Smothered Pork Medallions

The Ultimate Comfort Food.

Sure, I’m supposed to be dieting for my sisters wedding, but sometimes you just need gravy. I picked this recipe up from one of our best friends on a weekend trip. After clearing my plate, I hovered over his pressure cooker and ate hunks of pork chop directly from the pot, it’s that damn good. I love my instant pot, and still use it for this recipe when I have thick-cut pork chops, but I also like eating the freshly browned pork tenderloin when pulled from the pan to “rest” (in my mouth) before I make gravy.

This recipe is for those nights when you need something warm and homey. The ranch seasoning picks the gravy up and makes it something truly special. It’s also easy af and nearly impossible to mess up, which makes it a perfect recipe. We generally eat it over rice, but it’s equally as good with pasta or mashed potatoes.


  • 2 pork tenderloins, sliced and smashed flat with your hand
  • Seasoned salt, Lawry’s mix is good
  • Garlic pepper
  • 1 tsp Better than Bouillon, beef flavor
  • 1-1/2 cup water
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup

Season the tenderloin slices with seasoned salt and garlic pepper. Brown the slices over medium-medium high in a little oil and set aside to rest. This is going to take multiple batches, so don’t feel bad about having an adult bev while you snack on the first set of freshly browned bits of pork heaven.

The first batch is for snacking.

In the same pork-browned pan, stir together 1-1/2 cups of water, the spoonful of Better than Bouillon, and the two packet mixes. Stir vigorously for a few seconds before turning the heat down to simmer and let the gravy start to thicken. Add the cream of chicken soup and stir until melted. Dump the pork back into the pan and make sure every piece is covered in gravy.

We’ve tried this on most carbs and it’s good on everything. You could spoon this gravy over a steamed package of that sad frozen cauliflower rice and it would be amazing. This stuff is comfort food at its finest.

Comfort food is one of those things I love asking people about because it varies so widely across cultures and homes. I have a podcast in mind for the future and I think that comfort food and the foods you grew up on will be what it revolves around. Home foods are so personal and certain things can really only be cooked by one’s mother. I still fail at recreating my MIL’s chicken and rice and I’ve watched her cook it in person. B says I need more pepper, but I suppose we’ll see next time.

– Lin


Bang-Bang Chicken Egg Rolls

Banging delicious.

After the laziness of Monday night it felt like time for something extra, and I mean extra delicious. I’m obsessed with Asian food and Asian fusion dishes, but the Husband and the Biggin are not fans of some of the flavors. The Puppy doesn’t let food sit in his mouth long enough to taste, so he’ll eat anything I offer to him (including non-food items such as mud, insects, and Nerf bullets). Since we’re split on taste buds, I generally cook slightly different meals when I have a craving for something the rest of the family won’t go for.

The boys had Cajun grilled chicken strips (same seasonings and pan as the egg rolls) and macaroni and cheese for dinner, so it it wasn’t much of a hassle. I scaled down ingredients to make myself a personal serving of egg rolls, but the instructions below are for around 12 egg rolls.


  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins
  • S&P
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 12 egg roll wrappers
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage mix, I chopped mine up more finely
  • 12 slices of pepper jack cheese

Season the tenderloins with S&P and Cajun seasoning. I prefer to remove the tendons because they gross me the hell out. Shove the tenderloins around a hot skillet and let them brown until cooked through. Chop them up.

Mix the mayo, sriracha, rice vinegar, and sugar together in a small mixing bowl. Stir in the cabbage and chopped chicken.

Place an egg roll wrapper on a flat surface in front of you (point down), and center a piece of cheese on it. Spoon on 2 tablespoons of the chicken and cabbage mix. This isn’t YouTube, but I’ll try to upload a video on how to roll egg rolls next week. It’s really super easy, and people are impressed when you get to tell them the egg rolls are homemade.

Either brush some oil onto the egg rolls or use spray oil. Air fry at 350o for 6 minutes. Flip the egg rolls and cook for 6 more minutes.

Bang-bang sauce is good enough to keep in the fridge as a handy condiment. It’s particularly good as a burger sauce with some sweet chili sauce and lime juice added to the mix. We’ll give that a whirl next week with some home fries. I have no idea what I’m going to do with the rest of the egg roll wrappers, but we’ll figure that out next time I decide to drink a few GWC’s, won’t we? GWC’s are an unholy mix of one can of White Claw (your choice of flavor) and a shot of whatever gin you have languishing in your freezer. It’s like a ghetto low carb French 75 and it’s delicious.

