Tag Archives: brown sugar

Brown Sugar & Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Serrano Sauce

Through all trial and no error, I am fairly certain I have just created a new holiday tradition in my home..We will be eating my new recipe of “Brown Sugar & Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Serrano Sauce” for Christmas from here on out!   Slightly sweet, a slight bit o’ heat, slighty tangy and a touch of classic savory, this one hit all of the notes in just the right way.  Plus, given that pork tenderloin is an inexpensive cut and just a few other handy ingredients are needed, one can make this festive meal quickly while saving a bit more for extra stocking stuffers!

Through great luck (and all of that “hard work of being a food blogger” ;) I have been fortunate enough to be a recipient of a large package of perfect Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries on my doorstep!  This box addressed to me, “Railroad Wife in Texas”, on frozen ice and all, was just screaming to NOT be made into your average pie, relish or smoothie..but into a savory entree!  When one thinks of cranberries their mind often goes to that bowl at the end of the table that all too often gets neglected…not here my friend!  This is front and center and oh so delicious!

To pick up your very own bag of Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries, you can go online to http://www.CapeCodSelect.com to order online/find your location or head to my favorite local pick up at:

Central Market

4651 West Freeway

Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Follow my friends Cape Cod Select at:

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*If you want an extra kick of spiciness, you can keep all of the seeds and pith in the serrano or hey, even add two of them to the sauce!!  I’m partial to the extra heat, but when my littles enjoy it I will keep it mellow.  The sacrifices I make as a momma….


The Starting Lineup

Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin (about always comes in two pieces)
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Sage
  • Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • Canola oil

Cranberry-Serrano Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries (divided)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 serrano, minced (I seeded only half)
  • 1 2″ piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 lime, zest
  • Kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped  

Let us begin!  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees WITH a cast-iron pan INSIDE the oven.  (You can also use a glass or ceramic baking dish, i.e. Pyrex casserole dish.  You just want it hot!!) 

While the oven (and pan) is preheating, coat the pork with a mixture of the brown sugar, Dijon mustard, thyme, sage, salt & pepper.  (The coated pork can stay out and go straight into oven or place in a bag and marinate for 2+ hours).

When the oven is hot and ready, carefully (with an oven-mitt) remove the cast-iron pan/casserole dish and drizzle in the canola oil, followed immediately with the pork tenderloin(s).  It WILL sizzle, drizzle with a bit more oil and place back into the oven.

Roast for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and roast for another 10-15 minutes (internal temperature of 145 degrees).  Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, slice and serve with your favorite sides.

Meanwhile…..that most delicious Cranberry-Serrano Sauce!!…

 

In a large sausepan over medium-high heat, saute the diced red onion in 1 tablespoon canola oil until soft.  Next, stir in 1 peeled and grated 2-inch piece of ginger along with 1 diced serrano chile (seed if needed and/or add two depending on heat level) and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar; cook until the sugar dissolves.  Once thickened and “syrupy”, add in 1 cup of the cranberries and cook until the berries pop and the sauce thickens (10 minutes).  Finally pour in the remaining cranberries and cook for 1-2 minute.  Transfer the sausapan off of the heat, stir in the honey, the grated lime zest, salt and pepper. Let cool a bit, then stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.

Once your pork has rested, sliced and placed onto a serving platter, drizzle the Cranberry-Serrano Sauce overtop and accompany with delicious homemade mashed potatoes and a flavorful roasted vegetable.

Brown Sugar Bacon Greens

For whatever reason, greens have been a love of mine since a youngster AND a top pregnancy craving with my first child.  I couldn’t always make this exact recipe in a pinch when my hormones requested, so I’d often buy the most “quality” can, pry open and pour Tabasco sauce straight into it.  All I needed was a fork!  Well..my fingers would have sufficed, but that’s just uncivilized.. 😉

Now THIS recipe is light years better than ANY canned greens.  I know that sounds obvious, but I just can’t believe I force fed myself that stuff now.  I was a junkie!..

My recipe has a subtle sweetness from the brown sugar but a bit of heat with the hot sauce and chili flake…it’s divine!  Can you say “divine” regarding a greens side dish???  It’s true whatever the answer!

*I prefer a thicker Franks style vs a Tabasco style hot sauce in the cooking process.  There is already enough of a vinegar taste with the apple cider vinegar.  However, you can use Tabasco as a garnish if you’d like…just trust me here.

*For even more flavor, you can still add in a Tbsp of chicken bouillon even if you use the broth. 

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 large bunches greens from produce section (I used both collard and turnip)
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (to taste) hot sauce (I used Franks style flavor)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or water with 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon)
  • Pinch of red chili flake
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste  

To start this southern side dish staple, begin by rinsing the greens under water.  Make sure to rub any dirt off the leaves and then remove each side of the leaf from its ‘rib’ and give another rinse in the colander. 

Pat the leaves dry and then roll a bunch together (kind of ‘cigar’ like) and give a rough 1″ section chop to it.  You can also tear the leaves if you’d prefer and set aside.  You can now dice up the onion and mince that garlic!

