Yesterday was grocery day. I shop every Friday after planning my menu for the week. The menu for this coming week has been somewhat dictated by what my son Sean, who arrives on Wednesday for Christmas, wants me to make for him. So far he has requested jambalaya, enchiladas and potato pancakes. But yesterday I wanted fish for dinner. Sometimes I get on a fish kick and nothing will do but an entrée of fish. Yesterday was one of those days. And then …. I got to the grocery store. They had all manner of fish; tilapia, catfish, trout, salmon, scallops (ok technically not a fish but it lives in the ocean so to me it qualifies) shrimp and clams. Nothing looked that amazing, and since I didn’t see anything in the case for under $6.99 a pound, I knew fish was not in my future. I don’t mind spending $6.99 a pound for fish but it better be really good and really fresh. A lot of the fish was “previously frozen” so my fish dish was a non starter.
Now I had a real problem; what to have for dinner. I already had a chicken and a beef dish on the menu, and we had two pasta dishes last week so that was out. I was standing in the meat department staring at the shelves, almost in a panic. WHAT TO MAKE FOR DINNER! Then I spied the pork tenderloin – on sale! Problem solved. I remembered I had a butternut squash at home that would go nicely with the tenderloin. But I wanted something more. So I went back to produce and found a container of blackberries. I was in business. Here’s what I did for dinner last night.
I started by drizzling a small amount of oil in a roasting pan. I trimmed out the pork tenderloin removing as much of the silverskin as possible. Then I rubbed the tenderloin with a little grape seed oil, sea salt and pepper and placed it in the roasting pan. I peeled and cut up the butternut squash into 1 inch pieces. I rubbed the pieces with some grape seed oil and then Cajun seasoning. Those went in to the pan around the tenderloin, then into a 350 degree oven. I peeled and quartered potatoes for mashed potatoes put those on the stove as soon as the meat went into the oven. About an hour later I was almost done. While the meat was resting, I made the blackberry sauce. I started with about a tbl of unsalted butter that I melted in my sauce pot . Then I added about 1/2 cup of blackberry preserves. After the preserves had melted down I added about 1 tbl of espresso powder – I wasn’t measuring so don’t take these proportions as gospel. I thinned it with a little white wine and added the fresh blackberries. We were good to go.
Dinner was great – not fish but no one was complaining. I did, however, make a big mistake while prepping dinner – I didn’t brown the tenderloin first. And while the meat tasted great and was properly cooked, if looked a little anemic. Saved by the sauce!