Perfect Pork Tenderloin Rubs and Marinades

12 Apr

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Here are four easy ways to marinate and bake pork tenderloin, guaranteeing a delicious meal! Marinate overnight, or even a couple days. I like to prep four tenderloins at once. Then, when I get home from work, I pop them in the oven, and there’s enough for dinner for both me and my boyfriend, and lunch for the rest of the week.

1) Cumin – Coriander Rub

For each tenderloin (about 1 1/4 pound of meat), use 1 tsp each:

  • cumin
  • coriander
  • garlic powder
  • oregano
  • thyme

Pair this simple tenderloin goes well with basmati rice, couscous, you name it!

IMG_00222) Chinese Five Spice Marinade

For each tenderloin, use:

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, sliced or mashed
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil

Serve this tenderloin with Jasmine rice or sliced over noodles in soup.

IMG_01433) Moroccan Rub

For each tenderloin, use:

  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • salt, pepper to taste

The rub imparts a slightly crunchy texture to the outside of the pork. Shown here served with a sweet potato and bell peppers, but I also think this tenderloin goes well with couscous studded with raisins and diced carrots.

 4) Apple Cider Vinegar Marinade

For 4 tenderloins (about 5 pounds meat) I used:

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary

The apple cider ensures that the pork will come out extra moist!

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Place tenderloins on a flat rack on a roasting pan.
  3. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and continue baking for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature of the meat reaches 5-10 degrees below the final desired temperature.
  5. Remove from oven. Let tenderloins rest under a tented piece of aluminum foil. (Pork will continue to cook slightly).
  6. Slice and serve!

 

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Trendy Thai: Khao San Road, Toronto

8 Apr

A few months ago, we arrived at Khao San Road early on a frigid Thursday night. It was only 5:40 PM, and -20°C. Still, there was a 25 minute wait for the two of us. Wow, this place was popular!

We were seated at the bar. The menu offered the typical Thai choices. This was, after all, a place that prides itself on elevated Thai street food.

Khao San Road - Pad Thai Three Flavours Pad Thai with chicken

 

Green CurryThe green curry with thinly sliced beef could have benefited from more veggies, but it otherwise tasted good. The flavour of the bamboo shoots really came through.

 

IMAG1956I had the Khao Soi, a signature dish with egg noodles and crispy noodles in golden curry. It had many large chunks of tender beef I could pull apart with a fork.  The dish however, felt a bit incomplete without any vegetables.

This is definitely a place for 20 and 30-somethings, with long and high communal tables and plenty of bar seating. Khao San Road serves fancy street food that you can wash down with Thai iced tea, beer, or a selection from a wine list that is unexpectedly long for an Asian restaurant. The food is well-executed and nicely presented – nothing will catch you off guard, you’ll find the ingredients and combinations that you would expect.

Food: 4/5 | Atmosphere: 4/5 | Value: 3.5/5

Info: Khao San Road, 326 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 1R3

Khao San Road on Urbanspoon

Best Brunch Pick: Nick’s On Broadway, Providence

5 Apr

After reading some rave reviews, my guy and I decided to try Nick’s for brunch. We arrived at 12:30 pm on a Sunday, and waited about 40 minutes – just what the hostess had estimated. Nick’s accepts names until 3 pm. Unless you arrive after 2:30, expect to wait. In any case, the wait is well worth it!

The restaurant is divided into two. One side has the  impressively-stocked bar, with bar seating and high-tops each seating two people. It seems the thing to do while you’re waiting for a table is to order a Bloody Mary or the mimosa special.  The special that day was a Prosecco with apple puree. It looked yummy, though I didn’t try it. The other side of Nick’s has bar seating facing an open kitchen, and tables for larger parties.

Everything we had was amazing!  Nick’s uses locally-sourced meats, seafood, and vegetables so there is a whole list of specials, depending on what ingredients are plentiful.

Nick's on Broadway - eggs benny with beef hashThe hash special was a beef and onion hash with mushroom gravy and poached eggs. My boyfriend ordered it on top of a Benedict, with house-made biscuits and Hollandaise sauce, served with home fries which included some sweet potatoes.

Other specials of the day (it was tough to remember  them all the details as our server recited them) included a very yummy-sounding burger, a cassoulet with lamb, pork sausage, and white beans, served with grilled bread, and a fish dish.

 

IMAG2381I had the creamy corn-butternut squash polenta topped with spinach, two poached eggs, pumpkin-seed pesto, and Parmesan cheese.

 

Nick's on Broadway - French toastThe full order of vanilla-battered French toast was two thick slices, he ordered it with warm berry compote (strawberry rhubarb today i think) and Vermont maple syrup. The house-made bread was very soft on the inside.

 

Nick's on Broadway - bread puddingI had the maple-walnut bread pudding – a dense square topped with house-made cranberry ice cream, over a smear of gooey caramel.

Our waitress was super nice and attentive. Our coffee mugs and water glasses never went empty. Interestingly, coffee is not on the drink menu, though there is a plethora of teas. I would definitely return to Nick’s. Actually, I can’t wait to go back!

Food: 5/5 | Service: 5/5 | Value: 5/5

Info: Nick’s On Broadway, 500 Broadway, Providence RI 02909
Nick's on Broadway on Urbanspoon

Carrot Ginger Soup

29 Mar

My boyfriend raves that this is his favorite soup so far! It might be because it’s made with coconut milk, which is pretty decadent. I like to make this soup in a slow cooker because it’s easy, but you can also sautée the vegetables and then add the remaining ingredients, to cook over a stovetop.

The nutritional info at the bottom of this recipe comes from the label on the can of coconut milk I used, and from http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php

ingredients for carrot soup

Ingredients

1½ pounds carrots, chopped (about 10 carrots)

2 onions, chopped

3 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth

1 14oz can coconut milk

½ cup water

¼ cup orange juice

1½  tsp fresh ginger grated (or ¾  tsp dried)

Spice Blend (see right) or 3 Tbsp curry powder

sea salt to taste

Spice Blend:

1 Tbsp cumin

1½ tsp coriander

1½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp paprika

⅛ tsp nutmeg

Directions
1. Put all ingredients into a slow cooker. Stir.
2. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours.

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3. Purée using an immersion blender or regular blender. Serve. Makes about 10 cups.

slow cooker carrot ginger soup

See? I told you this was easy!

 

Nutrition Information
per 1 cup serving
Calories: 113
Total Fat: 1.2 g
Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
Sodium: 69 mg
Sugars: 4.9 g
Protein: 1.8 g

Nutritional info is approximate! A big takeaway here though is that the amount of sodium in a bowl of homemade soup is far less than what you’ll find in a store-bought can of soup.

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