– Lin

Bacon, Egg, and Alouette Sandwich

Monday nights are rough, ok?

Look, I’m not going to pretend that I love Mondays or Monday nights. I’m tired, we go back to work/school, and by the time I walk through the door all I want is a glass of wine and a corkscrew lobotomy.

Monday also means I’ve likely not hit the store in a week and will forget to put in a pickup order until the only available time is 8 pm. We all suffer for my lack of organization, but the Biggin suffers the most. You’ve never heard of a child more tortured and abused than this child that has to eat breakfast for dinner. My GOD, can you imagine the horror?

He doesn’t like bacon, and this bread is weird, and only the eggs are edible.

I do make perfect fried eggs.

A Sort of Sandwich, for one:

  • 2 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 1 egg
  • Alouette Garlic and Herbs spreadable cheese
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • A hunk of baguette, sliced in half

Over-Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends nipped and sliced in half
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ranch seasoning from a packet mix, we’ll say 1 tsp

I like to cut my slices of bacon in half. They fit in the frying pan better and cook more evenly. I also prefer my bacon sort of floppy and half cooked. To each their own.

I obviously cooked enough bacon for 4 people and then used the whole pan of grease for my eggs. Fried eggs aren’t good in butter, don’t use butter, use grease. Salt and pepper your eggs, we aren’t animals.

If you’ve always been too much of a snob to try Alouette spreadable cheese, then I’m here to take you down a peg or three. It’s delicious. LSH and I occasionally eat nothing but some hunks of baguette with the Garlic and Herbs cheese for dinner. It’s perfect when the kids are away for a night and nobody wants to wash a pan.

The Brussels sprouts go into the air fryer for 8 minutes at 400. These sprouts are over-roasted, not oven-roasted. The outer layer gets completely browned and the ranch seasoning gives them a little kick.

You don’t have to make elaborate meals every night of the week, but you also don’t have to eat the same boring thing over and over. There is always enough in my pantry and refrigerator to put something interesting together in 15-20 minutes. The kids might complain, but who told them they were allowed opinions? Not me.

– Lin

Teppanyaki Steak & Fried Rice

Griddled goodness.

We use our Blackstone Griddle twice a week, at least. I talked the Husband into buying us one before the Great Ice Storm of 2021™️ blew in. We luckily didn’t lose power, but I spent a lot of time outside making fried rice just to get away from everyone. I have perfected this stuff, and it’s GOOD.

This griddle is uhhmazing and Im obsessed with it. I think that it’s the best cooking appliance I’ve picked up so far, and I have A LOT of cooking appliances. You can cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a single flat surface for a crowd, and then scrape it clean in under a minute. Cleanup is extra easy since they make these little aluminum pans that fit into the drip tray.

True genius.


  • 2 lbs sirloin steak
  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt
  • Garlic Pepper
  • Yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cups of jasmine rice, cooked and cooled
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Heat your griddle over medium high on your left side and medium to medium low on your right side. Put down 2 tablespoons of butter on the cooler side and start your chopped onion to softening. Season with salt and pepper blend. You’ll want to use griddle spatulas and a scraper so you can pretend you’re at a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant while you poorly flip the onions around. The kids won’t be impressed, but you’ll feel accomplished.

Note: I season every new ingredient dropped on the griddle with salt and garlic pepper for this meal. Lawry’s makes a great garlic pepper blend that’s easy to find, but I’m currently using Penzey’s Florida pepper mix because it’s good on literally everything and I’m addicted.

Get yourself one of those cute condiment squeeze bottles for your avocado oil and lay a few lines across the hot side of the griddle. Drop your sirloins on when the oil heats and season them up.

The onions should be quickly softening and browning by now so add your rice into the pile and spread it out with your spatula. Season with salt and pepper mix, and add 2 tablespoons of butter to melt in. Shake 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil across the rice (the sesame oil is super fragrant so go easy). Mix the rice up well and let it sit to crisp up.

Squirt a little oil down for the eggs and crack them onto the griddle. Salt and pepper them and let them cook up sunny-side. Check your steaks and flip them if they are ready for it, and season the other side of your meat. Your eggs should be almost ready at this point (I like my yolks jammy) and you can slide them on top of the rice mix. Use your spatula to start chopping the eggs into the rice and mixing everything up. When the eggs are finished cooking and the rice seems crispy, scrape it all into a large bowl.

