Bacon Wrapped Herbed Pork Tenderloin

Valentine’s Day is about to be here and if you’re like me and look to opt out of the restaurant frenzy, then look no further. I have a recipe for you that tastes like a fancy restaurant meal and requires little prep.

Bacon Wrapped Herbed Pork TenderloinThis has become one of my most favorite recipes that I’ve developed lately. A few reasons why:

  1. The pork takes about 12 minutes to prep.
  2. The pork can be prepped up to 24 hours before roasting.
  3. Cooking time is about 25 minutes (and if you line the baking sheet with foil, clean-up is a cinch).
  4. The two tenderloins can easily feed a family of four with enough leftovers for the next evening’s dinner.
  5. The leftovers make a killer sandwich when paired with dijon, manchego and a bit of arugula.

I could go on, but I feel like 5 points make my case.

So while this meal is highly appropriate for any weeknight, it can also be made special for a Valentine’s Day family date-night-in too. How so?Grab a bundle of gorgeous flowers and some tiny little decorations from the floral department at Market Street when picking up the groceries for this special meal. Then do what I’ve been doing lately to make diner feel a bit more unique…

…put a table cloth on the table, add a flower arrangement and light a few candles.It does feel a bit Downton-ish, but I will say that it sets the dinner apart from the everyday meals served at the table. And BONUS, the kids show-off their manners because they insist that that’s what one does when eating a “fancy” meal.

OR if you want to pamper yourself just a bit (since it is Valentine’s Day) or if Valentine’s Day has really snuck up on you (and juggling the grocery store is the last thing that you can do)— no problem! Order online with STREETside (click here to start shopping!) and your lovely friends at Market Street will even deliver it to your house. Talk about luxury!I hope this make-ahead bacon wrapped herbed pork tenderloin has urged you to stay at home this Valentine’s Day with a “fancy” meal for the perfect family date-night-in celebration.

P.S. Oh, and if you’re needing a few other make-ahead sides and dessert check out Browned Butter Asparagus and Strawberry S’mores Tart. You won’t be disappointed.

Bacon Wrapped Herbed Pork Tenderloin

Author note: If you use a pork tenderloin that is larger than 1 1/4 lbs increase the cook time.

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

5 garlic cloves, chopped

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 boneless pound pork tenderloins (about 1 1/4 lb each)

12 pieces of bacon (about 1 package)

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl combine the salt, herbs, garlic and olive oil. Stir well to combine.
  3. With a paper towel, pat the two pork tenderloins dry.
  4. Evenly coat the tenderloins with the olive oil mixture. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  5. Wrap each tenderloin with 5-6 pieces of bacon, or until covered.
  6. Place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the pork has reached 145 degrees.
  7. Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let the tenderloin rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own.

Strawberry Milk

Strawberry Milk

Author note: To make 6 cups of strawberry milk, double the recipe.

3 cups whole milk

3 teaspoons cream

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons strawberry syrup (see recipe below)

  1. Combine all ingredients into a pitcher. Stir or shake well. Serve chilled with or without ice.

for the strawberry syrup

Author note: The strawberries can be saved to be used as jam.

1 1/2 pounds frozen strawberries, thawed

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Place strawberries and all their juices into a medium-sized glass (or stainless steel) bowl. Stir in the sugar. Place plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and seal well.
  2. Fill a small sauce pan 1/2 inch full of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Place the bowl on top of the sauce pan to create a double boiler (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl). Stew the strawberries for 1 hour. Stir once.
  3. Carefully remove the bowl from the pan. Place the bowl into an ice bath and stir the vanilla extract into the strawberries. Let the strawberries cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the syrup into a container. Continue to let the syrup come to room temperature and then place in the fridge. The syrup lasts for up to two weeks.

Strawberry S’mores Tart

Strawberry S'mores Tart

graham cracker pie crust

chocolate ganache filling (recipe below)

strawberry jam

marshmallow crème “fluff” (recipe below)

  1. Fill a graham cracker pie crust with the warm chocolate ganache. Place in the fridge and chill until the filling is hardened, about 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Remove the tart from the fridge. Spread a generous amount of strawberry jam on top of the chocolate ganache almost covering the entire top of the tart. Leave a little bit of space between the jam and the top edge of the crust.
  3. Spread a generous amount of marshmallow fluff on top of the jam. Serve chilled.

for the chocolate ganache filling

12 ounce unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/8ths

pinch of salt

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

  1. Place the chocolate, butter and salt into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place the cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove the cream from the heat and strain into the mixing bowl over the chocolate.
  3. Stir until the chocolate and butter until it is melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Use as directed in recipe. (For the s’mores tart pour the chocolate ganache into a graham cracker pie crust. Place into the fridge and chill until hardened, about 2-3 hours).

for the marshmallow crème “fluff”

Author note: This recipe requires a candy thermometer.

