Category Archives: Pork

10 Steps to make a Kick-A$@ Pulled Pork on the Smoker

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

I realize that it’s August 31st, I understand that kids are going back to school and September is literally a day away but I am NOT ready to say goodbye to summer. I’m not ready to say goodbye to beaches and evening walks and Sunday jazz nights and the sound of the ocean breeze blowing the green leaves on the trees.  I’m in denial that Autumn is on it’s way so I figured I would focus on some BBQ today so we can spend a little more time soaking in the joys of summer.

Our friend Blake is the master of all masters at smoking meat and since he’s the expert, I reached out to him to see if he would walk me through his process so I could see how he makes these glorious creations AND so I could share it with all of you. They currently live over an hour away but they’re moving to the next town over in just a month so I’m going to make him smoke meat for us ALL THE TIME now, Blake, you better get your wood pile stocked up!

Seriously though, this is some of the best pulled pork I’ve had, I’ve been to all sorts of fancy bbq places throughout the country and I realize people are very protective an specific about their bbq but Blake makes some killer BBQ.

So today, we’re going to take you through step-by-step foolproof instructions on making a kick a$# pulled pork on a smoker in 10 EASY STEPS. I supplied the Stubbs BBQ and Blake did all the hard work. Here we go!…

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 1 – we’re going to start the day before we smoke it with a nice 8lb bone-in pork butt.  You can see it has nice marbling and fat throughout to keep it moist & juicy.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 2 – Inject a marinade into the pork butt.  We used Stubbs Chipotle Butter, if you don’t have that, you can use a mixture of Apple Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar & Salt.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 3 – After you have injected it, cover it with foil and put it into the fridge to sit overnight.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 4 – The day of smoking: Take the pork butt out of the fridge, drain the marinade that is sitting in the container and apply the rub.  Let is settle in (sweat) for about 30 minutes. You can use Stubbs BBQ rub which I love or you can use your favorite mixture of sweet & savory spices.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 5 – Early in the morning, fire up some charcoal. Blake started his around 7AM.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

This is the beauteous smoker that Blake uses for his meat.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 6 – Place the charcoal & wood in the smoker along with the pork butt. Blake used Hickory, Apple & Cherry Wood and smoked it for about 6 hours.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

This is what the meat will look like after about 4 hours on the smoker. Continue to spritz with apple juice throughout the process for moisture.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 7 – After about 6 hours on the pit, apply the 2nd injection to provide flavor and moisture.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 8 – After you have injected the pork, wrap it in foil and place in the oven at 225 F for about 2 hours.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 9 – Now it’s time to pull the pork! Using forks or prongs or a knife, pull pork apart until shredded and in smaller pieces.

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

Step-By-Step Instructions on making Pulled Pork on the Smoker

STEP 10 – Pour on the BBQ Sauce! We used Stubbs Sticky Sweet.

STEP 10.1 – Invite all your friends over and watch them devour every last piece.

Thank you Pitmaster Blake for sharing your secrets with us and to Stubbs for providing the delicious sauces, rubs & marinades.

If you need me, I’ll be on the beach eating bbq, I don’t care what you say, it’s still summer…

 

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Ok, so here’s the deal folks.  Its Thursday night, I’m exhausted, this week has completely kicked my ass.  I’ve been completely bombarded with work to the point where I literally (without hurting myself of course), banged my head on the desk a few times out of frustration. Don’t these people know I’m pregnant and these hormones can’t deal with the stress right NOW?? Anywho, I’m ready to go relax and enjoy a fun long weekend with friends, BUT, I feel like I’ve been thoroughly neglecting you guys and need to share some new recipes with you.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

SO, I’m stopping in briefly to share this one with you.  The only wrinkle is that I didn’t copy my steps down carefully enough to write down an actual step-by-step recipe so I’m hoping you guys can take this as inspiration and go navigate your way through it and create a bowl of creamy squashy bacony goodness on your own.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

I decided to try making the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker which totally worked apart from the fact that it was a little more mushy and less stringy.  So, it tasted delicious but didn’t have that same spaghetti-like texture I’m used to.  If you’re ok with the mush, make it in the slow cooker, if not – make it in the oven like normal.

