I was watching the food network this morning and Bobby Flay was cooking up something that looked delicious. It was a Pork Tenderloin Gyro and a Grilled Vegetable Couscous salad. I thought it looked good so I made a list of supplies and went to the store. Unfortunately, my regular grocery store was closed because the power was out 😦 I had to hit up the Albertsons nearby. Not only did I pay more than I thought was necessary but I also ended up with sub-par produce.
I have never made pork tenderloin before and it is one of those things that I was unsure about trying. I know that everyone eats their pork at medium rare now but seeing it that way always freaks me out. When I was a kid, pork was cooked until it was white. I consulted the newly updated USDA website and they did indeed say that pork tenderloin can be cooked to 145F safely. With my thermometer in hand, I started my first pork tenderloin meal.
The recipes can be found here:
It turns out that I followed the wrong recipe for the couscous salad. I watched the Mediterranean episode this morning. When I did the search on the iPad for the recipes, I just searched for “grilled vegetable couscous.” He made a couscous grilled vegetable salad with lemon-balsamic vinaigrette but I made the recipe above. LOL @ not paying attention when doing a search. (I wondered why I remembered a shallot being in the dressing but it wasn’t on the list. I bought one anyway in case I had just missed it. Now I have a spare shallot!)
The Whole Meal:
I grabbed Cupcake Cabernet Sauvignon for the “dry red wine.” I am not a drinker at all but I know the merits of red wine in a marinade. I consulted Google for an article about a dry red wine and the first one recommended was a Cabernet. I decided to grab the Cupcake Vineyards one because I liked the name. Apparently, it is pretty good (according to Carter, who had a small glass after dinner). yay red wine!
The yogurt sauce was interesting to make. It had the essence of tzatziki sauce but with different hints of flavor from the capers and tomatoes. We chose to use baby spinach in the gyro to make it even more healthy.
Since I had never made couscous, I bought two 10oz boxes. The recipe said a pound of it so I thought I would need both. When I got home, I read the instructions on the box and it said that one box is 5 servings. I used one box and only the 2 cups of stock (The store didn’t have low sodium vegetable stock, so I used low sodium chicken stock instead.) instead of the stock and water.
All in all, I think it came out pretty good. I would have liked to have marinated the pork for longer than the 4 hours the recipe calls for. It had a good flavor but overnight would have been so much better. It easily fed 5 people with at least half of one of the tenderloins leftover. (I am thinking of doing a pork fried rice with the leftovers.) I really liked the couscous. I couldn’t find the Israeli one at the store but the small one was tasty anyway. I was a little worried that I had undercooked the pork but according to a million websites, I was right on target at 144-145F. The half we didn’t eat was slightly pinker than I would like it to be so when I eat the leftovers, I will just heat it up a little.
I took half the meal to my MIL’s house so she wouldn’t have to struggle with cooking tonight with her injured hand. They haven’t called to tell me if they liked it or not. Carter said he just isn’t a fan of pork but he really liked the yogurt-tomato sauce and also the couscous. I think if I had marinated the pork for longer, it would have had better flavor. I might try it again with chicken instead though. I don’t know if that would be weird with red wine.
I am going to go enjoy some of the new Jell-o that I found and also possibly some snickerdoodles from last night’s baking spree! 😀