Island Pork Tenderloin

A few years ago, when I was blogging over on the old blog, I watched on the sidelines as some of my favorite blogs participated in a little event called Eat to the Beat (EttB). EttB was hosted by Elly from Elly Says Opa and it called on bloggers to tap into their inner creativity by relating a song and a food or drink. How fun is that? Like I said though, I was watching from the sidelines, just call me a whimp. But when Elly announced that she was bringing it back for her 5 year blog anniversary, I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines.
Deciding to participate in the event was the easy part. Coming up with a good idea, not so easy. First, I kept thinking of really weird songs, and not coming up with anything to relate them to food. Then I thought it might be easier to make a dish and then try and match it up with a song. Which oddly enough led me to a song with the name of my dish in the title… and “explicit” lyrics. Not really the vibe I was going for. So I took a little break from thinking about it.

Realizing the deadline was fast approaching, I had to start thinking again. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! This was one of my favorite meals this month AND the song is one of Jesse’s favorites and one I also like. Oh, and no explicit lyrics. Ready for the reveal? For my EttB entry I made Island Pork Tenderloin and the song is ‘Islands‘ by the XX. Sounds like fun? There’s still time to participate! Deadline is November 27th! Read more about it by visiting Elly’s blog!

This pork is possibly the best pork tenderloin I’ve ever had. The meat could be cut with a fork it was so tender and the flavors are dynamic with just a touch of sweet and heat. I can’t wait to make it again when Jesse’s back from China! In the meantime I’ll listen to this song and send him pictures of delicious food with the caption “Wish you were here.” Ok, that last part might be a little mean, I’ll just leave the pictures caption-less. 🙂

Island Pork Tenderloin

*2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4 – 2 1/2 pound total) trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil

Spice Rub:
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
2 Tbsp Pineapple juice
Splash of Tabasco sauce

*I cut this recipe in half when I made it, halved it would feed about 3 people.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all of the ingredients for the spice rub then rub into the pork tenderloins.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, sear the tenderloin on all sides for a total of about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, leaving in pan.

While the tenderloin is browning, stir together the ingredients for the glaze. Spread the glaze over the tenderloin and transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Roast until a a thermometer inserted into the meat reads 140 degrees, about 20 minutes. Remove the meat from the oven and tent with foil, let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Adapted from Pennies on Platter, originally from The Gourmet Cookbook

So You Grew a Garden… Now What? 11

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Anytime I find out that I can “home make” something I get excited. There is just something very rewarding about making something that you would normally have to buy at the store. The other day a coworker and I were talking about our gardens and I told her that the plants that were doing the best were my pepper plants. My Serrano pepper plant was probably the healthiest plant in my garden this summer. Of course, the one plant that I really had no plans for when I planted it. I just planted it for fun. So my coworker mentioned drying the peppers and my eyes lit up. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before. Making my own red pepper flakes!

After doing a little research online I decided I wanted to go the quickest route and dry the peppers in the oven. I started by collecting all of my red colored peppers, which included serrano peppers, slim red chile peppers, and then some banana peppers that for some reason had turned red. I cleaned them all and cut the tops off. Then I put them on an air bake pizza pan and then in the oven at 170 degrees. I planned on leaving them to dry over night but Jesse was uncomfortable with that. So I dried them for 5 hours, then let them rest in the OFF oven overnight. The next evening I turned the oven back on to 170 and let them go for another 4 hours. So total it took about 9 hours.

After the 9 hours of drying in the oven, I let the peppers cool and rest and for a few more hours. Finally, I put the dried peppers in a ziploc bag and went to town with a rolling pin. I am storing the flakes in little .5 cup rubbermaid containers.

*I have to warn you. For the first few hours the smell was POTENT. The whole house smelled spicy and I felt almost like I was covered in hot peppers. I would recommend turning on a fan and opening a window. Luckily after a few hours it mellowed out some.

*I think this would make a really cute gift in a homemade gift basket. You could even use empty baby food jars and decorate the lids. I plan on putting together a few of these for Christmas.