Thursday, January 10, 2008

A satisfying pork and rice meal...

We certainly kept the stove busy preparing dinner tonight! While the oven was full taking care of the main dish, we had our side of Herbed Brown Basmati Rice keeping one of the burners company.

This dish starts off by lightly toasting brown basmati rice and a clove of garlic in a little olive oil to bring out the natural nuttiness of the rice. The liquids are added - a combination of vegetable broth and water - and then seasoned with basil, thyme and a dash of salt. This will take roughly 30 to 40 minutes to cook, but check early to see - the rice should be tender, but still have a slight bite to it. The original recipe called for a tablespoon of fresh basil and a teaspoon of fresh thyme, but I opted to add the dried spices to give them a chance to permeate into the rice. If you prefer to use fresh, be sure to wait and add it once the rice has finished cooking. Once ready, the rice is given a dose of Parmesan cheese, sliced green onions, toasted pine nuts and a scattering of fresh ground black pepper. We love the heartier flavor brown rice has, but feel free to use white if you already have it - just reduce the cooking time to about 15 minutes to compensate. With subtle, but delicious flavors, this side of rice could easily be served with a variety of dishes or turn it into a main dish by adding some cooked shredded chicken or even shrimp if seafood sounds good one night!

Herbed Brown Basmati RiceWhile the rice was bubbling away on top of the stove, the recipe for the main portion tonight, Apple and Fennel Roasted Pork Tenderloin had the oven slaving away. We kept two racks busy - on the bottom rack, we had a slew of sliced sweet-tart Fuji apples, licorice-y fennel, and red onions that were coated in olive oil and roasting away. While they were cooking, we quickly seared a lean pork tenderloin on one side, turned it over and then slid the skillet into the oven to finish. Once the two were finished cooking, conveniently at about the same time, we transferred the pork to a cutting board to rest and we pulled up all of the tempting bits stuck on the bottom by adding a few tablespoons of cider vinegar. Brimming with flavor, this mixture was poured over the golden veggie/apple mixture. We served this dish by thinly slicing the juicy still-slightly-pink-in-the-center pork and arranging the slices over the roasted mixture. For a finishing touch, we we sprinkled some chopped fennel fronds on top on an additional note of fennel.

Apple and Fennel Roasted Pork Tenderloin


  1. That supper looks like a winner to me. I like all the flavors combination. I hope you have some leftovers.

  2. Ooh, that looks lovely, Joe!

  3. The rice looks like something that could go well with our fish tonight. I have pine nuts in the freezer! Now I have to decide how to do the fish. Don likes it cornmealed and fried. I like to try other things. We'll see what I can come up with.

  4. Helene - We did! It was our lunches today!

    Jen - Thank you!

    Cyndi - Hope it works out for you!