Blackened pork tacos with a poblano tomatillo salsa

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This last week I haven’t had any time to make a meal plan. I’ve been too busy with sick children, being sick myself and trying to catch up on sleep.. So a meal plan was the LAST thing on my mind. So I did what any regular person would do- go to the grocery store and buy whatever is on sale or looks good! That is when the idea of these taco’s were born.

Poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, tomatillos… All green everything. It should be called the mean green charred salsa of the west. Right, there’s pork too. Blackened pork which is delicious. But the SALSA. I mean come on, this batch makes over a litre of salsa so you have an excuse to eat nacho’s smothered in cheese later.

The secret to this recipe that keeps the pork moist and tender is a DRY rub and an over night marinade. Or at least over an hour. Preferably 2. Ok the secret is baking soda. Why? because google said so. “Baking soda is an antacid. In other words, it works to neutralize acid. Rather than “denaturing” the meat as salt does, baking soda raises the pH on the surface of the meat, making the outside of the meat more alkaline. This chemical reaction makes it more difficult for the proteins in the meat to tighten up together.”

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You’ve got to char these bad boys. (Jalapeños orange and extra lime not shown, oops.)

Blend it up and BAM – a deliciously fresh salsa with a citrus-y kick and the heat comes right after you get that citrus kick. It hits alllll the right spots on your tongue. I’m going to stop blabbing now, and post the recipe. You have GOT to try this.

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Ingredients: Serves 8-10

For the rub/marinade:

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 TBSP baking soda
  • 2.5 TSP oregano
  • 1/2 TSP cumin
  • 1 TSP coriander
  • salt and pepper

For the Mean Green Salsa:

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 8 tomatillos, shucked and washed
  • 6 scallions, ends trimmed
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 large lime, or 2 small limes halved. (1/4c fresh squeezed lime juice.)
  • 1/2 large navel orange
  • EVOO for drizzling
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 loosely packed cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1/2 TBSP honey or agave

For cooking the pork:

  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1c red wine preferably, or chicken stock
  • 10 organic volcanic stone ground corn tortillas

Optional toppings:

  • Radishes, Avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro, cheese

Directions:

  1. For the dry rub marinade: mix baking soda, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander in a small bowl. Rub all over your pork tenderloin. Put in the fridge to marinate uncovered for 1 hour up to 24 hours.
  2. For the salsa: Turn your oven to the broil setting. (about 550F) Place your poblanos, jalapeños, tomatillos, scallions, garlic cloves, onion, and limes on a baking sheet. drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked peppercorns. Put in the oven for 2-4 minutes. put a timer for 2 minutes, and check to see if they need an extra minute. It depends on your oven. there will be a bit of smoke. You’re charring the veg after all. Once the veg are slightly charred, remove from the oven.
  3. In a blender or food processor, juice your limes and your orange. Rough chop your charred vegetables and add to the blender. Add cilantro, honey and season again with salt and pepper. (not too much, I would blend ingredients first and taste. adjust your seasoning accordingly.)
  4. For the pork: Preheat your oven to 400F. In a well seasoned cast iron skillet over med-high heat, add your EVOO. Once hot, add your tenderloin. Blacken on all sides. This does not take long, I swear it’s the baking soda. once blackened on all sides, de-glaze the pan with your wine or stock. Swish (can I say swish?) your pork around to soak up and roll around in all those black bit flavours stuck on the pan. Remove from heat and put in the oven for 15 minutes. (Or until cooked to 145F)
  5. Remove pork from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes while you chop up your Avo’s, radishes, cilantro and char your tortillas. I do this right on my gas burners. if you don’t have a gas stove, use a stainless steel skillet over med-high heat and add your tortillas to toast them. (not a non-stick, it’s dangerous to heat food with no oil or fat.)
  6. Slice your pork and assemble your tacos. YUM.

Chipotle Mango BBQ’D Pork Tenderloin

The best thing about spring time is the warm weather and the sunshine (and hopefully in a day or so here BEER for me! Come on baby girl, it is time to vacate the premises!!) And what comes with warm weather, sunshine, and beer?! BBQ SEASON! Keeping your house nice and cool without heating it up more in the stinking hot sun is a truly beautiful thing. So lets get those grills started people!!

When your mother in law brings you a bunch of mangoes… you need to use those mangoes. This was a small experiment that turned out quite delicious! Its mangoes, chipotles in adobo and a few other ingredients. It is absolutely delicious! And it is a bit spicy, but it is a SMOKY spicy. I would dial back the heat to half if you’re not a spice person.

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Ingredients: (Serves 2. Use a second pork tenderloin to serve 4. Do not double the sauce recipe, the recipe makes 2 cups already!)

