Pork Tenderloin with Juniper Berries, Sage and Garlic Potatoes with Green Beans

Pork with Juniper Berries

Pork with Juniper Berries

One of my favorite aspects about being home for several weeknights in a row is that I get to make nice dinners.  I scour my various cooking magazine subscriptions in the evenings and try to pick something I think Bri would love to come home to the next night.  Tonight’s offering from Saveur is absolutely amazing.  It’s a super flavorful Italian dish from the Umbria Region.  It’s a little complicated, but well worth it.

I’m on a continued quest to lose weight so I made severe adjustments to the amount of oil used.  We couldn’t tell the difference.

FILETO di MAIALE con BACCHE di GINEPRO (Pork with Juniper Berries)

For the Potatoes

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 12 oz green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1 ½ Tbsp minced sage
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Pork

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz pancetta
  • 1 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp juniper berries
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  1. Make the potatoes: Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high.  Cook potatoes until golden, 10-12 minutes.  Stir in green beans, sage garlic, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to medium; cook covered until potatoes are tender, 6-8 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl ; keep warm
  2. Make the pork:  Wipe skillet clean and heat olive oil over medium-high.  Cook pancetta until crisp, 2-3 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.  Season pork with salt and pepper; cook, turning as needed until browned, 8-10 minutes.  Add junior berries, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.  Add wine; stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet, until evaporated, 12-15 minutes.  Add stock; boil.  Reduce heat to medium; cook, slightly covered until an instant read thermometer inserted into pork reads 145 degrees F.  Let pork rest 5 minutes, then slice ½” thick; divide between plates.  Simmer sauce until thickened, 10-12 minutes.  Discard herbs and stir in reserved pancetta, salt pepper; spoon over pork.  Service with potatoes and green beans.
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Open-Faced Caprese Sandwich

Open-Faced Caprese Sandwich

Open-Faced Caprese Sandwich

Open-Faced Caprese Sandwich

Sometimes simple is just better.  This is a riff on the traditional Caprese salad.  Contrary to many snobby online foodies, I think a drizzle of balsamic takes this to new and fantastic places.  Then again, I’m using a much more modest grade of olive oil than pretension would dictate.  As with nearly everything, it’s best to omit the sour grapes.

All that aside, this is a super fast, super easy, super cheap way to have a healthy weeknight dinner.  Make more than you think you’ll need.  Everyone goes back for seconds.

Caprese Ingredients

Caprese Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 good-sized heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ bunch of fresh basil, whole leaves and chopped
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced  (it comes in all shapes and sizes,  — just eyeball the amount that looks right to you.)
  • fresh baguette (I used sourdough, this is SF after all, but French would work just as well)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Italian spices
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Slice baguette lengthwise and then cut each piece in half (so you have 4).  Arrange bread cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (think subtle flavoring not saturation).  Sprinkle with minced garlic, Italian spices, and salt and pepper.
  3. Place single basil leaves side by side to cover each piece of bread.  Place tomato slices in a single layer on top of basil and sprinkle with salt.  Top tomatoes with a slices of fresh mozzarella.  Lightly drizzle top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Bake in over on middle rack for 15 minutes (or until mozzarella starts to slightly melt).
  5. Remove pan from oven, top with remaining chopped basil and serve immediately with your favorite wine.