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Week of Pork, Part Two

December 6, 2006

After Saturday’s hearty midwestern pork-and-potatoes dinner, Mr. X made me dinner on Sunday–stuffed pork tenderloin with roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts. Pork overload! It was very tasty, and the very best part was the Butternut Squash soup he’d made that morning–full of ginger and perfectly buttery and creamy. Yum. I don’t really know how he made it, as I was very busy sitting on the couch, probably watching the Food Network or something. If I can convince him to recall how he made it, I’ll put it up here. Thankfully, he did manage to keep all his fingers in the squash cutting process.  

Pork dinners two nights in a row, frankly, made me blanch when I remembered that I still had a pound and a half of pork tenderloin in my refrigerator, waiting for my cooking prowess (ha!) to transform it into something…cooked…and edible. What to do, what to do?

I bastardized this recipe from Epicurious, and roasted it up Monday afternoon for a week’s worth of sandwiches. Here is what I did to it:

Spicy Red Wine and Rosemary Marinated Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 – 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 c. red wine
  • About 1 tsp. rosemary (I used tried)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • About 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Some salt and some pepper

Basically, just put everything except the pork into a sauce pan and boil it right up, until the wine is reduced by about half. Let it cool off, and then throw it and the pork into a ziploc bag to marinate (I had to cut the pork in half to get it to fit in the bag, but no matter). Marinate it as long as you want (though I’d say at least two hours), and when you’re ready to cook it, heat the oven to 400 degrees, and roast it on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes. Let it rest before you cut it, and voila–slightly spicy, wine-flavory pork for tasty sandwiches.

This time I pulled the pork out of the at 140 instead of 145 degrees, and it was juicier, which I take to mean better. Something to remember for any future pork cooking. If I ever want to eat pork again, after all this madness.

(PS–The pork sandwiches were extra tasty with a little scallion hummus.)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. you nice permalink
    December 6, 2006 4:09 pm

    i wonder who mr. x is and why you mention him leaving his fingers out of the squash soup…hmmm?!

  2. Mr X. permalink
    December 8, 2006 1:27 pm

    I think you know perfectly well what happend.

  3. Mr X. permalink
    December 8, 2006 2:13 pm

    Ginger & Butternut Squash Soup

    Ingredients

    1 normal sized buternut squash (maybe 3lbs?)
    1 medium yellow onion
    4 lg. celery stalks
    3 carrots (not too big)
    3-4 cloves garlic
    1 large hand of ginger
    1 large hand of fresh ginger (when peeled and dices/grated should be about 1/3 sorta firmly packed)
    6 Cups chicken stock
    As much unsalted butter and heavy cream as your conscience allows (at least 3 Tbs. butter and 1/2 pint heavy cream)
    seasoning to taste: S&P; dried: ginger, nutmeg, cinamon (listed in decending order of proportions)

    Prep work

    Peel the squash (a cheap vegetable peeler works great), chop into chunks about 1 inch square (not literally, they’ll be all sorts of wacky shapes, just don’t make them to small or too big, sort of like this is good.
    Peel the ginger. I usually just mince with a chefs knife, you could grate it too.
    For the onion, celery and carrots you’re basically making a mirepoix, but instead of the clasic 2:1:1 proportions (2x onion, 1x celery an carrots) this one should be more like 1:1:1, or equal parts.

    Clean and peel the carrots, wash the celery, peel the garlic.
    Dice the onion carrots and celery into a larger version of a brunoise, or whatever depending on your knife skillz.

    Thinly slice the garlic.

    Cooking it up

    Put some butter in a large pot (something this size, though not that price, will do) over medium-ish heat, melt.
    Add your mirepoix and sweat it (cook over low heat letting the juices come out) when the onion and celery start to get tender (before they start turning transcluent) add the garlic and seasonings. You may want to add some more butter if the pan starts to dry out a bit.
    When you start smelling lovely garlic and things get a bit softer add the squash.
    Let the squash cook and mingle with the other flavors a bit (I’ll leave it up to you to decide when to stir things. People are all crazy about when they think they need to stir stuff)
    At some point you’re going to have to add the chicken stock, go ahead.
    Raise the heat, bringing it up to a simmer
    Simmer for a spell.
    At some point your going to be stiring that pot and you’ll notice the edges of the squash are getting rounded over, poke one. If it seems like you could split it in half with a wooden spoon and you wouldn’t make mashed squash in the process ad the cream.
    Adjust the seasoning (after you add cream or any unsalted dairy, you’ll always need to add some more salt)
    Pull it off, the heat.
    Transfer in small batches into blender or food processor, pulse until it is smooth and silky.
    Transfer all the pureed stuffs back into the pot (give it a rinse first at least, people!)
    Cook till it thickens some more (this is a matter of taste, but no one like baby food and we’re not making a broth, so its gotta be somewhere in between. It should definately coat the back of a spoon though)
    Serve with some toasted bread (and beer).

    Now you just made a whole lot of soup, so you should have a plan for storing it. 1qt. mason jars work nicely. If you fill mason jars when the liquid is quite hot, leave the lids loose until while its in the ‘fridge until it cools. Otherwise you could have a mess on your hands.

  4. December 8, 2006 2:23 pm

    Very nice, baby. Thanks! You’re grape.

  5. you nice permalink
    December 10, 2006 12:42 pm

    i have no idea what Mr. X is talking about….
    i need a good crock-pot recipe for beef stew…can you help?

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