SquashCarbonara4

So in nutshell, this is how I made this:

I cooked about 5 slices of bacon in a pan, then removed it to drain on some paper towels.  Then I added diced onion to the bacon juices, cooked until soft and then added 1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) peas.  When those were heated through I added 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, some salt, pepper & nutmeg and simmered it briefly.  Then I stirred in the cooked spaghetti squash, chopped bacon and topped it off with some more parmesan cheese & bacon bits.  It was yum-o-yummy!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Hope you all enjoy a beautiful long weekend!! Love to you all!

 

Pork Tenderloin w/ Fresh Fig Balsamic Sauce

Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Fig Balsamic Sauce

Oh man, you really need to make this.  Like seriously.  I got some fresh figs at the store about a week ago and I wasn’t sure what to do with them so I decided to make up a sauce to adorn some pork tenderloin.  If you look up fig sauce recipes, most of them use dried figs but if you can get your hands on some fresh ones, take advantage of it and make. this. sauce.

While we were in Burlington, I went by my favorite olive oil/vinegar store and picked up some amazing balsamic vinegars.  I made this sauce with a mixture of blueberry & maple balsamic vinegar. O.M.G.  I know this would be really good with regular balsamic as well but if you happen to have anything else on hand, give it a try!

Pork Tenderloin w/ Fresh Fig Balsamic Sauce

You could serve it over steak or chicken, or turkey or anything your heart desires!!  I cooked up a pork tenderloin on the grill that had been marinated in a mustard sauce.  The saltiness of the meat was perfect with the sweet sauce.

Pork Tenderloin w/ Fresh Fig Balsamic Sauce

Can we just take a moment to talk about how gorgeous and delicious figs are?  I love fig spread with my cheese, I love fresh figs on my yogurt, we even gave away a merlot fig spread as our wedding favors.  Tom & I enjoyed an AH-MAZING dinner last night at No. 9 Park in Boston and one of the courses was seared foie gras on a mini english muffin with seared fig, a hazelnut purée and a fig jam on top.  The server described it as the most incredible PB&J you’ll ever taste in your life.  Strangely enough, it really did taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but in the best possible way.

Pork Tenderloin w/ Fresh Fig Balsamic Sauce

Ahywho.  This made the perfect weeknight meal but it would also be one that is company-worthy.  You could make the sauce ahead of time and then just heat up before serving.  I served it alongside some mashed cauliflower and grilled zucchini.

Enjoy! Hope you all have a great weekend!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Chippis!

Chippi

There is a little coffee shop down where I went to college that serves these supercharged crack delicious iced coffees called Chippi’s.  They make them in these white gallon containers and no one knows what goes in them, but it is something serious because not only are they delicious but they’ll make you feel like you drank an entire pot of coffee after just a few sips.  I went down to visit a friend last week so I had to stop by and pick up a gallon to bring home for Tom.

I don’t know how they haven’t capitalized on this thing and started licensing out the brand to sell elsewhere, they are sitting on a gold mine there!

Fresh Fig Balsamic Sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 Medium fresh figs (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon butter

Directions

1. Heat the figs and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium low heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the water and butter and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes until reduced. Stir mashing figs with the back of a spoon.
3. Spoon over pork tenderloin (or other dish of choice) and enjoy!

Pulled Pork, Mango & Jalapeño Pizza

Pulled Pork, Mango & Jalapeño Pizza

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  I had a great weekend full of time with friends, eating (of course), working the Farmer’s Market, soaking in the sun and we finished it off with a night of jazz music and food at the country club.  Sunday jazz nights are back, one of my favorite parts of summer!  We also had a dog trainer come this weekend to help us with Oto’s aggression on walks.  She was a miracle worker, just a few minor changes and its like we have a whole new dog.  He’s still just as cute as ever but no longer frustrating the crap out of me on walks, SCORE!

Pulled Pork, Mango & Jalapeño Pizza

Ok now. Spicy. Sweet. Savory. Pizza.  Do I really need to write more other than the fact that this pizza was ridiculously delicious?  Pizza is just one of those things that I’m not sure I could ever give up.  I try to eat healthy most of the time but sometimes I just was a big piece of cheesy ooey gooey cheesy pizza.  This was certainly the case when I made this last week.