1 cup sugar

1 cup corn syrup

1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon water

4 egg whites

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine the water, sugar and corn syrup into a sauce pan. Stir to combine. Cook over high until it reaches 240 degrees (about 15 minutes). Do not stir while the corn syrup mixture is cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, with an electric mixer on high whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large stainless steel bowl until stiff peak forms, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla extract to the egg whites.
  4. Once the corn syrup mixture has reached 240 degrees, remove it from the heat. Lower the mixer speed to low and slowly pour the corn syrup mixture into the egg white peaks. Once the syrup has been poured into the egg whites, increase the speed to medium high and continue to whip until the marshmallow crème is fluffy, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  5. Let the marshmallow crème “fluff” cool. Place in airtight containers and store in the fridge up to two weeks.

Korean Hot Wings with Gochujang Sauce

Korean Hot Wings with Gochujang Sauce

Author note: This recipe shows how to make the wings in two different cooking methods: traditional and Instant Pot. The Instant Pot version of this recipe can also be found on the Sur la Table website (click here to see the recipe).

3 pounds chicken drumettes

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 cup water

gochujang sauce, see recipe below

toasted sesame seeds, for topping

fresh chopped green onions, for topping

Traditional Method

  1. Fill a sauce pan with an inch of water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Place a silicone steamer basket into the pan. Fill the steamer basket with the drumettes. Place the lid onto the sauce pan.
  3. Steam for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken has reached 165 degrees.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Place the wings on top of paper towels and place into the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Heat an oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Place 3 tablespoons of gochujang sauce into a large mixing bowl. Place the chilled wings into the mixing bowl and toss to coat. If the wings appear to be dry, add a few more tablespoons of buffalo ranch sauce.
  7. Place the tossed wings on to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the outside of the wings are crispy.
  8. Meanwhile add 3 to 4 additional tablespoons of gochujang sauce into the same mixing bowl. Set aside.
  9. Remove the wings from the oven, and place back in to the mixing bowl. Toss to coat well.
  10. Serve warm topped with chopped fresh chives.

Instant Pot Method

  1. 30 minutes before cook time, remove the wings from the fridge and evenly salt the wings on all sides. Let the wings sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the water into the Instant Pot and place silicone steamer into the Instant Pot insert.
  3. Place the wings inside the steamer and secure the lid on to the Instant Pot
  4. Using the steam function, steam the wings on high-pressure for 10 minutes. Use the quick pressure release method to release the steam after 10 minutes of cooking.
  5. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Place the wings on top of paper towels and place into the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Heat an oven to 425 degrees.
  7. Place 3 tablespoons of gochujang sauce into a large mixing bowl. Place the chilled wings into the mixing bowl and toss to coat. If the wings appear to be dry, add a few more tablespoons of gochujang sauce.
  8. Place the tossed wings on to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the outside of the wings are crispy.
  9. Meanwhile add 3 to 4 additional tablespoons of gochujang sauce into the same mixing bowl. Set aside.
  10. Remove the wings from the oven, and place back in to the mixing bowl. Toss to coat well.
  11. Serve warm topped with chopped fresh chives.

for the gochujang sauce

5 garlic cloves, finally chopped

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finally chopped

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup gochujang (Korean chili paste)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons water

  1. Place all ingredients into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and continue to cook until the sauce is thickened, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Buffalo Ranch Hot Wings

Buffalo Ranch Hot Wings

Author note: This recipe includes two ways to cook the wings: traditional or with the Instant Pot. This Instant Pot version of the recipe can also be found on the Sur la Table website (click here to find the recipe). If you would like to grill the wings, click here.

3 pounds chicken drumettes

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 cup water

buffalo ranch sauce, see recipe below

fresh chopped chives, for topping

Traditional Method

  1. Fill a sauce pan with an inch of water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Place a silicone steamer basket into the pan. Fill the steamer basket with the drumettes. Place the lid onto the sauce pan.
  3. Steam for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken has reached 165 degrees.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Place the wings on top of paper towels and place into the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Heat an oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Place 3 tablespoons of buffalo ranch sauce into a large mixing bowl. Place the chilled wings into the mixing bowl and toss to coat. If the wings appear to be dry, add a few more tablespoons of buffalo ranch sauce.
  7. Place the tossed wings on to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the outside of the wings are crispy.
  8. Meanwhile add 3 to 4 additional tablespoons of buffalo ranch sauce into the same mixing bowl. Set aside.
  9. Remove the wings from the oven, and place back in to the mixing bowl. Toss to coat well.
  10. Serve warm topped with chopped fresh chives.

