Monday, January 20, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox - Day 15 - Double Pork Tenderloin and Brussels

Let the countdown begin, less than a week to go!  Today was another consistent day.  I am happily de-bloated and feeling a lot better.  Since I was lazy this weekend I didn't have anything prepped for breakfast or lunch.  This resulted in greek yogurt with a green tipped banana sliced over it for breakfast, and Applegate lunch meat and some celery with almond butter for lunch.  Not that fancy, but it worked.

I definitely wanted a drink after work which isn't that unusual, it helps me de-stress and get my mind refocused from work to enjoying my time at home.  I grumpily did not act on that desire though.  Instead I set out to make Double Pork Tenderloin, modified from the 21DSD book, and Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts, modified from Ina Garten's recipe, for dinner tonight.  

I'm going to share both of these recipes with you, and I hope you enjoy them.  I promise both are pretty easy but seem fancy.  
  • 1 1/2 pounds of brussel sprouts 
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • dried minced onion 
  • dried minced garlic
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Clean your brussel sprouts, trim them, and slice them in half through their core. Spread them out on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and then sprinkle the seasonings over the brussel sprouts to taste. You can use other seasoning or just stick with salt and pepper, I happen to like garlic flavors so this is what I went with.  It probably would've been even better with a couple cloves of freshly minced garlic, but this was quicker.  I use kind of a lot of seasoning because it doesn't all stick to the sprouts. Using your hands, mix the brussel sprouts and the oil and seasoning to ensure an even coating. Put the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, shaking/turning the brussel sprouts halfway through.

Once your sprouts are in the oven, pour your balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When it starts bubbling reduce the temperature to medium-low and simmer until the amount of vinegar is about halved (so around 1/4 cup) and syrupy (I simmered mine until the sprouts were done). When your sprouts are done roasting they'll look like this:

I may have eaten a few before I took this picture hehe...
Toss the brussel sprouts with 1tbsp. or more of the balsamic vinegar (to your desired taste) and serve immediately.  Note: I made the sprouts first and then cooked the pork tenderloin.  Because of this, while my pork was resting I took out a sauté pan, dumped the sprouts and balsamic in, and heated it up til it was hot again.  They are best when served immediately but this worked out pretty well too.

They may not be that pretty, but they taste really good!

  • Italian Sausage Spice Blend
    • 1 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1 tbsp. ground sage
    • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tbsp. onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp. white pepper (or 1 tsp. black pepper)
    • 2 tsp. dried parsley
Combine all the spices in a bowl and store in a small container (you won't use it all for this recipe).
  • 2-3 lbs pork tenderloin (when I buy pork tenderloin it's 2 tenderloins in one package around 2.5lbs and I use both)
  • about 10 slices of bacon
  • string, or if you're fancy, cooking twine (I literally used that string that you used to make ankle bracelets with when you were a kid...was that just me? err...moving on...)
Preheat your oven to 375ºF.  Take out your beautiful tenderloins, and rub the Spice Blend onto them, making sure they are evenly coated on all sides.  Put the two tenderloins together like they were in the packaging, and wrap the slices of bacon around the tenderloins, with the ends meeting.  I don't have an exact measure on the length of string you should use, I just wrapped the string around the bacon a couple times and then tied it on top.  Tie a piece of string around each slice of bacon, going down the tenderloin.  It should look something like this when you're done:

Place a large cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet on the stove-top over medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot, sear the tenderloin on all sides until the bacon is browned, approximately 2 minutes per side:

It won't fit perfectly in your skillet but it'll be close. To turn it I didn't use any fancy chef skills, I just took two wooden spoons and had one on each side of the tenderloin and would use them to rotate it, and also to hold it up to sear the narrower sides.  It may not look cool, but it worked.

Once you've browned all the sides, place the pan in the oven and roast for 35-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 150ºF.  When you take your tenderloin out of the oven, move it to your cutting board and cover it with foil for 10 minutes.  This will allow the meat to finish cooking and to rest.  BE CAREFUL - if your cutting board doesn't have sides that can catch juices, your tenderloin may leak juices; you can wrap it in foil starting underneath it and then fold it over to help keep the juices in while it rests. 

Then serve that beauty up with a delicious side of veggies.

I'll have seconds please!!!  You can make this with just one tenderloin which will obviously cook for less time.  I just like to cook it with 2 tenderloins because one slice of the double tenderloins with the bacon is pretty much the perfect serving size - and I save on bacon (because you use the same amount of bacon for 2 tenderloins together as one tenderloin, seriously).

I hope you enjoy these recipes.  Paul and I were both really impressed with the Double Pork Tenderloin, so much so that I have decided to have a dinner party featuring it.  It was super moist and tasty.  I had mine with a little bit of dijon mustard only because I'm a weirdo and I really like sauces and dips with everything, no matter how perfectly cooked the meat or whatever may be.  So if you like dips too, dijon is a really good companion to the pork.  But seriously, it is stand alone greatness, sooo moist (you can see juices coming from it in some of my pictures).  If you have any questions or recipe suggestions, leave me a comment below!

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