On chilly autumn days, nothing beats comfort food for dinner. We tend to think of staples like turkey and chicken as the go-to proteins, but herb-crusted pork tenderloin (hey, it's the "other white meat," right?) can work just as well for the "main" in a satisfying seasonal dinner. Pair it with some quinoa and fennel pilaf, glazed carrots, and sautéed hominy, and you've got a super-healthy and delicious meal.
Army Chef Rene Marquis, star of CafeMom Studio's Dinner Boot Camp, loves this recipe as an easy, nutritious weeknight dinner that will please even the pickiest kid at the table! Check it out ...
Oooh. How awesome does that look?! Now, check out some of Chef's tips on how to remove skin from a pork tenderloin and cut carrots for cooking.
And here's the recipe if you want to try it yourself!
Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin With Quinoa & Fennel Pilaf, Glazed Carrots & Sautéed Hominy
Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin
- 2 (1.25 pounds) pork tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 egg whites, beaten
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Season tenderloins with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add tenderloins and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Remove tenderloins from pan; set aside, let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush all sides of tenderloin with egg white.
- On a small sheet pan mix together sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper. Roll tenderloins in herb mixture.
- Place wire rack on sheet pan; place tenderloins on wire rack. Place sheet pan in oven.
- Bake until internal temperature registers 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven; let tenderloins stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with quinoa and fennel pilaf, glazed carrots, and sautéed hominy.
Quinoa and fennel pilaf
- 1 cup red or black quinoa, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small white onion, finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- In a medium saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add onion, celery, carrot, and fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel has softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add quinoa. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add water, salt and pepper; stir to incorporate. Bring to boiling.
- Cover and transfer to a 350 degree oven 12 to 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Remove pan from oven, set aside, keep warm until ready to serve. Fluff quinoa with spoon before serving.
- 5 large carrots, peeled and cut oblique
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- In a medium skillet add carrots, broth, butter, and sugar.
- Bring to boiling, reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender and sauce has thickened and reduced, about 4 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste; set aside, keep warm until ready to serve.
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 (16-ounce) can hominy, rinsed and drained
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
- In a medium skillet heat bacon over medium-low heat to render fat, stirring occasionally.
- Increase heat to medium-high, add shallot; cook until shallot begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add hominy, cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.
- Stir in green onion and tomato; set aside, keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve family style.
Tools that make dinner fast and easy:
- Fine mesh sieve
- Wire rack and sheet pan set
Cooking terms to brag about:
- Quinoa: (pronounced “keenwah”) Edible starchy seeds high in protein.
- Oblique cut: Cut on the bias, then 1/4 turn and cut on the bias again, repeated.
- Pilaf: A technique of toasting a grain, rice, or pasta in a small amount of fat and then finishing the cooking process in the oven.
- How to cut oblique carrots or vegetables
- How to cook with quinoa
- How a wire rack set can help foods cook faster and more evenly
- How to trim a roast
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