December 2, 2010

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples & Jen's Mashed Butternut Squash

Wow. It's December already. I think I am approaching panic mode, since I really have not started any holiday-related anything yet. No baking. No sausage-making. No gift wrapping. No Christmas cards. No decorations. For some reason I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants this year. (Okay, I did finish my holiday gift shopping; but that is the only thing I have accomplished...and only because I shopped online this year.) I am seriously unprepared. I have barely had time to make dinner and take care of household necessities, let alone think about Christmas. The holidays just seemed to pop up out of nowhere this year. Hopefully, I can make some headway this weekend, and put a dent in my "to-do" list. I really want to relax and make Christmas fun for the family; but I sooooo need to get organized, or that is just not going to happen. What does this all have to do with my cooking blog, you ask??? Nothing really. I just needed to vent. I feel better, thanks.

Here is a yummy Cooking Light recipe for pork tenderloin that we all enjoyed. Also, I made a mashed butternut squash concoction (in lieu of the usual mashed potatoes) that turned out really well.

Deep breath...

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples
From: Cooking Light, October 2010 issue

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Braeburn or Gala apple
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine first 5 ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

2. Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, 1/3 cup shallots, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; sauté 4 minutes or until apple starts to brown. Add apple cider to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until apple is crisp-tender. Stir in thyme leaves. Serve apple mixture with the pork.

Nutritional Information:
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 pork medallions and about 1/2 cup apple mixture)
Fat:9.7g (sat 5g,mono 3.2g,poly 0.7g)

Jen's Notes:
My tenderloin was a little bigger than 1 pound. I had to increase the cooking time and the quantities for all the spices to accommodate the difference. Also, I increased the quantity for the apple cider to 1/3 of a cup...just for fun. I wanted my apple mixture a little more saucy.


Jen's Mashed Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup of almond milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

In a medium-sized sauce pan, cover butternut squash cubes with water. Add a big pinch of salt. Boil over high heat, until squash is fork tender, about 20 minutes or so. Drain in a colander, then return to warm sauce pan. Add butter, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is achieved. Serve immediately.

The Result:
This was really good, and easy to prepare. I served this meal with some roasted brussel sprouts, and the whole dinner reminded me of autumn on a plate!

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