That is how I started the new year, not feeling well. I can’t even tell you it’s because I partied like a crazy on Dec. 31st. I can’t say it’s due to late hours because I stayed home and was in bed by 10:30 PM. I didn’t even see the ball drop in NYC. Old age has a way of making us feel weird at the worst times. But I did manage to put together a great dinner last night in spite of myself.
Braised Pork Tenderloin
2.5 pounds pork tenderloin, separate the pieces if they came packaged in two like mine did
4 large cloves of garlic cut in half
salt and pepper, I use kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, always
marjoram and oregano
Cut slits into the tenderloins and stuff a piece of garlic in each slit. Rub the tenderloins with the salt and pepper, margoram and oregano. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a dutch oven or oven-proof saute pan and put on med-high heat. When oil is hot, carefully add in the tenderloins and sear all sides till brown. It’s ok if the garlic falls out in places. When they are browned, add in about 1 cup of white wine and let reduce for a few min., turn down the heat if needed. Add in 1 cup of hot water, enough for the tenderloins to be sitting halfway in the liquid level. (Make sense?) Put the lid on and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 45-50 min. or until the internal temperature is at least 155-160. Remove from oven and pan and let sit for 10-15 min. for juices to redistribute, you can tent with foil to keep it warm. Slice into 3/4 inch thick slices and serve.
With the pork, I made fresh pasta and aglio, olio and peperoncino sauce and fresh green beans. There are many versions of the aglio sauce, which is an olive oil and garlic sauce. What I did was saute about 5 cloves of sliced garlic just until golden brown, then added in about 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (all I had) and then about 1 pound of fresh pasta cooked just before al dente, reserving some of the cooking water. Mix the pasta with the sauce and let cook another min or two more. Add in the water if the pasta gets sticky. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Simple, fast and full of flavor. Add in the steamed green beans and you have a nice meal.
Tonight, we are eating leftovers from Christmas since I froze the sauce and meatballs. Simple.
A side note: On Monday I will be cutting out all white carbs, which means no pasta or bread, for two weeks. I plan on making healthy Italian dishes full of vegetables and lots of flavor. Stay tuned for a different twist on the Italian diet.