Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cleaning out the Fridge (again, with more success)

Sometimes in the middle of the week I just stare into the fridge and think "what am I going to eat out this hodgepodge?" It's like I'm on a one-man, unjudged version of Chopped on Food Network.

I had a pork tenderloin thawed in the fridge, so I knew that was going to be the centerpiece, but my creativity tank was a little low. I decided to brush it with olive oil to minimize the charring and infuse moisture when I put it in the oven. After thinking of some lame sauce ideas, I decided to just rub the whole 1 pound pork loin with one of my favorite seasonings, Luzianne's Cajun Seasoning. It's a nice blend of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, and salt.

I roasted this at 400 degrees for 1 hour. At the end of that hour, I took it out of the oven and let in rest covered in the baking dish for 20 minutes while I continued working on the side dishes.

I had a box of lentil rice pilaf, but it said it was going to take 40 minutes to cook and I didn't feel like waiting that long. So I got some plain white rice and started that going on the stove. I went back to the fridge and saw some pureed tomato sauce that I had left over and wanted to get rid of. It was just a little too harsh of a bite, though, to put into the rice by itself. Went with a nutty, robust theme by adding a few shakes of and crushing some pecans I wanted to get rid of into the boiling rice. The tomato sauce had an interesting reaction once added -- it turned the rice a burgundy-brown. The rice absorbed the water and tomato sauce nicely and this turned out well.

I cracked a can of green beans and heated them on the stove, but I wanted to augment them too. I thought some crumbled blue cheese (also something I wanted to move out of the fridge) melted on top would be tasty. That prognostication came true.

I bias-cut the pork tenderloin and plated it with the rice and green beans. The tenderloin was cooked perfectly and had plenty of spice and flavor. Not bad for having no idea what I was going to make at 5 pm when I walked in the door. The judges on Chopped would have been proud.

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