Don't eat until you're full, eat until you are tired. list of Lean Cuisines consumed this week, may deter some folks from ever coming back.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

A good friend of mine hosts a Tacky Christmas Party every year at his house with this past Saturday being the 3rd Annual, so I volunteered to cook something.

On Saturday afternoon, I poured myself a glass of Belvenie 12 yr Double Wood and began putting together a couple of stuffed pork tenderloins. I start by filleting out my tenderloins, so that they lie flat like a sheet of paper...a very thick, delicious paper made out of pig. Next, I made a dry rub from anything and everything in my seasoning cabinet that sounded good....dried thyme, cumin powder, onion powder, garlic powder, some greek all purpose seasoning, fresh black pepper, dried oregano, paprika, and probably another couple of thing I'm forgetting. I thoroughly rubbed both sides of my pork with it and then generously salted it with sea salt.

Next, I sauteed 2 large red onions in some olive oil, over medium heat, while they broke down and got all deliciously sweet. Chopped up some sweet and hot pickled jalapenos and cut up a package of cream cheese. I then took those 3 ingredients and filled the filleted pork with it.

Once filled, I rolled the tenderloins back up, and tied them closed with butcher string. I heated up some olive oil in a pot and threw in some fresh garlic cloves, so the oil would grab some of the flavor. Once the oil was smoking hot, I put in the tenderloins just long enough to sear them really well all the way around.

After the tenderloins had a good brown crust of a sear, I placed them on a cookie sheet and gave them a very light sprinkle of brown sugar, and placed in the oven for 45 mins at 350.

They came out pretty close to perfect. I let them rest covered for close to 45 minutes before slicing them up. I was pleased with how the pork turned out, as well were at least a couple of other party goers who I saw go back for 3rds.

Thank you much.

Monday, December 6, 2010

2 John's

Last week, Brit and I went to 2 John's for our anniversary dinner. We had never been before, but have heard a lot of good things.

I started with a glass of Macallan 18 and a couple of appetizers to split: Shrimp and Grits with Tasso and crab cakes. Both were very good, but the shrimp and grits win. Now I'm a little partial to them to begin with, but the big gulf shrimp had been grilled over an open flame so there were lots of smokiness. The grits had cheese and tasso ham mixed in, and then had some type of cream/butter mixture poured over the top of it all. Super rich...and delicious.

Next I had the shrimp bisque. It was good, and not overly rich. A lot of the time, restaurants add a ton of heavy cream or half and half to give the bisque the right texture and enhance flavor (everything tastes better given enough cream), but they didn't over do this one.

For the main course, Britney had a peppercorn crusted filet, with a cognac, peppercorn beurre blanc. Now I'm not typically a fan of sauce on my steak, but this was amazing. I would have a hard time not ordering it the next time I go in.

I had the special, roasted pork tenderloin, stuffed with cream cheese and boudin. Ridiculous! When it first came out, it was already sliced and presented on my plate. It had been cooked mid-rare which was a surprise to me, because momma always said to cook pork to medium for risk of parasites. But...I took one bite and realized there was no way I could send it back to the kitchen. It was great. Again, a lot of smoky flavor coming from the grill, and the meat was so tender. Chef knew what he was doing.

I was stuffed and slightly ill feeling from all the rich food, but Brit ordered a bread pudding. I had only one bite, but it may have been the best I've ever had in my life. It was covered with a Jack Daniel's sauce, and had plenty of pecans and walnuts on top. Perfect consistency (not too mushy, not too dry).

We will definitely be going again soon.