Garlic Balsamic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

As summer officially winds down to a close, I’m trying to get as much time in on the grill as we can. Not that you can’t find me outside grilling in the middle of a hurricane, or a snowstorm (especially now that I have an awesome covered back deck!) – but there’s just something about the smell of the grill with a cocktail in hand on a summer evening.

I know you guys have got to be tired of seeing pork tenderloin recipes here, but I just can’t get enough of them. They’re a wonderful canvas to add all kinds of different flavors to, they’re healthy, and they cook relatively quickly – all strong points when it comes to our summertime menu.

This one incorporates the sweet, rich flavor of balsamic vinegar and plenty of pungent garlic. Using a good balsamic is key – you want one that is slightly thicker and has some body (I really like Il Villaggio’s brand for the price – you can find it online here, but I usually pick it up when I visit a higher-end grocery store). The pork is marinaded for an hour or so, or more if you have time – then thrown on the grill to cook and soak up even more delicious flavor.

I served with a side of our favorite garlic rice pilaf and steamed broccoli for a dinner that everyone in the family enjoyed. Also, leftovers were absolutely delicious when sliced thin and put on a sandwich the next day. Perfect summertime eating!

Source: adapted from Kitchen Confidante

Slow Cooker Chicken Cheesesteaks

Alot has been going on around here lately. A newborn baby, obviously. But also, a new house. We’ve been busy packing up our lives here for the past month, and we’re headed “down the county” for settlement this morning.

We’re taking the family back to where we started, Chincoteague Island. It’s a great house (that’s not cut up all funny as many old Eastern Shore homes are), with plenty of room for this growing family. A huge kitchen with three times the cabinet and counter space I currently have here. It was Jon’s best friend’s house growing up, in fact – Jon even drove a few nails into it when Ron (said best friend’s father) was building it. So, needless to say – we’re already feeling an emotional attachment to the place before we even move in.

Naturally, I also have many emotional attachments to this house. I brought all my babies home to this house, Christmases, Halloweens, first days of school, birthday parties, and neighborhood cookouts. I pretty much learned to cook (for real reals) in this house. Jon taught himself how to brew in this house. So many great memories here! I’ll miss our neighbors, fireflies (they don’t have fireflies on Chincoteague Island – the amount of salt in the air, maybe?) my lush backyard teeming with flowers from bulbs that were planted 50 years before we moved here, my fig trees, and my kitchen that we revamped. But, we’ll have a new version of those things in our new home, except the fireflies – and I’m excited about that.

house

Needless to say, dinner preparation has kind of fallen by the wayside the past couple weeks with everything getting packed up and whatnot. That’s where a slow cooker can come in handy! Now, I know most folks don’t associate a slow cooker with the summer months. But, it’s very versatile for preparing delicious meals year-round. And, it won’t heat up the house the way an oven does!

This takes just a few minutes to throw together, and the results at dinnertime are absolutely delicious. I seasoned chicken breasts (next time I’ll try boneless thighs in the mix as well) and seared them off, then sauteed some peppers and onions. Threw it all in the slow cooker with a bit of chicken broth and let it cook all day. At dinner time, I just shredded the chicken and threw it on some sub rolls, added some provelone cheese and toasted them in the oven for a few minutes.

They were delicious, satisfying, and super duper easy. The leftover filling was k-i-l-l-e-r in a quesadilla the next day for lunch. I know we’ll be making this one again very soon!

I know I’ve been slack on posts lately, but just bear with me. The slackage will probably continue through next week, until we get internet arranged in the new house, and my studio set up. Until then, later Pocomoke – it’s been real! Thanks for giving me such a great spot to call home and raise this little family of ours for 7 years!

Source: Adapted from Food Family & Finds via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Caribbean Pork Tenderloin

I’m always looking for new ideas for pork tenderloins. They are quick and easy to cook, lean, and adapt very well to any flavor profiles you throw at them. I thought this fun twist using flavors inspired by the Caribbean Islands would be perfect for the summertime, and I was right!

A few months ago, during my last “stock-up” trip to Trader Joe’s, I picked up a couple of jars of their Mango-Ginger Chutney to keep in the pantry. I used a jar or that as a base for my glaze – then added fresh lime juice and zest, brown sugar, and a splash of rum to add some extra flavor and flair.

An extra punch of flavor also comes from the use of Jerk seasoning, which is used to season the pork before grilling. During the last few minutes on the grill, the tenderloins are brushed with the glaze then sliced and served with some alongside as well.

The flavors are fresh and wonderful, yet super simple and perfect for a weeknight meal. Another one for the recipe box, for sure!

Source: adapted from Grill Grrrl

Citrus-Apple Butter Glazed Shrimp

As I’ve mentioned before, in the summertime here on the Eastern Shore shrimp are often cheaper than chicken or pork. So, we like to make the most of them in the months that we can get them fresh. Needless to say I’m always looking for a new spin on them to try out in my kitchen.

So when I came across this recipe from Musselman’s for a citrusy spin on an almost-barbecue sauce, I couldn’t wait to try it. Super simple…apple butter, along with some freshly squeezed juice. I used lemon and orange, but lime would also be a great addition. I also added a little bit of garlic and red pepper flakes for a little extra kick.

Shrimp are skewered, then a quick cook and basting with the sauce on the grill – and dinner is done! The flavor of the sauce is great, and it has just enough sugar to lightly caramelize the edges of the shrimp – without drying it out, which is key. I’m thinking that bacon wrapped around the shrimp might also be a nice addition…

Definitely a keeper for those days I come home from the beach or boat super tired, and need something easy. Have a great weekend everyone!

Source: adapted from Musselman’s

Disclaimer: I received a grilling package from Musselman’s for my review. As always, all opinions are my own.