thegingerchef

Recipes from My Kitchen

Easy, Delicious, while-the-baby’s-sleeping Pork

on September 29, 2013

Usually, by the time my daughter is up from her afternoon nap, it’s time for dinner.  Like, right-now, time for dinner.   I don’t like to give her a lot of jarred baby food – she’s a big girl now (13 months!) so she eats what I eat (with a few exceptions, of course).  I try to plan my meals for the week and go to the store ahead of time, so I’m prepared for days like this – quick, good food in a hurry.  So yesterday, while the little one slept, I made dinner (thanks to planning ahead!!).  No kidding – it was FAST!  and holy cow, delicious.   I promise it’s easy to make.  You have most of the ingredients on hand, and you’ll be surprised at how flavorful it is.

Mushroom-stuffed Pork Tenderloin
(I’m fairly certain this is a Food Network Magazine recipe)

5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus a smidge more
4 slices of bacon, chopped (I used microwave bacon, and used a jar of bacon grease I keep in the fridge)
8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used baby portabellos)
Kosher salt, dash of pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp breadcrumbs (Panko!!)
1/2 C chopped parsley (dried is fine)
2 pork tenderloins (I used about half of one)
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (or lemon juice)

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp (since I used microwave bacon, I skipped this part, and just added some jarred bacon grease to the pan for the next step).

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Add the mushrooms, 1/2 tsp sale, and pepper to taste – cook until the mushrooms are soft.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so, then remove the heat and add in the breadcrumbs, and about half the parsley.

Soak some toothpicks in water so they don’t burn when they’re in the oven.  Butterfly the pork loin – make thin slices along the edge and open it like a book.  Cover with plastic and pound with a meat hammer to thin it out a little (I’m so bad at this, so I quit after a few hammers).

 

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Spread the mushroom mix over the pork, and then roll up, starting with the long side; secure with the soaked toothpicks.

 

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This recipe says to grill, but I baked it in the oven just fine.  I placed it on a small rack inside of a baking dish, so it grilled all over.  Put it in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for about 40 minutes (depends on the size of the pork; keep checking to see when the juice runs clear).  Lay on a cutting board and let set for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

 

I served this dish with a side of fried polenta, topped with a mushroom-mascarpone sauce…

The recipe suggests making your own polenta.  Well, there are some things that are easier to buy than to make, and this is one of them.  If your grocery store carries it, you can buy polenta, already made, in a big log (in the Italian aisle with the pastas and sauces) – just slice and prepare.   Slice the polenta (about 1/2″), and sautee/fry in some oil in a pan to get a cripsy outer edge.

 

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About 15 minutes before serving, saute some sliced mushrooms in a skilled with oil.  Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and saute for another minute or two.  Add some white wine (these little bottles are perfect for cooking!!).

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Simmer until the liquid is halved, then stir in 5 or 6 oz of Mascarpone cheese (don’t worry, it will melt).

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Add in sage leaves (or ground sage) and simmer for a minute.  Remove from heat, add in some salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon the sauce over the polenta, garnish with parsley.  And serve.

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