Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cajun-spiced Pork Tenderloin and Collards with Black-eyed Peas:

Very simple comfort food, I often serve this black-eyed pea and collard mixture over rice along side Cajun marinated and pan-seared tofu steaks. But, tonight we had a coupon for 1 lb of free pork tenderloin from CM, so I thought I'd just use the same seasoning mix I usually use with the tofu on the tenderloin. Try to buy a natural (hormone and antibiotic free) pork tenderloin, as I've found there is a huge difference in taste and moistness. If you're a veggie...just cut a block of extra-firm tofu into ~3/4" slabs, blot them dry, and toss with ~2 Tbs of spice mixture and some canola oil.
Place in a plastic baggie, or dish, cover and set in the fridge until ready to cook.
Then just pan-fry, or grill until nice and golden brown.

Cajun-spiced Pork Tenderloin with Creole Seasoning Rub:

3 TBS kosher salt (If you're worried about salt intake, or want to be able to put on more spice, but not more salt on the meat/tofu, just leave it out. Salt the meat/tofu separately so that you can control the amt. of salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (I just add extra black)
2 teaspoons dried thyme (I used only ~1 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I use less, since I'm not a huge fan of oregano)

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to blend. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Coat the tenderloin with canola oil, then sprinkle with as much of the rub as you'd like. Roll that sucker up in plastic wrap and marinate in fridge for ~2-4 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 400.

Over high heat, pan sear all 4 sides (~8 min. total) in an oven-safe pan.

Place pan in 400 degree oven until a meat thermometer reads ~147.

Remove from pan and let rest for 10 min. The meat should still be pink inside. You don't have to overcook your pork anymore, I promise!

Black-eyed peas with Collards:

~2 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches of organic collard greens (Swiss chard is delicious here too), de-stemmed and chopped
~1/3-1/2 cup chicken, or vegetable broth
balsamic vinegar
Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper
1 or 2 cans black-eyed peas, drained, but not rinsed (I just used one tonight)

Heat oil on high heat In wok, or large non-stick skillet with lid. Add garlic and saute until golden. Add collards and toss to coat. Add vegetable broth, salt and pepper, cover pan and reduce heat to low. Braise greens for 12-14 min. When greens are done to your taste, add a couple glugs of balsamic vinegar and Tabasco to taste. Adjust salt and pepper if needed. Set aside, keeping warm.

Toss 1-2 cans drained but not rinsed black-eyed peas in wok to warm through. Add greens to peas and serve alone, or over rice.

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