Weeknight Dinner Ideas

Are you wondering what happened to the Whole 30? I know my latest posts have been pretty indulgent. And, truth be told, I have not been sticking like glue to my reintroduction schedule. I was so good about it at first, ignoring those shortbread cookies for several days. But eventually a few of them did make it past my lips. I blame John Wayne as we were watching Rio Bravo which is entirely too long of a movie for some type of snacking not to occur! But I’m getting off topic here. The point I would like to make is that we have in fact been having a lot of really delicious dinners around here. And while they may not be totally Whole 30 compliant they are at least in the ballpark.

Roast Lemon Chicken, Cauliflower Rice, and Absurdly Addictive Asparagus

Roast bone in chicken breasts are one of the easiest dinners to make, and when you’re pairing them with more time intensive veggies it is nice to have a main dish that pretty much cooks itself. Season your breasts, cover the pan with foil, and throw it in a 400° oven. After half hour remove the foil and baste the chicken with the pan juices, returning to the oven until golden brown and cooked through. That was another half hour for us, but we live in the chicken capital and Petaluma Market has pretty large chicken breasts.

The star of this show was definitely the asparagus! I think this might have been the recipe that introduced me to Food 52. The name really says it all here, Absurdly Addictive Asparagus is one of those recipes you will want to make for years to come. It requires a lot of lemon and orange zest and last time I used my microplane to grate ginger I noticed it was really dull. I don’t think they are designed to last 10+ years, so if you are having the same problem you might want to treat yourself to a new one! I got a pretty pink color this time so it stands out in the gadget drawer when I’m hunting for it.

We made the chicken dish on a beautiful day that felt like spring was imminent. Just a couple days later it was rainy and cold again, and this pork tenderloin with pan sauce felt like just the right meal.

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Seared pork tenderloin with white wine and mustard pan sauce

We also tried a new pan sauce idea for pork tenderloin. Jason loves a good pan sauce to the point he insists we always have a shallot on hand in case we need to whip up a quick Bearnaise. While I don’t feel quite as strongly on the matter as he does, I certainly can’t argue against this one. It was incredibly quick and easy and really made the meal.

Have your white wine and chicken broth measured and shallot minced before you start cooking the pork because this dish happens fast. We browned the tenderloin slices for just a couple of minutes before transferring to a plate and covering in foil to rest. Add a tablespoon of butter and the shallots to the pan, saute 2-3 minutes until shallots are soft before adding broth, wine, and mustard. Use a whisk to blend everything together, and be sure scrape up all those brown bits of the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce by about half. Remove from heat and stir in one more tablespoon of butter and some slivered fresh sage, then spoon the sauce over your tenderloin. I think this took about 10 minutes total to make, so this is a great weeknight dinner.

We didn’t use any additional salt and pepper in the sauce as we had seasoned the slices so liberally before cooking. But you may want to taste it right at the end just to make sure you don’t want to adjust the seasoning. We served ours alongside roast potatoes, steamed carrots and green beans. I like to do a simple steamed veggie when I’m making something like this that requires all my attention. It was a bonus that the main dish and veggie cooked in roughly the same amount of time!

Seared Pork Tenderloin with White Wine and Mustard Pan Sauce

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins

Equipment

  • Nonstick Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • 2 tbsp shallot minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage slivered

Instructions

  • Slice tenderloin into rounds about 1/2 inch thick. Pound until thin and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat canola oil in nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sear tenderloin in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. This thin meat cooks quickly, 1-2 minutes per side it plenty.
  • Remove tenderloin slices to a plate and cover with foil to rest while you make the sauce.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter and the shallots to the skillet. Stir frequently for 2-3 minutes until shallots are soft and golden. Add broth, wine, and mustard.
  • Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. The mustard will need to be whisked in to truly blend in to the sauce.
  • Bring to boil and allow to reduce by half, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the final tablespoon of butter and the fresh sage. Spoon sauce over tenderloin slices and serve immediately.

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