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Pork: it’s what’s for supper…Pork Tenderloin Salad

Pork Loin Roast with Spinach and Mandarin Oranges Salad

Pork Loin Roast with Spinach and Mandarin Oranges Salad

“Lisa: I’m going to become a vegetarian

Homer:  Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?

Lisa: Yes.

Homer:  Bacon?

Lisa: Yes, dad.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa:  All those meats come from the same animal

Homer: Right, Lisa.  Some wonderful, magical animal.”

My husband, Yes!Chef! loves pork.  He will use any excuse to make it.  Growing up, I did not have good experiences with pork.  It always tasted dry to me…probably because it was always overcooked.  My mom, bless her heart, wanted to make sure we did not get sick from pork so she always cooked the juice right out of it.

Yes!Chef! has learned how to cook pork to perfection.  He does a couple of magical things like 1) Uses a meat thermometer

Cooking pork on the grill.  Use a meat thermometer

 Use a meat thermometer

2) Uses the sense of feel to also check for doneness

Squishing the meat to determine doneness

Squishing the meat to determine doneness

3) and he doesn’t wander off to go do something else (like I do) while his food is cooking.  He tends to his food.

Yes!Chef! tending to his food

Yes!Chef! tending to his food

Consequently, his meat is rarely overcooked or undercooked.  I have to satisfy myself that he has no clue what to do with a camera.

Yes!Chef! should stick to cooking food and I will stick to photographing it

Yes!Chef! should stick to cooking food and I will stick to photographing it

I’ve been a little negligent with my Lake Tahoe photography because I’ve started an online course called 30 Days to Better Food Photography.  I feel it’s very important to continue to learn and strive for excellence in my chosen field, photography, so I continue to take classes and do workshops.  Speaking of which, I took a “Fashion Photography” workshop a couple of weeks ago and it was one of the most challenging workshops I’ve ever done.

Fashion Photography

Fashion Photography

I’m not really all that interested in Fashion Photography, but it was a learning experience that I can apply to other portrait photography work.

And here’s a couple days worth of my food photography course:

Day 3: Camera Angle Choices

Day 3: Camera Angle Choices

Day 4: aperture choice

Day 4: aperture choice

Day 5: What's in the frame

Day 5: What’s in the frame

You may be wondering where Day 1 and Day 2 are.  You may even be thinking that I am hiding Day 1 and Day 2 photos because they are so hideous that it will make you scream or lose your lunch.  Ha!  The first two days were non-photo days and you will just have to take my word for it.

Moving on…

I bought a cookbook for Yes!Chef! for Father’s day called “Fire & Smoke; A Pitmaster’s Secrets” by Chris Lilly. He finally got a chance to look at it and he said he would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a great barbecue resource.

Fire & Smoke: A Pitmaster's Secrets by Chris Lilly

Fire & Smoke: A Pitmaster’s Secrets by Chris Lilly

Yes!Chef!’s recipe is lightly adapted from the one in this book called: Smoked Pork Tenderloin & Spinach Salad.  Now here is the dilemma. Yes!Chef! used the recipe from the book word for word except he substituted Splenda for the white sugar, Splenda Brown Sugar Mix for the brown sugar and he used Sriracha for the hot sauce.  Other than that, he made no changes.  He did say, however, that he would have preferred crisped onion rather than sautéed to add a little crunch on top.  Since this recipe belongs to Chris Lilly and he has a book out with this recipe included, I do not feel we should print the recipe here.  I would recommend buying the book, borrowing it from the library, or you can google this recipe and see what comes up.  (I found several versions.)

Grilling the pork in a skillet on the barbecue

Grilling the pork in a skillet on the barbecue

So why bother posting a delicious looking meal without posting the recipe?

1.) Technique of using a skillet on the barbecue to smoke and cook the pork loin is worth noting.  The pork is placed in the skillet on indirect heat (move the coals to one side and put the pan on the other.) It is also smoked (Yes!Chef! used Mesquite, unsoaked.)  The barbecue top is placed over the barbecue and so the smoke filters into the meat. A meat thermometer is a necessity. It is an easy technique, but it needs to be watched closely.  Do not go by how the pork looks (a little pink is okay).  Go by the temperature and by the feel of it and give it time to rest.  It will be juicy, smoky and spicy.

2.) Adding smoked pork to your summer salad of spinach, bacon, Mandarin Oranges and a great balsamic vinaigrette is easy to do.

3.)  Garnishing with crisped (fried in oil) red or yellow onions is another way to add the crisp factor that this recipe may be lacking.  (No offense to the Pitmaster because his onions were very tasty.)  Here is a recipe for that:


Onion Strings from the Pioneer Woman 

If you are wheat-free or gluten-free there are other recipes on the internet that will work.

Sauteed Onions

Sauteed Onions in the pan used for the pork

Serve it up in the skillet (clean it out first.)

Serve it up in the skillet (clean it out first.)

Finished product

Finished product

Have fun with this recipe jumping off point, or get the book.  The original recipe also includes a wet and dry rub for the pork.  Delicious.


4 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m really interested in using my iron skillet on the bbq. I’ve never thought of doing that before. The end-result is just beautiful. And I love your photographs. I think all those classes are paying off. 🙂

    August 8, 2014
    • Thank you so much. I never would have thought to use a skillet on the Barbie, but it worked great.

      August 15, 2014
  2. Your strawberry photographs are beautiful!

    August 9, 2014

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