Sunday, March 20, 2011

Perfect Saturday Night

Last night in Sugar Land the weather was perfect! Slight breeze, no mosquitos, 70's..... perfect. The kids played in the courtyard after their bath while Grant and I cooked dinner together. This is one of my favorite things to do, because I love cooking... and I love spending time with Grant when it doesn't involve baseball or hunting. I had a pork tenderloin in the fridge that I had bought on sale this week and some fresh okra. I thought we might try grilling the pork, and for the okra, fried with tomatoes! It sounds weird but I was having lunch with a co-worker from Louisiana, and we started talking okra. smothered, fried, boiled....yummm! I did not have all the yummy ingredients she smothers her okra with so I tried it this way and it turned out amazing! Ava staked her claim in the remaining few bites left on the plate :)

Grilled Garlic Lime Pork:
I started with just your basic packaged pork tenderloin.

There are usually 2 in each pkg. I did a quick read on how to prep them since it is not a meat I usually cook with. Most info said to remove all fat. This was an incredibly tedious process, so I trimmed one and not the other.

(They tasted exactly the same as finished products, so I would save yourself the time) I made a quick marinade:
in a food processor combine- 8 cloves of fresh peeled garlic, juice and zest of 1 lime, 3T salt, 1/4 of a bunch of fresh parsley (b/c that's all I had... cilantro would work the same) and 5-6T of olive oil.

You can get creative if you have other flavors you want to use, I LOVE garlic and lime on the grill!
I put the marinade in a bowl with the pork and let it hang out until the grill was ready.

Grant grilled it for 15-20 minutes over direct medium heat. (not a crazy big fire)
It was sooooo GOOD! The pork held the lime and garlic flavors really well! A definete do again :)

Fried Okra and Tomatoes:
I started by cutting my okra into bite sized pieces, discarding the stem end and rinsing in a colander

(this helps the breading stay on) then I diced 10 yellow grape tomatoes in half (I think they are called sunburst tomatoes)
Make a dry batter in a large freezer bag using 1 cup cornmeal, 1/4c flour, 4T salt.
Put the cut tomatoes and wet okra chunks into the bag and shake.

Heat oil (anything but olive, it will burn on med high heat) to medium high heat. It's a seven on my cooktop. You will know the oil is ready if you drop a little corn meal in and it sizzles:) You need quite a bit of oil, because the cornmeal will absorb it.

Fry tomato and okra mixture in batches (you don't want to overfill the skillet or it takes forever) about 5-8 minutes each batch, just until the okra's crust turns golden and the tomatoes burst. Drain on a plate covered in towels and salt if needed.

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