This year we celebrated Valentine's Day a little early and a little differently! The husband did the cooking and I was in charge of dessert. The husband is not much of a cook. He makes breakfast for us once a week - toasts, scrambled eggs & tea. He was on his own for close to 3 months last year and he would mostly eat out or make the same thing over and over - brown rice, steamed veggies & baked fish. About 2 weeks back I was thinking out aloud that how wonderful it would be if I could get home-cooked meal that is not cooked by me once in a while! I guess he heard me this one time! While at Wholefoods last weekend he said he wanted to pick up some pork tenderloin. I was surprised. I told him that this week I am in no mood to try out something new - I already had a long to-do list. He said he will cook it. I was shocked. I tried to discourage him. But he stood his ground and we came back home with 4 pieces of pork tenderloin. All enthused he started googling up recipes and within 5 minutes he was in the kitchen pulling out drawers, opening cabinets, rummaging through my pantry with an air of a seasoned chef, his phone (with someone talking on Youtube) perched against my spice bottles. He prepared the marinade in a bowl, poured it into a ziploc freezer bag (yes, he was very specific about it), trimmed the fat of the tenderloin and then let out an exasperated sigh - he could not find a meat mallet (we don't have one). He had an accusing look on his face - as if I had single-handedly destroyed his one chance of creating the eighth wonder of the world. I handed him the mortar which I usually use to flatten the meat. Crisis averted he carried on. It was a success - he pulled it off with just a little help from me.
Here is how he made it:
- Pork Tenderloin - 4
- Soy Sauce - 4 tbsp for marination
- Oil - 1 tbsp for marination + 2 tbs (I used canola)
- Garlic - 2 tbsp grated (for marination) + 5-6 fat cloves cracked
- Garlic & Herb Seasoning - 1 tbs (you can use your favorite meat seasoning or just Salt & Pepper Rub)
- Salt to taste (optional)
- Pepper - 1 tsp, freshly ground
Once tenderloins are trimmed and flattened a bit so that it is about 3/4th of an inch, marinate using 4 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of oil, 1 tbsp of grated garlic and stick it in the fridge for an hour (you can keep it overnight).
Preheat oven to 500 F.
In a small bowl, mix 2 tbs of oil, the cracked garlic cloves, garlic & herb seasoning, freshly ground pepper and whisk together briskly.
Take the pork tenderloins out of the marinade and make small slits in the meat. Coat with the seasoning mix and push down the cracked garlic into the slits.
Place in cookie sheet lined with a aluminium foil and bake for 20 minutes. Once done, let it rest for a while before carving and serve serve warm with a side of salad or steamed veggies or anything that you fancy.
We drank our favorite red - Zins (a zinfandel), chatted, loaded ourselves with too much dessert - as usual. After 11 years of marriage and a 4.5 year old, our celebrations have become more about eating good food at home. I hope this is the beginning of many more meals cooked together. Btw, the Individual Strawberry Cheesecakes served with some macerated strawberries were a delight.
I am sending this recipe to Kolkata Food Bloggers' 'Love on Plate' Event.