Grab a knife and slice the sirloins into small pieces on the griddle. Add the last two tablespoons of soy sauce and butter. Do that fun double spatula thing with the sirloin and flip everything around to mix it up. Add to the top of your rice and dish it all out.

The kids go nuts for fried rice and while I don’t use a lot of extra veggies in mine, they’re at the very least getting some extra protein from the eggs. If I have enough wine next week I’ll have LSH record me “showing off” my griddle fried rice and spatula skills.


Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches

In which my pressure cooker gets the better of me and I time my dishes so poorly that I give up on finishing touches.

Sad, cold fries next to an unbuttered, untoasted roll.

You may remember a brief reminder during my Easy AF Spaghetti and Meatballs post that I’m not perfect. Shocking, I know. I really exude competency and prowess in all things I do. Maybe we can blame the wine this time? Bota Box still hasn’t reached out regarding that sponsorship and Black Box customer service claims they have a C&D in the mail, certified with return receipt.

There are times things just don’t happen in the kitchen. We work, we’re tired, the kids are wild, the dog is eating something off the floor, and there is a new Marvel show that really needs watching. I had a bad kitchen night yesterday. Things just didn’t work out between us, and I’m leaving the stove for the griddle tomorrow.

Even with cold fries and unmelted cheese on my pitifully untoasted hoagie roll, this French dip beef and gravy was good. The soy and Worcestershire marry and work their flavor all the way through the chuck. I pulled that sandwich apart and soaked it in gravy after taking that very sad school cafeteria looking picture. Better luck next time!


  • 2 lbs chuck roast, cut into 2-3 inch chunks.
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp each of S&P
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 oz mushroom, sliced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Pinch of dried herbs, such as rosemary or thyme.
  • Butter
  • Sandwich rolls or a hunk of baguette

Put your instant pot on sauté and heat the avocado oil. Use the S&P on your chuck chunks and brown all sides. Add your onion and mushrooms without caring about crowding the pan, because you’re really just done with this whole kitchen experience even though we just started. We should have ordered pizza.

Add the Worcestershire/soy sauces, the garlic, the broth, and your chosen herbs. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. By the time your pot comes to pressure, you’ll have already cooked your fries.

Shred the cooked beef with two forks and pile it on your sandwich, but be better than I am about those finishing touches. Butter and toast that bun and melt the cheese under the broiler. Serve your sandwich with a cute little cup of gravy to dip with. Or, lose your mind like me and ladle it over the sandwich and attack with a fork. Your choice.

– Lin

Gluten-Free Mexican Style Shepherd’s Pie

I definitely tossed the cubed potatoes into the air fryer to shorten my cooking time. We were hungry, sue me.

I almost never make things that are gluten-free (hi, pasta!), and after having dinner with a dear friend that eats gluten-free as much as possible, I figured I needed to skip the pasta and bring back potatoes. This means that it’s not a low carb dish, but what can you do?

My husband informed me that this dish is heavy. By that he meant you should only serve this on days you don’t intend to move around much after eating. You may feel like a half casserole pan is too small, but I assure you, you really don’t need a full pan of this stuff. The Husband was right, we didn’t move from the couch for hours after eating.


  • 1 lb ground chuck, I used lean and avoided draining. Whatever will I do with my extra 1 minute?
  • 4 oz shredded “Mexican style” cheese
  • 2 medium sized baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, minced not diced, otherwise your onion hating husband will complain.
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 packet of McCormick gluten free taco seasoning
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • S&P
  • Optional, chopped green onion and sour cream for topping

Scramble your ground chuck over medium heat until browned and then add the onion and garlic. If you do this is an oven safe pot, a casserole dish is unnecessary. Let your onion start to soften (5 minutes), and mix in your taco seasoning and beef broth.

I didn’t have any of those super handy frozen cubed hash browns on hand, so I used two baking potatoes and cheated with the air fryer to cut down cook time. Peeled, cubed, S&P, olive oil, and 400 degrees for 12 minutes. (If you use frozen potatoes cook the whole casserole for around 20 minutes before broiling.)

If you’re smart, you’ll have cooked up your ground beef mixture in an oven safe pot and you can directly add a layer of cheese, then potatoes, then the rest of the cheese and heave it into the oven. I, on the other hand, managed to get multiple pots and appliances dirty to make one small casserole. What can I say? It’s a gift. 400 degrees for around 12 minutes and then light that baby up with the broiler to brown your cheese.

