Wish Upon A Dish: December 2015

December 22, 2015

Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Carrots and Mustard-Honey Vinaigrette ♥ Grab a Book & Cook - Recipe ReDux Challenge December 2015

While I love the month of December because of Christmas, I am a little bit tired of the word "last".
Last chance to buy.......last chance to save......last chance to get......last chance to own....last chance to ship.
While we all know that most of all that is far from the truth, in two weeks there will be a whole slew of "new" opportunities.

For me, December is all about Christmas. My gift list shopping is finished in October and before Thanksgiving, my Christmas theme for the year has been picked, the cheesecake flavor is in the bag and my annual contribution to the "last" family meal of the year is voted on and approved. 

This year, I did not wait till January to start the "new me". I decided to start next year, this year. I started a diet, i have an aggressive exercise program, I cleaned the basement and am giving away all those items I thought I couldn't live without but never even took it out of the box it came in.  It was all about decluttering my life so I could be more efficient, more productive and more focused....

Why? This year I turned 60.

When the Recipe ReDux challenge for December was revealed, I was happy for the simplification. Seems I wasn't the only one that needed one less demand on what can be the most demanding time of year.

Grab a Book & Cook

It is a repeat of last year's theme due to popular demand: It’s the end of the year and we’re taking a moment to reflect – The Recipe ReDux has been around for 54 months! To celebrate, we’re playing a little party game this month: Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 54 or 154.

I immediately grabbed my newest favorite America's Test Kitchen cookbook....Cooking For Two 2011.
On page 154 was this recipe for a Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with a side of Carrots in a Mustard- Honey Vinaigrette.

Perfectly suitable. Perfectly easy. Perfectly delicious.  

My diet does not allow for leftover lunches and while The Nudge is still carrying a lunch bag to work, I was throwing my share into the garbage. Certainly not a very productive, decluttered and simplified way to live. Enter my collection of Cooking for Two cookbooks ordered, yes you got it, 3-4 years ago with spines never cracked.

Why not use it before? Each recipe was geared for two servings. With lunches daily, I needed recipes for four servings. Now I am now eating half the usual printed serving so my other half is hubby's lunch. It's a win-win for all.

I was concerned that the spice rub would be off-putting to The Nudge but he took one bite and in three minutes he was done eating. I did use a spice mill instead of a rolling pin to crack the seeds, which would tame some of the more potent spices.

The original recipe called for grilling the pork and microwaving the carrots but I firmly believe that roasting vegetables is the only way to go, so I made a few adjustments.

I took out my skillet and made this a one pot wonder. I roasted the carrots first, removed them to a bowl, added the pork to brown, roast and then rest before slicing and serving.

Soon as I publish this post, I am checking to see if there is a 2014 version of this series.
I promise not to wait 4 years to crack the spine.

Let's get cooking....

Spice-Crusted Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Carrots and Mustard-Honey Vinaigrette
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Cooking For Two 2011

Carrots and Vinaigrette
* 2 cups baby carrots
* salt and pepper
* 1 small shallot
* 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
* 2 teaspoons honey
* 1 teaspoons red wine vinegar
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice

* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 large egg white, whipped till foamy
* 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
* 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
* 2 teaspoons cornmeal
* 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
* 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 3/4teaspoon Demerara or turbinado sugar
* 1 (12-ounce) pork tenderloin, trimmed, brined

Preheat oven to 425°.
1. Place the carrots in an oven-proof skillet. Sprinkle olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Toss to coat.
2. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
3.While the carrots are roasting, prepare the vinaigrette and the spice mixture. 
4. Place the seeds and peppercorns in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin or mallet, crush the mixture. Place the remaining spices (excluding cornstarch & egg white) in an oval plate large enough to roll the meat in and add the remaining ingredients, stir.
5. In two separate platters, add the cornstarch to one and the beaten egg white to the other.
6. When the carrots are done, remove them from the skillet to a bowl .Add the vinaigrette to the carrots and stir.
7. Being careful not to touch the handle, place the skillet on a burner set at medium heat.
8. Roll the pork into the cornstarch, patting the excess off. Coat the pork in the egg white and then into the spice mixture, coating as evenly as possible.
9. Add a teaspoon more oil to the skillet and brown the pork on all four sides,about 23 minutes on each side.
10. Place the skillet in the oven and roast the pork until the internal temperature is 140° to 145°.
11. Remove the skillet to the stove top and cover with foil to let it rest for 10 minutes.
12. Slice the pork and add the carrots around the platter. Spoon any extra vinaigrette over the pork and serve.