Pulled Pork, Mango & Jalapeño Pizza

 

I happened to have some Niman Ranch pulled pork on hand so that’s what I used, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to spend an entire day prepping for a pizza, you could make it yourself like this.  Then you could make the pizza AND have pulled pork for another meal.  The sweetness of the mango and spiciness of the jalapeño was the perfect compliment to the pulled pork.  I’m not going to post a recipe, just make a pizza with a thin layer of marinara and top with mozzarella, diced mango, pulled pork & finely diced jalapeño.

Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Fresh strawberries from the Farmer’s Market.

strawberries

Aren’t they GORG?  Don’t worry, I didn’t buy all of them.  Although I DO plan on going strawberry picking next weekend so I can make all things strawberry, hold on to your hats!

P.S. – Congrats to my incredibly motivated husband for completing the Trek Across Maine this past weekend, and thank you to all the awesome people who donated and made it possible!

Pork Tenderloin Medallions w/ Blueberry BBQ

Pork Tenderloin Medallions With Blueberry BBQ

Hey everyone!  So it looks like we’re officially into fall now.  For the first time in a long time I don’t have a What I Ate Wednesday post for you today.  We hosted a dinner party Monday night which completely messed up my ability to realize what day it is and as a result, I forgot to take photos of my eats.  If I can remember today I’ll try to take photos on ACTUAL Wednesday and then I’ll post it on Thursday for you.

WineTasting

We had a great weekend visiting some friends in Newport RI.  Saturday was a beautiful day, we went to a vineyard and listened to jazz music while tasting some wine and having a nice little picnic.

WineTasting2

Not a bad way to spend the day!  I have to say, for a New England vineyard, their wines were pretty impressive.  We can’t seem to do reds very well around here but the whites? Whites we can do!  We bought a few refreshing whites to add to our collection 🙂

OtoBeach

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately.  Its definitely been a little cooler than normal but the sun has been shining and the sky is blue as can be.  Gotta love fall in New England!  Can’t wait for our New Hampshire trip to see the foliage and pick a crap ton of apples!

Pork Tenderloin Medallions w/ Blueberry BBQ

I don’t have any special recipes to post today but I figured I would share this easy dinner idea I cooked up a few days ago.  I cut up a pork tenderloin into medallions, seasoned and grilled them.  Then I simmered some blueberries with BBQ sauce and served the grilled medallions with the blueberry bbq.  It was a super quick dinner and SO delicious!  I served alongside grilled sweet potatoes and a spinach tomato salad.

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Tailgating!

Tailgating

We tailgated at a polo match this weekend in Newport.  It was my first polo match and it was a lot of fun!  We munched on baked brie, cheese, salami & crackers, fruit & veggies and other yummy eats.  Hope we get to do this again soon, it was a great time!

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

So I realize we don’t normally think of the slow cooker when its 90 degrees outside, but you know what I think of when its hot out?  Not cooking.  And slow cooker = not cooking, so that sounds great to me!  Its hard to even think about turning on that oven when you’re literally roasting yourself, but throw some stuff in the slow cooker and you’ve got yourself an awesome meal 6 hours later and you didn’t even have to turn on the oven.  (I actually do recommend holding these in the oven while you finish the sauce, but let’s just pretend like that doesn’t happen).

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

They seem to have a sale going on pork ribs whenever I visit Whole Foods lately so I’ve had a hard time resisting them.  We’ve done the BBQ ribs quite a few times this summer so I decided to switch up a bit and cook a different sauce this time.  I made these using country-style pork ribs but I’m sure that regular st.louis or baby back ribs would be just as delicious.

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

I’m totally loving fresh apricots right now.  I picked up a container at Trader Joe’s recently and fell in-love with the cute fuzzy skin and the way the pit just pops right out with no fuss.  Nothing annoys me more than a peach that won’t let go of its pit.  COME ON, let it GO! It’s time for me to eat you!

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

Anyways, Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a great weekend!  I had one of my best friends visiting from Vermont this weekend so it was fun to show her around the island and surrounding towns.  We went shopping, cooked up some fresh lobster, went to the beach, took a nice long walk, and visited the farmer’s market, it was the perfect summer weekend!

