Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Sandwich

On a recent visit to our local grocery store, I noticed that pork tenderloin was on sale. I love me some pork tenderloin, and it is something that I have not made in quiet some time, so I decided to pick a couple of them up knowing exactly what I was going to do with them.  This grilled pork tenderloin and mushroom sandwich may be one of my favorites, and I do not kid when I say that. My wife loves it, my kids love it, and so that makes it a real winner in my book.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Sandwich Recipe
Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Sandwich Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 oz package of Baby Portabella mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • Slices of Provolone cheese
  • French bread sliced sandwich style
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp red onion, diced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional)

Begin by drizzling olive oil over the pork tenderloin, and coat it well. Rub the minced garlic all over the pork tenderloin. Now wash your hands well. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper all over the tenderloin, and use a fork or tongs to turn as you continue to sprinkle. Place in a ziplock bag and let marinate for at least an hour.

If you are fortunate enough to grill, light it up, and bring to a medium-high heat. Lube your grates with a bit of oil (use tongs and paper towel), and place the tenderloin on the grill, searing all sides. Reduce the heat, and cook until no longer pink. Remove from the grill, and let rest for approximately 10 minutes, sealing in the juices.

In the meantime, to a skillet, add the butter. Bring to a medium heat, and add in the mushrooms, cooking for about 15 minutes. Take the pork tenderloin off of the grill, and let it rest on a plate. Once rested, slice the pork tenderloin into thin medallions.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Sandwich Ingredients
Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Sandwich Ingredients

Slice your French bread. Add a slices of cheese to the bottom layer to cover. Add slices of pork tenderloin across the cheese, top with some of the sauteed portabella mushrooms, and then cover the mushrooms with more provolone cheese.

Preheat your broiler. Place the sandwich(es) underneath the broiler, cheese exposed, and cook until the cheese is melted, being careful not to burn the bread.

While the sandwich is cooking under the broiler, add the mayonnaise and red onion to a small bowl and mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper. This will serve as the condiment to the sandwich, and trust me on this one, this condiment is hard to beat.

Remove the sandwich from the broiler, plate, and serve. Hope you enjoy.

Onion Jam

There have been massive amounts of great looking, and big onions at our local farmers market lately. A couple of my kids love them, and in all honesty I find some joy in slowly cooking onions for a long period of time. Maybe it’s the perfume of the onions that scent my house, or maybe it is the slicing of the onion into thin shreds. Who knows, but at the end of the day I simply love onions. So I bought a big old white onion from the market, and as I laid my purchases on my kitchen counter, I began to think of what to make with some of these items. My daughter loves ‘grandma’s dip’ whenever we go to their house. It’s basically store bought french onion dip, and that is what sparked my thought. Maybe (just maybe) I would make a french onion style dip for her, but you know with a twist, and an umami one at that.

That’s when the onion jam came into play.

Onion Jam Recipe
Onion Jam Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 very large onion, thinly sliced
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated on a rasp or microplane
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Start as you normally would when caramelizing onions. Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat, add the butter, and add in your onions. Shower the onions with a generous pinch of salt, then let the games begin.  The goal is to cook these nice and slow, until they are a nice golden color.

This process can take about 40 minutes, or longer, but be patient and stir throughout the process.

Once you achieve a golden color, then it is time to add in your garlic and allowing that to cook a minute or two, stirring the garlic into the onions.

Onion Jam Ingredients
Onion Jam Ingredients

After a minute or two, add in the cracked black pepper, fish sauce, lime zest, and lime juice. Give the mixture a good stir, raise the heat just a bit, and cook another minute or two.

Remove the onions from the heat, place them in a bowl, and let them come to room temperature.

The real kicker here is the fish sauce and lime. Those two escalate these onions to a whole new level, and the result is nothing but pure deliciousness.  I’ve yet to mix this into a dip for my daughter as I have been using it on sandwiches, but let it be told I will be making her one of her favorite dips in the near future! Hope you enjoy.

