Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

This is a showstopper of a dinner entree, but it does involve getting your "crafty on" by basket-weaving bacon. Okay, I know that sounds complicated, but I am positive that everyone can do it =)

The key to success with this recipe is to par-cook the bacon. Skipping this step will result in overcooked pork tenderloin and limp, chewy and under-cooked bacon. Neither of which sound good to me! Follow my tips below and all of your dinner guests (or just you), will be thrilled with this yummy recipe.

bacon wrapped pork tenderloin

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin, ~1 lb.
  • 10 pieces of thick cut bacon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 F. On a microwave safe plate or dish, place 2 sheets of paper towels and lay out your thick cut bacon into a single layer. You may need to do this in two batches. Cover bacon with 2 more sheets of paper towels and microwave on high for 1 minutes. Flip the entire bacon/paper towel packet. Microwave on high for another minute. Flip and microwave 1-2 more times, or until the bacon is half-cooked.

While the bacon cools, prepare the pork tenderloin. With a sharp knife, remove the silver skin (here's Fine Cooking's video tutorial: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to-trim-tenderloin.aspx). Stir together the salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder and evenly cover the pork tenderloin.

Thick cut bacon would have given me better structure in my first attempt at a BACON BASKET-WEAVE!

Thick cut bacon would have given me better structure in my first attempt at a BACON BASKET-WEAVE!

On the parchment-lined sheet pan, lay out 5 pieces of par-cooked bacon vertically, directly next to it's neighbor. Fold EVERY OTHER piece of bacon in half. Lay one strip of bacon horizontally, butted up tightly against the folded seam, and unfold the previously folded bacon strips. For the next set, fold the opposite EVERY OTHER piece of bacon in half and repeat the horizontal piece. Repeat the process until you have used all 5 horizontal strips. You should have a relatively even square bacon basket-weave.

Place the seasoned pork tenderloin on the edge of the square and tightly roll the weave around the meat. Secure with 2-3 toothpicks, or place the seam side down to secure. Roast the tenderloin for 15-20 minutes, checking the internal temperature at the 15 minute mark. Pull the pork as soon as it hits 145 F. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy your masterpiece.

The finished product enjoying a bit of a rest.

The finished product enjoying a bit of a rest.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

This was a home run meal for my husband and me. It's a good recipe for a lot of reasons: we like to eat lots of vegetables, we like to do some gluten-free options a few nights a week, and I like to eat low-carb almost all of the time. And, once we learned that Cabot Cheddars are lactose-free, recipes like this, that use cheese as a binder, became an option for us.

For my son, this recipe was a big miss. Our 4 year-old really loves cauliflower, especially when it's roasted. But when you start messing around with his pizza and combining the two, that's when he draws the line.

I looked around online for a recipe to start with and stumbled upon this one from Fit Sugar. It was a good starting point, but with a little tweaking of the recipe, you will get a more consistent (and flavorful) "pizza dough". This recipe, when cooked in a pan or on a griddle could be used as a bun too. I'll post more if we end up making any cauliflower buns for our burgers!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free (if you use Cabot Cheddar)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, large
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or shredded
  • 2 cups cheese, Cabot cheddar 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Using your grater attachment for your food processor, or with a box grater, grate cheese (if you're using pre-shredded cheese you can skip this step), set aside. Grate cauliflower and garlic cloves. Transfer the cauliflower and garlic to a microwave safe bowl and cook 7-8 minutes on high until softened. Cool mixture.

Shaping the "dough"

Shaping the "dough"

Add kosher salt and pepper to eggs, combine. Add egg mixture and 1 1/2 cups cheese to the cooled, grated cauliflower. Stir to combine.

On two parchment lined sheet pans, split the mixture in half. Shape the "dough" into 1/4 inch thick circles, approximately 8 inches in diameter. 

Bake the "dough" for 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time. Top the "dough" with sauce, toppings, and remaining cheese. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

The more toppings you add, the more likely this will be a fork and knife pizza. We made two different flavors, and one was pick-up-able, and the other not. Regardless of how we got it to our mouths, both were delicious!

Glazed Corned Beef

Here's a family recipe that never fails to put a smile on my face. It's a simple technique that relies heavily on one of my favorite kitchen gadgets-my slow cooker. The two-ingredient glaze recipe comes from my mom, who learned it from hers. You could play around with the mustard (grainy, dijon, etc.), but try French's classic first, it's delicious.

glazed corned beef

Glazed Corned Beef

Let your slow cooker do all the hard work for you!

Let your slow cooker do all the hard work for you!

Recipe courtesy of my mom, serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. cured brisket 
  • water
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon all spice, whole
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorn, whole
  • 1/4 cup French's yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

Directions

Remove cured brisket from package, rinse under cold water and place in slow cooker. Add seasoning package that comes with brisket, plus bay leaves, all spice and peppercorns. Cover brisket with cold water, plus one inch. Set slow cooker to low for 9-10 hours.

Once cooked, remove brisket from the slow cooker. Let rest for 15 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven broiler to high. Adjust oven rack so that brisket sits about 5-6 inches below the coils. Mix yellow mustard with brown sugar in a small bowl.

Put the rested brisket on a foil-lined sheet pan. Spread glaze evenly over the brisket with a spoon and place under the broiler until glaze is starting to bubble and brown, 8-12 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

The glazed beauty right from the broiler.

The glazed beauty right from the broiler.