Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Carrots and Potatoes
A couple of weeks ago, I cooked a delicious dinner for ten. On the menu: herb crusted pork tenderloin with a classy goat cheese salad and roasted carrots and potatoes.
While it was not my first time cooking for ten, there was some added pressure this time around because six of the diners were…PARENTS. Dinners with other people’s parents tend to stress me out. Probably because I don’t think of myself as a grown-up, hanging out with parents tends to make me feel like I’m an awkward sixteen year-old again. I dread the “So what are you doing with your life?” or “What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?” conversations that are seemingly unavoidable in this context. Being overly enthusiastic about my very promising career as a blogger and future celebrity chef is exhausting, and when it comes to politics….disaster. (I try to turn questions back on the asker because I’m usually trying to surpress the urge to say something like, “Justin Beiber for president!”).
However, there are a few sets of parents, with whom I feel exceptionally comfortable. Every summer, I go up to Northeast Harbor, Maine, where everyone knows everyone (curse and blessing of a small town). Consequently, my Northeast Harbor friends’ parents have had the “joy” of watching me grow up. Amazingly, they still allow me to spend inordinate amounts of time in their homes. One family in particular, has always taken extra special care of me (thank you, Blaine family), so when I was asked by Mr. Blaine if I would be cooking dinner, I accepted the challenge. Considering the fact that no one in Maine has ever seen me do anything in the kitchen other than drink large amounts of wine and make half-hearted offers to do the dishes, I jumped at the chance to show off my new domestic skills. I was also very grateful for such willing adult test subjects.
Dinner was delicious and served on time (shocker), and everyone was so busy talking about the food that we barely touched on politics or my career trajectory. I consider this foray into cooking for parents a great success! I would highly recommend trying this meal for your next “grown-up” affair. It’s remarkably simple and light, and anything “herb-crusted” tends to impress people…
Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin: (Serves 8)
|Like, so tender.|
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
-Finely chop the thyme, rosemary, and sage. Place them in a bowl.
-Peel and chop the garlic. Chop the parsely with the garlic so that it gets a little bit pastey. Mix the paste with the other herbs in the bowl.
-Rub each tenderloin generously with olive oil. Just use your hands and embrace the mess. Then spread each tenderloin with a thin layer of herbs (about 3 tbsp per tenderloin).
-Spread the breadcrumbs in a shallow baking pan. Dredge each tenderloin in breadcrumbs.
-Place the tenderloins in a roasting pan and place in the 400 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. The meat will be cooked when it registers between 140 and 145 degrees. BUY A MEAT THERMOMETER. Trust me, it will save your life in the kitchen. You can get them for about a dollar at the grocery store. If the crust is not sufficiently browned, feel free to stick the tenderloins under the broiler for a minute or two.
-Remove the meat from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the tenderloins into medallions ½ an inch thick and serve!
Classy Goat Cheese Salad: (Serves 8)
Preparing your salad:
-Toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium-low heat until they are just lightly browned and fragrant (approx. 2-3 minutes).
|Do NOT let them burn because you are making yourself a cocktail…|
-Place mesclun in a large bowl and top with thinly sliced red onions, pine nuts, cranberries, and goat cheese.
Preparing your dressing:
-In a bowl, combine mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Mix well. Whisk in olive oil. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
Roasted Carrots: (Serves 8)
Preparing your carrots:
-Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
-Peel your carrots and cut them in half length-wise.
-Place the carrots in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Smash the unpeeled garlic cloves and add them to the baking pan. (leaving the garlic unpeeled prevents it from burning in the oven!).
-Roast your carrots for approximately 30 minutes or until tender. Use a fork to turn them every ten minutes.
Jamie’s Roasted Potatoes: Simple. Delicious. Impressive. Made by a real Adult. (Serves 8)
|This is Jamie Blaine. These were his potatoes. I was just the assistant.|
Preparing your potatoes:
-Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
-Wash the potatoes and cut them in half and spread them on a baking sheet.
-Add the olive oil, salt and pepper to the potatoes and toss to coat.
-Roast potatoes for 1 hour or until golden brown and crisp. Turn potatoes at least twice during cooking to ensure even browning.
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