Slow Cooker Pineapple Apricot Pork Ribs

Allergy Soy
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 2lb bone-in country style pork ribs
  • 8 Medium fresh apricots (pitted)
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
  • 5 drops tabasco
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Directions

1. In a food processor blend together apricots, pineapple & garlic until smooth & creamy.
2. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients (except ribs).
3. Pour half of the sauce in the slow cooker, place the ribs on top and then pour the remaining sauce over the ribs. Set to cook on low for 6-8 hours.
4. When slow cooker is done, preheat oven to 200 F. Carefully remove ribs from the slow cooker and place in the oven to stay warm. They will fall apart easily so you may need to use a large spoon or spatula.
5. Spoon a few cups of the sauce out and place in a medium sauce pan. You may need to skim some fat off the top using a large spoon. Heat the sauce over medium heat until it reaches a simmer and then reduce to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
6. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon corn starch and a few drops of water until smooth. Whisk in to the sauce to thicken. You may need to add more to reach your desired consistency. Serve the pork ribs with the sauce and more crushed pineapple (optional).

 

 

 

Aged Gouda Saltimbocca

Aged Gouda Saltimbocca

Is spring out there somewhere?? HELLOOOO!!  It’s ok, you can stop hiding and come out now!  I know everyone is talking about this and I’m sure I’m just repeating all the complaints you’ve seen on your facebook feed for the past week, but I have a right to complain too!  We just got back from Spain and although it wasn’t tropical by any means, it was 70 degrees and sunny every day which gave me a taste of warm weather and I WANT IT! NOW!

Aged Gouda Saltimbocca

As we were beginning our descent into Boston, the pilot came on the speaker and said “We are currently beginning our descent into Boston, the local weather is quite unfriendly with light snow and a cold 32 degrees.”  Really Boston? Really? This is how you are going to welcome us home?  Thanks, I love you too.  I really do, you know that, but you need to cut the crap and give us some spring!  We deserve it after all this snow.

It’s probably going to be one of those years where we skip the season of Spring all together.  No light jacket weather. We’re going to go straight from snow suits & gloves to shorts & bathing suits.  Can we say climate change?

Aged Gouda Saltimbocca

Speaking of sunny Spain, we came back with some amazing Iberico Ham so I used it in this recipe along with some aged gouda.  Add some fried sage into the mix and some crispy pork cutlets and you’ve got yourself a pretty delicious dinner.

Aged Gouda Saltimbocca

I hope you don’t mind that I didn’t include measurements for the breading ingredients.  It really depends on how many cutlets you have so just use what you think looks right.  It also makes the process a little cleaner if you use plastic bags for dredging the cutlets in flour & breadcrumbs.  I’ve found that the key to a successful breading that doesn’t come off while cooking is dipping it in flour BEFORE the egg mixture.  It creates a nice bond for the egg to cling to and then the breadcrumbs will stick well to the egg mixture.

Aged Gouda Saltimbocca

I believe that a traditional saltimbocca uses veal and you roll the cutlets up with the sage.  I chose to cook them flat to allow for more even cooking.  You can play around with your favorite ingredients, this will work great with chicken, pork or veal and you can top it with your favorite cured meats & cheese.  I’ve made this with cheddar & fontina cheese and it’s just as tasty!  You can even make it using eggplant or zucchini. Top it off with a squeeze of fresh lemon if you have it, it adds a nice touch.

As my husband said “He didn’t want this meal to end.”  Yum!

Enjoy!!

Aged Gouda Saltimbocca

Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 2-4 Thin Veal or Pork Cutlets
  • olive oil
  • 10-15 fresh sage leaves
  • thin prosciutto or ham
  • thinly sliced aged gouda
  • 1 lemon (optional)

Breading

  • flour
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • salt & pepper
  • seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

1. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add sage leaves and fry in the oil until lightly browned & crispy. Carefully remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to dry.
2. Season cutlets well with salt & pepper. In a small bowl whisk together eggs, milk and salt & pepper. Create a small assembly line including flour, egg mixture & bread crumbs.
3. Coat cutlets lightly with flour, then dip in the egg mixture and coat well with bread crumbs.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add the cutlets and cook until nicely browned on each side & cooked through (about 2-5 minutes each side).
5. Top the breaded cutlets with the fried sage leaves, prosciutto and slices of cheese. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until cheese is melted & prosciutto is crispy. Serve with fresh lemon (if desired).

