Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Oranges, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
I have lots of fresh herbs in the garden and decided to create this pork tenderloin recipe using some oranges. It’s very flavorful and tender. I love cooking in cast iron skillets.



Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Oranges, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

Serves 6

2 (1 to 1½ lb) pork tenderloins
2 onions, sliced

juice and zest of two oranges
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbs flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 Tbs sage, chopped
1 Tbs rosemary, chopped
1 Tbs thyme, chopped
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Trim each tenderloin of any silver skin (this can be tough when cooked, just use a small sharp knife and slide the blade under and outward to remove it). Pat pork dry with paper towels.

Make the marinade and pour it into a ziplock bag. Add the pork and squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

Take the pork out of the marinade. Pour the left over marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed oven-safe frying pan over medium heat. You will know when the pan is ready when the oil shimmers. Add the pork tenderloins and cook, turning occasionally, until evenly browned all over. This should take about 12 minutes.Transfer the browned pork to a large plate or cutting board.

Check the pan, if it looks dry add 2 to 3 teaspoons of additional oil. Now, add onions then cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned around edges, about 5 minutes.

Then, place pork tenderloins on top of the onions and slide into the oven. Roast 10 to 15 minutes or until an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers between 145 and 150 degrees F (63 and 65 degrees C).

Transfer pork to a large plate and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest about 10 minutes.

Slice pork into 1-inch slices then serve on a bed of the onions with pan sauce drizzled on top.

Pork Chile Verde

The tomatillo is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the Cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico, and are a staple of that country’s cuisine.The fruit is surrounded by an inedible, paper-like husk.


Pork Chile Verde

Serves 6-8

4 lbs pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Flour for dredging
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 yellow onions
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 -3 jalapeños, seeds removed, and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs tomatillos, roasted, peeled and chopped – see tips below
1 Tbs dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
4 cups chicken stock

Season the pork meat generously with salt and pepper, lightly flour. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well in small batches, on all sides. Lift pork out of pan and place in a wide soup pot. Discard fat and place the onions and peppers in the same skillet and sweat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. Add all of the chiles and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Add the sautéed vegetables, chopped tomatillos, dried herbs and cilantro to the meat, cover with the chicken stock and bring up to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender.

Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with rice.

Preparing Tomatillos
Remove the husks before using, the husks are inedible. Tomatillos are very easy to cook with because they don’t need to be peeled or seeded. Their texture is firm when raw, but soften when cooked. When growing your own fresh tomatillos, they are ready to harvest when the husks burst.

Rinse before using as the tomatillo is covered by a sticky substance. Do not peel the green skin.

Cooking Tomatillos
Tomatillos can by very inconsistent in flavor, with some being sour and others tasting mild and sweet. If the tomatillos are to tart for your taste, try adding a little sugar to balance the taste.

Fire Roasting
Roast under the broiler, with a propane torch, or over an open flame such as a grill. Make sure the heat is quite hot before roasting. If the heat is not hot enough, the tomatillos wil turn mushy before being charred. The charred or slightly blackened skins will enrich your sauces with a smoky flavor.

Dry Roasting
This will produce an earthy, nutty flavor. Place the tomatillos in a heavy fry pan (preferably a cast iron pan). Turn heat to low and roast for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Italian-Style Slow-Roasted Pork Roast with Oranges & Onions

For my husband’s family birthday dinner (his birthday is actually tomorrow), he wanted me to make my Tuscan Style Slow Roasted Pork. It’s one of my signature dishes. I thought I should try a new version instead. I found this recipe off the Wegmans website. Wegmans is a family-owned U.S. regional supermarket chain headquartered in Gates, New York, near Rochester.  My brother-in-law Russell lives in Rochester and loves Wegmans and is always telling me that I would love it.  This is a video of how to make it here.  This pork is falling off the bone, juicy and tender.  You can make tacos with the left over meat.


