Wednesday, April 24, 2013

easy peasy roast chicken

Some days, I'm lazy.

Are you surprised?

Problem is, if I'm too lazy I don't eat. Finding a compromise that allows me to do minimal prep while still eating well has been quite a challenge, but I'm getting there.

Enter: roast chicken.

This has become one of our favorites lately. Season it with whatever makes me happy that day, throw it in the oven, and just over an hour later we have dinner! Bonus points for having a batch of rice or veggies ready to go in the fridge.

Buy a whole chicken. Preheat your oven to 375*. Place chicken in a pan, legs up/wings down. Season to your Geary's content! Go simple with salt and pepper, or get schmancy and go all out. Cook for 75-90 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. To test for doneness, the internal temp should be 165*. Alternately, wiggle one of the legs. If it pulls off easily and the juices run clear, you're good to go.

Let the chicken rest out of the oven for at least 5 minutes, and carve away!

Yesterday's was slathered with Dijon mustard, then seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt an pepper. I think I've outdone myself.

(Pictured bird seasoned with: garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and paprika)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

matzoh-crusted honey mustard pork tenderloin


That's how I feel right now.

I was so proud of myself, taking the pork tenderloin out of the freezer last night in preparation for the inevitable we-have-nothing-to-eat whine fest that tends to happen when we're in desperate need of a grocery trip, and yet too lazy to actually go to the store.

This morning, I realized I had no idea how I would actually cook the meat. No marinades in the fridge. Not much in the way of herbs or spices. Salt and pepper is boring.

A ha! Mustard! I always love pork chops roasted with mustard, so why not pork tenderloin? I'll just coat it with mustard, roll it in panko for some crunch, and call it a day. Easy peasy.

But only if I actually had panko. Apparently that's just one of those ingredients that I always think I have, until I go to use it and realize that I almost never have it. Probably because I used all of it last time and forgot to buy more. Damn you, chicken tenders.

As I was mixing up the mustard, resigning myself to the fact that the tenderloin would not be crusted, I saw a box of leftover matzoh sitting on the counter. I mean, it's crunchy. It breaks into pieces without you even trying (my fellow Jews know what I'm talking about). Maybe it could be used in place of panko/breadcrumbs?

Let's do this!

While I still wish I had panko, this turned out decently! And now I have a fun recipe for next year's Seder.

Matzoh-crusted Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin (serves 3-4)

1ish lb pork tenderloin (we used one packaged tenderloin from Trader Joe's, about 1.2lbs)
1/4 cup your favorite mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons mayo
2 matzoh boards, or about 1 cup panko (definitely go with panko if you have it, obviously)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425*. Whisk together mustard, honey and mayo in a bowl large enough to fit the tenderloin. The flavor really should be from the mustard and honey, with the mayo in there to help keep moisture in the meat (I personally haaaaate overcooked pork). My pan didn't really fit the tenderloin, so I cut it in half. This also made it easier to serve, but you certainly don't have to do that!

If you happen to be using matzoh, crush it into little pieces and mix in some salt and pepper. If you're using panko, measure it onto a plate you can roll the tenderloin around on, and season with salt and pepper. Pat the tenderloin dry before covering it in the mustard mix - it'll help the stuff stay. Once it's covered in mustard, roll it in the panko.

Place your tenderloin on a pan of your choosing. Drizzle with olive oil if you so choose (I did about halfway through the cook time, because the matzoh was charring a bit - you can see it a little in the picture above). Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of at least 140*, then remove from the oven and let it sit for at least 5 to rest. Slice up and serve!