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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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Much Ado About Toro, Boston

25 Jan

A search for Boston’s best restaurants brings up Toro. After a foodie friend recommended the Spanish restaurant, my boyfriend and I decided to give it a try. Toro does not accept reservations, so we arrived relatively early – at 5 PM on a Sunday evening. We waited for a table, eagerly anticipating the delicious tapas to come. 15 minutes later, we are seated at two bar stools facing the front window, overlooking the patio. All the tables inside were filled, with empty seats available only at long communal tables. Here’s how our evening went:

5:20 PM: Our glasses of water arrive, and we wait hungrily, hoping to be able to place our order.

5:40 PM: Finally, our waitress comes to take our order.

Toro - tuna belly6:00 PM: After what feels like a neverending wait, our tapas begin to arrive slowly, one by one. The ventresca (tuna belly) arrives first, as one lonely serving – two slices of tuna on one toasted slice of bread, and topped with celery. We awkwardly try to cut this thing into two pieces. This dish is saved only by the yummy tomato tapenade that had soaked into the bread.

IMAG1481Pork meatballs are juicy yet airy, melt-in-your mouth, flavourful goodness.

Toro - stewI really enjoyed the Catalan seafood stew (suquet marisco) with its complex flavours, full of lobster and clams.

IMAG1483Empanadas have a crispy corn shell and a soft interior of potatoes and chicken. They are served with a fine  green tomatillo salsa and light mayo.

IMAG1484The smokey flavour of the smoked duck leg is complemented by the sweetness of a quince glaze.

IMAG1486-1My favourite dish of the night was probably the beef check – it was tender and melted in my mouth, served with a cold farro salad with radish.

IMAG1487Lubina a la Sal, a salt-crusted Mediterranean bass is impressively presented. The whole fish is served on a plank, crusted with sea salt and herbs, and dotted inside with garlic cloves.

7:00 PM – We are finished eating and a busboy takes our plates away.

7:10 PM  – We request the check.

7:20 PM – Finally, the check is signed and we leave.

The Final Word: The food was delicious, but service felt incredibly slow, and it was difficult to get our waitress’ attention. Is Toro Boston’s best Spanish restaurant? Maybe, though Solea, just west of the city, gives Toro a good run for its money.

Info: Toro, 1704 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02118 USA

Toro on Urbanspoon

Comforting Burgers and Sandwiches: Prohibition Pig

26 Oct

Prohibition Pig, Waterbury, VT

Waterbury, Vermont might be on your way if you’re traveling between Montreal and Boston, or perhaps to the Stowe or Rutland areas for skiing or hiking. If you do find yourself in the area, stop by Prohibition Pig for beer and a bite to eat! The Prohibition Pig has a huge list of brews from Norway, Belgium, Canada and others, including some large 750 ml bottles that can run up to $40 each. On tap, you’ll find primarily US craft brews featured.

Prohibition PigThe restaurant is one long room divided lengthwise into two. One section housed the bar flanked by a few high tops on either end. The dining room formed the other half. The ambiance is laid back and comfortable, with a lot of dark wood, but the large windows at the front lets light reach the back of the dining room.

My boyfriend and I arrived at 4 pm on a holiday Monday. As it was early, we didn’t have to wait. By the time we left an hour later, every table was full. The table intended for four next to us was packed with five big guys. To my surprise, there were also many of families with kids at the restaurant.

I ordered the “Just a Burger” – but it was definitely not just a burger. With a quarter pound of Angus beef, layers of crunchy pickle slices, enough ketchup and mustard to ooze out of the burger as you bite into it, all between a soft house-made sweet potato bun, this burger was perfect! I highly recommend adding a fried egg. The Just a Burger is like the simple-burger-next-door you always enjoyed as a child, that is all grown up now and has become the prom queen.

"Just a Burger"

My boyfriend got the barbecue pork sandwich, also on same soft bun. It was also yummy, and easily complemented by any of the four sauces at our table, ranging from a tame bacon barbeque to a spicy pepper vinegar. We also got the duck fat fries to share – the duck fat makes them extra crispy. They were yummy, but I’m not sure it’s worth the extra bucks for the duck fat.

Pulled Pork sandwich

Overall, Prohibition Pig offers delicious, elevated version of comforting handhelds, a great beer selection, and a welcoming environment. The  downside is that there is only one washroom per gender – yes, lines can form where there is beer!

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Info: Prohibition Pig, 23 South Main Street Waterbury, VT, 05676 USA

Prohibition Pig on Urbanspoon

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

26 May

Sorry for the brief hiatus in posts – I have been under the weather for the past week, and this rainy, New England Memorial Day weekend hasn’t helped! It seemed like the perfect time to make a big pot of split pea soup. I used pork shoulder on the bone already chopped into pieces at the supermarket. You can also use a meaty hambone or diced ham.

Remember to soak split peas overnight in water. Otherwise, you can boil them for 2 minutes (6-8 cups water for 1 pound of split peas), then allow to sit for 1 hour.

chopped veggies

This recipe is for a 6 qt. (or lager) slow cooker. Halve the recipe for smaller slow cookers. (Prep time ~ 20 minutes)

In the slow cooker, put:

  • 1 lb split peas (soaked, then rinsed)
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder (with bone, fat removed. Or, use 2 cups diced ham)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 8 cups water

Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or HIGH for 4-5 hours.

Remove meat from the soup and set aside.

Use a hand blender to blend the soup directly in the slow cooker. Alternatively, blend soup in a blender. Remove pork from bones and return to soup, if desired.

split pea soup

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