Yesterday while I was out in my herb garden, watering and doing so much needed weeding, I had a bright idea...... A Summer Dinner Cooking Class. I have been working on my menus for my classes at Rolling Pin and have been at a standstill, with it being so hot here in Florida all of my menus just sounded too heavy. Why not do a fresh dinner made with lots of herbs from the garden!!! I love my herb sign, I bought it about 15 years ago from one of my favorite artist, Annette Stark. It has been in my garden ever since, at least up to 2 months ago, when I went out to my garden and my sign was laying flat in the dirt, my heart was broken. I carried it into the house and gave it to my wonderful husband with tears in my eyes...."Can you fix it?" "PLEASE!!!" He said he had doubts since so much of the wood had rotted, but I didn't have any doubt....he can fix anything! In less than a couple of hours, my sign was back in one piece, but some of the paint was damaged. There is only one artist in our family, our daughter and she did not have plans to come over any time soon and when she did come, how on earth would we match all the colors? Oh well, it would be OK. Gordy said to give him a couple of days, he would try to touch it up as best as he could. Less than a week later, my sign was PERFECT!!! A friend of Gordy's, Mark, is a clown with the Shriner's. He is an artist and volunteers a tremendous amount of his time raising money for the Children's Hospital as a clown and a face painter. He also has a air brush gun and an assortment of paints. He made my sign look perfect. Thanks Mark, not only for fixing my sign but for all you do for the community!!!!
I even had some fresh tomatoes in the garden which is amazing with all the heat we have had. Thanks to the rain barrel that we installed last fall, I have been able to keep my veggies and herbs alive and well. We are now in the planning stages of installing another rain barrel, in this Florida heat, we need all the water we can get.
Of course, I would need to experiment first. I had no time to go the the store so what ever I decided to make, I had to have on hand. I opened up the freezer and found a pork tenderloin I had gotten on sale a few weeks back, prefect for a lighter summer meal. In the fridge, some thick sliced bacon. Oh pork and bacon, should I make a pig of myself.
I rubbed the top each tenderloin with 1/2 of the roasted garlic and seasoned them with salt and pepper. Then I scattered half of the herb mix over the garlic on each tenderloin. I wrapped 6 strips of bacon around each tenderloin and skewered them with toothpicks.
I heated oil in my trusty cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and seared the tenderloins until golden brown on all sides. I placed the skillet in the oven and cook about 8 to 10 minutes. The potato salad is so easy to make and tasty warm or cold! If you have time, check out my June 4, 2009 post, there are more pictures of my herb garden and some herb recipes.
1 head garlic, top sliced off
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pork tenderloin, trimmed
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
12 fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
12 slices bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Place garlic in a small ramekin, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and wrap in foil. Bake until soft, about 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic flesh from head into a small bowl.
Arrange tenderloins on work surface. Rub the top each tenderloin with 1/2 of the roasted garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix together the herbs and scatter half of the mix over the garlic on each tenderloin. Wrap 6 strips of bacon around each tenderloin and tie bacon in place with kitchen twine or skewer with toothpicks
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat oil in a medium, skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the tenderloins until golden brown on all sides. Transfer seared tenderloins to medium roasting pan; place in the oven and cook to medium about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer tenderloins to cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Remove twine before carving.
Red Potato Salad with Dijon Mustard and Fresh Herbs
2 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 tablespoons salt
1 medium clove garlic peeled and thread on a skewer or toothpick
1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 small shallot, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, minced
Place potatoes, 6 cups cold tap water, and salt in large saucepan; bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Lower skewered garlic into simmering water and partially blanch, about 45 seconds. Immediately run garlic under cold tap water to stop cooking; remove garlic from skewer and set aside. Continue to simmer potatoes, uncovered, until tender but still firm (thin-bladed paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potato slice with no resistance), about 5 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Arrange hot potatoes close together in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.
Press garlic through garlic press or mince by hand. Whisk garlic, reserved potato cooking water, vinegar, mustard, oil, and pepper in small bowl until combined. Drizzle dressing evenly over warm potatoes; let stand 10 minutes.
Toss shallot and herbs in small bowl. Transfer potatoes to large serving bowl; add shallot/herb mixture and mix gently with rubber spatula to combine. Serve warm or chilled