Instant Pot Method

  1. 30 minutes before cook time, remove the wings from the fridge and evenly salt the wings on all sides. Let the wings sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the water into the Instant Pot and place silicone steamer into the Instant Pot insert.
  3. Place the wings inside the steamer and secure the lid on to the Instant Pot
  4. Using the steam function, steam the wings on high-pressure for 10 minutes. Use the quick pressure release method to release the steam after 10 minutes of cooking.
  5. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Place the wings on top of paper towels and place into the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Heat an oven to 425 degrees.
  7. Place 3 tablespoons of buffalo ranch sauce into a large mixing bowl. Place the chilled wings into the mixing bowl and toss to coat. If the wings appear to be dry, add a few more tablespoons of buffalo ranch sauce.
  8. Place the tossed wings on to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the outside of the wings are crispy.
  9. Meanwhile add 3 to 4 additional tablespoons of buffalo ranch sauce into the same mixing bowl. Set aside.
  10. Remove the wings from the oven, and place back in to the mixing bowl. Toss to coat well.
  11. Serve warm topped with chopped fresh chives.

for the buffalo ranch sauce

3/4 cup hot sauce

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons shallots, finally chopped

2 tablespoons fresh chives, finally chopped

4 garlic cloves, finally chopped

1 tablespoon buttermilk

  1. Place the hot sauce, butter, honey and salt into a small sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  2. Remove the sauce from heat and add the shallots, chives, garlic and buttermilk. Stir well. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Instant Pot Lemon Cheesecake with Rose Meringue

Instant Pot Lemon Cheesecake with Rose Meringue

Author note: If you cannot find King Aruther’s Fiori de Sicilia (click here to find it on the Sur la Table website), a splash of vanilla extract and a splash of lemon extract will also work. You can also find this recipe on the Sur la Table website (click here to go to the Sur la Table recipe).

for the crust

2 cups vanilla waffles

zest of 1 lemon

1 stick (or slightly less) unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon sugar

pinch of kosher salt

for the cheesecake

16 ounce cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg, room temperature

2 yolks, room temperature (save the whites for the rose water meringue)

4 tablespoons half and half, room temperature

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia

for the meringue

2 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon rose water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the crust

  1. Butter the sides of an 8 inch Instant Pot cake pan. Add a parchment to the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  2. Place the wafers, lemon zest, sugar and salt into a food processor and purée until the wafers are turned into a bread crumb consistency.
  3. While the processor is running, add the butter in a steady stream (the amount used will vary depending on the type of vanilla wafer used).
  4. Remove the crust mixture and place into the pan. Evenly distribute the mixture on the bottom of the pan by pressing with fingertips.
  5. Place in the freezer for one hour.

for the cheesecake

  1. Pour two cups of water into the Instant Pot. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the eggs, yolk, lemon zest, half and half and fiora della sicilia
  3. With an electric mixer mix the cream cheese and sour cream on low for 30 seconds.
  4. Add sugar and continue to mix on low for 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly add the egg mixture and lemon juice to the cream mixture. Mix until combined.
  6. Remove the crust from the freezer and add the cheesecake mixture into the cake pan, spreading it out evenly.
  7. Place the steam rack into the Instant Pot. Place the cake on top of the rack. Place the lid on the Instant Pot. Select the cake function and timer for 35 minutes.
  8. After the 35 minutes, turn off the Instant Pot and let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes release any remaining pressure.
  9. Remove the cheesecake from the Instant Pot and dab off any excess liquid from the top of cake (if applicable). Let the cake sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  10. Place in the fridge and let cool for at least 8 hours.
  11. Place rose water meringue cookies (recipe below) on top of the cake and serve.

for the rose water meringue cookies

  1. With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on high until stiff white peaks form, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Quickly add the sugar, rose water and vanilla extract. Continue to whip until the white peaks form again.
  3. Turn the oven to 250 degrees.
  4. Using a piping bag, or a spoon, add one 1/2 inch circles to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn off oven and open the oven door slightly. Let the meringues rest for 30 minutes and then remove from the oven. Store in an airtight container.

Beet Crème Fraîche Dip with Beet Green Tarragon Pesto

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Vitamix and The Feedfeed. All opinions are my own.

Perhaps I’m part of the minority when I say that I love beets. Allow me to expound on this admiration for this diamond in the rough vegetable.

