My son Cass is home sick with chicken pox since monday last week. Not fun! Besides missing a week of school ( he is not to sad about it) he also missed 2 Halloween parties on friday, one at the school, and the most important one at the Dojo where he does Ju-jitsu. Now, that was a problem. His brothers both of them were able to attend and he was not very pleased to be left behind.
Seeing your child unhappy and not being able to do anything about it is the most unsettling felling a mother can have. I had to do something to put a smile on his face (and he has a great smile), so, we decided to have a movie party at home, and he got to choose the menu.
We spend a few hours going over recipes until he was satisfied. I have to admit that I was utterly surprised at his choice of pork sandwiches. Cass doesn't like pork, he never ever eats pork, only chicken and fish. I can count on my fingers how many time a year I make pork. So here is to show you that the expression " We eat with our eyes first " is true! Or how important the pictures of a recipe are, in this case the video.
In the end this was the menu that he decide on.
Pork tenderloin sandwiches
Roasted rosemary potatoes
Sour cream coffee cake.
Since my first days on the food buzz back in may, I had made many great friends. One of them is Steve who is (what I like to call) an ambassador for Rouxbe online cooking school. Steve had send me over the months many great posts, I love the videos of the recipes and the daily lessons they have.
The pork tenderloin sandwiches and the roasted potatoes are both recipes from Rouxbe website.
I only made one minor change in the pork tenderloin recipe by adding the smoked paprika and using whole grain baguette, I also used 4 pork tenderloins not only one ( small ones)
I cannot tell you how much Cass loved the pork. It is his favorite "dish" now. And that says a lot! Cass is picky! This is the child that claimed that the store bought bread gives him HEADACHES !!!!! As a result I should make sure I ALWAYS have Fresh home made bread....!!!!!
So, back to the food.
Pork tenderloin sandwiches.
For brining the pork ( optional, but highly recommended)
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup hot water
1 tsp juniper berries ( i didn't have any, couldn't find 'em in the supermarket, so I will say is optional)
1 small bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 clove garlic ( smashed)
3 cups cold water
1 pork tenderloin ( I used 4 small ones)
To cook the pork you will need
extra virgin olive oil ( for the frying pan)
1 tbsp of butter
salt and pepper to taste ( I used sea salt)
about 4 tbsp of smoked paprika ( optional)
To make the sandwiches you will need:
1 or 2 baguettes ( depending on how manny pork tenderloins you use. I would say one per pork tenderloin)
Caramelized onions ( I used 4 big vidalia onions, but I had some left over)
About 400 g thickly sliced cheese. The recipe calls for brie cheese ( I used Swiss cheese for my husband, and creamy havarty for the boys)
Start by removing the excess fat and the silver skin from the pork tenderloin.
To make the brine, use a dish big enough to accommodate the pork tenderloin(s), mix the hot water with the salt and sugar. Add the fresh thyme, the bay leaves, the spices and the smashed clove of garlic.
Let infuse for about 10 minutes. Add the 3 cups of cold water. Mix. Place the pork in the brine making sure is fully submerged. Cover the dish and place in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours.
After 2 hours remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Discard the brine. Slice the pork across into 1/2 thick slices into medallions.
Using the flat side of a mallet, flatten each medallion slightly. Season with sea salt, pepper and smoked paprika if using.
To cook the pork, preheat a large nonstick pan to medium-high heat. When is hot add the olive oil and the tbsp of butter and let it melt. Add the pork in a single layer and cook for about 1 minute until you see a bit of white around the edges.
Flip it over and cook for about 1 minute longer.
Transfer the pork to a tray or dish to rest ( and keep warm) while you cook the next batch. Don't forget to add more olive oil as needed it. When all the pork is cooked cover to keep warm .
To make the sandwiches:
Slice the baguettes into 1/2-inch slices ( slightly angled) and place on a baking sheet. Preheat the broil and toast the bread for about 1 minute ( keep an eye on it)
Add a small amount of caramelized onions on each slice of bread.
Add the sliced cheese, and return to the oven for 30 or 40 seconds until the cheese is slightly melted.
Top with one piece of pork, and more onions ( if you like ). Serve immediately.
If you are interested in seeing the cooking video for the pork tenderloin ( and I fully recommend it) here is the link.
For the roasted potatoes that I served with the pork sandwiches.
You will need
About 1.5 pounds small potatoes ( I used a variety pack) or fingerling potatoes.
1 generous tbsp of fresh rosemary finely chopped.
3 tbsp of extra- virgin olive oil.
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Wash and dry the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a big mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil,add the chopped rosemary and season with sea salt and pepper.
Line a baking tray with tin foil. Add the potatoes in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, turn the potatoes over and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Test the potatoes by inserting a knife into the thickest part. It should slide off easily.
To see the video recipe for the roasted potatoes here is the link( again, you should watch it and browse thru other recipe videos they have on their site.
Serve with the sandwiches, and enjoy while watching a great movie. Contrary to what I expected we had a comedy movie night. Usually we vote for what movie to be watched, this time he got to choose, and I fully expected a Tim Burton movie (Cass is his biggest fan) but he bypass Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Coraline and even The night before Christmas his all time favorite; For National security and Big Momma's House ( with funny Martin Lawrence)
We had a great time! It was a Happy Halloween! Or in Cass's words.
The Night Before Halloween!