While looking at my cat’s little bowl of fancy feast the other night with what some might consider envy, I realized that my diet of soup and ramen wasn’t cutting it, (although I kind of have an excuse since four of my teeth, deeply rooted and comfortable in the back of my gums were unwillingly removed 7 painful days ago). I wanted a fancy feast, gosh darn it, so I decided that it was time for my teeth to start doing their job again. On the menu: an herb crusted pork tenderloin, asparagus with a Dijon sauce and baked potatoes. This really isn’t a hard dinner to make if you prepare ahead, but to the dorm dwellers, this one’s not good for public kitchen areas. My apologies.
The Pig (Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I can’t claim this recipe as my own. Paula Deen called dibs. However I did make a few adjustments)
You’ll need a three to four pound pork tenderloin that doesn’t already have some kind of flavoring added to it. (They always have ones with teriyaki goop or a layer of peppercorns on them, but for this recipe you’ll need a blank slate). In a small bowl mix together 1 tablespoon each of dried thyme, dried rosemary, and dried basil. Add to that 4 minced garlic cloves, two tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt (kosher salt is always best). Once all of those are mixed place your pork tenderloin on a piece of foil and rub the herb mixture into it. Crunch the edges of your foil up around the pork so that it makes a kind of bowl around the meat, that way the juices won’t run off. Roast the pork for about 20 minutes at 475 degrees, and then turn the heat down to 425 for around 45 more minutes. Once it comes out of the oven, let it sit for at least ten minutes. It really does make a difference. If you cut into it immediately you’ll be chewing ten times longer than you would if it was allowed to rest beforehand.
Asparagus has to be my favorite vegetable. If you don’t eat them out of a can or attempt to gnaw on one raw or with no seasoning, they really are delicious. The most flavorful way to prepare them in my opinion is by roasting them. Rinse them off, chop or snap off the ends, and pat them dry. Drizzle some olive oil, kosher salt and pepper on them and toss it all together. Tuck a few cloves of garlic in between them and roast in the oven at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes. Make sure you check on them and don’t overcook any. Mushy asparagus equal gross asparagus. For the sauce, combine three tablespoons olive oil, three and a half tablespoons white wine vinegar, one teaspoon honey, one tablespoon dried parsley, and a bit of salt and pepper. Whisk it all together (especially once you add the honey…Splenda works too) and pour over top of the cooked asparagus.
Bake a potato and put whatever you want on it. My only suggestion is to leave off the foil and don’t cut a slit in the top. If you do both of those things you’re simply steaming it and then you’d be missing out on the crackly skinned, fun textured real baked potato!