Friday, April 18, 2003

Tender Pork Tenderloin
with Cumin Carrot Fries:
A Quick Supper Recipe

Happy New Year, everyone! Who's ready to return to the "salad days" of January, food-wise, activity-wise, exercise-wise, work-wise, expense-wise? Wise it is, count me in ...

Here's a good place to start, a fast 'n' easy Quick Supper meal that leaves us feeling satisfied and happy. It's an old-old favorite recipe, in fact, the recipe was first published in print in 2003, yikes, that was awhile ago!

Tender Pork Tenderloin with Cumin Carrot Fries | quick-seared pork finished in oven with addictively good roasted carrots | low carb (meat only), Weight Watchers PointsPlus 7 | KitchenParade.com


COMPLIMENTS!
"We had [the carrots] for dinner last night - absolutely delicious!" ~ Pille
"The carrots are good, but the PORK! Oh, wow." ~ KateC
"... it was delicious!" ~ Karen
"... it [pork] was absolutely delicious, will be making it this way from now on. So quick and easy." ~ YardSailor


Lean pork tenderloin is the meat of choice for many cooks. To my taste, this pork tenderloin recipe is just perfect: the result is simple enough for every-day yet elegant enough for special occasions. It has become one of my "stand-by" meals, one I cook again and again, almost without thinking.

The meat is unadorned, inviting the addition of a rich side dish or full-flavored chutney. The meat is so good, considering cooking another tenderloin or two for sandwiches or another night. There's plenty of liquid for two or even three tenderloins. I occasionally substitute curry or garam masala for the cumin – all are delicious.

CUMIN CARROT FRIES work beautifully with Tender Pork Tenderloin. They do shrink, so you'll need more than than the usual single pound of vegetables to serve four. Just peel 1-1/2 pounds of carrots. Quarter each carrot lengthwise, then cut the quarters in three-inch lengths. (The idea is to get roughly equally thick carrot pieces.) Toss the carrots until they're evenly coated in a tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt, it helps to do this in a bowl with your hands. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400F/200C for 25-30 minutes, turning at least once midway through. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 104 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 18g Carb; 6g Fiber; 117mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1.5 & PointsPlus 3
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

QUICK SUPPER:
TENDER PORK TENDERLOIN

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time-to-table: 30 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic, slivered
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 400F/200C.

(If you're making the Cumin Carrot Fries, prep the carrots first and get them into the oven, even if it's not fully heated. Put the meat in the oven when there are about 15 minutes left on the carrots.)

With a sharp knife, make deep narrow slits in the tenderloin and insert the garlic slivers. Season with salt, pepper and cumin on all sides. Heat the oil in a large, oven-proof skillet. Sear the tenderloin well on medium-high for about 10 minutes, turning the meat as it browns. Add the broth and wine, then place skillet in the oven for 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 140F/60C. (Should Cooked Pork Be Pink?) Remove from oven.

Cover skillet with foil and let meat rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting. Slice and serve immediately with Cumin Carrot Fries and Oven-Baked Whole-Grain Pilaf with Quinoa, Barley, Kamut & Other Grains (pictured).

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (Tenderloin Only, assumes chicken broth and wine used as braising liquid and not consumed): 178 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 1g Carb; 0g Fiber; 293mg Sodium; 73mg Cholesterol; 24g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 4
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (Tenderloin & Cumin Carrot Fries): 282 Calories; 11g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 19g Carb; 6g Fiber; 410mg Sodium; 73mg Cholesterol; 26g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 6 & PointsPlus 7
ALANNA's TIPS The cooking time for the pork will vary, depending on how thick the tenderloins are. To be sure, insert a digital meat thermometer into the center of the meat and cook to an internal temperature of 140F/60C. While the meat rests, and continues to cook, it will reach 145F, the new safe temperature for cooking whole pieces of pork. (See the USDA News Release.)

People Love These Carrot Fries!


Cumin Carrot Fries, gorgeous roasted carrots with a touch of cumin ~ Vegan, gluten-free, low-cal, Weight Watchers PointsPlus 3 ~ KitchenParade.com

Aren't these roasted carrots every so pretty?! I've fallen in love with the multi-colored organic carrots at Trader Joes. A recent two-pound bag held 5 regular carrots, 4 yellow carrots and 3 purple carrots with yellow centers. Just gorgeous! And ever-so-simple to roast. Here's the recipe, Cumin Carrot Fries, or it's above in the left column. If you like roasting vegetables, be sure to check out all these tips and a master recipe, How to Roast Vegetables.


More Easy Pork Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Pork & Poblano Skillet with Creamy Slow-Cooker Beans Pork Chops & Rice Oven Dinner Milk-Braised Pork Roast
~ more pork recipes ~

More Carrot Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Laura's Healthy Carrot Soup Baked Cabbage Wedges Rustic Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Carrots
~ more carrot recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade


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(for easy bookmarking and searching)
~ Cumin Carrot Fries ~





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Friday, April 11, 2003

Scandinavian Split-Pea Soup

The classic Scandinavian split-pea soup, usually made with yellow split peas on Thursdays across Sweden and Finland. It's also the traditional Scandinavian supper on the Christian calendar's Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday – what fun-lovin' folk call "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras".

This simple soup is one of my own very oldest recipes, dating back to the year I lived in Finland. It's hearty, it's comforting, it's great for a crowd or a houseful of hungry houseguests! Some times I make it with ham (some times a lot, usually just a little) but it's also good without ham, making it not just vegan but Vegan Done Real.

