- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The aunt for whom I am named has been an inveterate hostess for more than 50 years. This charming woman is coming with her daughter to my house for a few days. I want to be as welcoming to my aunt as she was to me. For our first meal, I’ve chosen small, make-ahead blue cheese souffles, a main course of mustard-coated pork tenderloins roasted with a melange of root vegetables, and a dark chocolate almond torte, which can be baked in advance, to end our meal.

Roasted pork tenderloin with a melange of root vegetables

8 medium (-pound) shallots

3/4 pound medium carrots

1 pound small red-skin potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 12- to 14-ounce pork tenderloins, trimmed of excess fat

1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 medium cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary plus a few sprigs for garnish, optional

Peel shallots, then halve lengthwise. Peel carrots and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch-long pieces. Quarter potatoes.

In a large, heavy, flameproof roasting pan or a large, ovenproof saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add shallots, carrots and potatoes and saute, stirring 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and teaspoon pepper. Remove vegetables to a side dish and set aside.

Pat pork tenderloins dry. Combine 1 teaspoon each salt, pepper and dried crushed rosemary and rub on all sides of each tenderloin. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add remaining oil. When very hot, brown the meat on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard and garlic and brush over top and sides of pork in the roasting pan. Return vegetables to pan, scattering them around the meat.

Transfer pan to center rack of 350-degree oven. Stir vegetables every 5 to 8 minutes. Roast pork until thermometer registers 160 degrees, about 25 minutes, then remove to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil. Continue to roast vegetables until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a knife, 10 minutes more or longer. Remove pan from oven. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, if needed. Cut pork into -inch slices.Arrange vegetables around pork on platter. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary, and garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


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