Merry Christmas Eve friends! We just sat down and enjoyed a delicious meal together on this rainy Christmas Eve here in Tallahassee. The smell in our kitchen is heavenly right now as rosemary continues to linger in the air. We are not stuffed, but instead happily full and anticipating our desserts and cocktails that we are about to imbibe. Our meal this evening was primarily based off of one major ingredient: a bottle of The Williamsburg Winery Raspberry Dessert wine that we have had for too long. Having purchased it back in summer of 2011, though we kept it refrigerated (in a real refrigerator, not a wine refrigerator-a girl can only dream!), we knew it probably was no longer that good to drink. We have held onto it specifically for a special occasion and we decided now was as good a time as any to use it. Since we were already planning to have some sort of pork for Christmas Eve dinner, we decided it would be perfect to use in a marinade, as well as in one of our desserts.
Having only enjoyed the pork at this point, we can attest to its contribution to dinner. Drizzled over top of a juicy pork tenderloin, it complimented the potatoes and carrots beautifully, especially since they all shared the common ingredient of fresh rosemary. The sweet potato biscuits offered a warm avenue with which to sop up any marinade that remained on our plates, as we completed our meals. All in all, a divine meal this evening with more food to come!
Cooking Notes for Pork: The measurements of the marinade are estimates based on Will’s hand motions of how many shakes or how long he poured each item. The total mixture ended up being about 1 cup of amazing goodness.
Raspberry Wine Pork Tenderloin (serves 4)
1-2 lb. pork tenderloin
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 raspberry dessert wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 inch ground fresh ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
A few stems of rosemary, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients except pork loin together and pour into a 1-gallon bag. Add pork tenderloin to bag and marinate 2-3 hours.
When ready to cook, take the pork loin out of the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large skillet with some olive oil over medium-high heat. When it is very hot and oil looks wavy, add the pork loin (don’t discard marinade). Sear both sides of the pork until brown and crispy, 3-5 minutes each. Place it on a baking sheet or in a glass pan. Drizzle about half the marinade over the pork loin and place it in the oven. Roast for approximately 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150-160 degrees. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
While the pork is roasting, take the other half of the marinade and place it in a sauce pan. Add 1 tbsp butter and 1/2 tbsp honey, cooking over high to get it to a simmer. Once it begins simmering, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Recipe for roasting the pork: Budget Bytes: Chili Lime Pork Loin
Cooking Notes for Carrots: The original recipe calls for a balsamic glaze, which we skipped this time and just used the glaze from the marinade.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Clean and peel the carrots-cut into 1-inch sections (diagonally, for more visual appeal). Either cover a baking sheet in foil (or if coordinating with other foods, cover a glass pan in cooking spray). Place the carrots on the tray/pan and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with S&P, then sprinkle on rosemary. Toss the carrots to coat. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes, stirring once, halfway through.
Cooking Notes for Potatoes: Will makes these all the time and tonight had a medley of small potatoes that were on special at EarthFare. They included red potatoes, Russian fingerling potatoes, and small purple potatoes.
Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes (adapted from All Recipes; serves 4)
3 pounds small red potatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
A few stems of rosemary, chopped
1 tsp salt
A few cranks of freshly ground pepper
Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the potatoes with the oil, rosemary, garlic, S&P. Arrange, cut side down, on a large lipped cookie sheet or a glass pan. Roast until tender and golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.
Cooking Notes for Biscuits: Make sure you measure the amount of your sweet potato so it’s only 1 cup’s worth-otherwise, you will need a lot more flour!
Sweet Potato Biscuits (from Budget Bytes; serves 8)
1 medium sweet potato
3/4 cup milk
2-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp butter (frozen)
Wash the outside of the sweet potato, dry with a towel, and prick the skin with a fork. Wrap the sweet potato in a paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes. If the potato is still hard in the center, turn the sweet potato over and microwave for an additional 3-5 minutes. Let the potato sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle. While the sweet potato is cooking, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt). Grate (yes, grate) the frozen butter into the bowl using a larger sized grater, and stir until it is coated with the flour mixture. (Place the butter in the freezer about an hour ahead of time.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scoop the soft inside of the sweet potato into a bowl and mash until smooth. You should end up with about 1 cup of mashed sweet potato. Add the milk and whisk until relatively smooth. Add the sweet potato and milk mixture to the bowl with the flour and butter. Stir just until everything is mixed and no dry flour is left at the bottom of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and work in just enough flour so that it doesn’t stick to your hands. Try not to over work the dough.
Roll the dough out to about 3/4 inches thick. Using a wide-mouthed cup or a biscuit cutter, cut the dough into eight rounds. When necessary, pile the scraps up and re-roll out the dough to cut more biscuits. You should have about 8-12 total. Place the biscuits on a parchment paper lined sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top. Enjoy with a pat of melted butter on top!