06 January 2014

Dishes with Dee: Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Carrots

So, little did you know, we live in the arctic.
-2 degrees, you guys.
Negative 2.

Talk about needing a meal that is hearty and will warm you up.
Something satisfying that doesn't undo all your hard work in the health department?
Girl, what you know about roasted vegetables?

I love roasted root vegetables the most. They develop a sweet flavor when roasted and just remind me of this time of year.
In an "I'm cuddled up under a big blanket with a roaring fire going" kind of way, not an "I had to brace my foot on the side of my car this morning to yank my driver-side door open because it was frozen shut" kind of way.

Pair roasted carrots and a pork tenderloin with my go-to quick arugula salad and you've got a balanced meal that will totally make you forget what it's like outside right now.

This recipe needs very few ingredients and involves very little work.  Perfect for week nights.
Keep in mind, you can buy pork already seasoned, or you can season it yourself.  If you are planning to season yourself, you'll want to do that the night before.  It needs to set anywhere from 4-24 hours before cooking.

Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Carrots  

So here's what ya need:
1 1/2-2 lb pork tenderloin- You can find them already marinated by your butcher or prepackaged. If you want to save time, go this route, but remember- read the ingredients to make sure you're keeping it healthy
1 medium bunch carrots
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper

I posed about the arugula salad here. It has become my standard side salad because it is super fast, easy, and delicious.

For the salad:
Here's what ya need:
4 c. arugula
About 1/2 c baby bellas- sliced
About 1/2 shallot- thinly sliced
1/4 c Parmesan
2 tbsp roasted garlic olive oil
1 1/2- 2 tsp champagne vinegar
Juice of  remaining 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper.

If you plan to season the pork yourself, you'll need:
4 additional garlic cloves
2 tbsp of peppercorns
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil- Roasted garlic flavor if you have it
A dash of salt

And here's what ya do:

If you're going to season the pork yourself:
Combine the garlic and sage and mash using a mortar ad pestle if you have one.  (If not, just use a medium bowl and the back of a spoon).  Add in your peppercorns and crush coarsely. Stir in oil and salt until combined.
Rub onto pork tenderloin and tightly cover with plastic wrap.  Let sit in the refrigerator over night or at least for 4 hours and bring out about 30 minutes before you're planning to cook it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat and cook the pork on all sides for about 2 minutes each side. It should be lightly browned.
Transfer to a pan and bake for about 20 minutes.  You want the temperature of the pork to be about 150 degrees when you remove it from the oven.  Let rest about 10 minutes.
It's important, you'll recall, don't skip it!

While the pork is in the oven, trim the green tops off your carrots, and wash.

Halve carrots length wise and put on a baking sheet with the garlic cloves- peeled and whole.
Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for about 20-25 minutes, until carrots can be easily pierced with a fork.
Remove from oven and squeeze over with the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

While the carrots cook, prepare your salad:

Combine the last 4 ingredients in a large bowl and whisk.
Add arugula- you know by now to hand toss.
Add mushrooms, shallots, and cheese.

Once your pork has rested for 10 minutes, slice into about 1/2 inch thick pieces.

Plate everything and serve.

Don't you just feel all warm inside now?

A few notes:
If you needed to go the simple route and bought your pork already seasoned, simply cook it according to the instructions from your butcher or on the package.  My only note is that you actually want it to be about 5 degrees lower in temperature than what is recommended.  The temp will rise while it is resting, and pork should be slightly pink.  It has a tendency to dry out quickly, so be careful not to over cook.

Seasoning the pork yourself comes from this recipe.

You could serve 2-4 people on these numbers.
Bonus: about 22g of protein in 3 oz. of pork!

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