It would be impossible to remember the thousands of recipes I have tried over the years.
And it is exceedingly rare that my family loves a new dish prepared exactly as the recipe is written.
I search high and low, year after year, for new recipes. If I like the way one sounds, I will test the recipe exactly as the author intended. More often than not, my family is not impressed. Not that most recipes are bad. In fact, they are often reasonably tasty. But there are so many recipes and so little time. Unless something gets rave reviews from the tasters around my table, it isn’t worth repeating.
I would say about 90% of recipes I tried were never made again. About 9% were changed and tweaked and morphed into something different altogether, inspired by the original dish but changed to suit our collective palates. The remaining 1% of recipes were winners.
This is the first of my collection of winners….no long story or unforgetable memory….just my rewritten version of a great recipe. Today’s recipe is from Donna Hay and her fantastic cookbook, New Food Fast, published in 1999.
I rewrote the instructions with the intention that my children would be preparing it, but the ingredients are exactly the same as in her cookbook. And just to prove how foolproof this recipe is….One and Only Son made it for his girlfriend recently. All by himself. In his own kitchen. In Boston. I wasn’t even there. He sent photos and I am a proud Mama.
“I’m not an amazing cook. But I can follow a recipe!” – Rachel McAdams
Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin (Donna Hay)
12-14 slices thinly sliced pancetta (or very thin prosciutto)
1 whole pork tenderloin (leave out for 30 minutes to take chill off)
1 apple, gala or granny smith best, cored and sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1 bunch fresh sage
cracked black pepper
To serve: 2 cups arugula tossed with 2 T olive oil, 1 T lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt.
Optional: Serve rice on the side.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Wrap the pancetta around the pork to enclose.
Place apple slices in bottom of baking pan and put wrapped pork on top.
Pick individual sage leaves, about 10-12, from bunch and scatter across tenderloin.
Drizzle oil on top and sprinkle with pepper.
Bake 15 minutes or until pork tests 160 degrees on meat thermometer. If the tenderloin is thick or very chilled it could take longer.
Remove from oven and rest 5-10 minutes.
Serve thickly sliced, with apples, on top of arugula salad.
One tenderloin serves 3-4 people. Double for larger party and allow for longer cooking time.