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Just a Taste Newsletter: March 16, 2012

Greetings from New York City and welcome to the second Just a Taste newsletter! 

This past week I was cooking and eating my way through the fiercely competitive and mentally challenging Tour de Tenderloin. Long story short, I ended up with four pounds of the "other white meat" and managed to cook and consume every last bite (with a little help) over the past seven days. 

I cook for two people like I’m cooking for an army of twenty, so my boyfriend-slash-taste tester wasn’t the least bit surprised when I returned home with four 1-pound pork tenderloins last Friday night. I wish I could say I purchased the pork after feeling inspired to cook a meat I often bypass in favor of chicken, but the real story is four words long: They were on sale.
It takes a small miracle for me to cook on Friday nights due to the end of the week exhaustion, so I was determined to make this as simpleand as fastas possible. I cranked the oven up to 475ºF, placed the tenderloins on two baking sheets, doused them with balsamic vinegar, tons of freshly cracked black pepper, chopped garlic, salt and a splash of oil. I gave the 'loins a solid massage then slid them into the oven. Twenty minutes later they were resting on my cutting board and slowly inching past the USDA-recommended temperature of 145ºF before settling on a perfectly pink interior at 150ºF.
And now to break down the grueling course for the week-long Tour de Tenderloin:
  • Friday Dinner: I simply sliced one of the balsamic-roasted tenderloins and paired it with my favorite salad and tater tots tossed with fresh rosemary and garlic. One down, three to go.  
  • Saturday Lunch: No surprises here. I warmed tenderloin number two, sliced it, and served it with the remaining salad ingredients. Two down, two to go.
  • Sunday Lunch: I shredded the third tenderloin (pictured below) and made a simple sweet and tangy sauce by combining a 1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce with a 1/2 cup Hoisin sauce. I warmed the sauce in a small saucepot on the stove and then tossed in the pork. Two minutes later, wheat hamburger buns popped out of the toaster and I sandwiched a heaping serving of the sauce-soaked pork between the buns. Three down, one to go. 
Balsamic-Roasted Pulled Pork
Asian Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  • Monday Dinner: Staring down that last pork tenderloin, I had one thing, and one thing only, on my mind: pork fried rice. I quickly diced the pork into bite-sized pieces while sautéing some chopped garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. I added 3 cups of prepared rice to the skillet, and then seasoned the mix with soy sauce and sesame oil before folding in the pork along with diced carrots and peas. The final step was to scramble three eggs right into the pan. Dinner was served.
  • Wednesday Lunch: I re-heated a portion of the leftover pork fried rice and enjoyed a (rare) homemade meal at work.
  • Thursday Dinner: Last night I finished off what was left of the pork fried rice. Tour complete.
And there you have it! Four pounds of pork, three different preparations and a whole lot of meals. I rediscovered my love of leftovers this past week and got the most satisfaction out of enjoying a homemade lunch while at work. No more $15 pay-by-the-pound midtown Manhattan salads for me. With a little organization and some creative cooking, you really can stretch your bucks and your ingredients to make the most of your three meals a day.

On Next Week's Menu...

Pork. Just kidding! Stay tuned for a Monday post that gives an inside look at the writing of Food Blogging For Dummies. It will also be the first book giveaway, so don’t forget to leave a comment on the post to enter for a chance to win!

Until then, I’m off to Florida for Food Blog Forum. Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to go green (literally) on Saturday with a few of my favorite St. Patrick's Day-inspired dishes featured below!


Food Blogging For Dummies
My new book will be on shelves worldwide on April 17!
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