Bohemia Lea Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Asparagus and Watermelon Salad

IMG_5935
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.

Salmon Series Part Four: Grilled Salmon and Steamed Artichokes

IMG_4990
Patrick picked up this beautiful salmon filet at Whole Foods before driving to Delaware.

As our Chicago chapter came to a close, Alex and I found ourselves traveling all over the city to see friends.  We calculated recently that we have been in 15 states over the past 5 weeks!  We have spent this exciting transition time staying with many wonderful host friends, and saying goodbye-for-now to our Chicago family.  I wrapped up my time as a rehab aide at Athletico, had one last sweep team practice with Lincoln Park Boat Club and witnessed Alex’s graduation from medical school.  Looking back on the month of May, I can see that we filled our schedules to the brim, but I would not have it any other way!  It was a treat to be reunited with the Taylor family for a week of adventures in Michigan and Chicago.  Next, we spent a week on the East Coast with my family, and met my brother’s baby for the first time.

During all of our moving about, we sampled new restaurants and made a variety of recipes in countless kitchens.  Most recently, Patrick shared his family recipe for steamed artichokes, and I requested grilled salmon as a pairing.  My niece, Kayden, and I tried out a recipe for zucchini boats to round out the family feast menu.  Kayden is a skilled baker and loves trying out new recipes in the kitchen.  We will definitely be cooking together again soon.

Now I am off on another racing adventure in the double with Jess.  I will be cooking and learning new recipes and flavors, but may not be blogging while I am away.  Until next time!

 

 

Recipe

Grilled Salmon – serves 6 to 8

I have not tried grilling salmon on my own yet, but I collected the below tips from Patrick.  Remember not to move the fish around on the grill until you are ready to flip!  If you move the fish, it can break apart on the grill and lose its grill lines.

You will need:IMG_4990

  1. 2 lb salmon
  2. 1 t salt
  3. 1 t pepper
  4. 1 t garlic powder
  5. about 1 T olive oil

Steps:

  1. Sprinkle salmon on both sides with salt, black pepper and garlic powder.  Rub in with a little olive oil.
  2. Heat your grill to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (close to high heat on our grill).
  3. Grill the meat side of salmon first for 3 to 4 minutes with the grill lid closed.  The fish should start to become opaque on the meat side where it is starting to cook.
  4. Flip salmon once to grill the skin side using a grill spatula or tongs.  Close the lid again and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes until the whole filet is just opaque.
  5. When salmon is ready, the skin should easily fall off.

Recipe

Steamed Artichokes – serves 8

IMG_4987You will need:

  1. 8 whole artichokes, including stems
  2. 6 large garlic cloves
  3. ½ C fresh parsley, chopped
  4. salt
  5. pepper
  6. 3-4 T olive oil to drizzle

Steps:

  1. Cut off the bottom of the stems and slice off the dry end of the stem.  Dice the remaining stem.
  2. Chop garlic and parsley and combine with stem pieces, salt and pepper.
  3. Bang the bottom of the artichoke against the tabletop to open up the flower.  If you need to, you can pull apart the leaves by hand instead.
  4. Stuff diced items between artichoke leaves.
  5. Stand artichokes up in a large pot and fill with about 2″ of water.
  6. Pour oil over artichokes.  Bring water to steam and cover for 45-60 minutes.  Your artichokes are ready when their leaves pull off easily.

Recipe

Zucchini Boats and Caprese Salad – serves 8

We followed a recipe for “Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad” from Cooking Light and MyRecipes.com (see below).  Kayden and I opted to leave out the bread from the original recipe, because we wanted to share the zucchini boats with my mother, who eats gluten-free.  Our zucchini were exceptionally fresh, and we did not miss the bread at all!  The caprese salad from cherry tomatoes was also a big hit, and we keep making that dish as a side for dinner.
You will need:IMG_4985

  1. 4 large zucchini
  2. 4 chicken sausage
  3. 1 small yellow onion
  4. 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese
  5. 2 C cherry tomatoes
  6. 1 T balsamic vinegar
  7. 1/4 C thinly sliced fresh basil
  8. 1 t olive oil

Steps:

  1. Wash the outside of your zucchini thoroughly before halving.
  2. Scoop out and save the insides of the zucchini, leaving about 1/4 inch intact beyond the skin.
  3. Cover and microwave the zucchini halves in an oven safe container for four minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, dice the zucchini insides and save about 2 cups of material.
  5. Remove casings from chicken sausage and break sausage into small pieces.
  6. Dice onion.
  7. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add spray with cooking spray.  Add onion and sausage and stir to combine for about 4 minutes.
  8. Combine zucchini insides with your cooked sausage and onion in a mixing bowl.  Spoon this mixture into each zucchini boat.
  9. Chop up about 2 ounces of mozzarella cheese and layer on top of your boats.
  10. Halve the cherry tomatoes and combine with remaining mozzarella, balsamic, basil and olive oil.  Set aside in fridge to chill, if desired.
  11. Place zucchini boats on the top rack of your oven and broil for two to three minutes, checking to see if mozzarella melts and browns.

Source: Wise, Deb. “Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad Recipe.” MyRecipes.com. Cooking Light, June 2015. Web. 29 May 2016.