Sunday, January 10, 2010

Easy Saturday Dinner

As people have been telling me for months, it really is hard to find tons of extra time to create fancy meals with a baby around.  Bennett is perfectly willing to hang out in his swing while I chop away but now that I'm back at work, I really want to spend as much quality time with him as possible.  Today, I have chicken stock simmering away and I'm prepping everything for Barefoot Contessa's Italian Wedding Soup.  It uses chicken meatballs and lots of fresh dill and spinach.  Perfect for a week when lots of cold germs seem to be floating around.  Here you can see Ben helping me out by laughing at my knife skills....

Last night was Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Carmelized Shallots and Pears. 


1 1lb pork tenderloin
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
2 bosc pears, cored, not peeled, cut into eights
4 large shallots - peeled and quartered through stem to hold them together
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup pear nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter (melted)
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 475.  Mix garlic, olive oil and thyme.  Rub this mixture all over pork, pears, and shallots.  Season pork, pears, and shallots with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium high heat.  Sear pork, shallots and pears on all sides - about 10 minutes.  Move pork, shallots, and pears to a baking dish and roast for approximately 10 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145.  Rest the meat after you remove it from the oven.

Mix the flour into the melted butter.  In the same skillet where the meat was browned, add the chicken stock, pear nectar and butter/flour.  Bring this to a boil and then simmer until thickened,  about 10 minutes.  Season the sauce to taste, with salt and pepper.

Slice the meat and drizzle the sauce over top.  Garnish with extra thyme sprigs.

I think this dish would work well with lots of fruits.  Perhaps try substituting apples or mangoes to cook with the pork and then apple or mango juice in the sauce.  I think if you try mango you might want to reduce the amount that is cooked with the chicken stock a bit, mango is a pretty strong flavor.  Enjoy!


  1. How do I peel and quarter through the stem to hold the shallots together?

  2. And where do you get pear nectar? Do you think maybe you could start posting directional videos with your recipes? =)

  3. Just peel of the outside layer of the shallot, just like an onion. Then make your cuts through the that there is a little bit of stem attached to each wedge.

    Pear nectar is in the juice section (at least in our Whole Foods) Goya carries a good selection of nectars - or just use a high quality pear juice.

  4. Looks delish and easy! I think this would be good with apricots too.

  5. Awesome, thanks! I a visual person, so I'm not still not sure I'm getting the right idea of how the shallots are supposed to be cut, but I doubt it'll make that big of a difference if I screw it up.