Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grill Happy!

I’ve spent the last few days moving from a high-rise condo in the heart of the city to a house near the beach in Port Melbourne. I must say, I’m enjoying the change…

While I loved the luxury living in the city, it’s so nice to have fresh air, plants, a backyard… AND A GRILL!!! For our first night in, I took full advantage… I decided to do a spice rubbed pork tenderloin topped with a grilled peach salad and accompanied by a grilled vegetable salad and chipotle potato/parsnip mash. This dinner was obviously inspired by my recently acquired access to a grill but also by your blog comments and an attempt to use up the veggies in the fridge!

Spice rubs are perfect for pork that you are going to throw on the grill.  You can use whatever you find in your pantry and the combinations are endless.  There is no right or wrong when you're making a mixture according to your own preferences.  Some of my favorite spices to combine are cumin, oregano, any kind of pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, chile powder, brown sugar, and the list goes on! Depending on the taste you are going for, create your own combination! You can also make enough rub to save for later uses.
I scoured the pantry and created a spice rub of roughly equal parts paprika, ground black pepper, onion powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne powder and salt. I then butterflied a pork tenderloin and generously rubbed with the combination of spices.  I grilled until slightly pink in the center as pork has a tendency to dry out if cooked too long, maybe five or so minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your loin.

Pork goes great with fruit so I decided to offset the peppery grilled pork with a sweet grilled peach salad.  I halved and grilled a couple of peaches.  When cooled, I sliced and combined with thinly sliced onions, chopped mint, chopped cilantro and a dressing of lime juice with a splash of sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt.

The combination made for a delicious, fresh and summery main dish.

After digging around the kitchen, I found an eggplant, a red pepper, an onion, and 2 banana peppers.  I sliced, seasoned, oiled, grilled and tossed these with some fresh greens and a dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice. 

Thanks to your feedback from my previous blog, Chipotle Peppers... Take 2!, I finished this meal off with a smoky potato and parsnip mash.  Being that I only had a few potatoes to feed four, I added an equal amount of parsnips.  Another very easy recipe!  Peel and boil the potatoes and parsnips until they are very tender.  Combine with adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, the amount of sauce varies depending on the how much a kick you'd like!  Add cream or whole milk and season to taste.  I also slightly caramelized and finely chopped about a half of an onion to add a sweet bite to the potatoes and they turned out great!

I'm looking forward to many more dinners on the grill!

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