Main Dishes, Pork, Recipes

Mystery Dish: Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin

For this month’s edition of Mystery Dish, Marcie of Flavor the  Moments was our host. She gave us a lovely  list to work with, including: pork, fennel, kabocha squash, hard apple cider, heavy cream, orange, farro, hazelnuts, quince, thyme, maple syrup, and brussels sprouts. A lot of fun ingredients, for sure! But some were a little too exotic or expensive for me to get without a trip across town to a fancier grocery store, so simple it was!

Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDishBut simple doesn’t have to mean boring. This honey-thyme roasted pork tenderloin was anything besides boring! It was bursting with lots of fresh flavor–before roasting, the pork is seared in a hot skillet then coated with an amazing mixture of honey, butter, thyme, and orange zest AND juice. Talk about flavor overload! I could totally see making that honey mix into a fun spread on cornbread or a biscuit. It was SO delicious when I test tasted it [before it came into contact with the raw meat] that I was super tempted to put the spoon in my mouth later. But raw meat=gross=unhealthy so I talked myself out of that one. 🙂 It was hard, guys, but I did it.

Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDishAs the pork roasted, a wonderful hearty sweetness filled the house. I tended up having to cook the meat a little while longer than the original recipe advised, despite the internal temperature reading 145 degrees F as it should, hence the photos above being a little too pink for my liking. But I was chasing daylight and thought the pork was done before I cut into it, so I had to take the photos then or else incur the wrath of the dreaded florescent kitchen lighting. Ugh, no thanks. But once the pork was done, it was amazing–juicy and rich, with the perfect blend of herb-citrus-honey baked right into the crispy coating that appears as the honey bakes on the pork. I served my pork with an awesome butternut squash side dish that I’ll have to share before Thanksgiving because it has “holiday side dish” written all over it. Enjoy!

one year ago: Skinny Southwest Chicken Dip
two years ago: Mexican Rollups
three years ago: Individual Pumpkin Pie Parfaits
four years ago: Asian Chicken Bowls

Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

adapted slightly from Serious Eats

Ingredients:

  • 2 pound pork tenderloin
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme [or 1 tablespoon ground thyme] + more for serving
  • zest and juice of one orange
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Let pork sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before using, then pat dry and season with pepper and salt.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, sear pork for about 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove from pan and add chicken broth, scraping up brown bits, then remove from heat and reserve sauce.

Whisk together thyme, orange zest, orange juice, honey, and butter in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When pork has seared, place pork in a baking dish then rub with thyme mixture. Pour chicken broth into baking dish.

Bake for at least 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Let rest for 10 minutes, covered with foil, before slicing and serving with more fresh thyme.

See what other Mystery Dish gals made this month:

Baked Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze by Yummy Healthy Easy

Baked French Toast Casserole by I Want Crazy

Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Truffles by Culinary Couture

Hazelnut Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls by I Dig Pinterest

Hazelnut Macarons with Pumpkin Maple Filling by Baking a Moment

Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin from The Pajama Chef

Italian Sausage and Ravioli Skillet by Simply Gloria

Kabocha Squash Curry with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Farro by Chez CateyLou

Maple Glazed Fennel and Brussels Sprouts by The Well Floured Kitchen

Pear Hazelnut Bread with Orange Maple Glaze by Blahnik Baker

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Bacon, and Hazelnuts by Flavor the Moments

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Harvest Salad with a Hard Apple Cider Vinaigrette by Joyful Healthy Eats

{Vegan} Orange Hazelnut Maple Cinnamon Rolls by Sweet Tooth Life

Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

These Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs are a fun topping to a garlicky, buttery base of spaghetti squash. Though this dish takes awhile to prepare, it’s totally worth it!

Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash | thepajamachef.com

I don’t know about you, but I’m on a quest to eat as much pumpkin in the next three months as possible. It’s my goal to make/blog about at least one pumpkin dish per week! We’ll see how I do. 🙂 So first…I have a confession to make. I made this dish last year. In fact, it was one of the first new recipes I made in our new Nashville kitchen after we moved here last year. And it just didn’t make it on the blog. Oooops! Moving to a new state and starting a new job kinda takes a lot of time. 🙂 But despite the length of time between eating this dish and sharing it here, I think it’s utterly fabulous! Most people think of pumpkin as a sweet ingredient [helllooo pumpkin pie, cookies, bread, muffins, yada yada yada] but I love it when used at dinnertime. Though pumpkin by itself is actually a little bland, it can add some color, moisture, and substance to sauces, meatballs, or soups when used in a savory sense.  This was my first time using pumpkin in meatballs and I must say I’m super impressed! These meatballs were sooo flavorful and indulgent… if meatballs can be indulgent, haha.

Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash | thepajamachef.com

And don’t forget about the spaghetti squash! It’s garlicky and buttery and just plain perfect. It was Ben’s first taste of spaghetti squash and he loved it… especially because of the bacon. Everything’s better with bacon, right? Even pumpkin! With this dish you’ll certainly have one of the more unique ways to enjoy pumpkin. And it’s awesome! Hope you enjoyyy!

one year ago: Autumnal Muffins
two years ago: Peach Raspberry Clafouti
three years ago: Peach Shortbread
four years ago: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

from We are not Martha

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 pound ground chicken [ground turkey would also work too]
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Star Fine Foods Butter Olive Oil – or regular butter or olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Carefully poke holes all over the spaghetti squash with a sharp knife. Place in a baking dish and bake for 80 minutes, rotating halfway through.

While spaghetti squash is cooking, prepare meatballs. In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, pumpkin, ginger, thyme, panko, parmesan, and egg. Scoop mixture into golfball-sized balls and place in a baking dish that has been greased with cooking spray. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and crisp on the outside. [Hint: put the meatballs in the oven after the squash has cooked for about 65 or 70 minutes–that’ll be good timing so everything is finished about the same time.]

After 80 minutes, remove squash from oven and let cool.

When cool enough to touch, carefully cut in half. Scoop seeds out, then use a fork to remove the “spaghetti” and set aside.

In a large skillet set over medium heat, add olive oil and cook garlic for one minute. Add squash, sage, and crumbled bacon, then cook for about 3 minutes until tender.

Serve meatballs over spaghetti squash with parmesan on top.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friends Friday.