Saturday, February 16, 2008

Getting Ready to Cook!

Rick is coming home tonight, and I know he won't feel like eating out! So, I'm pulling together a lovely dinner for tomorrow and I want to share it with you!

No, I won't be baking a cake -- but my! You can tell my culinary industriousness started at an early age! Not to mention a passion for squirting things out of tubes! (These days it tends to be more paint than frosting -- but wait, what about that holiday cookie decorating?!)

These are two of my no-fails. The first was served to me at friend's Dick and Cheryl's home. Dick got the original of this recipe from a TV cook, and it became a favorite because Rick is a pork fan!

I have made modifications…I use the glaze (chilled) as an alternative to cranberry sauce at the holidays. I also prep the roast a little differently.

Pork Roast with Cranberry Glaze

1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
1 t. grated orange rind, optional, but recommended
2/3 cup orange juice (I sometimes use a tad less if making as cranberry sauce)
2 t. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. allspice
1/8 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. ground cloves
1 c. chopped pecans (more than original recipe)
1/4 c. dried cranberries

Combine cranberry sauce, orange rind and juice, vinegar, seasonings and cranberries and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes. Add pecans.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Rub pork tenderloin (appx. 1 to 1 1/2 pound) with olive oil, salt/pepper (I like lemon pepper) and chopped rosemary. Place in hot skillet and sear on all sides to help seal in the juices.

Transfer to a rack in a lightly greased, shallow roasting pan. (The rack probably isn't necessary -- I just like the drippings to fall. There aren't a lot, but it "feels" better.)

Bake 40 minutes (or 160 degrees) -- time will vary based on size of roast.
Baste with half of cranberry mixture.
Slice and serve with remaining sauce or use as a dipping sauce.

(If you want to use the sauce as just cranberries -- for example, with turkey -- I recommend making it and then chilling overnight. It pulls together nicely. It's not like a jelly or a relish. It's great the next day on pork or turkey sandwiches.)

Toasty Roasty Tomatoes

Halve Roma tomatoes. Remove seeds/core. Place open-side up on baking sheet (parchment or silpat recommended) and sprinkle salt and pepper over halves.

Drizzle about one capful of olive oil over halves (one capful does about five tomatoes/ten halves.)

Combine favorite dried herbs – (basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, Herbs de Provence) as you like.
Mix what you think you need. (You can always go back and do more.)

Sprinkle herbs into tomato “boat.” Optional: minced garlic or bread crumbs.

Bake at 375 / approximately 40 minutes. (They should look roasted, a little dark and soft, but not burned.)

Serve as a side, with brown rice, in pasta sauces, or scoop out of skin and spread on crostini. (The kid who always avoided tomatoes fell in love with this when scooped out and used as a spread!)

This dinner will probably be accompanied by roasted fennel, too. We may stick to something safe for dessert that won't tempt the cook!


Artsy Etc. said...

YUMM-O. I don't usually like meat other than fish and chicken but I DO love a good pork roast. Your recipe is a keeper for sure!!! I'm certain Rick will enjoy your feast!

Anonymous said...

This all sounds delicious - I love roasted vegetables and make them quite often for myself in all kinds of combinations.

Enjoy your welcome home celebration!

GardenGoose said...

sounds like a very yummy dinner. the roasted tomatoes sound nice..I'll have to keep that in mind if we are able to grow lots of tomatoes this year.

Beth said...

That sounds so delicous,,lucky Rick. I know he will appreciate that great dinner. What a great cook you are. Hope you are having a great week-end!!!

Pam Aries said...

WElll...I a ma veggie head..but it all sounds delish! I love roasted fennel! I think you need some CHOCOLAT for dessert!..oh it's too's the next day!

paris parfait said...

Love that photo! And the recipes sound fantastic - must try the next time I'm on chef's duty.

Dawn said...

mmmm I am going to have to try your recipes they sound scrumptious. Thanks for dropping by my blog and look forward to seeing you there again

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