Category Archives: Cooking

Tuscan Pork Tenderloin

Since retiring, I have been indulging myself in a wide variety of projects, basically all the stuff I’ve been wanting to do since, like, forever. One that I am having some fun with is cooking. It is easy to combine with one of my other loves, wine. As my co-conspirator in life has similar tastes, this was a no-brainer to move forward on. So I have put writing a book, learning to speak Spanish and becoming a guitar hero on the back burner while I concentrate on this one. I did allude to this in a previous post, here about my latest bucket list.

Our Saturday night dinner this time was Tuscan Pork Tenderloin. A very simple recipe, quick to prepare with very little fuss or muss. Here’s the recipe. Note it is for 4 servings, but we find far too often that 4 equals 2.5.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

4 servings

  • 1 ⅓ teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ⅘ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ⅘ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅓ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ⅓ pounds pork tenderloin

Directions

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Step 2 Combine garlic, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture all over the pork tenderloin. Place in a baking dish.

Step 3 Bake in the preheated oven until pork is slightly pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

Like I said, very simple. We would suggest upping the time to 30 to 35 minutes. That was the only issue we had. The clean up was super easy as well. We used Jasmine rice for a base, mixed with frozen broccoli and butternut squash. The vegetables were cooked in a bit of olive oil and spiced with salt and pepper to taste.

We paired the dish with one of our go to wines, Meiomi Pinot Noir. The two went together very nicely. The wine is a typical California Pinot, although it has more of a vanilla taste than most. A popular brand, it goes in the $20.00 range.

Overall the supper was a success and one we will repeat in future. The tenderloin was excellent. The minimal spice only accented the overall taste and melded with the wine. I’d rate it a 9 of 10, very subtle, very good.

Top 10 Bucket List Items – Number 9

Number 9 on my personal bucket list is becoming a better cook. In our travels, we have run into so many different cuisines that we wish we could import into our kitchen. As we get closer to our retirement, I have begun exploring various authors and recipes and have started learning the nuances to better, healthier (sometimes) food. As we both love food and wine, this endeavour is a natural for us. As we go, we will be sharing recipes that we found to be especially good, giving credit to the contributor, as well as commenting on the wine we chose to pair with the dish.

The early reviews from the household foodie have been positive and for that, I am motivated to continue.

We created the following dish and it is now noted as a favourite. We paired with a 2017 King Estate Pinot Noir, from the Williamette Valley of Oregon. It paired well with the dish, a Pinot or Chardonnay would be our recommendation for this pairing. The wine was fairly light and smooth, quite dry and a bit acidic. The main notes we tasted were cherry and red berries with some oak as well. Overall, we gave it 3.9 rating on a 5 scale. Not quite a 4, but still very good.

The dish itself is very tasty and fairly easy to prepare. As a note, cooking with chicken thighs changes everything you know about chicken. We did not add the heavy cream.

Our first experiment, as found at;

Familystyle Food Home | Familystyle Foodhttps://familystylefood.com/

We have found this website to be very helpful and stacked with multiple off the grid style recipes. We highly recommend it.

Chicken in White White Sauce (Vino Bianco)

INGREDIENTS


INSTRUCTIONS
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 6 bone-in)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black peppercorns
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated garlic
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed) coarsely chopped
1 cup dry white wine (such as pinot grigio)
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
3 fresh thyme sprig plus 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves for serving
1 pound dried fettuccine or tagliatelle pasta
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream optional
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Season the chicken on all sides with 2 teaspoons of the salt and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and turn it to coat.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 3 or 4-quart deep skillet or saute pan until it begins to shimmer. Add the chicken in 2 batches and sear until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a platter.

Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Pour in the wine and let it bubble 1 minute. Add the stock or water and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Return the chicken to the pan and add the tomatoes. Put the herb sprigs on top of the chicken.

Cover the pan and turn the heat down to a very low simmer. Cook 30-35 minutes for boneless chicken and 60-75 minutes for bone-in pieces. The chicken meat should be tender and falling off the bone.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Pull the thyme sprigs out of the pan and discard. Using two forks, break the chicken in the pan into large chunks. If you cooked bone-in thighs, discard the bones and stir the meat to combine with the pan sauce. If you’re using cream, stir it in.

Pour the chicken and the pan sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with the cheese and additional thyme leaves and toss everything together. Enjoy!

Chicken in White White Sauce (Vino Bianco)

The Wine.

2017 King Estates Pinot Noir