Monday, April 5, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Pork Tenderloin over a bed of Apples

Easter Sunday was here before we knew it! We spent the weekend on Lake Travis at the beautiful wedding of our friends Allen and Lauren. It couldn't have been a more beautiful day: the weather was perfect, the flowers were in bloom, the bride was gorgeous, and the eyes of the groom were moist.

Before we left for the wedding on Friday, we invited my parents and brother over to our new house for Easter dinner. Needless to say, I had nothing planned come Sunday morning and no groceries in the pantry. I raced to the grocery store, and slowly perused the meat section: a pork tenderloin caught my eye. (roughly 2.5 pounds--perfect to feed 5). I had trouble deciding on the fixins but ultimately I decided that apples and pork go together like pasta and tomato sauce. With egg noodles as a starch and asparagus as our veggie we were on our way to a well balanced meal!

I walked in the door and immediately set to work. First, I marinated the tenderloin in olive oil, garlic, and herbs du provence. Then I heated butter and more EVOO in a heavy duty pan that could transition easily from stovetop to oven. (I lost my dutch oven somehow in the move, I'm sure it will turn up.) I browned the tenderloin ( a couple min per side) and removed it from the pan. While the pork was browning, I had sliced up 4 apples (2 fuji and 2 Granny Smiths), leaving the skin on. I added the apples to the hot pan and stirred in some salt, black pepper, and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar. And, yes more herbs du provence. I cooked the mixture a few more minutes and then placed the tenderloin on top of the bed of apples, added yet more garlic on top of the meat and placed it in my fabulous new CONVECTION oven at 375 degrees. I set the timer for 45 minutes and readied my meat thermometer.

While we wait for the pork to cook, I'm going to take a few moments to talk about my new Convection Oven. We have begun a torrid love affair! It cuts cooking time by 25%, is wonderfully efficient, and cooks evenly. I told Carrie of my joy last night and it was one of those open-mouth-insert-foot moments. Of the things that Carrie misses from her former life in the US, two rank near the top: kitchen counters that are the appropriate height for her stature and an oven that is larger than a shoebox. She affectionately refers to her apartment oven as "Easy Bake." No harm done, however. I will actually say that smaller ovens might be better for even baking than big non-convection ovens. I can't tell you how many times my mother has told me about the tiny oven in my parents' first apartment. "It was perfect," she always exclaims, "it would cook a roast beautifully! Medium rare, end to end!" And, I would say from her pictures, Carrie's shoebox oven is hardly holding her back as a Baker.

Please enjoy the recipe! If you try it and tweek it, do let me know. I didn't really measure, but I'd imagine that I used:

2 tbsp herbs du Provence
2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp black pepper
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp chopped garlic
4 apples
2.5 lbs pork tenderloin.

Again, those figures are imaginary. Julia Child is fond of writing: "Season to Taste." The Cook should always taste during the culinary process, don't be shy! No one will know that you put the wooden spoon to your lips for a sip of sauce now and again. They will even thank you for it!

Buon Appetito!

Eileen

3 comments:

  1. your apron made me smile,
    that recipe made my hungry,
    and your grace made my ♥ happy.

    :)

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  2. Arturo's family is coming in July, this seems like a perfect recipe.

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  3. Eileen didn't stick her foot in her mouth. I was being grumpy and whiney. :-( I think your new convection oven is beautiful... so much so that I swooned with envy a little bit. And for that I'm sorry. If you were here, I'd bake you something in my trusty pal the easy bake.

    (Which, unlike your mother's, is incapable of holding a steady temp or baking evenly. We actually insulate it with a towel to hold in the heat sometimes.)

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