Nam Prik Pao – Thai Chili Condiment

For those of you that love Thai food, there is a condiment, or sauce if you will, known as Nam Prik Pao. Nam prik in Thai commonly refers to a general term for a spicy sauce that is often used as a condiment, or dipping sauce. You can find this sauce at your local Asian market, and there are probably so many different versions, but this is my go to recipe. This Thai dipping sauce is sweet, has some heat, and has this awesome layer of funk that has you using it on so many different foods, whether with eggs, grilled meats, or sauteed vegetables. This is a real winner whether you enjoy Thai or Asian flavors. I simply cannot get enough of it.

Nam Prik Pao Recipe
Nam Prik Pao Recipe

Now I have made some really great sauces in the past, for example nam prik ong, Thai three sauce (to die for), and a couple of my favorites being jeow and nam jim jaew, but this particular one is a bit different, and one to compete with.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 cup of dried puya chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup dried morita chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup dried chile del arbol, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar (or light brown if you do not have palm sugar)
  • 1 whole head of garlic, skins removed
  • 4 whole shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp roasted shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

Start by taking the seeds out of all of the chilies. I highly recommend you wear kitchen latex gloves during this process. Trust me, and thank me later. Once the seeds and stems have been removed, add them to a large skillet over medium heat, simply to lightly toast them and bring out their essential oils. Be careful not to burn the chilies, so keep stirring them for a few minutes, then place onto a plate for later use.

To the same skillet, add the oil, and toss in the garlic cloves. Cook the garlic, again not to burn it but just until they turn a golden brown. Remove the garlic with a kitchen spider, or slotted spoon, and place them on the same plate as the chilies.

To the same oil, add in the shallots, and cook until they begin to get golden as well. Once golden, remove with a slotted spoon and place these, along with the garlic and chilies to a food processor.  Turn off the heat, but keep the oil in the skillet for future use.

Thai Nam Prik Pao Ingredients
Thai Nam Prik Pao Ingredients

Pulse these in the food processor until you have a nice paste. Scrape down the sides if necessary during this process.

Once you have a paste, add the skillet back on medium heat with the oil, and add the chili paste, shrimp paste, tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Gently stir, turning down the heat to low, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring throughout that time. Remove from the heat, and spoon into a sealable jar or container and let it cool before placing in the refrigerator.

This nam prik pao is super yummy. Granted when no one is looking I take a small spoonful and eat it, but you can use this condiment to spread on toast, dip pork rinds into, use with soups or stews, or just serve with anything. It’s an awesome condiment, and one that will not only having you get your arsenal of Thai ingredients in line, but one you will love. Hope you enjoy!

Peach and Mint Soda

Peaches, and other stone fruits have been in abundance lately, and as I typically buy a handful of them during the week, only for my daughter to devour, I decided to buy some extras so that I could come up with a refreshing summer drink.  I typically buy an array of fresh fruit, placing them in a bowl on our kitchen counter to show my kids how many different fruits there are in hopes that they get curious and try them. This is pretty much only successful with my daughter. She eats everything from mangoes, star fruit, kiwi, different apples, and everything in between. I love that about her. So as my wife and daughter were playing an intense game of Stratego this past weekend, I decided to whip up a fresh peach and mint soda for them.

Peach and Mint Soda Recipe
Peach and Mint Soda Recipe

This drink is way too easy to make, and is really refreshing.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 peach, cut into segments
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint
  • Ginger Ale, or Seltzer water
  • Simple Syrup
  • 1 lime, optional

If you have not made simple syrup before, then add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a small pot. Place on medium heat, and cook until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, let it cool before using.

To a cocktail shaker, add in about 4 segments of the peach, along with about 6 mint leaves. Using a muddler, begin to lightly smash the peaches and mint together, releasing the juice and oil from both.

Peach and Mint Soda Recipe
Peach and Mint Soda Recipe

Next, add about 1 tablespoon (or more if you want it sweeter) of the simple syrup. Cover the cocktail shaker, and shake it like you mean it.

Take a couple of glasses, fill them with ice, and pour into the glasses. Top off with ginger ale, gently stir with a spoon, and serve.

The end result is a super refreshing drink that has a nice subtle taste of peaches, and mint with just the right sweetness. Hope you enjoy!