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.


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?

bacon penne carbonara 2

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!

Roasted beet salad with goat cheese and chives

The title of this post says it all: beets, goat cheese and chives. Well, I added a couple more things, but you get the jist of it!

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Ingredients: (serves 3-4)

  • 3 large beets, ends trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • EVOO 2 fat drizzles, separated
  • 1 large lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2c crumbled fresh goat cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3c chives, minced (add much more if desired, they are delicious.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F
  2. Drizzle your beets with EVOO, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap them in tin foil, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for about 60 minutes, or until they are nice and fork tender.
  3. Let your beets cool down. Once they are cooled, peel their skin off.
  4. Dice up your beets and put them in a bowl. Add your lemon zest, lemon juice, chives, a fat drizzle of EVOO (a little less than a TBSP.) season with salt and pepper, and add in your crumbled goat cheese. Toss your salad 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!

10 Spice Beer Can Chicken

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It was 29 degrees today. WOW. What an ABSOLUTELY beautiful day!!! But on super hot days like today, I don’t really feel like heating up my house any more than it already is – so I decided to BBQ outside! Tonights dinner is a super simple, yet delicious (moist) beer can chicken!!!! If you have never tried something like this, I suggest you do. Serve it up with some BBQ’D sweet potatoes, and BBQ’D whole carrots, and a home made Caesar salad.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 3-4LB whole chicken
  • 1/3c EVOO
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP garlic powder
  • 2 TBSP smoked paprika
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP coriander
  • 1 TBSP onion powder
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP pepper
  • 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 can of your favourite beer

Directions:

  1. Wash your bird thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together your brown sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, onion powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and your evoo.
  3. Place your chicken in a LARGE bowl. Rub your seasoning paste all over the bird.
  4. Heat your outdoor grill to LOW on one side, and MEDIUM on the other side.
  5. Make sure to use some kind of drip tray safe for a BBQ to place your chicken on. Put the beer can in the chickens cavity, place standing up on the drip tray and put it on the LOW heat side of the BBQ. Close the lid. If the brown sugar on your chicken is getting black within the first 10-20 minutes of being on the grill, turn the heat down a little lower.
  6. Set a kitchen timer for 1 hour. This can take up to 90 minutes depending on the efficiency of your grill. My 4lb chicken only took about 1 hour.
  7. Once the thickest part of the chicken reads 165F, it is ready to come off the grill.
  8. Place chicken on a cutting board, let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Once the chicken is well rested, carve and serve!

Spinach salad with a creamy brie poppy seed dressing

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my doctor about my most recent routine bloodwork and how my hemoglobin level dropped pretty significantly. (Thanks baby #2!) I was advised to take extra iron supplements, which is obviously a pretty standard thing to do. Iron pills make me so bloody sick that I can’t even function properly, so I stopped taking them… Instead, I just started incorporating more iron rich foods in to my diet and I seem to be much better now! One of those iron rich foods I added in to my diet was SPINACH. I usually do eat spinach, but I swear by now we’re eating it 3-6 times a week depending on how much I have on hand!!

ANYWAYS. I made my Apple+pear+brie stuffed pork tenderloin for dinner again tonight, and I had to revise the recipe. Instead of using 1 full apple AND one full pear to stuff such a tiny tenderloin, I used only half. I also had brie left over from this that I know I am not going to use any time soon. SO, I decided to make a salad consisting of the left over apples, pears and brie. It was an interesting approach and I did not think this would work. Low and behold, it was DELICIOUS. You must give this salad a try!!!

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

For the salad:

  • 3-4 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 of a pear, diced
  • 1/2 of an apple, diced
  • 1/2c walnuts (pecans will work also. Or mix together.)

For the dressing:

  • 4 TBSP spreadable brie cheese
  • 1/4c white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4c + 1 TBSP Evoo
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • A pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 TBSP poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. Toss all your dressing ingredients in a measuring cup or little bowl and whisk until everything is nicely incorporated.
  2. In a separate salad bowl, toss in your spinach, apples, pears, and walnuts.
  3. Dress your salad and eat up!

Spring Gnocchi with fresh herbs

Dinner tonight is super fresh and super simple! There’s a little bit of chopping, and we cheated by buying our gnocchi instead of making it today. Oops! No time for that today! This was quite the refreshing dish. I love all the green in it! Give it a try!

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 700g fresh potato gnocchi
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, diced and rinsed to remove dirt
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus, tough ends broken off, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 large green onions, whites and greens separated, and sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, sliced (not minced. we want nice big but thin pieces.)
  • 1c Peas
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2c parmigiano reggiano + more for serving
  • few leaves of basil, torn
  • 1/2c parsley, rough chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsp EVOO and 2 tbsp butter. Let the butter melt and the oil get nice and hot. Add your gnocchi in and brown on both sides.
  2. Once your gnocchi is browned, add in your leeks, asparagus, whites of the green onions and garlic. Cook until the leeks and asparagus start to get tender. (a few minutes.)
  3. Add in your fresh peas, remaining 2 tbsp butter, greens of the green onions, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add your lemon zest and your lemon juice, 1/2c parmigianno reggiano, parsley and basil. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Sprinkle with more cheese!
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