Monday, May 17, 2010

I Heart Cooking Clubs – Roast Pork Tenderloin

For the past several years, I have complained every spring that we don’t really seem to get “Spring” any more. Generally, we go from freezing cold temps to blazing summer heat in a matter of weeks. Not this year. This year Spring seems to be dragging on eternally, punishing me for my whiny nature. This is not, however, what I remember Spring being like. Has it really been so long since we’ve had a “real” Spring that I’ve forgotten what it is like? Or is it just that the season is completely out of whack this year? I mean, isn’t it supposed to be APRIL showers?? It’s the middle of May and Mother Nature seems to be having a bad case of PMS, because we’ve been getting nothing but rain for weeks. And, to be quite frank, its pissing this girl off.

For one thing, the lawn looks like it belongs in a remote sector of the Amazon right now. Between the hubs long work hours lately, and the incessant showers pummeling our area, it hasn’t been mowed in weeks.

Second, my basil is SUCKING. Yep, It’s been too wet and too cold and where I usually have a veritable BUSH of basil by now, I am still barely ahead of where I started with several small plants that are beginning to take on a yellowish cast and I’m afraid to trim any off for fear that I won’t have any more to use. Basil is, by far, the herb I utilize most in the summer months and I am usually well into my summer cooking bliss at this point.

Third, I really, REALLY wanted to start grilling as soon as Mother Freakin’ Nature gave us that one good week of nice weather...about a month ago. (she’s such a tease) The weather has not exactly been conducive to grilling, and I didn’t get my own gas grill until Mother’s Day (The whole prep time on the charcoal grill takes too darn long when you’re fighting the weather, in my opinion).

So, that brings me to my I Heart Cooking Clubs selection for this week’s theme, “potluck”. I wanted to grill....I purchased meat specifically with the intention of grilling....and then, naturally, it rained. What a pain in the ass. Not that the dish didn’t still turn out well, but it would have been much more successful on the grill, I have no doubt.

I was in the mood for pork tenderloin. Browsing through Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”, I found two recipes that sounded wonderful to me (ironic that pork tenderloins come in those handy, vacuum-sealed 2-packs). Pissed off at the world (and, more specifically, Mother Nature) I made them anyway. Both ended up being quite succulent and flavorful, but the mustard base for the Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Curry burned right off in the pan, leaving the crust in the dust, so to speak. I will definitely have to try this one again on the grill when I get a chance, as the hubs and I enjoyed both recipes. Unfortunately, the Man of the House took ALL the leftovers with him to work the next day and I didn’t get to enjoy it again, though I think the leftovers would have made a very yummy pork sandwich for my lunch (just a good excuse to try it again, right?).
Grilled or Broiled Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Curry (How to Cook Everything, page 463)
2 TB Dijon mustard
2 TB curry powder
Salt & pepper
1 ¼ pork tenderloin, in one piece

Make a paste out of the mustard and curry powder, then slather it all over the pork. Heat a little oil in a large skillet and sear the meat on all sides (make sure you have your kitchen windows open, or you’re liable to set off the smoke alarm). Transfer the pan to a 350 degree oven and roast until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. (I know it says “grilled or broiled”, but I already explained why I didn’t grill it, and I recently discovered that the broiler on my new stove kinda sucks, so there you go...)(I did the same thing with the other tenderloin and made a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flake. I thought I found it in HTCE, but now that I look back, I don’t see it there, so maybe it was the beer talking...)
Next time, I will definitely be grilling....


Kim said...

I hear you on all this rain. It's literally been raining for weeks here. I'm so glad that you pointed out the recipe for the mustard curry pork tenderloin. With my love of all things mustard and my newfound love for curries, this is a must try for me! Looks great, fabulous choice.

Debinhawaii said...

I am loving that mustard-curry sauce--how perfect for pork loin. I am marking this one to try. ;-)

Joanna said...

That looks delicious! I almost always have a pork loin in the freezer, and I need new ways to cook it! Thanks!

Joanne said...

I feel you pain. Whenever I plan to go over to my parent's house and have them rains. Which means that I am left to cook. For the pickiest eaters in the world.

This pork tenderloin looks delicious! It's going to have to be my go-to next time I'm forced to cook on the spot!