I had an extra day off from work thanks to the Thanksgiving long weekend and decided to make a bit of a fancier meal to celebrate.
I did most of the prep work in the morning so I could clean everything up and all I had to do was throw everything in the oven when it was supper time.
Pork tenderloin cooked in the slow cooker, some stuffing & sausage balls, Hasselback potatoes, and some spaghetti squash. So many flavors and textures and, you know what, they went soooo well together.
Next time I need to impress some guests, I am definitely making this combination again.
The stuffing balls are my new favorite.
I decided to share all 4 recipes with you today just in case you decide to give it a go too!
We'll start with the Pork Tenderloin...
Pork Tenderloin In The Slow Cooker
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp Italian seasonings
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp malt vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
Combine soy sauce, olive oil, seasonings, sugar, honey, vinegar, and garlic in a large Ziploc bag. Marinate meat in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
When ready to cook, place meat and marinade in the slow cooker on low and cook until meat is done, about 4 - 5 hours depending on your slow cooker. Check temp with a meat thermometer.
When the rest of the meal is ready to serve, remove tenderloin from slow cooker and slice.
And now for the stuffing balls.
Sausage & Stuffing Balls
1 lb sausage meat
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese, shredded
1 box Stove Top Stuffing mix
1 cup chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat, set aside.
In a medium frying pan, cook sausage meat until no longer pink. Add in the celery and onion and cook, stirring often, until vegetables have softened - about 4 - 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a bit.
In a large bowl, combine cranberries, cheese, and Stove Top Stuffing. Stir in the cooked sausage mixture.
Add in the chicken broth and 2 eggs. Stir well to combine. (You may want to use your hands to make sure everything is really mixed!)
Using a cookie scoop (or pinch off a golf ball sized amount of the mixture), press mixture into a ball and set on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or so, until balls are cooked through and tops are browned. (**Note - you can also prep these in the morning and simply cover on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until ready to cook the rest of the meal.)
How about some Hasselback potatoes??
1/2 cup butter, room temp
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp garlic powder
4 medium/large potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
aged cheddar, sliced into thin slices
1 recipe garlic butter (recipe above)
Parmesan cheese, grated fine
Make garlic butter - stir together room temp butter, minced garlic, and garlic powder until well combined. Scoop onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the wrap to shape butter into a long cylinder. Chill butter until firm. When firm, slice into very thin slices. Set in fridge until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400. Line an oven safe baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.
Bring a large pot of water with 1 tsp of salt in it to a boil. Place the potatoes in the boiling, salted water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool until you are able to pick them up.
When cool enough, Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices, being careful to only go about 3/4 of the way through the potato. Don't cut all the way through!!
Carefully place the thinly sliced cheddar cheese and the thinly sliced garlic butter into the slices in the potato.
Once stuffed, place the potatoes in the prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle with a little sea salt and finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400 for about 40 minutes - until potatoes are cooked through.
And, last but not least, some spaghetti squash!
Spaghetti Squash Bake
1 large spaghetti squash
3 button mushrooms, chopped
1/4 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out seeds. Discard the seeds or reserve for another use.
Cook the spaghetti squash by either microwaving, facing down, on a plate until fork tender OR by baking, face down, in the oven until for tender. (Microwaving can take between 10 - 15 minutes, baking takes about an hour or so)
In a small frying pan, cook mushrooms, red pepper, and onion until vegetables are soft. Stir in the spaghetti sauce. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375.
Prepare an oven safe baking dish by spraying with cooking spray, set aside.
When cooked and then cooled enough to handle; scoop one half of the spaghetti squash into the prepared dish. Spread the spaghetti sauce and vegetables on top of the squash.
Scoop the other half of the spaghetti squash on top of the sauce. Top with the grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 375 for about 30 - 40 minutes. Until heated through and bubbling.
Here are my notes on how I prepared everything so it was ready all at the same time:
In the Morning
1. Place tenderloin in the marinade.
2. Prepare stuffing & sausage balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Cover and chill.
3. Make garlic butter for the potatoes. Cover and chill.
In the Afternoon
1. Cook squash.
2. Place tenderloin in the slow cooker on low.
1 hour before dinner time
1. Bring salt water to boil & boil potatoes for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool until able to handle.
2. Prepare potatoes and place in 400 oven.
3. Prepare squash bake in baking dish.
4. Remove stuffing balls from fridge.
When potatoes have cooked for 30 minutes - turn down the oven to 375. Place potatoes and squash dishes on the center rack, place stuffing balls on lower rack.
Cook 20 minutes.
Switch the stuffing balls to the middle rack and the squash and potatoes to the bottom rack.
Cook another 10 - 20 minutes, until everything is done.
Following these instructions the tenderloin, potatoes, stuffing, and squash were all ready at the same time. **Keep in mind it really helps to know how your slow cooker cooks!**
Hopefully my instructions are helpful and not too confusing!
Looking for tons of tasty & crafty links? Visit these great blogs - Dizzy Busy & Hungry, Anyonita Nibbles, My Sweet Mission, Carole's Chatter