Menu planning pre-holidays was a bit hit-or-miss around here. Thank goodness that I have a most understanding husband who generally eats what is put before him – or is content to rummage for leftovers in the refrigerator. Believe me, I do appreciate his cooperation. Through all of these "column years," my recipe trials really have been a joint and cooperative effort and I could never have done this without Spicer's kindness, generous spirit and willingness to understand that some recipes are just doomed to be failures. (A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is always – but not often – a substitute solution.)
On this New Year's Day, however, we actually enjoyed an outstanding, well-balanced meal that was a cooperative effort. I prepared the marinade for Succulent Grilled Pork Tenderloin on New Year's Eve and Spicer grilled this on New Year's Day. We both agreed that this is probably THE BEST pork tenderloin recipe that we have ever enjoyed. I think you'll be astounded by how easy it is to prepare.
I purchased Dole's refrigerated Pineapple Orange Juice blend (real juice – not a "drink") for the citrus combinations. Be sure to use low-sodium soy sauce. I forgot to buy fresh ginger to grate and so, after a quick Google search, I substituted 2 teaspoons of ground ginger, and we thought the flavor was outstanding.
While Spicer was grilling the tenderloin, I prepared the very delicious Creamed Spinach. We devoured this entire recipe. I admit to using the kind of Parmesan cheese that comes in the infamous refrigerated green-topped jar because that was what we had on hand. I prepared this in my always handy stir fry skillet.
Dessert was vanilla ice cream topped with Velvet Hot Fudge Sauce. For years I have been searching for a recipe that would duplicate the Hot Fudge Sauce that used to be served at Howard Johnson's – the kind of thick, chewy sauce that you had to work to scrape out of those chilled metal footed bowls that they used for sundaes. This still isn't exactly a duplicate but it's close! Meanwhile if you happen to know what HoJo's secret recipe was, would you please send it to me?
To contact Judi Leaming, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Succulent Grilled Pork Tenderloin
2 to 3 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup pure orange juice
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (see note above)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (NOT used when recipe was tested!)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, juices, brown sugar, ginger and garlic. Place the tenderloin in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the pork. Seal the bag and refrigerate for eight to 24 hours, turning the bag several times. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat. Grill for 30 to 45 minutes to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove from grill, place on platter and tent with aluminum foil. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before slicing. (NOTE: as written, this recipe called for grilling just 8 to 12 minutes per side but Spicer used a meat thermometer and cooked it longer to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. The meat was moist and juicy.) Serves 4 to 6.
Page 2 of 2 - Creamed Spinach the Easy Way
(unidentified Internet blog )
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced (NOT used for testing)
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen chopped spinach
1/2 of an 8-ounce brick of cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper OR lemon-pepper blend
1/4 to1/2 teaspoon salt
About 4 tablespoons milk or as needed
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Because I do NOT cook with garlic, I stirred in a few flakes of dried minced onion but if you use garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add the frozen spinach and cook, covered, over LOW heat until completely thawed, stirring often to break it up. Once thawed add the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Stir and cook until cheeses are completely melted. Thin to desired consistency with the milk, a tablespoon at a time. Serve immediately. If you want to prepare this ahead, proceed as above then transfer to lightly greased small baking dish. Cover and refrigerate. To serve, bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until heated through.
Velvet Hot Fudge Sauce
( from www.theyummylife.com )
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 (12-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup (almost a full 16-ounce bottle!)
1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee granules
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
In a 3-quart saucepan melt butter with chocolate chips over LOW heat, stirring frequently. Stir in corn syrup and coffee granules to mix. Then stir in condensed milk. Cook uncovered on LOW for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to three months. To reheat – spoon desired amount (it will be thick) into a microwave safe pitcher and microwave on HIGH, stirring at 20-second intervals, until hot. (This doesn't take long.) Makes 4 cups.