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce/Baste

  • 2 TBSP pureed chipotle in adobo sauce (see note at bottom of post.)
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 large lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and rough chopped
  • a pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Heat your outdoor grill to MEDIUM heat. No higher. I wouldn’t go lower unless your grill is very hot.
  2. Season your pork tenderloin with salt and pepper.
  3. In a food processor or small blender, add in all of your sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth. Put 1.4c of the sauce in a small bowl to use to baste the pork tenderloin while it cooks.
  4. Slather some sauce on your pork tenderloin and place it on the grill. This will take no longer than 20 minutes to cook through.
  5. Check on your pork tenderloin and turn it every 4 minutes or so to get nice and grilled on all sides. if you go to move your tenderloin and she is still sticking to the grill, don’t touch her. She isn’t ready to be turned over yet.
  6. Baste your tenderloin as you turn it over to cook each side, getting some beautiful grill marks. The color of the tenderloin will be a gorgeous deep orange. Baste and cook until your tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 145F.
  7. Remove the tenderloin from the grill to a cutting board, cover with foil and let it rest for at least 7 minutes.
  8. Slice into medallions and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
  9. Serve up with some BBQ’d seasoned carrots and some Bacon Mango Rice !

 

*Note: Whenever I open a can of chipotle in adobo, I know I will not be using the whole thing in a week normally. So I puree it all together, put it in a freezer zip lock bag and break off portions as I need from the freezer. This keeps your waste to a minimum.


Pineapple Pork Satay

This is by far one of the worst photo’s of pork satay in the whole world, but I promise you it was absolutely amazing! There’s so much flavour in the marinade and sauce! It’s a little sweet and a little spicy, with pineapples and jalapeños! This is a must try!

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmer of fat and thinly sliced in to long strips

Marinade/Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 1/4C Pineapple chunks
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1″ ginger, peeled
  • 1 Lime, juiced and zested
  • 1C cilantro
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1/2C Soy sauce
  • 1/4c EVOO
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a blender or a food processor, add all of your sauce/marinade ingredients and blend until smooth.  Reserve half of the sauce and set aside.
  2. In a ziplock bag or a bowl, add your pork tenderloin strips with the remaining marinade and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Once ready to cook, remove your pork from the marinade. Do not discard the marinade.
  4. Preheat your outdoor grill to a medium heat. Not too high as you do not want the thinly sliced pork to stick to the grill.
  5. Skewer your pork on to soaked wooden bamboo skewers or metal skewers.
  6. Brush your skewers with some of the remaining marinade, and then place on the grill. These will only take a few minutes on each side to cook. Once your pork is almost opaque, flip the skewers over to cook on the other side. Brush the rest of the marinade on the pork and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
  7. Remove from the grill, and serve with the reserved sauce that was NOT used to marinate your pork.
  8. Serve with rice and my Carrot Ribbon and Radish salad

Bacon Penne Carbonara with peas and Leeks

For the love of BACON. Lazy nights equal lazy suppers. Although this dish only takes moments to prepare, it definately does NOT lack in flavour! Pasta, garlic, leeks, fresh peas, bacon and cheese. Need I say more?

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 3c dried penne pasta
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 leek, quartered and sliced and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1.5c fresh peas
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • parmigianno reggiano
  • parsley, rough chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

bacon penne carbonara

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt the water. Add your penne, and cook until el dente.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add your bacon. Cook bacon to your liking, drain as much fat as you can.
  3. Once the bacon is almost done cooking, add in your leeks, peas and garlic. Cook until leeks are softened and peas are bright green. (Only a few minutes)
  4. In a measuring cup, gather 1 cup of starchy pasta water and add the 2 egg yolks to the water. Beat the eggs and water together and then pour over your bacon mixture.
  5. Drain the pasta and add it to the large skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley, toss everything together and serve!

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard BBQ sauce

If you’re all for a different kind of barbecue sauce, I suggest this one! It is a bit spicy, so if you don’t normally eat a lot of spicy foods your head might sweat! This BBQ sauce is made with mustard and a delicious combination of spices. Try it out!

mustard BBQ pork

Ingredients: (serves 2)

For the pork-

  • 1 Lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 TSP each of dried: Rosemary, garlic powder, thyme and onion powder
  • 1/4 TSP chili flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 TBSP EVOO

For the sauce- (This makes about 2 cups so there will be left overs.)

  • 1/3C Ketchup
  • 1/2C Mustard
  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP worchesterchire sauce
  • 3 TBSP Franks red hot sauce
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/2 TSP each of dried: onion powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a small bowl, mix together  your spice rub ingredients – rosemary, garlic powder, thyme, onion powder, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Rub the spice mixture all over your pork tenderloin.
  2. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add your EVOO. Once the oil is nice and hot, add your tenderloin to the skillet. Brown it on all sides to get a nice crust.
  3. Once the tenderloin is browned, move it right to the 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until its internal temperature reads 145F.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk all of your sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  5. Once the pork is done cooking, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Let it rest 5 to 10 minutes. Once the tenderloin is rested, slice it into medallions and serve with the mustard BBQ sauce.
  6. Serve this with mashed potatoes and a broccoli cole slaw! Yummy!