Italian-Style Slow-Roasted Pork Roast  with Oranges & Onions

Serves 8

3 small  onions, peeled, halved, and sliced
2  navel oranges, skin-on, thinly sliced
1 (7-10 lb)  pork shoulder
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs  fennel seed
Salt and cracked black pepper

Day before
Combine onion and orange slices in roasting pan (without rack). Diagonally score fat-side (top) of pork about 3/4-inch deep in a diamond pattern. Rub garlic, then fennel seeds into top of pork. Season well with salt and pepper. Place pork on top of onion and orange slices. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.

Day of meal
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Remove plastic wrap. Bake uncovered, 7-8 hours.

Remove from oven. Carefully place roast on clean platter; let rest. As roast rests, ladle hot juices into gravy separator. Reserve de-fatted juices (au jus); keep warm. Reserve onions if desired.

Serve au jus with pork.

You can thicken the jus by adding 2 Tbs cornstarch and 2 Tbs cold water in small bowl; stir it into the de-fatted juices. Bring to simmer and cook, whisking, 2 min.

Ham and Split Pea Soup

Every year I make some sort of soup using the ham hock from Christmas dinner. I happened to have a very large bag of split peas, which I like because you don’t have to soak them overnight. Serve it with a loaf of crusty bread and a salad. You can just use chopped up ham, if you do not have a ham hock on hand.


Ham and Split Pea Soup

Serves 8

1 lb split peas
1 ham hock
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1 cup finely yellow onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 lb ham, chopped
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 tsp fresh thyme
croutons and parsley or chives, optional, as garnish

Pick over the peas and remove any stones. Wash and drain peas.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the ham hock and ham and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown. Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 8 cups of water, the bay leaf and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1½ hours or until peas are tender. (Add more water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry.)

Remove the ham hock and bay leaf from the soup and discard.

Purée about 2 cups of the soup with a blender. An immersion blender works great for this. Return the purée to the rest of the soup and heat to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with croutons and parsley or chives.

Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloin

Here is a super easy weeknight meal idea.  Pork Tenderloin is one of the most versatile cuts of meat you can buy. It cooks very fast at a very high heat. I happened to have balsamic glaze, which worked well because it stays on the meat.  You can use regular balsamic vinegar. I served it with Bacony Peas and roasted baby potatoes.



Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4

1 pork tenderloins, about 1½ lbs
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and black pepper
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Trim silver skin or connective tissue off tenderloin with a very sharp thin knife.

Place tender loins on a foil lined baking sheet with a rim. Coat tenderloin with balsamic vinegar, rubbing vinegar into meat, then with extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat. Sprinkle meat with garlic then season with coarse salt and pepper, rosemary and thyme. Roast in hot oven 20 minutes.

Let meat rest, transfer to a carving board, slice and serve.

Cider Braised Pork Chops with Apples

I’ve made many versions of pork chops and apples. I really like this one. I actually made a mistake and used apple cider vinegar instead of apple cider. It worked, though you might want to try it the way it’s meant to be.




Cider Braised Pork Chops with Apples

Serves 4

1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 thin boneless center-cut pork loin chops
4 tsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup apple cider
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup evaporated milk

In a small bowl, stir together the oregano, five-spice powder, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat the pork chop evenly on both sides with the spice mixture. Set the meat on a plate and let stand for 10 minutes.

In a large, deep frying pan, warm 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan and return it to medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and sear until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and brown on the second side, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to the plate holding the onion.

Place the pan over medium heat and pour in the cider and vinegar. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Return the pork and onion to the pan and arrange the apple wedges on top of the pork. Pour in the broth, cover and simmer until the chops are opaque throughout, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat if the liquid begins to boil.

Transfer the chops, apple wedges and onion to a platter. Pour the milk into the pan, raise the heat to high, and boil until the liquid is reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chops and serve.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

For some reason, I wanted to make my own sausage patties. This morning, before I went to work, I made these. I plan on keeping them in the freezer to use for my egg McMuffin breakfast sandwiches. I used fresh herbs because I have no dried. You could also make these using ground chicken or turkey.