Is there anything better than browned cheese? Survey says… there is not.

I did add some sour cream to my bowl and it really didn’t add anything to the dish for me. Next time I’ll thinly slice some green onions for texture.


Cajun Chicken Alfredo

It’s pasta week.

I tend to do this thing where I cook similar dishes all week. Oh, we had a pasta dish on Monday? Hope you all liked it, because we’re going to have one on Wednesday and Friday as well.

Two of my favorite things to eat are caramelized onions and mushrooms, and although my poor Husband hates onions with a passion, I use every opportunity to work them into a dish. They really do make everything taste better.

I like my caramelized onions diced instead of sliced. They almost disappear in your dish and your family won’t complain, much.

I usually say go with whatever pasta you have on hand, but in this case you do want something short and fat to pick up all of that 5,000 calorie cream sauce we are making. Bow ties are cute and I like how the middle of the pasta stays extra chewy.

Do not substitute frozen spinach for the fresh. It’s a huge mistake and will absolutely ruin your sauce, unless you want everything in your bowl to taste like stewed spinach. Frozen spinach is full of water and you should really only use it for dips after squeezing any remaining life out of it after defrosting it in a sad lump in a colander.


  • Olive oil, it doesn’t have to be extra virgin if we’re just going to destroy it with heat.
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced.
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 chicken breasts, slice them against the grain, we’re going to destroy them while we cook, so don’t worry about how they look.
  • 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced, if they are big and the stems look tough pull them out.
  • 6 oz fresh spinach, I pull the stems if they are too thick and crunchy looking.
  • S&P
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning, I really like Penzey’s blend because it’s well balanced.
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz of Parmesan cheese. We aren’t animals, so I expect you to buy a block of actual parm. You don’t have to grate it, but I do expect you to chop it up into matchsticks.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high and season up the sliced chicken with the Cajun seasoning and a couple of shakes of salt and black pepper. Rub the seasoning in to the chicken and make sure it’s all evenly coated. Cook your chicken in batches making sure not to overcrowd, and use your spoon or tongs to just destroy it. We call this torn up chicken because you’re half shredding it while cooking and rubbing the pulled apart pieces into the seasoning and oil. Drain on a paper towel.

In the same pot, add another tablespoon of olive oil and lower your heat to medium. Add your diced onions and give them a minute to sizzle and then stir in 1/4 tsp of salt and the balsamic vinegar. You’re going to cook your onions over medium low for around 30 minutes. If they start burning lower the heat and if they dry out add a drizzle of oil.

I’m lazy, so I just push my onions up onto the side of the pot while I sauté my mushrooms. Remember how I feel about overcrowding the pan? I’m much more likely to forgive you for overcrowding the chicken than I am for ruining mushrooms.

Sauté the mushrooms for about 5 minutes and then toss your spinach in to wilt. If you’re me and you’re three glasses in, you’ve 100% forgotten to start your pasta. Cook and drain your pasta.

Add your chicken back to your pot and stir in the heavy cream. As soon as it starts to bubble, turn your heat down to medium low and add you cheese. Stir steadily while your cheese melts or you’ll end up with a big wad of ingredients floating in cream. Taste for S&P again at this point.

Stir in your pasta and dish it up. If you “take out the green stuff,” your Biggin won’t complain. He didn’t notice the onions, so I would say I won this round.


Easy AF Spaghetti and Meatballs

A weeknight wonder that doesn’t include jarred sauce thank you very much. It does have packet seasonings; I never said I was perfect.

My older kid, the Biggin, loves meatballs. LOVES THEM. It’s one of the only foods he doesn’t complain about when I cook it. My husband and I could not care less about meatballs and prefer meat sauce when forced to eat spaghetti. The Puppy eats anything, so it doesn’t matter what’s on the plate, he’ll lick it clean.

Spaghetti and meatballs is uninspired, unimaginative, and for years I made it with jarred sauce and some scrambled hamburger dumped in so the Biggin would eat something, anything. Over the last year (we apparently have to eat spaghetti and meatballs at least once a week), I’ve been experimenting and have come up with a quick “homemade” alternative that actually sticks to your noodles and tastes better as well. See ya later, jarred trash.

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs, (I like the garlic and herb)
  • Splash of milk, to wet the bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder

“Homemade” Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of Spice Time (or similar) Spaghetti Sauce mix
  • 1/2 cup of Pictsweet Farms frozen seasoning blend
  • 1 – 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 18 oz water or broth


Preheat your oven to 350o. In a mixing bowl add your breadcrumbs, milk, and beaten egg. Make sure the bread crumbs are completely saturated before you add the rest of the ingredients and mix gently. Get your hands dirty and you should end up with around 12 meatballs.

