Thursday, April 29, 2010

Island Spice Pork Tenderloin

Annnnnnd I'm back! Sorry for that little hiatus I took there, I had several large projects for school backing up and they kind of took over. Well, I am so very glad that this past semester is now behind me and I can breathe for a little bit. Or maybe just about a week before I get back into it.

I decided to try out this new pork tenderloin dish in the midst of working on all these projects -- not only because I love the other recipes I have tried, but also because they tend to be fairly quick and easy. This dish was definitely not any different.

Island Spice Pork Tenderloin
From: Annie's Eats

For the spice rub:
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 pork tenderloins (about 2-2½ lbs. total)
2 tbsp. olive oil

For the glaze:
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. (2-3 cloves) finely minced garlic
1½ tsp. Tabasco sauce

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir together with a fork to blend. Pat the mixture over the pork tenderloins.

Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Place the tenderloins in the skillet and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes total. Remove from the heat, leaving the pork in the skillet.

Stir together the brown sugar, garlic and Tabasco in a small bowl until blended. Spread the mixture evenly over the tops of the tenderloins.

Place the skillet in the preheated oven and roast about 20 minutes, until an instant-read themometer inserted in the center of each tenderloin registers 140˚ F. Loosely tent the skillet with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves: 8

I have to admit, after one of those "failure meals" in which I added too much rub to the meat, I was hesitant to use all of the rub in this recipe. So I didn't. And I wish I would have. The flavoring was definitely not as strong as what it is in other recipes, and doesn't really come through and shine at all. However, from the flavoring we DID get, it was pretty good. If I decide to give this recipe another shot, I would go all out and use the entire rub.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 297Calories from fat 114
% Daily Value
Total Fat 12.7g20%
Saturated Fat 3.8g19%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Sodium 666mg28%
Total Carbs 9.9g3%
Sugars 8.8g
Protein 34.1g
Vitamin A 3%Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 2%Iron 11%

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spaghetti with Cheese and Black Pepper

I hate failures. They really annoy me. No, I'm not talking about people... but a failed meal. Not only is it frustrating to have spent the last half hour or so stirring and sauteing and mixing away, but now whatever it is I've been working on is not something I can eat. And most likely it is at least 8:30, if not 9:00 at night, and

See, I thought of this when I realized how many of my last few posts have been about pasta. Surely we haven't eaten pasta 50 bajillion times in the last month, right? Yes, don't worry, I have a nice little back log I've been slowly chipping away at, and in between all these pasta posts I've been making little failure meals. Which means those employees at Chick-Fil-A are starting to get to know us. Probably not really a great thing.

But this recipe is definitely not a failure. It IS pasta, but it's not a failure. Quite delicious in fact, despite being ridiculously simple and easy to put together.

Spaghetti with Cheese and Black Pepper
From: Smitten Kitchen

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound dried spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
1 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
Salt (optional)

Cook spaghetti in well-salted water to al dente in a large, wide-bottomed pot. Drain spaghetti, reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water.

Dry out the pot from the spaghetti, then heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking in the same pot. Add drained spaghetti and 1 cup of reserved pasta water. (Watch out, this is guaranteed to splatter.)

Add butter, 3 ounces cheese and ground pepper and toss together with tongs. Taste, adding more pasta water, cheese, pepper or salt to taste.

Serve immediately, sprinkling with reserved cheese and an extra grind or two of black pepper.

Serves: 6-8

While trying to be slightly more healthy, I used whole-wheat spaghetti to make this. However, I would not recommend the Giant Eagle brand or actually whole-wheat spaghetti at all. This dish really highlights whatever pasta you choose, so this might be the time to splurge a little for the better stuff... or even better, try your hand at making your own.

