Archive for the ‘Roast’ Category

Happy Reformation Day everyone!  Today is the day Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg church almost 500 years ago.  This certainly changed so much in the existing Christian religion which at the time was mostly encompassed by the Catholic church.  Most of our lives have actually been affected by this act of Martin Luther so many years ago, both directly and indirectly, even by the very pioneers who came to this country seeking religious freedom- where they could worship God without being told “how” by their government.  Read more on the reformation here

Yesterday was a great day for our family.  We went to church, of course, then Jeremy got a call from the hospital so he could deliver a few babies, and he ended up delivering 2!  Then he found out his team, the San Fransisco 49ers won the game last night (which is huge, because in previous years they have done terribly!).  My parents and grandparents and sister came over last night bringing Lucas his new train table that he got for his birthday, so he was extremely excited.  And I offered to make everyone dinner.  Needless to say, but my husband was in heaven.  We had a great dinner and celebrated the birth of two new babies in the world by opening up a 2003 Marquez de Arianzo Spanish Rioja.

This dinner is extremely easy, so I wanted to post it especially for any of you out there who maybe somewhat afraid of a roast, or a slightly more or a “nicer” Sunday dinner.  This dinner will blow your guests socks off, without making you a slave to the kitchen!  So the menu was: Roasted Tuscan-style Pork Tenderloin with Basil & Parsley Potatoes and a Spinach, Apple, and Pecan Salad with an apple-cider vinaigrette.

Tuscan-Style Pork Tenderloin

2.5 lb whole pork tenderloin
5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp chilli pepper flakes
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup white wine
(all of ingredients I had readily available, but you can substitute your favorite herbs if you’d like)


Preheat your oven to 400°.  Adjust your racks so there are two centered in the middle of the oven.

  Place tenderloin on a 9×13 baking dish.  It may fall apart into two different parts, but that’s ok. 







In a small separate bowl mix ingredients 2-12 together (from garlic to apple-cider vinegar).  It will be a sort of wet paste. 

dry ingredients and garlic

Take your wet “rub” and rub it all over your pork, be generous, and use all of it. 







Next we are going to use kitchen twine (or any good solid twine will work) and tie the two separate pieces of your loin that have fallen apart (if you have this issue) back together.  I usually use two longer pieces that I wrap around twice and tie off.  Then I repeat this on the other half of the pork.  You want it to simply look like the pork looked before you took it out of the package. 

Basil, Parsley & Olive Oil Potatoes
2 28oz bags of celebration potatoes (small yellow, red, and purple potatoes)
1/4 cup of fresh chopped basil
1/2 cup of fresh chopped flat-leaf italian parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1-2 tsp of kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place potatoes in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil first, then add all the other ingredients and toss again. 







Place in another 9×13 baking dish.  Leave in oven the length of time of pork.







Before putting everything in the oven, I threw some baby carrots around the sides of the pork, as a veggie to have, and you don’t even have to season them, since they will pick up the flavors of the pork.  

Place the potatoes on the bottom rack of the oven, and the pork on the rack above it.  In about 20 minutes take your tenderloin out of the oven, and drizzle and moisten it with your wine and apple cider (you can use only cider if you prefer), then cover the pork with alumium foil.  Place back in the oven for another 30-40 minutes, or until your cooking thermometer reads 145°F.  This will achieve a slightly pink and juicy pork.  I hate dry pork, but if you like no pink in it, then you may want to cook it to 155-160°, which used to be the standard.  Just remember that the ends will usually be slightly more cooked than the middle.  This is how you appease a big family with varying preferences 🙂 

Let your roast stand, covered, for 5 minutes before carving.  To carve, transfer roast to a cutting board, remove the cooking twine, and with a sharp knife cut slices of pork about 1/2-3/4 ” thick.  Once all of it is sliced, place back into your pan filled with juices and carrots.  Serve family style with potatoes, and salad. 






I won’t include the complete recipe for the salad today.  But I will tell you what I did.  I used baby spinach, sliced apples, toasted pecan pieces, feta cheese and craisins.  My dressing was a homemade apple-cider vinaigrette that I heated up with a handful of craisins to rehydrate. Once nice and warm, and the craisins plump, I tossed the salad with it and served it.  You can use a store-bought dressing and do the same with this, or, you can wait and I will eventually post the vinaigrette recipe 🙂 



















Like I said before- I may have spent a maximum time of 20 minutes in the kitchen total with this.  The rest of the time I got to hang out with family.  I hope you’ll give this a try.  This one definitley got rave reviews, and of course, is in keeping with the “autumn theme” :). This serves about 8 hungry people!  Enjoy!


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