Bake those beautiful balls for 30 minutes.

For your sauce, start with your butter over medium heat, defrosting and cooking your frozen seasoning blend veggies.

Listen, this is spaghetti and meatballs on a Wednesday, we’re not spending more than 30 minutes on actual cooking, and what your Italian-American grandma (I bet she’s wasn’t even born in Italy) doesn’t know can’t hurt her. Once you get your veggies softened and buttered up, add the packet mix, tomato paste, and then 3 cans of water (you know I like to use broth instead, but to each their own).

“Fresh frozen”, aka lazy people veg.

Simmer your sauce while your meatballs finish and you cook your spaghetti. If all you have available is fettuccine, your kids won’t notice. I like to scrape the meatballs off my baking sheet and let them simmer in the sauce for a few minutes before serving.

This is just a quick way to make something that tastes a little better than Ragu and doesn’t have you slaving over a stove for 3 hours on a week night. If you feel wild try some sliced and sautéed mushrooms in your sauce!


Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Peak Cajun Cookery.

Gumbo is the state cuisine of Louisiana, a tradition for thousands of southern families, and something to throw punches over if someone tries to add trash ingredients to your mix.

Okra, filé powder, tomato, eggs, and roux. These are important choices that can shatter a southern family if one member goes rogue and starts throwing sacrilegious items into the pot. We don’t use okra or tomato in ours, and my dad is the only family member that adds filé in his bowl. We’ve argued over scratch roux vs. jarred and just what is it about eggs that makes dropping some into a simmering pot of gumbo transform it into the best thing you’ve ever eaten.

My dad has been perfecting his recipe for gumbo for most of my life and we’ve attempted to bully him into competing several times. Gumbo technique is sacred (even in SETX) and I had to bully him into giving me his recipe with several compliments and the help of a heathen brew that consists of cheap gin and Black Cherry White Claw (still not sponsored).

We don’t do gumbo by halves, we spend an entire weekend working it up. Gumbo is best started on Saturday afternoon with a home stock made with two fryer chickens and some limp veg you probably happen to have in your crisper.

This is more important than scratch roux. I said what I said.

You’ll need a big stock pot (people are going to exhaust you with their Magnalite chatter, but it’s not necessary to have one), two fryer chickens ready to go in the pot (clean them up and remove the nasty bits), carrots, celery, garlic cloves, an onion, black pepper, and I usually toss some bay leaves in. Cover your chicken with water and turn it up.

Let everything simmer for 3-4 hours (pull the chickens with tongs and shred them around an hour in) and skim the foam as necessary. Strain the stock and cool in your fridge overnight and skim the grease from the top the next morning. This is a clean gumbo and you shouldn’t have heartburn, even after eating three bowls.

Gumbo Ingredients:

  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You’ll also use that chicken meat you pulled from your stock carcasses, so please don’t do anything insane like toss it out.
  • 4 packs of smoked sausage. We prefer Beasley’s as it’s local, delicious, and they make a bomb green onion and jalapeño mix.
  • 2 – 16 oz. jars of Doguet’s roux. Here’s the thing, scratch roux is cool, but we already spent a ton of time making stock and scratch roux tastes exactly like jarred.
  • 5 big yellow onions
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 5 stalks of celery, plus their leaves
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • White pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Dried parsley
  • Accent flavor enhancer. Just a couple of shakes of msg, it won’t kill you… probably.
  • 3 bunches of green onions
  • 18 pack of eggs
  • 3 qts. Beef broth

Get your perfect, grease free chicken stock out and get your pot started on coming up to a hard simmer. Add your extra beef broth and roux, start with melting in one jar and then spooning in more from the second jar as you taste. Some people prefer really dark and bitter gumbo and others want it lighter. You’ll know when you’ve gone too far because you’ll have to break out a can or two of beef stock you luckily keep on hand to thin it.

Season up your soup base with some salt, parsley, the garlic and onion powders, and your ground peppers. Be careful with the ground peppers and start small. 1/2 teaspoon each of the black and white and 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne and then taste before adding more. We’re going to doctor the seasonings again later, so don’t panic and pour in an entire jar of salt. Pour yourself a drink and calm down.

