & Onions

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops (1 pound total)

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

1 onion, sliced into thin rings

1 Gala apple, cored, sliced thinly

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup white wine

Preparation

Thoroughly salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops. Heat oil in cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, lay pork chops in pan and don’t move them for 4-5 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Remove pork chops to a plate and tent with foil.

Add butter to the pan. Once melted, add onions and apples. Saute until onions start to caramelize and apples soften, about 8-10 minutes. Pour in wine. Nestle pork chops in pan and cover with apples and onions. Cook 10 more minutes, flipping pork chops halfway through.

Adapted from Martha Stewart