It happens every year like clockwork: No matter how heavily I chide myself for being lax with holiday planning I still end up in the same position as last year — harried, hyperventilating, wishing there were more hours in the day to get everything done.
So this holiday season is no different. Thanksgiving came and went with nary a whole turkey to be seen in my domestic kitchen.
Instead, I took the easy route and roasted a few big turkey drumsticks. A simple marinade of lemon pepper spice — a new-found love I picked up at Trader Joe’s — and canola oil sealed the deal. For vegetable sides, I opted for a roasted melange of brussels sprouts, carrots, and beets; and a couple hasselback sweet potatoes with goat cheese and curly parsley. A little square of toasted buttered sourdough bread completed our turkey day meal. It was just me and Jason this year but it was still nice to stay home and enjoy it as a couple.
On top of the normal holiday season stress, things have been compounded with an additional two things. One, my laptop decided to go on the fritz and I was left computer-less for several days. Life with an iPad as an accompaniment to your other electronics is wonderful but it’s not so great when it’s your sole link to the matrix (did I really just say “the matrix?”); it took me eons to type out simple e-mails each day. Since then I managed to convince my husband that I needed a custom-built gaming machine fast enough and big enough to last me into the next century. I apologize in advance if I’m nowhere to be found next week as I will most likely be immersed in the land of Azeroth frolicking around with my toons. I can’t even begin to wonder how brilliant the landscapes will be with my faster graphics card and processor. Woot for shiny new things!
Second, I’ve been tackling formalities and logistics with regards to my small business venture: a personal chef service. Starting up my own business has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. It’s so thrilling to actually be in the throes of it all despite the sleepless nights and Tylenol-filled days. The amount of work it’s required of me (and Jason) has really tested my patience and will. At first I was afraid, I was petrified, of choosing the right name for my business. After banging my head a few times on the desk, I finally managed to fit some sense into my brain and realized that Okie Dokie Artichokie LLC would be a fine representation of me, my food, and the blog, all of which will fall under that umbrella. I won’t consider it official until I receive a hard copy of the registration in my hands from the state of Michigan but when I get it I’m sure it will sink in that I’m a business owner and I’ll probably flip. Stay tuned!
I’ve been cooking as a personal chef for several months now and really find it revitalizing and exciting. Most of you know just how much I enjoy creating unique eating experiences in my own home and for others and so this is the perfect job-fit for me; I get to do it every day.
A few weeks back I made this dish for a few clients: Maple-glazed pork tenderloin with apples and sage. I’m a big aficionado for the combination of sweets with savories these days and the slightly crunchy apples with the burnished maple glaze along with the earthiness of the tenderloin really played well in the sandbox together. Horray for making friends.
As a new contributor to Examiner.com, I shared this recipe on their web-space right before Thanksgiving. If you have a moment, check them out. They have writers from all over the country who discuss a myriad of topics, ranging from local news, entertainment, finance, and of course, food. I’m certain they still have openings for more enthusiastic writers so if you’re interested I would consider swinging by.
Here’s the recipe for the pork tenderloin anyway though because I love you.
Maple-glazed pork tenderloin with apples and sage
1 pound pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh apple cider (enough to cover bottom of pan)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons good maple syrup
1 Michigan Honeycrisp apple; washed and cut into slices (or any other crisp apple — Galas and Granny Smiths would be terrific)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Season the pork tenderloin with salt, pepper, and fresh sage. Press the spices firmly around the tenderloin and set it aside.
Set an oven-proof fry pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the canola oil. Once the pan is hot, gently add the tenderloin and sear on all sides until golden brown and delicious, about 7 minutes. Take the tenderloin out and put it onto a plate. Lower the heat and pour the apple cider into the pan — it will make a loud sizzle and you’ll think you did something horribly wrong but remain calm, you are currently de-glazing the pan (fancy pants!) — and use a whisk to snatch up all those tasty bits left behind from the pork.
Add the pork tenderloin back into the pan and tuck inside the oven to roast for approximately 10-12 minutes or until it’s turned a golden brown and the meat yields slightly to your touch. Meanwhile, set a small pot over medium-low heat and toss in the butter and maple syrup. Once it’s melted completely, use a brush and baste the top of the pork tenderloin with this glaze, about every 3-4 minutes as it roasts. If the top isn’t getting as golden as you’d like, you can also place it under the broiler for a few minutes until it gets that crispy gorgeous skin.
Take the pork out of the oven and set it onto a serving platter to rest. Using oven mitts (because the pan is hot from the oven), place the pan back onto the stove over medium heat. To the pan juices add the remaining maple syrup glaze and apple slices, tossing to combine. Allow a couple minutes for the apples to soften slightly and for the sauce to thicken and caramelize.
Pour the apples and sauce over the pork tenderloin and serve immediately.
P.S. I love you again.
Kekepania (my name in Hawaiian)