Homemade Breakfast Sausage

Serves 12

1 lb ground pork
1 Tbs brown sugar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried sage
1/8 tsp marjoram
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper

Combine pork and all the ingredients in a large bowl. Gently mix with hands until well combined. Form mixture into 2 1/2-inch patties, about 1/2 inch thick. (You should have 12 patties.)

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook half of patties until well browned and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and tent with foil. Wipe out skillet. Repeat with remaining butter and patties. Serve.

A greased 1/4-cup measure makes 12 patties the same size with a minimum of work and mess. Cover with plastic wrap, then use your palm to gently flatten each sausage patty.

Make ahead:
The raw sausage patties can be refrigerated, covered, for 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month. To cook frozen patties, proceed with step 2, cooking patties for 7 to 9 minutes per side.

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Being stuck at home all summer, I watched a lot of TV (which is dreadful – there is nothing on TV!), mainly cooking shows. I happened to see The Pioneer Woman make this pulled pork, which looked really good. It reminded me of Coca Cola basted ham (I guess that’s for another blog). I made it in a crockpot. Also, I put in about half of the chipotle chiles and it was very spicy, which I love. You can serve it with tortillas or rolls.





Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Serves 18

1 large onion
1 pork shoulder (“pork butt”) – 5 To 7 lbs
Salt And Freshly ground black pepper
11 oz can chipotle peppers In adobo sauce
2 cans Dr. Pepper
2 Tbs brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.

Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.

Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.

Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.

Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it’s cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.

Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.

Baby Back Ribs

Happy 4th of July! Since I haven’t been cooking much lately, I asked my good friend Dave (who is a rib connaisseur) to test this rib recipe for me.   I was watching Restaurant Impossible with Robert Irvine and he made these ribs. It was really the method he used that I was interested in. I have made ribs many different ways, but he swears by this method. You can use your own rub recipe and your favorite BBQ sauce, but I have Robert Irvine’s recipe below. Dave used Famous Dave’s Devil’s Spit BBQ Sauce.  He said they were excellent.  We have adapted this recipe by adjusting the timing and temperature.




Baby Back Ribs

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

To prepare the ribs, remove the silver skin from the back or under the rib side. Then rub the trimmed rib racks with the spice mixture (see recipe below). Place the racks onto a sheet of plastic wrap, top with the bay leaves and wrap tightly. Place in the oven (the plastic will not melt under 400 degrees) and roast for 2 – 3 hours depending on how tender you like them.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 1 hour – do not unwrap the plastic wrap.

Now take the plastic wrap off!  Place on a cookie sheet and coat with BBQ sauce (see recipe below). Roast, under the the broiler on medium heat in the oven or grill, until the sauce is caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the sauced ribs and allow to rest, 3 to 5 minutes. Then portion the ribs into serving-size pieces.

Rib Rub:

Makes 1 quart

3 Tbs light brown sugar
2 Tbs cayenne powder
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs onion powder
2 Tbs white pepper
2 Tbs kosher salt
1 Tbs dry mustard, such as Coleman’s
1 Tbs course black pepper
5 tsp seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
1 tsp ginger powder

With a wooden spoon, blend the brown sugar, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, salt, dry mustard, black pepper, seafood seasoning and ginger powder until mixed. Then bag until usage.

BBQ Sauce:

Makes ⅓ gallon

3 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup stone ground mustard
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs cayenne pepper
1 Tbs sea salt

In a bowl, whisk together the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne and salt in a saucepan over low heat. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes to blend flavors. Remove from the heat and hold until using.

Basil Garlic Pork Chops

Here is a very flavorful and easy way to prepare pork chops. These are meant to be grilled, but I did them in a cast iron skillet.




Basil Garlic Pork Chops

Serves 4

4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick

Basil Garlic Rub:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup fresh basil, packed
2 Tbs lemon juice, fresh
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

With machine running, drop garlic through feed tube of food processor to mince. Stop, add fresh basil, and process until chopped. Add lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper and process to make thin wet rub. Spread both sides of pork chops with basil mixture. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in grill. Brush the grate clean and oil the grate. Grill chops, over direct heat, turning once, to medium rare doneness, 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a 3-minute rest time.