I was over at my sister’s house this morning and my niece Clara inspired me for this post. She was talking about a book called Pinkalicious. When I got home and started thinking about dinner and going thru the freezer it hit me- Porkalicious! I have a lot of friends that are intimidated by pork. Here are some easy and delicious ways to cook pork:

1. Bacon- Repeat after me, “I will never try to fry bacon in a pan ever again!” Cooking bacon on the stovetop is messy, fatty, and makes your house smell like bacon for 3 days (all the men right now are thinking, ‘and the problem is?’). Bacon in the oven is the way to go. Pre-heat to 375, line a cookie sheet with foil, (if you have it) put a baking rack on top of the foil and then put the bacon laid out on top of that. After 15 or so minutes you will have perfect, evenly cooked, crispy bacon (and most of the excess fat will be below the rack). Clean up- Let the bacon fat dry and throw foil in the garbage. Simple as that.

2. Chops- Repeat after me, “I will never over cook my pork chops ever again!” You know when you go to someone’s house and they are serving pork chops and they are so dry you can’t chew them? It reminds me of National Lampoons Chritmas vacation when Clark is dunking his turkey in his water glass. Pork does not need to be burned beyond recognition. Pork chops should be delicious and juicy and full of flavor. There are approx a million pork chop recipes out there so you can look them up (www.foodnetwork.com) but there is one go-to recipe in my house that my husband regularly asks for. I season the chops with salt and pepper, then I rub them down with a good stone ground mustard. After the sit for about 30 mins in the fridge, I bake them at 325 for however long it takes to get them to 145 degrees (if you don’t have a meat thermometer, you will always over cook pork and chicken- get one).

3. Tenderloin- Repeat after me, “I will not be intimidated by pork tenderloin ever again!” Pork tenderloin is one of the tastiest, healthiest, and easiest things to make for a family or for entertaining. The way I do it is very simple. Pat dry with paper towel (This is good to do with all meat when you take it out of the package. You want your meat to be dry when you begin.). Rub a little bit of olive oil on the meat, and season well. I feel like people gravely under-season their food. Do not be afraid of sodium if you make 90% of your food at home from scratch. The salt you put on the pork is way less than any thing that has been pre-prepared from the box. I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper flake but you can use what ever you like. Tip: the bigger/fatter the tenderloin, the more seasoning you want to use. After you’ve seasoned the meat, lightly oil a very hot skillet/pan. Add the tenderloin (you should hear the searing sound), let cook 1-2 minutes, rotate, repeat, rotate, repeat. In other words, you want to sear it (turn it brownish) on all sides. Finish in a 350 degree oven. I can’t tell you how long, because I don’t know how big your tenderloin is. Again, cook it to about 145. Take it out of oven and let is sit for 10 min (more if it is really big). You NEED to let it rest or you can kiss the juices goodbye. Remember the promise from #2 about over cooking pork. Your meat can be a little pink. It’s not the same as chicken. Now, you can’t have it rare like beef, but a little pink is okay.

Questions? No more excuses, embrace the pig. Porkalicious!