Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Being a college student, who lives at home and likes to cook, I often find myself cooking dinner for my family.  I went digging into the freezer to find something one morning, and came up with a couple pork tenderloins.  I really wanted to fire up the grill, but the nice break from typical January weather we were having ended the day before…

So I jumped on line looking for a good roasting temperature and time.  I came up with a couple different things, but settled on one.  I also decided to combine a couple recipes I found on foodnetwork.com.  Here’s what I did:

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New Year’s Eve and Seafood

For many, New Year’s Eve and seafood go hand in hand.  It’s no different for my family.  Our tradition has been to get a big pan full of king crab legs and eat nothing but that and butter.

This year was really no different except for the fact that over the last year I have really fallen in love with mussels.  We also had a couple more people than usual (my sister who doesn’t live here and my grandma). So I ran out to the store in search of mussels.
I came back with a few things:  two pounds of mussels, a couple shallots, flat leaf parsley, thyme, and a bottle of dry white wine.  A few cloves of garlic, some salt and pepper, and I was ready to go.

Sweated the shallots, then added in the finely chopped garlic cloves.  At this point, I poured in some white wine, brought it to a boil and added in the mussels.  I covered the pan and steamed the mussels for about 5 minutes.  I added in the chopped parsley and let steam another 2-3 minutes.New Year's MusselsI served them with another sprinkle of fresh parsley and a few lemon wedges.  And boy were they delicious.  I never realized how easy cooking them is, even if the prep is a little work.  I’ll definitely be experimenting with more mussel recipes.  If you’ve got any good ones, please share!

Roasted Vegetables

It’s Christmas Eve, so I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  The food for tonight and tomorrow is cooking away, but before I make any posts about it, I’d like to share one of my favorite side dishes.

In my last post, I featured a delicious turnip salad.  Well the turnips are showing up again, along with a medley of other root vegetables.  Roasting vegetables, especially root vegetables and various squash really brings out the flavor in them.  For these roasted vegetables, I usually throw together whatever we’ve got laying around.  It’s actually a good way to use up left over veggies from other recipes.

Here’s the ingredient list this time around:

Roasted Vegetables

Potato – I love the gold, purple, and red fingerling potatoes for this, but any will do.  Sweet potatoes work great as well, either as a substitute or in addition to regular potatoes.

Carrots and Parsnips – These two make it into just about every pan of roasted veggies I make.

Turnip – Yes, here it is again. This makes a great addition to the pan, and I usually add it in when in it’s season in the fall and early winter here.

Onion – I won’t roast vegetables without onions.  From the small pearl onions, to chunks or vidalia or red onion.  This time around I quartered some shallots and they turned out great, without such an onion taste.

Roasted VegetablesSome people like to add sugar or garlic to roasted vegetables, but I like to let their natural flavors shine.  I lightly coat them with olive oil and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Simple as that.

I roast mine on 400 degrees until they are soft and the edges have started to brown.  I will turn them over with a spatula a couple times throughout cooking so they don’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan.

You can roast just about anything you want.  Butternut squash goes great in this as well.  So have fun with this and experiment.  And be sure to let me know what works for you!

Turnip Salad

This fall I’ve discovered how great turnips are. Fresh, steamed, mashed, or roasted; they’re all good. I discovered a simple recipe online and took it to the next level. Here’s what you’ll need for the basic recipe:

  • 1 Turnip
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

This recipe is far from exact, I just go by how much turnip I have. Peel your turnip, and cut it julienne. Toss in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Don’t overdo the olive oil and lemon juice and use enough of each to balance out the flavor. I just go by how it tastes.

To kick this delicious and healthy salad up a bit, I served it on a bed of purple savoy cabbage, lightly dressed the same way. I served it with a slice of lemon and a few slices of scallion. Under it, I made a puree of daikon radish and radicchio with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.

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