Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Green Eggs and Ham Dinner Date

My husband and I share an alma mater with Dr. Seuss, and we have kept Abby's library well-stocked with his works. Green Eggs and Ham is one of her current favorites, so what better theme for a dinner date?

Pesto-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Spinach Scramble

Pesto-Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes

3 oz fresh basil, rinsed, stems removed
1/4 cup walnuts
3 Tbsp ground Parmesan
1-2 cloves garlic
pork tenderloin (1 to 1.5 lbs)
olive oil spray

Preheat the oven to 425F. In a food processor, grind together the basil, walnuts, Parmesan, and garlic until a smooth paste forms. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly spray the pork with olive oil and set it on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, press the pesto mixture onto the top and sides of the pork, forming a crust. Spray the top of the pesto with a little more olive oil spray; roast the pork for about 45 minutes, until done.

Spinach Scramble
Prep time: 15 minutes

1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the spinach, eggs, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat; add egg mixture and cook, stirring to scramble.

Grasshopper Brownies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 30-35 minutes

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 oz white chocolate (or white chips)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp mint extract
green food coloring (optional)
1 cup extra white chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8x8" pan with foil.

In a small bowl, combine the butter and white chocolate; microwave for about 1 minutes, until butter is melted. Whisk to melt the chocolate chips. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the vanilla and mint extract. Whisk in the melted chocolate and butter. Add green food dye*. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined; gently fold in the extra chocolate chips, if desired. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden and the center is set.

* about the food dye - I used all-natural vegetable dyes, and though my mixture turned a vile dark green, when it came out of the oven - there was no green left! I don't know if this was because I was trying these all-natural dyes or if I really just didn't have enough. I'm going to make these again with artificial green dye because they were tasty, but I wanted them green, darnit!

* * * * *

The whole dinner went over really well with the girls! Neko had seconds, and Abby finished the leftover spinach scramble for breakfast this morning. My husband finished most of the pork for dinner last night - it was really yummy!


C. Beth said...

That pork sounds great--we love pesto!

Very clever meal!

C. Beth said...

I finally made the pork tonight (with store-bought pesto--lazy me) and it was a huge hit. I think Chickie ate more than I did (literally!) The Engineer loved it too, as did I. The pork/pesto taste combination was perfect. And soooo easy. Thanks!

Kara said...

I'm glad you all liked it! I'm always shocked by how much Abby likes pork (she eats more of it than I do!), so I'm glad Chickie was a fan as well! My store-bought pesto is always so runny that I don't know if I could get it to stay on the pork. Otherwise, that is a GREAT time-saver! :-)