I did a quick weeknight meal of my own design. I didn't take any photos... it was intended to be fast and utilitarian but ended up shockingly good. I did much of my mise en place over the weekend to facilitate quick weeknight cooking. I multi-tasked: worked on my laptop, cooked, and played with the dog while getting this together.
Annatto & Cumin Crusted Pork Tenderloin
1. Grind about 2 tbs of annatto seeds, 1 tbsp cumin, 2 tsp salt. and a few black peppercorns in a coffee grinder until very fine.
2. Sieve mixture through a fine mesh strainer, tapping on the side. Annatto can be gritty if not properly sieved. You are aiming for a dust like powder.
3. Trim your pork tenderloin of all hard fat and silverskin. Pat dry with paper towels.
4. Gently pat tenderloin with annatto mixture until very well covered.
5. Tie pork tenderloin with butcher string to ensure uniform thickness. If there is a thin end, fold it over before tying.
6. Wrap in butcher paper and let sit overnight.
7. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before using to bring to room temeprature
8. Heat homemade garlic oil (perhaps from a batch of garlic confit) until just smoking in an oven-proof cast-iron pan.
9. Sear the pork tenderloin on all sides until a nice charred crust has formed. The faster the sear, the better... A bigger heavier pan helps retain heat.
10. Once all sides have been nicely seared, place in 350 degree oven and cook to 147F.
11. Let rest for 10-15 minutes
12. Carve with a bias cut into 1/4 inch medallions.
Roasted Asparagus and Onions
1. Start with thin asparagus stalks. Rinse. Trim and discard woody ends.
2. Cut asparagus into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
3. Toss with 1/2 onions sliced in thin one inch slices.
4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic infused olive oil
5. Toss together and cook at 375 degree convection for maybe 20 minutes until starting to brown and tender slightly, but still somewhat al-dente.
6. Squeeze a dash of lemon juice over the top and add a dash of finishing salt such as fleur de sel to finish.
Lemon Parsley Quinoa
1. Prepare quinoa according to directions. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Ever so slightly al-dente is what you want.
2. Squeeze a 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice, and add 1 tsp chopped parsley.
3. gently and salt to taste.
Plate quinoa and vegetables on dish then lay out tenderloin medallions across the top.
I really wish I took a picture of this one... it turned out pretty. Very simple and straightforward. A great example of how good food doesn't need too much work.