Saturday, February 26, 2011

Smoky Pork Medallions with Oven Roasted Potatoes

I got my latest issue of Clean Eating Magazine in the mail the other day.  I am always combing through the pages looking for recipes my entire family will enjoy.  As for me, I would enjoy making and eating pretty much each recipe on the pages... but my family... not so much. 

On my last trip to Manitou Springs a few weeks ago, I ventured into one of my favorite shops... The Olive Tap (an olive oil and vinegar tasting emporium... crazy, huh?). They also have a great assortment of dried herbs and spices and they are in glass jars so you can smell and taste them if you like.  I splurged and bought a new spice... Smoked Sweet Spanish Paprika. I thought I might try it on potatoes.  When I opened the pages of my Clean Eating Magazine, I found a few recipes calling for this spice... so I had to give the recipe for Smoked Paprika Pork Tenderloin a try.   I prepared the meat and spice rub ahead of time and let the flavors mingle for several hours while I was knitting with the girls at my Thursday Knitting group.  When I came home, I cranked up the oven for some oven roasted potatoes. I figured if my boys did not like the pork, they could feast on potatoes.  I cooked the pork on my George Foreman grill (I think I have the largest grill they make... it's huge!). It made for a super simple meal.  I put a bowl of orange slices on the table for something fresh.  I liked making and eating this meal...

Spice Rub for Pork (from Clean Eating Magazine March 2011)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

The recipe in the magazine called for a one pound pork tenderloin, cut into 12 medallions.  I used a pork tenderloin which was 1.8 pounds to I doubled the rub ingredients and of course made more than 12 medallions. I just tried to cut the pork tenderloin into medallions with equal thickness.  I thought the dish was a tad salty so next time, I will adjust that.  There is very little oil in the rub. I made the rub in a large plastic storage container and then just slathered each medallion with a bit of the rub, put on the lid, and put it in the refrigerator for about four or five hours. When it was almost dinner time, and the potatoes were roasting in the oven, I let the pork sit out on the counter top to come up to room temperature a bit. I grilled the pork medallions on my George Foreman Grill for about 4 or 5 minutes. They were very tender and flavorful.  The boys said this recipe is a keeper. Yay! If you don't have a George Foreman Grill, the recipe recommends cooking the pork in a large saute pan in a teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat (approximately 3 minutes per side for well doneness).  Easy!

The oven roasted potatoes are also very simple; they just take some time to roast.

Oven Roasted Potatoes
5 or 6 medium sized potatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used kosher)
3/4 teaspoon each dried oregano and dried basil
a few pinches of dried crushed pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray; set aside

Scrub potatoes (leave skins on). Cut each potato half lengthwise; cut each half in half again lengthwise.  Cut each quarter into three chunks so each potato yields 12 similar sized chunks.  Put potato chunks in a large bowl.  Add the olive oil and spices; stir to coat and spread out onto prepared pan in a single layer.  Roast in oven for 30 minutes; remove from oven and stir. Roast an additional 30 minutes until nicely browned.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt (if desired) and serve hot.

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