Peppered Pork Tenderloin

A month or so ago I treated myself to a cookbook that I’ve wanted for quite sometime – the “other” Sopranos cookbook. It’s full of great recipes, stories, tips and tricks from my favorite Italian mafioso family. I really love the first one, and figured the second rendition had to be just as good.

The first recipe I tried was this peppered pork tenderloin, and I was completely blown away. If you’ve been visiting the site regularly, you know that I make many different versions of pork tenderloin. But, the simplicity of this one is just wonderful. A quick marinade made up of basic ingredients, then it’s tossed on the grill to cook. It doesn’t have a sauce, or anything like that – which really allows the grilled pork flavor to shine. This was the first meal we enjoyed outside this year, so it made it all the more special.

Between the two tenderloins I cooked that night, there was just enough leftover for Cuban paninis the following night. The pork was perfect for the sandwiches, as it doesn’t have any other overpowering flavors. I love the meals that I can turn into something completely different the next night!

So, if you’re looking for something quick and easy…as well as delicious, add this one to the menu soon. We all loved it, and I’ve already made it twice since then!

Source: adapted from Entertaining with the Sopranos

Country Fried Pork Chops

Pork chops are one of the things that Jon always gives me gruff that I don’t cook enough. I prefer to cook something like one of my many favorite versions of a pork tenderloin, but once in a while I give in and make him one of his favorite meals of all time – these fried pork chops. It’s one of those manly, stick-to-your-ribs meals that all guys love…

Basically a pork chop is coated with a mixture of egg wash and seasoned flour, much like fried chicken is. Then pan fried. Afterwards, a milk gravy is made from the pan drippings and served over the pork chops. While it’s not the most figure-friendly thing on the planet, it really is delicious and totally worth a splurge every now and again.

I always serve with mashed potatoes, because they are equally as good topped with the gravy. This time around I also served roasted Brussels sprouts on the side, and they were really delicious with them too. If you’ve not had the pleasure of trying these, you should – as it’s “country cooking” to the core!

Souvlaki Gyros

Chicken gyros have long been one of my favorite meals to make at home – not to mention one of my most popular posts here on the site. Last summer, at a friend’s cookout, our good friend Pete (who happens to be Greek) make some delicious soulvaki kabobs to throw on the grill and share with everyone. I was completely blown away with the flavor, and couldn’t wait to try them out for myself in place of the chicken in my gyro recipe.

I used a boneless pork butt that I trimmed and cut down into bite-sized pieces, but a tenderloin would be fine as well – if you wanted a little less prep work. It’s a very basic marinade of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, plenty of garlic and oregano, and olive oil. It requires a longer soak time than the chicken, but the tenderness of the meat and flavor you get in the end product are well worth it in the long run!

It’s skewered then thrown on the grill. Once the meat was cooked we piled it into warm homemade pita bread, topped with a cool and creamy tzatziki sauce, and topped with lots of fresh veggies. We all agreed that we liked it as much, if not more, than the chicken version. It’s something fun and different for cookouts this summer, and one that I know we’ll be making again and again. Opa!

Chipotle Honey Lime Pork Tenderloin

There are so many things to love about pork tenderloins – they’re relatively lean and healthy, the cook quickly, and they really absorb whatever flavors you decide to throw at them. I’ve made quite a few versions in the past, but I think this one is definitely in the running as my new favorite!

I’m a huge fan of anything chipotle-flavored anyways, but I’d never think to add honey to the mix. Plus with the addition of tart lime juice and zest and fresh cilantro it really made for a combination that was out of this world. You make a large batch of the marinade, then reserve half to drizzle over the tenderloins right before serving. I also think it would be a fabulous salad dressing!

I went ahead and doubled the marinade recipe  as I was using two pork tenderloins. The leftovers were great on Cuban sandwiches and quesadillas – so I’m glad that I went ahead and cooked two. This is one we’ll be coming back to again and again in our home, as everyone really enjoyed it!

Source: slightly adapted from Alton Brown