Bohemia Lea Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Asparagus and Watermelon Salad

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Our delicious summertime feast, featuring my favorite watermelon salad.

Summer is in full swing and I am loving the produce section!  When I was last in Delaware, Patrick, my Mom and I tried two methods for seasoning pork tenderloin – dry rub and simple, fresh garlic slices.  The tenderloins came from Cal Hurtt’s Bohemia Lea Farm in Cecilton, MD.  In May, Alex and I visited Cal at his farm stand at the Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market.  His sustainable farming operation would thrill any Michael Pollan devotee – Cal even cites Pollan’s “the Omnivore’s Dilemma” as inspiration for his farm.  Cal used his engineering background to design a sustainable farming operation, where cattle, hens and turkey rotate across his land, benefiting from one another and improving the health of the topsoil (read more on Bohemia Lea’s webpage).  We were excited to finally try Bohemia Lea Farm products, and all the meat we have sampled has been fantastic.

In keeping with the sustainability theme of our meal, we opted to use only local, seasonal ingredients for our sides.  Patrick picked up a large, juicy watermelon and fresh New Jersey asparagus on his way down to visit us in Delaware.  We paired our tenderloin with watermelon salad, sweet potatoes and grilled asparagus.

Recipe

 

Bohemia Lea Pork Tenderloin – serves 8-10 

We prepared the pork two ways – with the dry rub and with garlic – and our group was split as to which was our favorite.  We kept the cooking methods simple to allow the flavors of the meat to shine through.  Sweet potatoes bake at about 400-425 degrees for about 40 minutes as well, so we added some sweet potatoes wrapped in foil in the same oven.

You will need: IMG_5938

  1. 2 large pork tenderloins
  2. 3-4 T dry rub (see recipe below)
  3. 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  4. 1-2 T olive oil
  5. black pepper, to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using the tip of your knife, make shallow slits in the surface of one pork tenderloin, and insert garlic into the slit pocket.  Slather on a little olive oil and add a little fresh ground pepper.
  3. With your second pork tenderloin, first, pat dry with paper towel.  Then, dust on an even layer of dry rub, patting the tenderloin as you apply your spices.
  4. Roast tenderloins together on a baking sheet for 40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Let meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Optional: Mom’s Dry Rub to make ahead and save.  Mix 1/4 C paprika, 2 T brown sugar, 2 T salt, 2 T garlic powder, 1 T pepper, 1/2 t chili powder, 1 T cayenne pepper, 1 T onion powder, 1 1/2 t ground cumin and 1 1/2 t dry mustard.  You will have plenty of dry rub left over if you follow this recipe – save it for next time.

Recipe

Grilled Asparagus – serves 6 – 8

You will need: IMG_5929

  1. 2 bunches asparagus
  2. olive oil to drizzle across asparagus ~ 1-2 T
  3. black pepper, to taste
  4. salt, to taste
  5. about 1 t garlic powder

Steps:

  1. First, snap off the asparagus ends and throw the ends away or save them for compost.
  2. Next, lay the asparagus out on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Too much olive oil, and even after grilled, they will seem a bit too oily.  Add some fresh ground black pepper, a little fine grain salt and some powdered garlic.  Mix.
  3. With the grill on medium heat, lay asparagus on, and after about 5 minutes, “roll” them.  You should see the bottoms with brown grill marks.  After another 5 mins., roll them again.  Then, roll them every couple of minutes until you get nice brow/black grill marks.

Recipe

Watermelon Salad – serves 6

Watermelon salad is the ultimate summer refresher.  We love this salad with mozzarella or feta cheese – you can’t go wrong!