Make Scandinavian Split-Pea Soup on the stovetop (isn't it lovely to have a pot of soup merrily simmering on the stove?!) or in a slow cooker or use the "oven as slow cooker". All work beautifully, it's your choice!

Scandinavian Split-Pea Soup ♥ KitchenParade.com, a classic split pea soup, hearty, healthy and delicious, either with ham or vegan.

Late-winter, early-spring days are so unpredictable. Some days, the air is almost warm and the earth teases us with a scent of spring promise.

Other days – brrr! The daffodils and tulips may poke their little heads out of the ground but it’s downright cold. And windy! Even snowy!

Scandinavian Split-Pea soup is an old, old recipe guaranteed to warm your family from the inside out on these last chilly days.

I read once, "The bigger the pot, the better the soup!" Well then, no wonder this soup is so good because the recipe makes a bunch! So make sure your cooking pot is big enough – or halve the recipe if it’s not – then plan for a crowd or freeze some soup for later.

Then again? One year, two of us just couldn't stop eating this soup! I feared we'd run short so made another pot the very next day!

During cold weather, this is one of a couple of go-to soup recipes before Thanksgiving, when family are gathering for Christmas, whenever we're going to have a houseful of overnight guests. When it's first made, there'll be quite a lot of broth-to-beans but as time goes on, the beans and vegetables soften and it all becomes one, one big tasty, wholesome pot of split-pea soup.

ALANNA's TIPS Make the soup a day or so before serving (or start early in the morning) for like many soups and stews, the flavors enhance when allowed to rest. Plus, do you find the cooking time for beans varies widely? Unless you’re ready to order a backup pizza for supper, this is another reason to make this soup in advance! UPDATE Here's why! Be sure to use fresh split peas. If you have a gas stove that's hard to set low enough to maintain a slow simmer, I really love using the oven as a "slow cooker" for this and other long-cook recipes. The results are perfect! To my taste, the leeks really make this soup, adding so much sweetness and richness without the usual "pound of bacon" that goes into other recipes for split-pea soup. Fresh are great, so are the frozen leeks from Trader Joe's, about 8 ounces for this recipe. Do clean the leeks thoroughly, otherwise they can be so gritty. I halve the bulbs lengthwise, then pull the layers apart beneath running water, using my fingers to wipe away the grit. (Here's a photo tutorial for how to clean leeks.) Do cook the onion, celery and leeks until a deep gold in color; this releases their natural sweetness and flavors the soup with only a bit of fat. I'm a "spice forward" cook so always question whether a mere 1/8 teaspoon of dried thyme will be enough. It often is! Other times, when the soup is done, I find myself adding another 1/8 teaspoon, it makes all the difference. Whatever you do, don't skip the thyme entirely. Skip the ham hock or ham shank if you want a vegetarian soup, it’s still delicious. Or move the other direction, adding a pile of browned ham to the soup for the last hour or so. Do add the salt and pepper after the beans are fully cooked; adding the salt earlier can make them tough.

SCANDINAVIAN SPLIT-PEA SOUP

Soaking time: Overnight
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 5 – 7 hours (needs occasional stirring)
Makes 18 cups
  • 1 pound (454g) dried split peas (or whole dried peas), yellow or green
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 onions, diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 rib celery, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 leeks, white parts only, cut in 1” pieces
  • 12 cups water
  • 3 potatoes, skins on, diced (about 3 cups)
  • 4 carrots, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme (don't skip)
  • 1 ham hock (for flavor) or ham shank (for meat), optional
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste

SOAK PEAS Rinse and drain peas in a colander. In an extra-large kettle, cover peas with cold water plus about three inches (in my big stockpot, that's almost 10 cups of soaking water, this lets the peas soak up lots of liquid) and soak overnight at room temperature. In the morning, drain peas and set aside. Rinse the kettle.

COOK PEAS In the kettle, heat olive oil until shimmery. Add the onions, celery and leeks and onions and sauté, stirring often, until deep gold in color (this step is important to the flavor, don't skip on the color). Add soaked peas and water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour.

SLOW SIMMER ON THE STOVE Add potatoes, carrots, thyme, ham hock or hank shank, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 3 – 5 more hours, stirring occasionally and checking for desired consistency. If it gets too thick, add hot water; if it seems too thin, remove the cover. The soup is done when the beans are soft.

SERVE Remove ham hock and shred any meat into the soup, discarding the fat. Taste and adjust the seasoning.


MORE COOKING OPTIONS

SLOW COOKER After soaking, cook the peas on high in the slow cooker for 4 hours, then add the remaining ingredients and cook for 4 - 6 hours on low. (Regular readers know I'm no fan of slow cookers because their performance varies so much. This is the timing that's worked for me.)

OVEN AS "SLOW COOKER" (my favorite) After soaking, cook the peas in the oven at 220F/105C for about 90 minutes. Reduce the oven to 200F/100C. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and let cook in the oven for 4 - 6 hours.

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Per Cup (assumes no ham): 99 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 212mg Sodium; 22g Carb; 8g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 7g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 2 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 1 cup (7g protein).

RECIPE VARIATIONS I've had great results substituting a multi-bean dried bean mix for dried split peas and sweet potatoes for white potatoes.


More Hearty Soup Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Ham & Beans Sausage & Kale Split Pea Soup Homemade Lentil Soup
~ more soup recipes ~

More Scandinavian Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Finn Crisp with Marmalade & Cheese Homemade Finnish Mustard Finnish Meatballs

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!