Monthly Archives: November 2010

Seasonally Spiced Pork Tenderloin

Here’s a recipe for a spiced tenderloin that turned out tasting a little bit like a South Asian Christmas dinner. If you prefer less of a smoky flavor, knock out half or so of the cardamom and cumin and it will taste more traditional.

Spice Rub (all of these spices are dried and in powder form):

  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • half tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • half tsp cardamom
  • half tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves

Mix all of the ingredients above for the spice rub and massage a tablespoon of it over a 3 pound pork tenderloin the night before cooking. If you buy a more normal sized tenderloin (usually around a pound or so) you can either store the rest of the spice rub for another time or just use  about half a tablespoon. Make sure the spice rub isn’t caked on the tenderloin, it’s just needs to be lightly added and then rubbed in.

When it’s time to cook, set the meat out about a half hour before hand so that it adjusts to room temperature.

Heat a large skillet over high heat with a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the bottom. Once the oil is hot, sear each side of the meat for about 30 seconds.

Then, transfer to a roasting rack and cook in a 375 degree oven until a meat thermometer reaches 155-160 degrees (the meat will continue to cook once it’s taken out and will reach 165 degrees). My three and a half pound tenderloin took about 45 minutes in the oven to finish.

Remove the roast, cover with foil and let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting.  Enjoy!

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Herb Roasted Chicken (Or Turkey)

My relationship with food lately has been one of reconciliation. This semester has been one of my more hectic ones (not academically, but personally) and I feel as though I neglected one of my most cherished loves for a new shiny one that ultimately didn’t last. So, to my kitchen, refrigerator and rotting vegetables: I am so sorry, will you ever forgive me?

Last Monday when I started my quest to cook at least 4 good meals a week, I looked at my onion, crackly and despondent by itself in the fruit basket and was half nervous to pick it up. What if I had forgotten how to slice the horizontal and vertical cuts just so to reveal perfectly sized slivers of meal enhancing goodness?

Luckily, my hand and knife seemed to reconcile as well and the onion was soon stuffed into the empty cavity of a cold chicken.  A beautifully browned and roasted chicken (if I do say so myself) was made much better by the onion and a big group of friends came over to enjoy it.

Nothing is really more satisfying in my life than cooking for friends and family.

In my recent re-discovery of the kitchen I’ve also realized that most problems in life can be solved while cooking, listening to good music and drinking wine…even if the chef gets a little too over-zealous about the wine and proceeds to spill it all over her keyboard, effectively ruining the enter key, comma and period.  Oh well, USB attached keyboards work just as well! Here’s the recipe for the chicken and later this week I’ll post one for a seasonal spiced pork loin.



Herbed and Roasted Chicken (or turkey)

1) Rinse off your chicken inside and out with cool water. Run your hand underneath the skin so there’s room for the herbs and pat it completely dry with paper towels.

2) Take a bunch of salt and pepper and rub it all over the skin, under the skin and in the cavity of the chicken.  Don’t forget the bottom!

3) Combine 1 tablespoon each of parsley, rosemary and thyme (2 tablespoons if it’s fresh) with 2 to 3 tablespoons room temperature butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Rub the butter mixture all over the top of the skin and underneath it as well. This step is extremely important as it will prevent the most common problem for people who don’t cook poultry often, which is dry meat. If you don’t want to use butter, margarine or canola oil will be a perfectly acceptable substitute.

4) Slice a lemon and a yellow onion and place these in the cavity of the chicken, along with some more dried herbs.

Cook it on a roasting rack so that it doesn’t end up sitting in the drippings which will make it soggy (eww) for about an hour and 20 minutes for a 5 pound bird at 375 degrees.


This also works for Turkey! Enjoy.



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