Monday, October 21, 2013

Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin

Last weekend, my parents visited me in Columbus for the first time and we had an absolute blast!  I was able to show them all around my new city and introduce them to the my closest friends.  All in all, it was a fabulous weekend.  And because we're O'Gara's, you can rest assured that our entire weekend revolved around food!  We shared appetizers and cocktails at Hubbard Grill and swooned over sinful desserts at Pistacia Vera.  I also took my parents on a tour of North Market where we found perfumed honey from a local beekeeper, which became the inspiration for our Sunday Family Dinner.

We made a fantastic (if we do say so ourselves) pork tenderloin that we ate with oven roasted potatoes, onion and fennel, as well as a fun, cheesy pull-apart bread.  Our pork tenderloin turned out so well, I figured it just had to be the next blog post.  This Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin is juicy and flavorful with a crisp, sweet crust that is perfect for a special Sunday dinner.

Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin

2 small pork tenderloins
Salt & Pepper
3 T. Cinnamon honey (or another flavored, local honey)
1/2 C. Butter
1/4 Onion, thinly sliced
1 T. Fresh thyme, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400.

Rub the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper so they are evenly and fully coated.

In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter and honey over medium high heat.  Stir constantly until the honey and butter come together in a quick bubble.  Carefully place the pork tenderloin into the honey butter mixture.  Allow the pork to sit for about a minute without turning it so that it gets a good sear.  Turn and repeat until all of the pork has a crisp, dark crust.

Remove the meat from the skillet and place in an oven safe baking dish.  Add the onion to the honey butter sauce and toss until the onions darken, about 2 minutes.  Carefully pour these caramelized onions and sauce on top of the pork tenderloin.  Sprinkle with thyme and place in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the pork is cooked all the way through.  Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes so all those juices can redistribute.

Slice the pork on a diagonal (it looks nicer) and serve with oven-roasted vegetables.

*Local honey contains local pollen and can be helpful in warding off seasonal allergies.  Plus, you get to support a local farmer instead of a grocery conglomerate!  Check out Brad's Bees at

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Apple Cardamom Custard Tart

I'm trying my best to eat seasonally and since we're still knee-deep in apple season in Ohio, I'm stretching my creative muscles for new ways to enjoy these local, delicious apples.  Today, I decided it was time to attempt a flavor combination that's been on my mind for awhile:  apple & cardamom.  Cardamom is an exotic spice with East Indian roots that I absolutely adore.  It's warm and fragrant and pairs quite well with something sweet like fruit.  This Apple Cardamom Custard Tart is silky and sweet, with a subtle hint of spice.

Apple Cardamom Custard Tart

1 Pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
3 Apples, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced
4 Large eggs
1 C. Whole Milk (or heavy cream if you're feeling extra sinful)
2 T. sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 t. cardamom

Preheat the oven to 400.

Lay out your pie crust in a lightly greased, shallow baking dish.  Using a fork, gently "dock" the entire surface, making holes so that your crust does not get air bubbles.  Place the apple slices around the pie crust in a circular pattern.  I did two layers of apples so that apple slices would stick out slightly from the custard.  

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar and cardamom.  Beat with a mixer until completely smooth.  Place the pie dish on a cookie sheet.  Carefully pour the custard over the apple slices.  

Gently place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake the custard tart for 10 minutes at 400.  Then, lower the temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the custard is set.  You want it to be just firm, but not overdone.  In the last 5 minutes of baking, sprinkle 1 T. of sugar on top and let the sugar caramelize for that finished look.