Indonesian Pork Tenderloin

Last week it was in the 60’s here, all week long (albeit raining). Then, on Thursday it got cold enough to get a little bit of snow. Enough for Andrew to have a little bit of fun in at least! And now, it’s REALLY cold. So, when I came across a recipe for this pork tenderloin I thought it looked great, something to transport me to a warm tropical beach – and away from the freezing tundras of coastal Maryland.

Super duper easy too. I just threw together a marinade, let the pork do it’s thing – and then used the method that I’ve used for pork tenderloins in the past; seared it off on the stove first, then finished cooking in the oven. Since I didn’t want to let all that delicious flavor in the marinade go to waste, I went ahead and brought it to a boil on the stove then served it as a sauce alongside the sliced tenderloin.

I love the flavor that the peanut butter and soy sauce lend, as well as the little kick of heat from the crushed red pepper. The original recipe called for mango chutney, which I didn’t have, so I just used some peach-hot pepper jelly that I’d gotten from TS Smith & Sons last year – and it turned out beautifully. But, orange marmalade or apricot preserves would be good too; just something that’s sweet, with a little bit of chunkiness to it.

I served it with garlic rice pilaf (recipe coming tomorrow) and sauteed snow peas – and everyone cleaned their plates. If you’re looking for a change of pace, or to bring some exotic new flavors to the dinner table – definitely mark this one down on your menu soon!

Navy Bean Soup

For a good chunk of my life, I was completely turned off by bean soup. Come to think of it, I was pretty much disgusted by all beans. Silly little girl. I’m happy to report that in the past couple years, beans have become a staple in my kitchen. I like to keep bagged dried beans on hand for meals like this, but also canned beans for a quick meal or side dish.

This navy bean soup is the first instance in which I “saw the light” in regards to how awesome beans can be. We were on a cruise, enjoying lunch in the dining room, and navy bean soup was one of the starter courses for the day. I tried it, and loved it. The flavor and texture just won me over completely. Not to mention how hearty and filling it is. Isn’t it funny with all the fancier things on the menu that day, I remember the humble bean soup? It definitely left an impression.

Anyways, I finally “borrowed” the Carnival cookbook from my mom (she’ll probably never see it on her bookshelf again), which has their navy bean soup recipe. After Christmas we were all kind of burnt out on ham leftovers, so I threw the bone into the freezer and took it out last week to make this soup. But, if you don’t have a ham bone laying around, then a smoked ham hock would work just fine. It doesn’t get much more filling, heartier, or economical than a big bubbling pot of bean soup folks!

Whiskey BBQ Sliders

I was reading an article last night, a survey of different dishes being ranked from most favorite – to least, by chefs all across the country. At the top of their list for “foods that are going out of style” was sliders. Which, who orders a slider in a fancy place anyway? I don’t know about you guys, but these tiny bundles of burgers will never go out of style in our house!

The first time I had these was at a book club meeting. The hostess made them for us, and I immediately requested the recipe! Sliders are so much fun, you can put anything on/in them – and besides that, they’re just so darn cute! I’ve made them a couple of times since then, usually for lunch on a weekend. But, they would be just perfect for one of the big games we have coming up!

Don’t be scared off by the pickled jalapenos. These sliders aren’t very spicy, the peppers really add more flavor than anything. It’s a low and slow kind of heat, and we love it. But if you’d like to leave them out, that’s fine. Maybe add a splash of vinegar to the sauce instead, just for a little bit of acidic bite to round out the flavors.

Pan PizzaPan pizza is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. But, so often when it comes from a chain in a pizza box – it’s a grease festival. I first made this recipe years ago, when I saw it on Alex Guarnaschelli’s show (love her!) and it was an immediate hit with our family.

The crust is thick and chewy, as well as crispy. Can hold up to any toppings you throw on it. And, isn’t effusively greasy. The crust just absorbs the olive oil to create a wonderfully flavored crust. I went all out fake out take-out style here, creating our own meat lover’s pizza at home. Bacon, ham, and pepperoni – we’ve dubbed it “Porkapalooza”.

Our family never gets tired of pizza night, and this is something different to throw into the rotation. A little more heartier of a pizza for these cold winter months we have ahead of us!