2013/02/07

In which I talk about my inability to follow directions (French Fridays with Dorie: Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin)


Hello.

My name is Cher and I can't follow directions.

There.

I've said it.

Acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right?

I have had this problem since I was a very young child. Doing what I am supposed to do, but perhaps not always doing it quite the way it was intended to be done.

It has been both a blessing and a curse in life.

And has put me in a spot of trouble on more than one occasion.

I am not sure if it is a character flaw or just makes me "charmingly quirky".  I choose to believe the latter.

At the risk of denying myself the rights granted to me in the 5th amendment, I will refrain from providing examples.

Nothing good can come of it. 

In my mind, it looks like this outside.
When I started reading this week's recipe (I am looking at you fresh orange pork tenderloin), I took one look at the ingredient list (like) and started reading through the directions (not like). 
Peel and segment oranges. Um, no thanks.

Cut a large tenderloin into 8 pieces. Whaaatttt?

Skillet cook the individual slices. And THEN add the onion and "stuff" and simmer. Hmmm.

This was not going to fly. There are some very regimented tenderloin doneness specifications in this house (and no, they are not my personal specifications). My heart of hearts knew that skillet-cooked tenderloin medallions were not going to yield the just pink centers that are mandated.

No just pink center = grumbling.

Sigh.

I knew that following directions wasn't going to happen.

[Quirky charm kicks in.]

 
So here's how it went down:
 
Four large oranges were juiced and placed into a small saucepan along with some broth, shallots, coconut balsamic vinegar, cardamom and some salt & pepper. Liquid was allowed to cook down until it thickened.
 
Onions were sauteed in oil until they just started to pick up color. The tenderloin (still intact - no medallions) was salted and peppered then placed into the pan with the cooking onions. Once the meat had been seared on all sides, the whole pan was placed into a hot oven (I think it was at 425 or 450) and it all cooked until the meat was almost to temperature (140 F).
 
At this point it was pulled from the oven. Tented with foil and allowed to rest for a few minutes and then, and only then, was it sliced into medallions and served with the "gastrique". It was paired with some balsamic (blackberry ginger) roasted Brussels sprouts and some TWD Foccacia and was declared to be good.
 
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. The original recipe for Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin can be found here. And I totally wish I had seen the accompanying picture before jumping into this recipe, because I did not have a clue what it was supposed to come out like. Now, I know...
 
Time to sign off... My new Vitamix came today and I am just jonesing to go play with it. I haven't named her yet. She obviously needs a name... It feels like Christmas.
 
Peace Out.

42 comments:

  1. See now this looks great Cher. I DID follow the recipe (shock!) but wondered about keeping the tenderloin whole. I'll have to try this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I cooked it half the time it said, because yes, pork should be pink and juicy. The balsamic is perfect, it so needed an extra kick! A vitamix, that´s awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Once, again, your instincts were correct - seriously I don't understand how all that pulp and onions were meant to be appetizing. The only reason I'm sticking with the group at this point is because I'd miss you too much if I left.

    Here's to creamy hearts!
    Happy Valentine's Day! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  4. We didn't like the orange juic tenderlions either, but the focaccia at the beginning of the week was à winner! Have a Nice valentinesday

    ReplyDelete
  5. We didn't like the orange juic tenderlions either, but the focaccia at the beginning of the week was à winner! Have a Nice valentinesday

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yours sounds awesome. Sometimes your instincts pay off, Cher!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well done, Cher! I don't think my hubby would have complained if I followed your technique!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow! I'm super impressed n I wish I had your recipe! I found dorie's tasted like meat with warm oranges in top. It wasn't really interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yours looks great! I am the complete opposite of you...I follow a recipe totally!! I am a rules girl (haha) Enjoy your Vitamix!!! Can't wait to hear what you name her,

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am Diane and I can and won't follow directions. I love your recipe the broth and shallots sounds delicious...

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love your blog and your univers
    Please come visit my blog - Kisses
    http://www.mademoisellemode.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. it's so neat to see how many different ways this recipe has been taken.
    and a new Vitamix - congrats! go play!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow Cher, your version sounds delicious. And I very much agree with you on the just pink centers.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yours looks very fancy! Probably not a bad thing that you don't always follow directions.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We did enjoy this but I will admit that roasting the whole tenderloin results in a
    more tender piece of meat. Your looks just great. Happy shoveling, we still waiting down here.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your versions sounds delicious and certainly looks great. A Vitamix. How fun!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I almost jumped on the roasting bandwagon, but stuck with medallions. They were delicious as I was very careful to watch them while they cooked ... I didn't want them dry! However, I will be roasting my tenderloins from now on. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  19. You had the right idea! Good for you not following directions...I kind of have the opposite problem..I tend to do as I am told:). Keep warm Cher! I hope you don't get more snow than you can manage!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well, I liked the recipe as is, but yeah, yours sounds pretty awesome. ;) Sometimes not following directions is the better way to do things. Glad you were able to make this work for you - it looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I vote for "charmingly quirky". But it's always the right thing to tailor the recipe so it works for your family of eaters. Sounds like it worked out well. I'm very intrigued by the blackberry ginger balsamic. Did you steep it yourself or buy it? And a Vitamix? I'm so jealous! Can't wait to hear what you make with it. Stay warm and dry during the storm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought it. We have a really neat olive oil store that opened up near here. It carries at least 40 or 50 different flavors of balsalmic. I am addicted.