Apple & Pear Stuffed Pork Loin

This pork tenderloin recipe has been an absolute hit! I am so happy that so many of you like it! Along with the revamping of the rest of my blog, I am also revamping some recipes and photo’s. The recipe for this is pretty much almost the exact same, but it has a different cooking method to ensure moist and juicy pork, and we added in some brie cheese. (Because why not?!) Hopefully you like this version just as much (if not more) than the last one! The fruit content has been cut down to a reasonable amount to stuff the pork tenderloin without too much overflow and waste. The left over apple and pear in this recipe that is NOT used on the pork, is used in this Spinach salad with a creamy brie poppy seed dressing. Enjoy!

Ingredients: (serves 2-3 with some left overs.)

  • 1/2 of an apple, sliced thinly. It’s your choice to peel or not to peel.
  • 1/2 of a pear, sliced thinly. it’s your choice to peel or not to peel.
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 TBSP fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 TBSP Evoo
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 pork tenderloin, butterflied and pounded to 1/4″ thick. (Thinner is better. don’t worry if you can’t get it quite this small.)
  • Enough salt, pepper and smoked paprika to season BOTH sides of your tenderloin
  • 3 heaping TBSP Brie cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. In an ovenproof skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp EVOO. Let it get nice and warm. Add your sliced apples and pears. Cook until soft. Add in your sliced garlic and rosemary. Cook until your garlic is fragrant. Careful not to Burn your garlic. Remove from heat.
  3. Lay the mixture out into a line closest to one edge of your ALREADY seasoned pork tenderloin. Add the cheese along the line (all things stuffing the pork should be going from one side to the other.) Drizzle your maple syrup on top of the garlic and pear mixture.
  4. Start rolling your pork. Bring one end of the pork OVER the stuffing. Keep rolling nice and as tight as you can. Once you’ve rolled up the pork, secure it in at least 4 to 5 places with butcher twine.
  5. In the same oven proof skillet over med-high heat, drizzle another TBSP of EVOO. Let it get nice and hot. Sear your pork tenderloin on all sides. Let it sit for a few minutes on each side to get nice and browned to lock in all that flavour. Don’t flip your pork if the cooking side is still only white. IT MUST BE BROWNED.
  6. Once pork is seared on all sides, place it straight into the oven at 425F for 10-13 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 145F.
  7. Take pork out of the oven and move to a cutting board. Let it rest for 5-8 minutes. Then slice, and serve!

 


Pork loin with white wine and herb gravy

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Ingredients: (Serves 2)

For the pork-

  • 1 LB pork tenderloin
  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1 TSP each dried thyme, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Gravy-

  • 1C white wine
  • 1/4 TSP garlic powder, thyme, onion powder, rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1/4C heavy cream
  • 1 TSP corn starch

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together your thyme, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread all over your pork tenderloin.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425F.
  3. Heat an oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Add your EVOO. Once your oil is hot, add your tenderloin and sear it on all sides.
  4. Once your tenderloin is nicely seared, put it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 145F.
  5. Once your tenderloin is done cooking, remove it from the oven and the skillet and place it on a cutting board. cover it loosely with tin foil and let it rest for about 7 minutes.
  6. Place the same skillet back over medium heat. Add your garlic powder, thyme, onion powder, rosemary and black pepper. Whisk the seasonings together in the pan for a little less than a minute. Add in your white wine and whisk everything together, getting all the nice browned bits of pork and seasoning from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce by a little less than half. Add your butter, season with salt.
  7. Mix your cornstarch with your heavy cream, and then add to the gravy. Whisk and let thicken.
  8. Slice your pork into medallions, and serve with the gravy.
  9. Serve this with roasted carrots and potatoes. season them with salt, pepper and garlic powder, or whatever seasoning you like. bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Grab your pork loin. Make tiny slits all over the loin and slide your garlic slices in. I call this “studding” my loin. Once finished, in a plastic zip lock bag, add half the rosemary sprigs and half the thyme sprigs. Add your salt and your water. Braise your loin for 24 hrs or more. You can also SKIP this step if you don’t have the time.

Preheat your oven to 375F.

In a skillet over med-high heat, add EVOO. Remove your pork from the braising liquid. Dry the loin with a towel or paper towel. Season all sides of the loin with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, onion powder, and parsley. Add the loin to the pan. Brown on all sides.

NOTE: I cooked this with balsamic carrots. SO, I placed the sliced carrots in the bottom of a roasting pan, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and then I placed the garlic loin in the centre. i also added about 1/4-1.2c chicken stock to the pan. Place in the oven, and cook through. About 30-40 minutes or so, depending on the size of your loin.

In the sauce pan that you browned your pork in, deglaze with white wine. Let it reduce to half. Add your chicken stock. Next, add in the remaining rosemary and thyme sprigs.Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. whisk in your flour coated butter. Once the pork tenderloin is done, add 1/2c of the cooking liquid to the gravy. Simmer until ready to serve.