Slice your ridiculous amount of sausage into thin rounds and lightly brown it all and drain on paper towels. You’re not charring this stuff, so pay attention and don’t get distracted while fixing another drink. You just want to degrease the sausage a bit and get a little brown color on it. This is not a guideline, if you overdo the browning and end up with charred sausage chunks, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Chop your bell peppers, onion, and celery. Add your veg to the pot and let it simmer for an hour, stirring whenever you come inside to refresh your bev.

Pull out the boneless skinless thighs and toss them into the pot and add your browned sausage as well. I usually hold off until right before egg poaching time to add the rescued stock meat as it’s already pretty broken down. Let your gumbo simmer for about 25 minutes. Your chicken thighs should start to shred on their own when you poke them with the ladle.

A watched pot never simmers, so take this time to finely chop your mountain of green onions. We like to add the onion whites to the pot right as we chop to give them a chance to soften. Save your chopped green ends until you notice your chicken is shredding. Toss in the green onions, the shredded stock chicken, and start adjusting your seasonings. Add more white/black pepper if you need it, but be careful with the cayenne. You might need more salt at this stage, but the sausage likely took care of the sodium levels. This is also the time to do a quick trinity blessing over your gumbo and shake in that Accent while nobody is watching.

Carefully crack all 18 eggs into the pot and let the whole thing simmer right under a boil until the eggs are poached through. Serve over rice, or potato salad if you’re weird.

It’s perfection.

My dad seriously makes the best gumbo. It’s so effing good that we call him The Rouxster as a joke when we try to bully him into entering a cook-off. I forced my husband to doodle the below picture for The Rouxster last week while I tried to talk him into letting me post his secret recipe. I like to think it’s the only reason he agreed, but it was probably the flattery and poorly mixed drinks.

– Lin

The Rouxster at work.

Pork Tenderloin & Brussels Sprout Salad

And now for something lighter.

As I slaved over these beautifully sliced sprouts and pork tenderloin, my husband wandered into the kitchen in search of an apple cider and paused.

“Uh, wtf is this Lin?”

A meat and potato lover’s nightmare.

When I informed my husband that we needed something lighter because we have eaten heavy cooking all week he informed me that, “Maybe that’s acceptable in some houses, but I’m not eating Brussels sprouts.”

Well, the joke is on him because he ate every bite on his plate and went back for more. You can trick your man into eating sprouts salad with enough dried cherries and pine nuts mixed in. Now, let’s grab a glass of our wine du jour (Bonanza cab) and get slicing.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin is best for dressing
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 handfuls of pine nuts, toast them if you want to be fancy
  • 1 handful of dried cherries,
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, don’t get the pre-shredded trash, get a block and do it yourself
  • S&P

Ingredients for Pork Tenderloin:

  • 2 Pork tenderloins (around 1 pound each), with the silver skin removed
  • S&P
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil

Let’s get our hands dirty.

Preheat your oven to 500 with your sheet pan inside. Once you’ve cleaned up your tenderloins and tossed that nasty silver skin out, rub them down with some olive oil (a tbsp should set you straight). Season with S&P, a couple of shakes of garlic and onion powders, and your Italian seasoning.

Pour another glass of wine while the oven finishes preheating. Pull your pan and flop your tenderloins onto it leaving at least a couple of inches between them.

Set your timer for 10 minutes.

Stop, salad time. Wash your Brussels sprouts and pat them dry. Trim the ends and then cut them in half lengthwise. If you have a mandoline you can shave them, but I can’t stand cleaning my mandoline so I just slice the sprouts finely until I get annoyed and then slice them haphazardly.

Grab a mixing bowl and squeeze your lemons into it. Whisk in your olive oil and don’t panic if it doesn’t look like a perfect vinaigrette, it doesn’t actually matter. Mix your remaining ingredients in and S&P to taste. Let the salad rest at room temperature while your tenderloins finish up.

I really like to flip the tenderloins at around 10 minutes. Keep them cooking until an instant read thermometer hits 145 degrees (around 8 more minutes). That’s right, tell your grandma to take her trichinosis talk and shove it in her apron pocket.

When your tenderloins are a perfect 145 degrees, pull them and let them rest for a few minutes before slicing thinly.

If your tenderloin doesn’t look like this, you’ve probably ruined it.

Give your salad a last toss and pretend you’re capable of plating (the three glasses of wine help tbh). Mound up some salad and artfully lay some sliced pork on top. Smugly watch your spouse and kids stuff their faces.

Cheers, Lin