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

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

Pork Tenderloin with Honey-Mustard SauceA couple of weeks ago I ventured to Annapolis for the day to go to a book signing with Giada De Laurentiis. I met one of my oldest girlfriends up there, and we waiting in line together at Williams-Sonoma for a couple hours. We chatted about the past, and how we’ve transitioned into the future with our families of two little boys. It was a great morning, topped off by meeting Giada – who was just as gorgeous and sweet in person as she is on television.

We of course flipped through the book while we were waiting, which is all healthy recipes – along with lots of health and beauty tips, and there were many recipes I bookmarked to try. The first one I got around to testing out in my kitchen was this delicious pork tenderloin with a honey-mustard sauce. We are big fans of pork tenderloin in this house. It’s a protein that’s lean and healthy, but still juicy with tons of flavor. Then to top it of with a delicious pan sauce? It’s just the icing on the cake!

It’s also pretty quick-cooking, making for an easy weeknight meal. The tenderloin is seared off in the pan, to get a gorgeous brown crust on the outside – then finished off in the oven. A quick pan sauce is made by using the browned bits in the bottom of the pan – along with a spot of wine , Dijon mustard, honey, and fresh herbs. I served with some roasted red potatoes and fresh green beans, and everyone really enjoyed it.

I also picked up a signed copy to share with one lucky reader! Just leave a comment below telling me what is your favorite recipe from the lovely Giada De Laurentiis that you’ve made in your kitchen? Giveaway will run from today, until next Friday at 11:59 PM. 

Congrats to entry #17, Tracey! She loves Giada’s turkey and artichoke stuffed shells. I’m going to have to try that recipe myself. I hope you enjoy this new cookbook as much as I have been!

Pork Tenderloin Marsala

I love pretty much anything that’s been Marsala-fied. It’s such an indispensable item to have in your liquor cabinet. It’s got a wonderful, rich depth of flavor when used for cooking, and it’s shelf stable – meaning that you can open it up, and it’ll keep fine un-refrigerated for years (not that a bottle ever makes it that long in our house). It comes in two varieties – sweet & dry. I usually buy the sweet, then balance out that sweetness with lemon juice when I’m doing a dish like this. Sweet Marsala is also great in dessert and other sweet recipes as well. So if you don’t have a bottle, pick one up – it’s handy to have on hand.

Chicken Marsala is pretty much my favorite dinner, and has been for years. But, in an effort to get less chicken – and more “other stuff” into our weekly menu I thought a Marsala twist on a pork tenderloin would be fun. Turned out to be alot easier than chicken marsala too, as the pork didn’t have to be pounded out to an even thickness – then coated and fried. Instead I took cues from this recipe – gave the tenderloin a little soak in the wine, then seared it off in the pan, cooked the mushrooms, added the wine, and finished it all off in the oven. It turned out delicious, and like I said – it was so much easier than the chicken version. And probably healthier too!