My friend Gillian had a gathering on Sunday because a friend who had moved back east was in town for a long weekend. That meant there was not Sunday Super Supper Squad and the pork loin I've been storing needed to be cooked. I went looking for a recipe that would be simple and could travel. I found one on the Food Network website from Paula Deen for Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin.
I had rosemary growing out by the pool, thyme in a pot on the patio, and basil growing inside--the benefit of a Southern California winter. I made up the rub, put it on the pork and popped it into the oven. Is there anything as wonderful as garlic infusing the air on a Sunday afternoon?
My boneless pork was just over the four pounds called for, but I've got to change a few things before I try this again. The half-hour at 475 degrees caused a lot of smoke and charring of the herbs. The recipe is also a bit heavy on the salt. I used kosher salt and biting into the crust really tasted too salty--applesauce cut that back, but I think less salt may be in order. I should also have tested with an instant read thermometer at the end of the half-hour, but I waited until 45 minutes into the hour at 425 degrees. It was too long and the internal thermometer was already close to 170 degrees rather than the 155 degrees she indicates. So it was a bit dry, despite having plenty of time to rest before we drove across the Valley to Gillian's house.
I am planning on making the rest of the pork loin for dinner. I will avoid too much salt and roasting it to death this time. Too bad there will only be two of us for dinner, but I think the leftover pork will be good for sandwiches.
UPDATE on 1/20/2011: Careful measurement of the salt and oil, and repeated checks of temperature after 30, 45, and 60 minutes resulted in a more satisfactory result. Unfortunately, the glass on the inside of the oven window cracked in two places. I don't know what caused it, because I didn't spill any cold liquid when I opened the door, and it happened between temperature-taking. I wonder if something spattered, but it didn't look like it. I often use a 475 or 500 degree oven when I'm making bread, so I'm baffled. Another call to appliance insurance today. Good thing it is a double oven.