Happy 1st week of May to you all! :)
Last night, being the 1st day of the week (according to the calendars) and the 1st day of a new month, I thought I'd make my triumphant return to the world of recipes. I was looking forward to trying this new find courtesy of The Food Channel. I had originally planned to make this for the big fam dinner on Easter night but since we didn't actually really end up eating dinner, thanks to a long stay at a large buffet for brunch, I thought that I'd try it last night. We rarely have pork in this house, and when I say rarely I really mean close to Never, with the exception of bacon which just makes pretty much everything better. I know there are those out there (several of which are my wonderfully fabulous friends) that abstain from all pork and I thoroughly support you in your endeavor, but I just couldn't live as happily without bacon. And we're all about Turkey Bacon, but it's just not the same.... ;) At any rate, I decided, in an ongoing effort to not get stuck in the same ol' dinner routine, to try this 30 Minute Dijon Pork and Rice Pilaf (that's a 1 pan meal by the way!!!).
The reviews were "......eh". So much for my "Triumphant Return!"...
In all fairness, we all think the recipe would turn out much better with some changes in prep. So here's the original recipe with a few notes at the bottom.. :)
30 Minute Dijon Pork and Rice Pilaf
Prep 10 min Cook 20 min
2 teaspoons canola oil (I used evoo)
3/4 pound (12 ounces) pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips (I used 1lb)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
1-1/2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked (I used white)
1 medium apple, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I omitted since I couldn't find any that weren't possibly cross contaminated with tree nuts)
1 tablespoon GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup PLANTERS Walnut Pieces (DEFINITELY omitted in our house!)
HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add meat; season with salt and pepper. Cook 8 minutes or until meat is cooked through, stirring frequently. Remove meat from skillet; cover to keep warm.
ADD water, rice, apples, cranberries and mustard to skillet; mix well. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cover. Let stand 5 minutes.
SPOON rice mixture onto serving platter; top with the meat mixture. Sprinkle with onions and walnuts.
Ok-So I followed all directions until the end. I added the meat to the rice mixture about 2 minutes before serving to help add some flavor. The meat was pretty bland and the rice was still a tiny bit watery. The dijon flavor was barely there even though I added a little more than 1 tbsp. After discussing it a little we decided that we'll try this one again but instead, I'll add at least 2 tbsp of mustard in addition to using some when cooking the meat or maybe marinating the meat in the dijon before cooking. I'll also cook the rice seperately (there goes the wonderful '1 pan' feature) then add all together for a few minutes before serving. I'm going to look a little harder for cranberries without possible cross contamination because we all think they would really add to this dish.
This one definitely goes in the "try again" column. I hope you try this one, either in it's original form or with my suggested modifications. Please, as always, be sure to let me know how it goes!!
P.S. I know you'll all be shocked but, I managed to forget to take pictures of this one. See what happens when I go on cooking hiatus?! I forget what I'm doing!! (Cuz we know THAT'S real hard for me to do, hiatus or not......) ;)