Leftovers – Lets Make Pizza!

It’s been just over two years now that I have been blogging and I still love it! Great readers from all over the world who themselves publish great blogs that I enjoy reading.

Many of you know from past blogs that I like to use things up that are in the fridge rather than throwing them away.  This time I had some tofu, some roasted grape tomatoes that I made with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (recipe to follow), some pork tenderloin and a piece of mozzarella cheese.  Something screamed pizza!

I had some whole wheat wraps in the fridge. I spread a bit of marinara sauce over one and added a small amount of the grated cheese. I quickly sautéed some mushrooms and garlic with the chopped up tofu (I know it sounds weird but for those of you that are vegetarian it really works!). I also chopped up the pork tenderloin (I am not a vegetarian) and threw that into the pan to sauté as well.  Once everything was warmed, I spread it over the wrap. I then added some roasted balsamic grape tomatoes and the additional cheese on top. Baked the whole pizza for about 20 minutes till the edges were crisp and there it was – a quick and easy dinner (and lunch the next day!).

Recipe for roasted grape tomatoes follows images…

pizza 2

pizza

Roasted balsamic grape tomatoes.

I had a couple of containers of grape tomatoes that were starting to get a bit wrinkled so rather than tossing them in the garbage I sliced them in half and put them in a bowl,  sprinkled a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil over them and let them marinate for about 20 minutes. I then drained them and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roasted them for about 3 hours at 350 degrees F. They make a great addition to salads, pizza, roasted vegetables etc.

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Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Here in Toronto we had a pretty bad ice storm and power outage just before Christmas.  Mine lasted for almost 3 days with the house temperature hitting 5 degrees celsius at the low point. All that being said I wound up having to throw out some food from the fridge.  The freezer stayed pretty well frozen but I thought I should defrost and cook some of what was in there meat wise.  I had a pork tenderloin and decided to try stuffing it with some mushrooms I had just bought.

Friday night before the storm I had a dinner party and my friend Elizabeth brought me some maple pepper. I had never heard of it but it was maple flavoured pepper.  Very yummy.  So here is what I did.

I sliced the tenderloin down the middle and butterflied it.  Pounded it out a bit so it was a bit flatter. I put a layer of dijon mustard over the tenderloin inside. Then sautéed chopped mushrooms with some garlic and some of this maple pepper. I also sprinkled the maple pepper over the mustard on the tenderloin just for a bit of added flavour.

I put a layer of the chopped mushrooms down the middle of the tenderloin and using toothpicks, wrapped it round. I then sear it in a cast iron pan till it browned a bit all around the outside – then into a 350 degree oven it went for 30 minutes after which I let it rest covered for about 10 minutes. I normally make a jus from the bits on the bottom of the pan but the tenderloin was quite moist from the mushrooms so I left it as is. A side a vegetables and I had a nice dinner!

Stuffed Pork tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin in Dijon Maple Marinade

This recipe is very easy and very tasty and can feed 2-3 people per tenderloin.

pork tenderloin and brussel sprouts

Ingredients

1 pork tenderloin

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp minced or chopped garlic

1 tsp olive oil

Pinch of black pepper

Directions

Put tenderloin in a zip lock plastic bag with all the ingredients and let marinate for at least 2 hours.  Take out, and if you have a cast iron frying pan use it – otherwise any other type of heavy pan will do.  Heat a bit of oil in the pan and sear the meat on all sides.  Then put the pan in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes (again it depends on the oven – you may want to put it in for an extra 5 minutes).

Take out of oven and put tenderloin on a plate and cover it with tinfoil to let it rest. Meantime, put the pan you used on a burner and add about 1/2 cup of chicken stock, a tbsp of dijon and a touch of maple syrup to the pan.  Whisk together and let it boil down a bit scrapping the pan to get all the little pieces from the pan which will flavour the sauce.  Once it has reduced by about half (maybe 5 minutes) pour through a strainer into a bowl and that becomes your sauce.  Pour over sliced meat and enjoy.

Side Dish – Brussel sprouts and mushrooms sautéed 

Enough brussel sprouts for two people (use however many you want)

Crimini mushrooms – again as many as you want – quartered

Parmesan cheese to top

Directions

I cut the brussel sprouts in half and boil them till they are fork tender. Then drain and transfer to a sauté pan.  Put a couple of drops of olive oil in the pan and add the mushrooms. Sauté till lightly browned and put on plate with pork.  Sprinkle some parmesan over top (or you can use the sauce from the meat).