So simple yet definitely satisfying and tasty.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 304Calories from fat 133
% Daily Value
Total Fat 14.8g23%
Saturated Fat 5.4g27%
Cholesterol 64mg21%
Sodium 206mg9%
Total Carbs 31.8g11%
Protein 11.0g
Vitamin A 4%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 16%Iron 12%

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations Trenna! You will soon be the proud new owner of a pasta maker! Be on the look out for an email!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Orzo Risotto with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil

Hopefully everyone out there had a great past weekend and didn't gorge themselves on chocolate bunny ears, peeps, and Cadbury creme eggs too bad. Or maybe you did, and saved just a tiny itty-bitty space in your stomach to chow down on that tasty Easter dinner or brunch or whatever meal you went after. I am happy to report that I did not stuff myself full of Easter sweets. Nope, I have slowly been building up my consumption of candy for about a month so it's not technically gorging myself... I was merely consuming my normal amount of sugary goodness.

Although I have to admit, my weaknesses lie in the small Reese's eggs and Sour Punch Straws. I have most likely consumed enough of these two items to outweigh a small child. No, but really. I have. It's really kind of sad. I kind of flipped out a bit when I went to Giant Eagle the other day looking for my small (not the minis) Reese's Eggs and all I could find were the regular ones or the usual miniature cups. Apparently 3/4 of the way into the Easter selling season every store decided to stop carrying these. Almost ruined my Easter.

Despite the conspiracy between the stores and Reese's to spoil my fun, the weather decided to be absolutely gorgeous. Makes me wish our apartment complex hadn't confiscated temporarily relocated our grill to a garage for safe keeping. Unfortunately, the gorgeous 70-80 degree weather is threatening to leave us for some nasty rainy 55 degree weather this weekend. Boo. On the good side, this dish would work perfectly for a rainy day, or any other time you're craving some warm creamy pasta goodness. THIS is the recipe that reminded Adam and I of THIS recipe (not the Basil Chicken over Angle Hair, although they all have very similar flavors, silly me).

Orzo Risotto with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil
Adapted from: Emeril Lagasse's 20-40-60 Fresh Food Fast

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups orzo pasta
4 cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon (heaping) dried basil

In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil, then turn heat to low.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a wide, shallow medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the orzo -- stirring well to coat.

Gradually add the broth in 1/2 cup increments (about one large ladle), stirring continously until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to add more broth and allow it to absorb before adding more (until all broth has been used). This should take about 14-16 minutes and the pasta should be al dente. Season with salt and pepper.

Add tomatoes, stirring until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Add the mozzarella and basil and continue to stir until completely melted, 2-3 minutes.

Serve in bowls garnished with an extra pinch of mozzarella.

Serves 4.

Basically, the biggest changes I made to this recipe were purely ones of convience: I used canned tomatoes, pre-shredded mozzarella, dried basil, and whatever onion I had on hand. And it was still delicious. The slow incorporation of broth allows for that nice starchy release making an oh-so-delicious creamy "sauce". Just thinking about it is starting to make me hungry -- forget the weather. Too bad my fridge is stuffed to the gills with an odd assortment of leftovers... a couple slices of pizza here, thai food, a plate of ham, some pork tenderloin, and I'm sure there's a couple things of tupperware that I have no idea what's inside. Hmmm, time for a little spring cleaning maybe?

Don't forget! You still have one more day to enter the Pasta Maker Giveaway! Giveaway closes tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9pm EST. Click here to enter!

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 512Calories from fat 145
% Daily Value
Total Fat 16.1g25%
Saturated Fat 3.6g18%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 1425mg59%
Total Carbs 70.2g23%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g6%
Sugars 3.9g
Protein 20.2g
Vitamin A 19%Vitamin C 24%
Calcium 13%Iron 6%

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Dinner Ideas

I realize this might be a tad late for a few of you, but if you're still out there wondering what to serve for Easter dinner tomorrow, here are a couple ideas that might strike your fancy:

For the Entree:

Side dishes:


Hope everyone has a great Easter! And don't forget the Pasta Maker Giveaway is still going on through Tuesday! Click here to enter!


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Pin It button on image hover