Monday, May 2, 2011

Some new recipe successes

I recently created 2 meals, sans recipe.  Sometimes, the best ideas come to me by standing in front of my fridge and/or pantry.  This is why I love the off season: I can play and experiment, and I'm not afraid to fail.  Some things I create are blog-worthy; the rest are trash-worthy (ie, Jim's "breakfast cookie" idea - FAIL).  But, today I'm sharing with you 2 bangin' meals created by yours truly!  Enjoy!

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin (you can halve this recipe if you only have 1 tenderloin) - off season or in season (skip the evoo and use some PAM spray instead.  Honey will eventually have to come out, though, depending on your prep).
2 T honey
2 T dijon mustard (or yellow mustard is fine, too)
2 t olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t dried oregano (I thought about using tarragon here, and I think it would be even better than oregano - tarragon has such an amazing flavor, so if you try it here, let me know!  I'll be making it next time)
2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 - 1lb each)

Heat oven to 425 and line a baking dish with tin foil (I have greater success w/pork when I cook it at a higher heat for less time.  I find that it stays moist and is always perfectly done).

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the pork - mix well.  Place the tenderloins in the lined dish and brush on the marinade.  Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes. 

I served this with a big salad and some veggies that I steamed in a balsamic butter sauce.  I threw in some small pearl onions, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, peppers, etc and sauteed them in a little smart balance butter.  I poured in about 1/4 - 1/2 c balsamic and turned the heat up to high and reduced it down until the sauce had thickened.  Delicious combo!

tenderloin with veggies and salad

tenderloin right out of the oven

veggies in a balsamic butter sauce

Simple Seared Scallops  - on or off season
3 T flour (I eyeballed this)
1/2 t salt (again, eyeball)
1/2 t dried marjoram (this was in the back of my spice cabinet, so I decided to use the last of it to get rid of it)
1.5-2lb sea scallops (the BIG ones; bay scallops = the small ones)
2 t olive oil
1/2 c white wine
1 T balsamic vinegar

Combine 1st 3 ingredients in a large ziplock bag and add scallops.  Seal bag and shake to combine.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet (I used my cast iron skillet for this) over med-high heat.  Add scallops and sear for 3-4 mins on each side (scallops cook FAST - do not overcook these, or they'll be tough).  Remove from pan and keep warm.  Add wine and vinegar to pan and cook until it thickens, stirring with a whisk.  Stir the scallops back in and remove the pan from heat.  I added some fresh chopped parsley on top. 

I served this with whole wheat penne tossed with chopped tomatoes, feta, basil and a little salt and pepper.  Next time, I'm going to use orzo instead of penne. 

Never be afraid to experiment, y'all!  Some of my best recipes have come from trying to empty out my fridge and just throwing random crap into a pan :)

scallops topped w/fresh parsley and pasta

whole wheat penne w/tomatoes, feta, and basil

scallops cookin'!

making the magic


  1. Honey Mustard Pork: Delish. Doi. I used tarragon AND added some culinary lavender. Amazeballs. I highly recommend the lavender. Didn't try the oregano because I love tarragon more. The heart wants what it wants. Thanks for the recipe, Beth!

  2. Yes, Emily!! I'm obsessed with tarragon and i'm glad to know that it's as good as I thought it would be. I'll have to try the lavender- do you know how much you used?

  3. Sorry I never responded. I just sprinkled lavender till I felt like stopping. If I had to guess, probably half to a full teaspoon.