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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tender-Hearted...

You know the time I'm talking about. It's mid-week....about 3 or 4 days until payday. The cupboard may not be bare....but it's getting close. YOU however, want a nice, luxurious, and tasty meal! HOW DARE YOU!  HAHAHAHAH...OK, getting a little manic there. Here's the thing...it is all within your reach! How do I know? Well, the older I get, the more I realize I DON'T know, but what I DO know...is that you can have beautiful food on a budget.  If you'd like the recipe I used, go here. Take for example one recent pre-paycheck weeknight...IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT! Just kidding, I've always wanted to write that, though. But this, my friends, this was all I had to work with...

That's right...one TEENY-TINY little 1/2 of a pork tenderloin! Yes, I had other foods in my freezer, being a thrifty little Pixie...but...I wanted me some pork-tastic supper that night. The real question here is....a half a pork tenderloin...a couple of taters needed used up...and one half of an English cucumber..hmmmm. Not enough to make an elegant, weeknight meal you say? Watch me. First, take your knife, and cut that bad boy almost in half.


It will look like this...



Then, cover it with plastic wrap, and carefully beat the tarnation out of it until it is flatter.....and larger....like so...


Then saute' ye up some bacon (pork on pork action! Avert your eyes, children!)


Then add the shrooms


In keeping with the recipe...mix that lovely mixture with the parsley, breadcrumb, etc...


Now. don't forget...we're making an entire supper here, remember? Yes, I thought you did. Start a coupla three taters or so to boil....


Then, get back to the job at hand. Take that stuffing, and place it all the way out to the edges of yonder tenderloin....thusly...


Then, roll it into a log of sorts....


Then, tie it up with some kitchen string...or toothpick it, as the recipe calls for. I don't know about you, but I like my hog...HOG TIED!!!! HAHAHAHAHA...OK, I crack myself up.


Now, mix the parsley, oil and lemon rind & such...and let it get all mellow together. You want this to blend for a little while, because then when you spoon it over the pork, you get maximum flavor!



Now, go online and get Sunny Anderson's incredibly good tangy tater salad recipe, and assemble your ingredients. Hey, your piggie is resting, and your taters are boiling....you've got time!  Here's the line up...


From upper left..white wine vinegar, sugar, paprika, flour, bacon, green onions, pickled jalapeno, and garlic. Drain and cool your taters, and cube them. Come on! Leave those skins on! It's called vitamins, people..



Follow the recipe, and saute those lovely green onions & such...look at the beautiful color the paprika gives the mixture...


Then, combine with the still-warm potatoes...


Oh...my...goodness. You know, I don't think I can make any other potato salads after tasting this one! Now...back to the action! Take that lonely 1/2 an English cucumber..



Slice as thin as you can, and place in a shallow dish with red wine vinegar, dill, salt, pepper, and just a pinch of sugar. 


Let them get all pickly while you get back to the tenderloin. You see the timing here? Your zesty cukes are ready and waiting...your warm potato salad is done...now, just on to the main event...Take Mr. porky and put him on your pre-heated grill pan....not too high now...just medium high, to get it all crispy and what not on the outside..



Turn it, and brown evenly all over...like so...


Tent it with a sheet of foil...and cook for another ten minutes or so on medium. Remember, you pounded that pork thin...it will be cooked, I promise!  Well, how did we budget-conscious mid-week mavens do?  Have a look.....



Now...I know I am prone to superlatives, however.....I seriously cannot imagine making a tenderloin a different way! Ditto on the tater salad. Of course, Dear Husband and I always love us some marinated cukes...what a lovely pickle to be in! And that, to sum up, is the point of this post. Just because you are not flush with money at the moment, does not mean you can't eat supremely well! Remember something here...before restaurants, and take out, and disposable life in general....there was cooking good food, from scratch..with delicious results.

What is your "lack o' dough" strategy? What do you do to streeeeetch that dollar? Breakfast for dinner? Mac and cheese? Tell me!

Eat well my friends, and get ready for the rest of our rubber chicken, and how I almost lost Kitchen Angel to Spring Fever!!

Love and kindness to all...

                                                                            Pixie

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