 

 

Slow Cooker Ribs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Slow Cooker Ribs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Ok, so let me set the scene for you.  As I’m writing this it’s a grey rainy Sunday afternoon and we’ve spent the entire day cleaning out our office.  We sorted through 10 years of paperwork, emptying out desks, moving furniture and vacuumed and steam cleaned all of the carpets.  I have a roast chicken cooking for dinner that is filling the air with the sweet smell of chicken love and right now I have to stare at these photos of sticky, fall-off-the-bone ribs.  I pretty much want to eat my screen right now.  But since I kind of like my computer and don’t feel like shelling out another $3,000 for a new macbook, I think I’ll refrain for now and just go ahead and just tell you about these ribs quickly so I can go shove that chicken in my face.

Slow Cooker Ribs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

For those of you who have the time & patience to grill and smoke your ribs, all the more power to you.  But right now that’s just not the case for me.  I don’t have the time nor the patience for that so these ribs were cooked using a combination of the oven & slow cooker and I would even dare to say that they could compete against ribs that were slaved over all day.

Slow Cooker Ribs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Whole Foods had some great looking St. Louis style ribs on sale the other day so I picked some up along with this Bone Suckin’ Sauce.  You could also make your own BBQ sauce if you’re feeling ambitious but I found that this one had a pretty limited ingredient list and they were all items I could pronounce (SCORE!) so I felt pretty comfortable using it.  Don’t worry, the blueberry part will come in later.

Slow Cooker Ribs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

As a rib rub, I used my favorite one from Williams Sonoma but you could use your own or a mixture of salt, pepper and spices like paprika, onion & garlic powder, brown sugar & cayenne (for example).

BlueberryBBQRibs5

I started out by putting the dry rub on the ribs and cooking them at 400 F for 15 minutes on each side.  Then I threw them in the slow cooker with some sliced onions, poured the BBQ sauce on top & set it to cook on low for 8 hours.  Before serving I heated up the rest of the sauce with some of the drippings and a pile of fresh blueberries.  If you don’t have blueberries you could skip that part but it added a real nice natural sweetness to the sauce as well as great color.

Slow Cooker Ribs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

The ribs are fantastic right out of the slow cooker but if you want to give them that nice charred finish, simply throw them back in a 400 F oven for about 5-10 minutes and the edges will get all nicely charred & crispy.

Slow Cooker Ribs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Believe me, this is a recipe you’ll want to keep coming back to.  I have another rack of ribs in the fridge ready for a repeat this week, can’t wait!

It’s time to GET YOUR RIB ON!!  I’m going to get my chicken on now…

Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

My new desk!

Desk

I have been wanting a new desk FOREVER.  I work from home so a nice desk is a top priority for me and I’ve been using a cheap Ikea desk forever that has zero drawers or storage.  I finally found my dream desk this weekend and it’s going to be delivered later this week, I can’t WAIT! Isn’t she a beauty??

Slow Cooker Ribs with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Serves 2-4
Meal type Condiment, Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2.5 lb bone-in pork ribs (St. Louis or Baby Back)
  • 16oz bbq sauce
  • 1 Medium onion (sliced)
  • rib rub (see note)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover the ribs with the dry rub, working it in with your fingers and place the ribs on a foil-covered baking pan. Bake the ribs in the oven for 15 minutes each side.
2. Place the sliced onions in an even layer on the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the ribs on top of the onions and cover with 3/4 of the BBQ sauce. Using a spoon or pastry brush, slather to sauce to coat all sides of the ribs. Cover and set to cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. (Before Serving) In a small sauce pan combine remaining BBQ sauce with some of the drippings from the slow cooker and the blueberries. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until blueberries are soft. Mash them into the sauce using the back of a fork.
4. (Optional Step) Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker, place on a baking sheet and finish off in a 400 F oven for 5-10 minutes until charred.
5. Serve topped with blueberry BBQ sauce.

Note

For the rub, you can either use a purchased rub such as this, or make your own like this.

 

 

Pork with Creamy Apple Mustard Sauce

How much are you loving fall daylight savings right now?? It’s amazing what a difference an hour makes!  It was SO much easier to wake up in the morning and all day Sunday I felt like I had such a great head start on the day, I got so much done (an hour more worth of stuff to be exact).  Let’s hope we continue to reap the rewards all week and it’s easier to wake up at 5:30am for boot camp (doubtful but a girl can dream).