You will need: IMG_5912

  1. 1/2 large watermelon
  2. about 1 C mozzarella balls, halved
  3. 1-2 T olive oil to drizzle
  4. 5 or more large basil leaves
  5. salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. First, cut large watermelon in half and cube melon.  Spread out cubes onto serving dish.
  2. Next, arrange mozzarella across serving dish.  Our ideal ratio of melon to cheese is about 2:1.
  3. Drizzle olive oil across melon and cheese.
  4. Chop basil into thin ribbons or use herb scissors to cut small pieces.  For ribbons, roll the basil leaves together and slice in thin strips from end to end.
  5. Scatter basil pieces and salt and pepper across your salad.
  6. If desired, salad can be chilled before serving.
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Salmon Series Part One: Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto

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Posing with the final product!

After our last day of racing at the Olympic Trials, my parents took my husband Alex, me and Jess out to eat in St. Armand’s Circle. We picked an Italian restaurant that had caught my eye the previous week when Jess and I were on more stringent meal plans. After several days of racing, I was craving a hearty, warm meal, and savored the salmon risotto that I ordered for lunch. After the meal, we stopped by Kilwin’s for ice cream, at my sister-in-law Becky’s recommendation. I ordered the Heavenly Hash flavor, which I had not come across since college!

This blog entry is the first in a series of six ways to prepare salmon. Salmon is one of the staples in the Taylor kitchen, and Jess’s boyfriend Austin recently requested my top three salmon recipes. There are so many favorites to chose from, so why not six?

For my birthday eve meal, Alex and I cooked our own version of salmon risotto. We loaded up our risotto with as many veggies as possible, and used the Persian spice zarchobeh for extra flavor and color. We broiled two small filets of salmon, and added the cooked salmon after the Arborio rice had absorbed all of our cooking liquid.

Recipe

Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto – serves 4 to 6

We used 1/2 stick of butter as recommended in the “Wild mushroom risotto with peas” recipe by Giada de Laurentiis in “Everyday Italian,” but you could get away with using half that amount.  Allow a full hour for cooking this meal; the risotto alone takes at least 30 minutes, and you will want to be patient while all cooking liquids get absorbed.  White wine is traditionally a popular addition to risotto.  If you want to use white wine, pick a dry wine and add just 2/3 of a cup after you add your Arborio rice.

You will need:13100965_10206263031229973_6779215179086965754_n

  1. 1 lb of salmon
  2. ½ T dried basil
  3. ½ T garlic salt
  4. ½ T black pepper
  5. ½ stick of butter
  6. 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  7. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  8. 1 or 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  9. 1 C white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  10. 1 ½ C Arborio rice
  11. 32 oz chicken broth
  12. ½ T cayenne pepper
  13. 1 T zarchobeh or turmeric
  14. 1 can artichoke hearts
  15. 1 C frozen peas
  16. 12 cherry tomatoes
  17. 1 handful fresh basil, washed and torn
  18. ¼ C shredded parmesan

 

Steps:

  1. Add half of your dried basil, garlic salt and black pepper to the bottom of an oven-safe ceramic dish. Place salmon filets on top of spices, skin down, and add the remaining basil, garlic salt and pepper to the top of the filets.
  2. Broil salmon for approximately 20 minutes on high.
  3. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add thinly sliced red onion as soon as butter has melted, and stir for five minutes until the slices begin to soften.
  4. Add chopped garlic and thinly sliced red peppers to your pan, stirring to combine. After a few more minutes, add chopped mushrooms.
  5. When mushrooms begin to darken, add your Arborio rice to the mix.
  6. Start adding chicken broth by the cupful, and stir while broth is absorbed by rice (about 5 minutes per cup of broth).
  7. After you have added three cups of broth, add your cayenne pepper and zarchobeh or turmeric. Add your final cup of broth.
  8. When your broth has mostly been absorbed, add canned artichoke hearts, peas, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine for about five minutes or until all ingredients have heated through. Finally, add shredded parmesan and stir to combine evenly.

The first risotto recipe I ever followed came from Giada’s cookbook.  Patrick and I made the “wild mushroom risotto with peas” found on page 131 of “Everyday Italian.”  I followed the sequence of Giada’s recipe loosely when I created this dish.

Source: Laurentiis, Giada De. Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2005. Print.