 Next, dice the bacon into bite size pieces while heating up a large pot (I prefer my enameled cast-iron dutch oven) with a Tbsp of oil.  Add the bacon to the oil and cook until just browned on the edges.  *TIP:  You do not want your bacon crispy in this dish and it will continue to cook later in the recipe. 
 In that same pot with the warm bacon & fat, add in the onions and cook till just translucent on medium heat (about 5 minutes). 

Then add in the garlic, brown sugar, Franks hot sauce, red chili flake, salt & pepper and cook for 1 minute while stirring.  Next, pour in the 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and simmer until reduced by half. 

   Finally add the chicken broth (or water with bouillon) to the mix along with the cut up greens.  Give a good toss in the hot flavorful liquid.  They’ll start wilting quick! 

 Bring the pot to a low simmer, cover this savory side dish with a lid and walk away (stirring occasionally) until supper time!!  Serve with extra vinegar or hot sauce if desired, enjoy! 

 

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

I must really love my husband, because besides sushi I am not big on Asian cuisine…at all.  I know, I know..I’m “crazy”, “nuts”, “a weirdo”..I’ve heard it all.  Quite frankly, just feed me tacos and champagne for the rest of my days and I’d be happy as a clam!

That being said, every now and then I’ll surprise my dear love with an Asian inspired meal…and it’s also quite possible that I just wanted a sake bomb, but who knows?? 😉

So below is a take on a restaurant favorite that I tried and tweaked and I have to say….I wasn’t sure if I was in my own kitchen or Little China down the street, it was that good.  I suppose that may also of had to do with the sake bombs 😉 

The Starting Lineup

Marinade (1hr)

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake (optional, if you like a bit of heat–not recommended for lil kiddos)
  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (make sure to NOT use regular soy sauce…it will be waayyy too salty)
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp sherry
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-2 heads broccoli, crowns cut off

Garnish/Sides (optional)

  • Rice (white or fried)
  • Scallions
  • Sriracha sauce  

Let’s begin!  Starting with the marinade, have a medium size bowl ready and whisk together all of the above “marinade” ingredients (baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water and vegetable oil).  

Next add in the thinly sliced steak and toss with tongs to coat.  Cover the bowl with saran wrap and keep in the refridgerator for 45-60 minutes.  This will really tenderize that ‘tough’ flank steak like you wouldn’t believe!  *Take the steak out of the refridgerator about 15 minutes prior to cooking. 

  

Yes…I know, it looks really appetizing doesn’t it?? Sorry to my vegetarian friends. Kind of.

 

Alrighty..now while the meat is tenderizing away in the fridge, all we have left to do is the sauce and prepping of the broccoli.  I first cut the crowns of the broccoli off their stalks and rinse them in a collander and allow to dry.  *If still a bit wet when time to cook, just pat dry with a paper towel/kitchen towel.  You really don’t want water added to hot oil..at all!  *You can also keep the stalks and use in soup broths, chop into a chicken alfredo sauce, etc.. 

   Next for the sauce (glaze), in a small bowl combine the ‘sauce’ ingredients (soy sauce, dark brown sugar, ginger, garlic, flour, sherry, vegetable oil).  Cover and set aside. 

   

    I’m pretty sure that by now the steak should be about ready to cook!  Sooo in a large pan, heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil to medium-high heat.  Add in the broccoli and cook for about 3-4 minutes while stirring often.  *If they turn a bit brown/crisp on the edges, that is ok!.  Remove the par cooked broccoli to a plate and set aside. 

   In that same pan, carefully add in another Tbsp of vegetable oil and then once hot toss in the marinated steak and 1/2 of the prepared sauce.  Sauté togther for about 4 minutes.  Finally add the broccoli back in with the remaining sauce and saute all together for another 1-2 minutes. 

       I like to serve our Beef & Broccoli over rice and garnish with a bit of scallions and sriracha (<- for the adults), alongside a few appetizers of pot stickers and egg rolls!  Let me tell you…my lil boys ate that steak right up!  A perfect sweet & salty flavor! 

 

Brown Sugar & Apple Pancakes

Tomorrow being Sunday, my official lazy brunch day, is the best time to make these!  Given there is fresh fruit and an oil substitute, you can feel somewhat healthy when eating these or feeding them to your kiddos.  They’re not overly sweet but will remind you of a deep dish apple pie.  Enjoy!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 Red Apple, your choice
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour, leveled
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp BakingPowder
  • 1/2 cup Applesauce
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp Salt



Preheat the oven to 200degrees.  Cut your apple into bite size chunks and place in a Saranwrap covered bowl.  Put the apple filled bowl into the microwave for about 2 minutes until softened.  Set aside.

In large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, add together the milk, egg, applesauce & vanilla.  Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.   Pour the softened apple chunks into the batter and carefully mix in.  You don’t want to overmix the pancake batter, some small lumps are ok.



Heat a nonstick pan or buttered griddle to medium heat.  I, personally, like to spray my pan with extra nonstick spray between pancakes.  Cook each pancake about 2-3 minutes, until tiny bubbles form on the top.  Carefully flip over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Transfer these pancakes to an oven safe plate or baking sheet and place in the warmed oven till brunch time!

*These pancakes take on a darker color than normal due to the brown sugar.  Serve with warmed REAL Maple Syrup , extra softened apple chunks and a dollop of apple sauce!




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