Ok, so the pictures for this one aren’t great, but it is seriously delicious, you really have to try it!  It’s funny because whenever I tell people that I enjoy cooking they ask me what my specialty is.  I never know what to say because not only do I not have a specialty, I rarely make the same meal twice.  This meal is one of the very few exceptions.  I’ve probably made this same dish a handful of times and for me, that is a LOT!

This dish brings me back to the time right after college when I first began to navigate my way through the kitchen.  I lived by myself in my new loft apartment and I felt all independent and grown up with my first real job. I decided it was time to teach myself how to cook.  Cooking for myself was much less stressful since I wouldn’t disappoint anyone if the meal was a flop.

I used to spend my Saturdays visiting to a local gourmet warehouse store drooling over their massive cheese selection and picking out the perfect fresh produce.  They had a few stations where chefs would cook up various dishes and you could try samples of everything and talk to the chef about what they made.  I got to know one of the chefs pretty well since I was in there every weekend.  The recipes were all amazing but since it was a gourmet store and I was on a limited college income, I often couldn’t afford the rare mushrooms and fancy sauces they used in their recipes.  One Saturday, the chef introduced me to this pork tenderloin dish with a creamy apple mustard sauce.  It was love at first taste! PLUS all of the ingredients were within my reach so I went right home and tried it.  It was AMAZING!

I’m sure the recipe has evolved a bit over the years since I never actually wrote it down, but the amazing rich flavors are still there and it’s still a favorite that reminds me of one of my first major victories in the kitchen.

This is one that I’ll always keep in my back pocket and probably cook up often, and by often I mean maybe once or twice a year.  Hey, for me that’s a LOT!

Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Fall Daylight Savings.

To find out why (see above).

Pork Tenderloin with Creamy Apple Mustard Sauce

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Allergy Milk
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 Medium sweet onion (sliced thin)
  • 1 Large apple (cut in thin slices)
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • salt and pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Season pork tenderloin with salt, pepper or whatever spice rub you like using.
2. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and spray with cooking spray. When piping hot, add the pork tenderloin and cook until all 4 sides are nicely browned. Move pork to a baking dish and place in the oven. Cook for 15-30 minutes until interior temperature reaches 145 F (cooking time will depend on size of tenderloin). Let the pork rest at room temperature 10 minutes before cutting into it.
3. Add a little olive oil to the cast iron pan and add the apples and onions, scraping the bits of pork left in the pan. When the onions and apples are nicely browned, reduce heat to low and continue cooking while pork is finishing up, stirring often.
4. Season apples and onions with salt and pepper to taste. Add mustard, maple syrup and half and half and continue cooking for another minute until heated through.
5. Cut pork tenderloin into thin slices and top with apple mixture.

Maple Sage Breakfast Sausage

I am about to share with you the easiest, most delicious breakfast sausage you will ever try.  My dad has been making this sausage since we were kids and I always used to look forward to going home so I could have some of this amazing sausage.  After realizing how easy it was it make, I started making it myself and never looked back.

Sausage is one of those things that sounds really complicated to make but if you’re not putting it in casings, it’s incredibly easy.  All you need is some ground meat and seasonings.  You mix it all up and you’re ready to go!  I made this the other morning when Tom & I came back from a run.  He went and took a shower and by the time he came downstairs it had been made and cooked.

Yes, it contains some sugar and salt so its not the healthiest thing but I guarantee you its better than any sausage you would buy in the store filled with preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce.  It’s even better if you grind your own meat.  I didn’t have time to do that so I used some ground pork we got from a farm in Vermont.

The best part about this sausage?  It makes a KILLER breakfast sandwich:

If there is one recipe on this blog that I would say you have to try, this would be it.  If you like sausage, I guarantee you’ll like this.  Now get cooking!!

Maple Sage Breakfast Sausage

Meal type Breakfast
Misc Serve Hot
The best breakfast sausage you will ever try and its incredibly easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground pork, turkey or chicken
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • sprinkle red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixer.
2. Form into small patties with your hands and cook on a skillet over medium heat until browned & cooked through.