Sunday, July 10, 2011

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

About a month ago my boyfriend and I went to his friend's wedding in St. Louis, where he grew up. While staying with his parents they informed us that they had purchased a bunch of meat at a sale from the grocery store and they then sent us home with a cooler full of frozen meat. We have slowly been using the meat over the past few weeks making steak, beer can chicken, etc. We finally got to the pork tenderloin the other night before I left for Bolivia. This is one of my favorite meats to cook with. It is so easy to cook and so flavorful. This is a slightly different take on my simpler rosemary pork tenderloin, but has a more decadent taste.

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
2 pork tenderloins (they are usually sold in packs of two, but this recipe can also be made with one large pork loin)
3-4 potatoes
4 large carrots
3 stalks celery
2 large onions
For the marinade:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. dried or fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

1) Make the marinade and pour into plastic bag with the pork (reserve a little for the vegetables) and place in fridge for a few hours or overnight
2) Line a roasting pan with foil and place roughly chopped vegetables in pan and coat with reserved marinade
3) Roast vegetables in 425 degree oven, covered with foil for about 20 minutes. They take slightly longer than the pork to roast
4) Remove vegetables from oven and place pork loins on top and surrounded by the vegetables and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, uncovered. The time it takes depends on the size of the pork tenderloins
5) Check the internal temperature of the pork and make sure the vegetables are tender
6) Let pork rest for about 8 minutes then slice and serve

Fourth of July

Currently in Bolivia so I haven't had time to post anything new. I do however want to post the cake I made for Independence Day. I wanted to make something that really celebrated the holiday so I decided to make a layer cake with the colors of red white and blue. Before I baked the cake I went on the search for red and blue sprinkles. This turned out to be impossible. I would have thought that blue and red sprinkles would have been the easiest to find, especially around the holiday. The only red sprinkles that I could find in the store were cinnamon flavored. I thought this was odd. But as it turned out I had a few left over in the back of my cabinet, but no blue ones to be seen. Luckily they make marshmallows that are in the shape of stars and red white and blue. So I figured this would work. I don't have the recipe with me since I left in at home but it is a basic white cake with a lemon cream cheese frosting. I'm not much of a vanilla cake person, but everyone else enjoyed it. It was very festive in the end.

Friday, July 1, 2011

20 Minute (or so) Dinner

Here's a recipe for a super easy and fast dinner. The recipe is for my version of Stir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce. While I can make my own peanut sauce, we have discovered a bottled version that is delicious, so when we're in a rush for dinner I forgo my own recipe and use the store bought one. I served the dish with rice and a fresh cabbage slaw.

Chicken breast tenderloins, cut into bite size pieces
Fresh or frozen veggies of your choice (I used a frozen bag of stir fry veggies)
Peanut sauce (homemade or store bought)
Splash of soy sauce
Splash of rice vinegar
Splash of sesame oil
Garlic powder to taste

1) Heat a wok or large frying pan with canola or vegetable oil, when hot add the chicken and stir while adding in soy sauce, rice  vinegar, sesame oil, and garlic.

2) Once chicken is almost cook through add the veggies (if fresh, remove chicken and cook veggies until tender then re-add chicken).

3) When almost done add the peanut sauce to taste and heat through.

Serve with rice. I like to use a 1/2 measuring cup to form the rice into a shape (remember we also eat with our eyes). Garnish with chopped scallions.

Cabbage Slaw

Packaged or thinly slice cabbage
Rice vinegar
Salt and pepper

1) Mix vinegar with honey to taste and add a tiny amount of salt and fresh black pepper
2) Pour desired amount over the cabbage and let sit in fridge while cooking the rest of dinner.