Saturday, October 19, 2019

Espresso-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy coffee and that’s pretty close.”

I love the taste of a big, bold cup of dark roast coffee. And the taste of coffee really enhances the taste of grilled and roasted meats. I know because I have posted two of my favorite coffee rub recipes on this back ribs and steak.

Coffee takes a rather bland cut of meat, pork tenderloin, to a very special place. This Sarah Karnasiewicz recipe calls for espresso powder, which I source from and always keep in my pantry. But in reality, any dark roast coffee will do. If you have beans and a grinder...get grinding. If you have Nespresso or Keurig dark roast pods, just peel off the lids and use that. Even dark roast instant coffee will work. Just don't use decaf. That stuff is a crime against all humanity.

1 (1-1/2 pound) pork tenderloin
3 tablespoons espresso powder
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Combine the espresso powder, brown sugar, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture over the pork until the surface is entirely coated. Drizzle pork with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set aside at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil and butter to a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When skillet is hot, add the pork and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  4. Transfer skillet to oven and roast pork for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  5. To serve, slice tenderloin into rounds and drizzle with pan juices.

Wine pairing: Merlot

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

click to enlarge

October marks the start of year 11 of writing this blog. In the past, I was religious about pumping out a new blog every Saturday morning. Truth be told, I'm not compelled to do so any more because I feel the need to make sure that it is a really good recipe before I add it to this body of work.

I'm a subscriber to Flipboard and Apple News +, both which allow you to create a fresh, daily flow of articles that appeal directly to your interests. Accordingly, I'm exposed to dozens of recipes each day. And a lot of those recipes are just "meh". (I have yet to see an "Allrecipe" recipe that even remotely looks interesting, let alone edible.)

It's taken awhile, but after nearly 10 years of retirement, I have completely changed up the way I shop. I used to stock up on Thursdays at Costco and whatever grocery store was close by. No more, thanks to a local, sleepy grocery store that transformed last winter from a frog to an absolute jewel of a crowned prince. Jerry's grocery store is less than a half-mile from my house. Incredible organic produce, USDA prime beef, an extraordinary selection of artisan breads and a deli to die for.

So the new me goes to Jerry's grocery store every single day. I buy only the stuff I need for that night's meal. Which also means that every meal I make is made with the very freshest ingredients. And I no longer plan out a weekly dinner menu. I decide on a dinner each day and then run to the store to get the ingredients.

On Thursday morning I was reading Flipboard online and came across this chicken cutlet recipe from "Eating Well". It really appealed to me. So, as I always do, I decided to make it prior to posting it on this blog. So I ran to Jerry's, picked up the ingredients and made this for dinner on Thursday night. And I'm here to tell you this is a special dish. It's simple....easy to make...and the depth of the flavors are incredible. You use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes to sauté the chicken.....and then the tomatoes in the cream sauce absolutely knocks this one out of the park.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup slivered, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon of oil from the tomato jar
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Cut chicken breasts in half (across the middle, not the long way). Put the chicken pieces in a plastic bag and pound them with a meat hammer until they are a uniform 1/4-inch in thickness.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat sun-dried tomato oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add sun-dried tomatoes and shallots to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Increase heat to high and add wine. Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid has mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in cream with any accumulated juices from the chicken; simmer for 2 minutes. Add any additional salt or pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce and parsley.

Wine pairing: Petite Sirah

Grogs and Goldie, 1956