Dinner for two? I want to share with you a very easy but also tasty meal we’ve made on busy weeknights as well as for dinner on the weekend. It’s a perfect and simple meal for two, but would be a breeze to prepare for four, six, or more. Michael created a delicious recipe for oven fries which I included below. Your grocery store meat department will have a good selection of pre-marinated pork tenderloins. Some of the flavors we have tried and recommend include lemon pepper, Italian herb, garlic and herb, teriyaki, and Jamaican, which we found last weekend at Kroger. If you exercise self control and avoid over-indulging with the potatoes and sour cream, it can be a light meal. Pork tenderloins are very lean and juicy. A side of green beans, peas, or other vegetable would complement the pork nicely.
What you’ll need:
cracked black pepper
dried minced garlic (in spice jar) or garlic powder
Pam cooking spray
pork tenderloin (choose your flavor of seasoning)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pork tenderloins usually take between 45-60 minutes to cook, depending on the size you select. All you have to do is take the pork out of the package and place it on top of a wire rack on a baking sheet. I recommend lining the baking sheet with foil to ensure an easy clean-up!
Begin preparing your oven fries while the tenderloin is cooking. Wash the potatoes and slice into “oven fry”-sized pieces. Make the slices thin, and leave the peels on the potatoes for flavor.
Once the potatoes are sliced, place them in a large bowl and sprinkle olive oil on top. Season with cracked black pepper, kosher salt, a small amount of cayenne pepper, onion powder, and garlic. Michael used a container of dried minced garlic we found on the spice aisle. Sometimes, he adds a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes or Cajun seasoning mix. Stir the potatoes, olive oil, and seasonings, and make sure all the slices are coated. Michael uses his hands to mix it all together, and this is the easiest way to do it. Cover a baking sheet with foil, spray it thoroughly with Pam, and spread the potatoes on it. Put the potatoes in when the tenderloin has about 20-30 minutes of cooking time left. Make sure they cook long enough to soften completely. Michael usually leaves them in until the edges begin to turn brown.
When the pork tenderloin and oven fries are ready, remove them from the oven. Let the pork rest for 10-15 minutes, covered in foil. That way, when you slice it, the juices will not escape the meat! Then, slice the pork to the thickness you prefer. Put some sour cream in a bowl to serve with the oven fries, and your meal will be ready to enjoy.
We topped off Sunday’s pork tenderloin meal with an easy yet indulgent dessert, Caramel Crush Bars. I came across the recipe on my sister’s Pinterest board, “Sweets and Treats.” The Caramel Crush Bars are definitely a treat! I was surprised at how easy they were to make. The recipe makes a lot, and we’ve been devouring them all week. Last night, Michael had the idea to heat them up in the microwave and serve them with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch and chocolate sauce. Very rich, but yum! The bars reminded me of a cobbler dessert. You can find the recipe here. If you like caramel, you will not be disappointed; they’re like caramel candies.