      Delete
  22. Oh, I rarely follow directions. That's what is so great about food. It's really open to your tastes, time constraints, and patience!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ya, I've never been good at rules or directions either...maybe that's why you are such a great cook! Creativity and common sense are good traits, especially in the kitchen. I could not get a vision for this recipe so I "fixed" it too and loved it. we also don't do pink.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Cher, Blackberry Ginger roasted Brussel Sprouts sound just awesome and they look fantastic alongside the pork tenderloin and you went the "pan-roasted and then oven baked" route as well. I think that is the only way I like to prepare whole pork tenederloins too. The Focaccia to mop up the lovely sauce sounds like a great idea too. Very lovely meal!
    Have a great weeekend!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Good....I am glad I am not the only one who cant follow directions. It looks delicious nonetheless

    ReplyDelete
  26. I like your instincts Cher! That's how I wanted to prepare it too and if I ever make it again, I probably will. Congrats on your Vitamix! They are a huge investment but everyone I know who has one loves it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Very creative! That's the sign of a true artist, right?

    ReplyDelete
  28. I just knew I could count on getting some great ideas from my fellow Doristas! Mine was only OK, but because I didn't do anything different. I love the idea of the flavored balsamic on the brussels sprouts too. Inspirational!

    ReplyDelete
  29. You win. Hands down. I felt like a real cad when I sliced up the pork tenderloin but Dorie said...... My medallions were over-cooked and tough, a habit inherited from my Mother when I was a kid and when you cooked the hell out of pork. No pink. Ever. I do well with roasts and always have the pink middle because I use a meat thermometer just as you did. I think your instincts were brilliant and I think I need to follow less rules. So there. I'm still waiting for the change of seasons so you can begin again to throw everything on the grill. Yeah, I've got 8 boxes that have never been opened since our move 8 years ago. The more packing I do, the less sentimental I become, and they may just have to be tossed, unopened. If I haven't missed them for 8 years, how important can they be?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Always follow your instincts. !
    They tell a lot more than one recipe you read somewhere :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think you took steps in the right direction. I tend to follow the instructions the first time and then improvise.

    ReplyDelete
  32. rule-breaker or not, this still sounds great! Love your gastrique! :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Cher…I love everything about this post! Slightly quirky people are my favorite. I believe you have to make the food for the family you cook for. Your roast sounds delicious…great flavors! I always cook my tenderloins to be just a tad pink in the middle. Since I haven’t made mine yet, I might leave mine whole. Your blackberry balsamic sounds delightful!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think like with every recipe I cut the pork cooking time nearly in half. Its possible a conspiracy don't you think? Please keep breaking the rules...

    ReplyDelete
  35. Go gettem with that Vitamix ! It is the non-Christmas gifts like this that tend to actually feel more "like" Christmas to me as I get older. I guess because they actually have more of an air of unexpected than the season now holds for me (too many years of wonderful Mom, wife, etc duty with all the coordination involved:) And kudos for going with your gut on the pork. Hope you guys are staying warm up there. I almost headed to Vt and then saw the forecast.....Spring will be here soon enough :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have a sideways problem to yours ... I often unintentionally don't follow recipes. I'll read it once, days before cooking, and then plow right in. My hole-ly memory makes-up whatever tidbits are missing, and result is almost always different - but not necessarily worse - than what the author intended. I'm a cookbook writer's worst nightmare. Have fun with the Vitamix! I'm eager to hear what you think of it.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I like your changes my friend, it sounds pretty innovative :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Cher - thanks for stopping by Tasting Jerusalem. Come by for a visit again ok? I am missing my FFWD ladies. Regardless of the new Tasting Jerusalem endeavour, I just have so little time to cook these days but I follow along with your recipe selections and keep looking for a little whole in my schedule to jump back in.

    I love what you did here - think it was brilliant. I find myself not so into following directions either except when I really have no idea what I'm doing (that happens alot too!)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love how different people change the recipes to fit them. Yours sounds delicious!! I got my cookies and we ate them up!! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I like the sound of your version. Congrats on getting a Vitamix. My parents have one they got when I was a kid and it's still going strong.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Congrats on your Vitamix. I keep looking at them. Maybe sometime soon. The folks at my house grumble when the pork is dry, too.

    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only direction-challenged person out there.

    ReplyDelete

Hi - Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear from you!

Due to the high number of weirdo SPAM comments I have been receiving, I have turned comment moderation back on for the time being... Comments may show a slight delay.