Improv With Pork

One of my favorite ways to cook is to just create a dish utilizing whatever ingredients I have on hand…no recipe or even a clue. Depending on how well stocked your kitchen is at any given time this can be really easy or rather challenging. I mean…..this is the methodology I used back in my broke bachelor days when the BBQ sauce, potato chip sandwich was introduced and mocked by my friends relentlessly……..

but that’s an entirely different story I won’t share on this site.

On this occasion I decided to do just that, not a BBQ sauce sandwich, get creative with whatever I had on hand! It’s easy to do…just peruse your pantry, fridge and freezer to see what you’ve got…and create something delicious!

Simple right?! Try it and see what you come up with. Maybe not as easy as you’d think.

This particular evening I had a pork tenderloin (a staple in my house) sitting in the fridge just waiting for something delicious to be done with it. Upon looking through the available ingredients I decided I wanted some traditional Italian flavors that night, but not a traditional Italian dish.

First I created an herb blend consisting of oregano, basil, dried garlic, kosher salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.

I combined them well and then mixed in a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese.

I then rubbed and completely coated my pork tenderloin with the herb/cheese mixture and seared them in a hot skillet. After searing I transferred the pork to an olive oil coated baking dish and put them in the oven at 350° for about 35 minutes.

Once the pork was in the oven I began preparing a side dish to compliment the pork. I happened to have an abundance of grape tomatoes (slightly larger than a cherry tomato. sweet and juicy) that day so I washed and cut them all in half. I then put the tomatoes in a baking dish coated with olive oil and added the same herbs used on my pork along with a healthy dash of balsamic vinegar. I then topped the tomatoes off with some parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and put them right into the oven alongside the pork.

20 minutes later I had one enticing aroma wafting from the kitchen! My kids even came out of their rooms to say “DAD….WHAT SMELLS SOOOO GOOD?!”

After removing the pork and tomatoes from the oven I let the pork rest for about 5 minutes before carving into it. The juices ran out and man was it cooked perfectly!

I served the meal with some toast points and it was definitely a hit, even with my picky family that can never seem to agree on what they want!

This will definitely be one I make again!

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