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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Apricot-garlic Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes and Fennel

Top Ten Ways
To Avoid Illness while Riding NYC Public Transit

1. Purchase a Hazmat suit.  Paint it to look like it isn't a Hazmat suit, as the NYC police might find you a little suspicious wearing a Hazmat suit on the subway.  Paint your Hazmat suit to look like a nice Italian three piece, wear at all times when riding transit.

2. Avoid licking the hand rails.  Seriously people, those are dirty.  Do you know how many thousands of people ride the subway everyday?

3. Listen before you sit down.  Hear any hacking coughs, snuffly noses or loud sneezers?  Don't sit next to those people, they want to share their virus with you.

4. Don't ride NYC public transit.  Walking is good for you, especially if you have to go fifty blocks and it's below freezing.  Think of how many calories you're burning!

5. Invest in face masks.  If anyone looks at you strange, just start speaking Japanese.  They'll realize you are from Japan, where face masks are totally normal.

6. Don't touch anything!  Don't even lean against the wall.  Just stand in the middle of the train car and maintain perfect balance until your stop.  This is especially easy when you are riding with a friend.  Let them hold the bar, you just grab tight! 

7. Keep your gloves on.  Make sure they are those big fuzzy ones.  You'll be less likely to itch your eyeball while wearing big fuzzy gloves.  Think muppet-like.

8. Get a train car all to yourself.  I've seen this technique done only once.  I'm going to warn you, it involves not showering for a long, long time.  Maybe this should be a "last resort" kind of suggestion.

9. Bring your own air supply.  This will most likely take the form of a scuba diving system.  Wearing a wetsuit is just optional, a fabulous option!

10.  Get a flu shot.  Don't tell anyone you got a flu shot as they will inevitably try to punch you in the arm.

If only I had this all figured out two weeks ago, when I contracted some form of NYC cold virus.  If I was going to be sick, I wasn't going to do it by myself.  I managed to get BF sick too!  The Wilde kitchen has been quiet and the Wilde household got extremely dirty.  Nobody wants to do laundry/dishes/pick up anything while sick, right?

We are both finally on the mend and I made us some dinner last night.  This was so delicious and simple, I might even make something similar to it for Christmas dinner.  It was so easy, I was actually able to get everything cooked and ready at the same time.  Give one recipe a try, or try all three!

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Apricot-garlic Pork Tenderloin
Adapted from Everyday Food

You'll notice I used grapeseed oil for this tenderloin.  Grapeseed oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil and has no flavor.  Olive oil has a mild peppery flavor that we don't need in this dish.  Give it a try next time you want to saute something!

1/3 cup apricot preserves
3 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp freshly minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 - 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
Grapeseed oil
salt and pepper

Whisk together first five ingredients.  Heat a large, oven-proof skillet oven medium flame.  Add 2 tbsp grapseed oil and swirl to cover skillet.  Lightly salt and pepper pork and add to the skillet.  Let cook for 5 minutes.  Flip tenderloin over and brush on about 2 tbsp apricot mixture.  Place entire skillet in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and flip tenderloin over.  Brush on another 2 tbsp apricot mixture.  Return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the pork reaches 150 F internal temperature.

Once the pork tenderloin reaches 150 F, remove from the oven and place pork on a cutting board to rest.  Brush on last of the apricot mixture and let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing into 1-inch pieces.

Potatoes and Fennel
From Everyday Food

1/2 medium fennel bulb
1 pound fingerling potatoes
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tbsp olive oil followed by the fennel.  Let cook for 8 minutes, turning occasionally and browning on all sides.  Add potatoes and let cook for 3 minutes.  Add chicken stock and cover skillet.  Allow vegetables to cook for 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Grape and Celery Couscous Salad
Adapted from Everyday Food

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup Isreali couscous
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
1 stalk celery, sliced thin

Bring chicken stock to a boil.  Add couscous and stir.  Reduce heat to low and let cook for 10 minutes.  Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, stir to combine.  Toss in grapes and celery.
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