A casual meal for the calm between the holiday storms
Partying, shopping, cooking and putting up the Christmas tree can certainly get you in a spin during the holidays. I look forward to the week between Christmas and New Year’s, which I call the calm between two storms. I need a little peace and quiet, and a good meal rather than pick-me-up-something on a toothpick. A quiet evening with my spouse — and maybe another couple — refreshes and calms my body and soul.
Quick Roasted Pork Tenderloin Sliders
Like a good Boy Scout, I am always prepared. I keep a couple of pork tenderloins in the freezer for “just in case” I need to put a meal together without having to run to the supermarket.
Makes 6-8 servings
pork tenderloin, about 2 pounds
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
small slider rolls or bread of your choice
Rub meat generously with the pepper, soy and olive oil and let sit for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Place tenderloin on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes. (It can also be grilled.) Do not overcook.
Tip: Use a quick-read thermometer and roast to 140-145 F.
Cool slightly before slicing thinly. It can also be refrigerated until ready to serve.
To make sandwiches, arrange sliced pork on small slider rolls spread with a mixture of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, olive oil, pressed garlic and smoked paprika, to taste.
Serve with a variety of pickles and caramelized boiler (or pearl) onions.
On the Side
Caramelized Boiler (or Pearl) Onions
I prefer boiler onions because they are larger, but pearl onions can also be used.
1 pound boiler onions
1 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dry red wine
2 tablespoons beef stock
salt to taste
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, then add onions. Turn off heat and let stand for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. When cool, snip off root end and squeeze onions out of the skin. Set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet (I use cast iron) over medium heat. Add onions and shake pan to roll onions around until slightly golden.
Add vinegar, red wine, beef stock and a sprinkle of sugar. Continue to cook until liquid reduces slightly and onions are golden and glazed, stirring often. Season with salt.
Serve on cocktail skewers or toothpicks.
Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked and cooled
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup heavy cream, whipped until stiff
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Spread ice cream in the pie shell. Place in freezer until thoroughly hardened.
Blend pumpkin, sugar, salt and spice in a bowl. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon mixture evenly over frozen ice cream. Return to the freezer until ready to serve.
To make the syrup, combine brown sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until it starts to thicken, but don’t let it get too thick. Let cool, then add the vanilla.
When ready to serve, drizzle the syrup over the top of the pie, then cut into wedges.