I don’t cook. I never have. I have a knack for surrounding myself with those who do, and if they’re not around, I think cereal or a Shiner makes for a great dinner. In retrospect, saying I didn’t like to cook wasn’t accurate. I was downright terrified of the kitchen. I once put salt into a cookie recipe instead of sugar. And that wasn’t even as bad as that one time I decided to brew fresh tea and put tea bags in my boiling water, with the little paper tags hanging down over the flame.
But when I got pregnant, Ashley had a coming to Jesus with me and after several days, convinced me that I could not feed the baby cereal or Shiner for dinner. So I sucked it up and started to learn my way around the kitchen. There have been some highs (Mediterranean Chicken!) and lows (seriously underestimated the time it takes to make Lasagna and ended up with Chinese delivery instead), but now I’ve got some basics down and try to make a point of finding 1 or 2 new recipes a week to try out.
My current favorite is Pork Tenderloin with Balsalmic Onion Fig Relish. It’s quick, it’s easy, it seems fancier than it is, and it is healthy. Seriously, what’s not to love? The recipe suggests pairing it with squash, but we pair it with mushroom couscous and garlic-lemon asparagus.
- 1 1-lb pork loin, lean cut
- Salt, pepper
- 2 tbsp balsalmic vinegar
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 8 dried mission figs
- 1 cup chopped onion
- Olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 425. Coarsely chop the figs and place in a small bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and water. Heat your olive oil in a large oven safe pan or skillet, season pork with salt & pepper, and braise the pork on high until each side is brown. Add the chopped onions and balsalmic fig mixture to the pan and pop the whole thing (uncovered) into the oven for 15-20 minutes. It should be fairly pink inside. See? Seriously simple.
We love the onion-fig relish, so I started doubling those portions from what you see above. We haven’t had any issues finding dried figs at our local grocery store, but my mom can’t find them easily in New Orleans, so a trip to Whole Foods may be in order. Also, a New Orleans girl knows that you don’t season with salt and pepper, you season with Tony Chachere’s. And finally, I find that if I mix the figs and balsalmic vinegar/soy sauce a little before I start everything else, the figs break down better while cooking.
Now, pass the Shiner.