whichever the factor really was, ideas started flowing like i was standing in the grocery store, refrigerator doors were opening and closing like the lid of a freshly stocked cookie jar and onion skins were flying to every corner of my kitchen floor. i decided earlier today to pull a peppercorn-marinated pork tenderloin out of the freezer so i knew i had that to start with. mushrooms sounded delightful (when do they not?) and those mashed potatoes from earlier were still buzzing around in my head, so off i went. the end product: oven roasted peppercorn pork tenderloin with "porked-up" mushrooms. caramelized onion and garlic mashed potatoes. and some peas. :)
i started with caramelizing the onions because they have to be ready when the potatoes are done and i didn't want to rush them. onions like butter and heat but too much of either is not ideal.
if i told you i didn't sneak any out of the pan at this point, i'd be lying.
once i got the onions close, i moved to the main act. i cut the pork tenderloin in half so (a) it would cook faster and (b) it would fit in the little pan i decided to use. cookie sheets with no sides are not best friends with things that get juicy in the oven.
i popped it in the oven at 400 degrees.
next step: potatoes. cut 'em up, throw 'em in a pot, and cover 'em in water. set to high. fork tender? done. easy as pie.
it was about at this point that i realized i needed to add something to the pork so it didn't seem like i just pulled it out of the freezer and stuck it in the oven.
mushrooms. but they need something. a sauce. or glaze. ahh yes.
most of things i do with mushrooms are adding them to sauces for chicken or sauteing them for topping a steak. thinking back, a boss once told me that if you mixed beef stock and chicken stock you would get something that tasted like pork stock. at the time i thought that was the most ridiculous thing i had ever heard, but after some thought i went with it. the beefy-ness of worcestershire sauce + a little powdered chicken base i got from an Amish spice store = tangy and perfect for my peppery pork tenderloin. hence the "porked-up" name. i love thinking on my feet. YUM.
time to finish those long awaited smashed potatoes! onions, minced garlic, splash of milk, salt n peppa! and we're good to go.
put some elbow grease in and you have some gloriously silky smashed potatoes.
omggggkjdhaudfjksflerh let me tell you something.
i'm not one of those cooks who knows they're really great cuz i know i screw stuff up, but let me just say something after making these potatoes: dang, i'm good.
finally the pork was done, so i took it out and let it rest a few minutes before i sliced it and topped with with the "porked-up" mushrooms.
i steamed some peas during all this, too, for some more veggies and an extra pop of color on the plate. i got it on the plate, snapped a quick picture and grabbed a fork.
this one's going in the stash of go-to recipes. you know it's good when i get back in the kitchen to clean up my mess and the leftover potatoes are still warm enough to nibble on. i dont think i put my fork down until every last mushroom was dragged through the delicious puddles of glory that always linger after a good home-cooked meal. :)