When juiced, the beet releases a sweet, robust earthy flavor that pairs well with ginger, orange, lime…so many flavors.When roasted with olive oil (or better yet, duck fat or walnut oil), the sweetness caramelizes and the vegetable becomes the perfect partner to be tossed with goat cheese and cilantro… or horseradish and dill. There is an entire arena of flavor combinations that work well with beets (and a handful of delicious beet recipes that can be found on thefeedfeed.com/beets)

When peeled and cut, the beet becomes a work of art with its bright colors (and, yes, stain-creating juices—wear an apron!). It is a beautiful vegetable that is a gift to those who can see beyond its brownish gray rough exterior.What’s even better about the beet is its unique taste and the nutritional value can’t be, well…”beet.” They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and potassium—just to name a few. The greens of this veg are also edible and nutritional. What a way to truly eat your vegetables when you can eat basically the whole thing.

I’ve had plenty of vegetable conversations and when the beet comes up there are a lot of hot opinions about this little vegetable. Many think they don’t like beets, but once the topic is delved into I realize their experience with the beet has been limited to a canned variety or a poorly prepared dish.If you find yourself in the group mentioned above (that thinks you don’t like beets but aren’t 100% sure that you’ve eaten a well-prepared beet) let me give you a gateway recipe into loving this friendly vegetable.

Beet Crème Fraîche Dip topped with Beet Green Tarragon PestoThis recipe combines the sweetness of beets, the loudness of fresh tarragon and the richness of crème fraîche. The pesto takes the leftovers of this main recipe and utilizes the greens from the beets and any remaining tarragon to create an earthy salty balance to the dip.  Added bonus – this recipe can be made in advance for snacking all week long!

While this recipe can be made in a food processor I find that it is made vastly better in a Vitamix Venturist. The precision of this kitchen appliance purées the roasted beets, shallots, tarragon into a smooth, silky dip. The Vitamix purees the vegetables exquisitely and with the multiple speed settings it also whips the crème fraîche into a light and airy state – and the built in timer lets you know just how long to blend for.These two elements of silky smooth roasted beets and whipped crème fraîche come together perfectly.

I had never cooked with a Vitamix until this recipe. However, I have had several friends cook for me using their Vitamix in the form of frozen margaritas, warm soups and addictive dips. With every dish that I have enjoyed that has been assisted by this appliance the same thought has crossed my mind…One day, I will have a Vitamix and make everything under the sun with it.

Well, my friends, that time has arrived. For years I have hesitated. I love my food processor and didn’t want to give it up. But deep down inside I knew there was a kitchen appliance that was missing from A Pleasant Little Kitchen.When I saw the Vitamix Venturist and read up on its bells and whistles there was no question. 2018 was the year I was going to get that Vitamix.

The Beet Tarragon Creme Fraîche confirmed my decision to welcome the Vitamix into my kitchen rhythm. It’s a machine that is well made, smart, easy to handle (and clean) and most importantly, does its job better than any other blending tool I’ve ever used.Let this recipe convince you that 1) beets are good and tasty to eat 2) you need to eat more beets AND 3) the Vitamix is a kitchen appliance that needs to be in your kitchen.

For now, I’m going to nibble on this dip while I enjoy my new kitchen appliance and make my next recipe… a frozen margarita.

Beet Crème Fraîche Dip with Beet Green Tarragon Pesto

for the beet crème fraîche

2 pounds beets, with greens

2 shallots, peeled and halved

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

8 ounces crème fraîche

2 tablespoons heavy cream

juice of one lemon

zest of one lemon

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons tarragon

6 tablespoons water

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel the beets and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. Place the beets and shallots into a medium-sized bowl. Evenly distribute 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt on top of the vegetables. Stir well to coat.
  4. Place the beets and shallots onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 35 to 45 minutes, or until softened. Stir the vegetables once or twice during the roasting process.
  5. Remove the beets from the oven and bring to room temperature.
  6. Add the ingredients into the Vitamix container in the following order: 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, crème fraîche, beets, shallots, tarragon, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Secure the lid and set the speed to Variable 1 and then start the machine. Slowly increase to its highest speed. Blend for 50-60 seconds until smooth.
  7. Serve the beat crème fraîche dip with beet green pesto (see recipe below) on the side or on top of the beet crème fraiche with favorite vegetable chips.

for the pesto
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh tarragon
2 cups beat greens, stems removed
1/3 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
squeeze of fresh lemon juice

  1. Add the ingredients into the Vitamix container in the following order: olive oil, lemon juice, cheese, garlic, mint, tarragon, beet leaves, nuts and salt. Secure the lid and set the speed to Variable 1 and then start the machine. Slowly increase to its highest speed. Blend for 40 seconds until smooth.

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