I have a collection of cookbooks. More than once, I've just sat with a stack of my cookbooks to read - for pleasure - without actually cooking anything. Don't get me wrong - I love cooking. But I've found that in the hustle and bustle of the weeks' activities, I usually gravitate towards preparing meals I've made (many) times in the past. It's quicker and easier and there are no bad "surprises." On the other hand, this can prevent the "good" surprises, too, like discovering an amazing new flavor you've never tried.
So, I've decided that I will be trying at least one new recipe per week. Because last week was my first week, I guess I was overly excited for this new plan and I made a new dish each night. Did my hubs and I love everything I made? No. (But my sweet hubs claims he did.) We both loved one dish in particular, though, which just so happened to be the dinner I made for Valentine's Day. In fact, Brian said it was the best meal I've ever made for us. Wow! I found the recipe in my Charleston Grill at Charleston Place cookbook. This was the first recipe I've tried from this book, which focuses on French influenced, Lowcountry cuisine:
Seared Pork Tenderloin in a Mustard-Chive-Dijon Cream Sauce (Serves 2):
3 tsp salt
12 cranks fresh ground white pepper
6 2-oz pork tenderloin medallions
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots, chopped fine
1/4 c Chardonnay wine
1/2 c heavy cream
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped chives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Salt/pepper the pork on all sides.
In a medium pan, heat oil over high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add the pork and sear for 1 minute on each side. Don't shake the pan - if it sticks, that's just more flavor for the sauce.
Remove the pork from the pan and turn heat down to low.
Add shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add wine and reduce to 1 tbsp of liquid. Add the cream and reduce by half. Stir in the mustard with a whip and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the chives.
Reheat the pork in the oven for 3 minutes and serve with the mustard sauce on top.
*Don't cook the pork well done. Keep the meat medium-rare to ensure it stays tender.
I made parmasean roasted asparagus and corn bread to go with the pork tenderloin.
The asparagus was very easy - I just spread 2 bunches of asparagus out on a cookie sheet, drizzled with olive oil, added salt and pepper and a generous amount of parmasean cheese and roasted the whole thing in the oven for about 10 minutes. I also made an amazing peanut butter bliss pie that I found on one of my favorite blogs; here is the link for the recipe. Two confessions: the corn bread was from a mix, and I had made the peanut butter pie at least once before...but since it was Brian's favorite dessert I figured this repeat was okay for V-day. :-)