Monday, April 20, 2009

Lunch Week 6: Roast Pork Tenderloin

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided. So my lunch for the week: Roast Pork Tenderloin with Spinach and Potatoes Pork tenderloin can be one of the leanest meats you can find in the supermarket. But it's very flavorful and very versatile. And personally, I think it's better than chicken breast. This week, I decided to roast a couple of tenderloins in the oven with a mustard and balsamic marinade. When you buy any kind of meat, it's always a good idea to inspect it. This is a good check for freshness and for trimmings. You want to remove anything that is fat or membranes. My pieces of meat actually needed quite some trimming. I removed some hard to eat membranes and some fat. To prepare the meat, I rubbed in some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Next, I covered the pork with a mixture of dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar. Lastly, I finished it off with some olive oil. As that marinated, I washed and cut up some red skinned gold potatoes. I find these types of potatoes have more potato flavor than russets. These get the simple rub down of salt, pepper, paprika, and oil. Both the pork and potatoes went into a 375 degree oven for about 45-60 minutes. The time depends on the size of your pork loins and the size of the cut potato pieces. The spuds need a flip halfway through their roasting time to insure than all sides becomes crispy. You can tell they are cooked when they turn a golden brown. As for the pork, I always like to use an instant read thermometer. When it hits 170 degrees internally, it's ready. While these are roasting, I sauteed some garlic in oil. Then I added the frozen spinach. Normally, I would use fresh spinach. But for the amount I need for 5 meals, it would take a whole lot of fresh spinach to get what I need from 3 packs of frozen spinach. There's so much water in this leafy vegetable that it shrivels up a lot when cooked. So how did everything turn out? The pork is still juicy and very flavorful. It's better to have more marinade than less. The potatoes are golden and crispy but soft and tender on the inside. The spinach is garlicky and add the needed greens to my meal. This is one of my easier recipes since most of the cooking is done in the oven and doesn't need much tending.

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