pork tenderloin and inspiration

I was ecstatic when I entered my grocery store and saw blackberries on sale! I love to cook with fresh fruit but so often it is too expensive to justify despite my palate’s pleas. As soon as I decided to purchase blackberries, my mind swam with possibilities of how I might use them. First up, pork tenderloin with a blackberry reduction over sauteed asparagus and wild rice.

Pork tenderloin is one of the easiest meats to cook and one of the easiest to ruin. To achieve succulent, tender pork, the meat must rest at least 30 minutes after taking it out of the fridge to allow it to warm up. Second, the pork must be seared on all sides at medium-high heat to keep all of its wonderful juices inside. Next, it should be baked or grilled until the center reaches 140 F. Lastly, after cooking, the pork needs to rest prior to being cut to allow the juices to settle inside the meat instead of escaping all over your counter. If you follow these steps, you will have created a melt-in-your mouth experience that will forever change how you think of pork.

For this particular dish, I marinated the pork for a few hours in a blackberry vinaigrette that consisted of blackberry preserves, spicy mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme.

For the blackberry reduction I used one packet of fresh blackberries, 2-3 T blackberry preserves, 2 T minced onions, 1 clove minced garlic, salt, pepper, 1 tsp chicken bouillon, 1 cup dry red wine, 1 cup water, and 1 T rosemary. I smashed 2/3 of the blackberries through a strainer to remove the seeds. Next I sauteed the onions over medium heat until clear and added the garlic until fragrant. I deglazed the pan with red wine, added water, bouillon, salt, pepper, and rosemary. After it reached a boil, I added the blackberries and blackberry preserves. I reduced the heat to medium low and simmered for 15 minutes.

To serve, I added the remaining whole blackberries to the plate, and poured the blackberry reduction over the pork and around the plate. I served the pork tenderloin over sauteed asparagus and wild rice for a very flavorful, fruit forward dish.

This week I also happened to watch Julie and Julia for the first time. What a fun movie! I can definitely relate to both characters’ love of food and desire to find something they are passionate about. My own version of Julia (Child) is definitely Ina Garten. I would love the opportunity to learn from her about food, passion, and life. I adore her relationship with her husband and how she uses food to express her love for him. I often find myself inspired by my own husband when I’m in the kitchen. I like to think about what would bless him, what he would be excited for, what would energize him, and satiate him.

Are you ever inspired in the kitchen? If so, what inspires you?

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