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After a food filled holiday I always feel a need to make simple and easy food.

When my sister turned 40 she had an open house with an Italian buffet’ with lot’s of antipasti (cold cuts, olives and things). My mom was cooking, cutting and plating up a storm. This is not my favorite food at all. In the Italian kitchen, I prefer the pastas not the antipasti. The funny thing from that birthday buffet’, is that my mom made this one marinated pork tenderloin that stayed in my memory for a very long time . It was served cold and disappeared like butter in sunshine…  It took a long time until I finally tried to copy it from my taste memory. After trying it a couple of times it finally tasted as if my mom had made it. I hope you will like this way of marinating meat and that you will try to do this with chicken or something else as well.

I now have my own version of this dish. Pork tenderloin is my “go to” food. I always keep a few in my freezer. But in all honesty it really is so that I always can make my sister’s birthday marinated Pork Tenderloin. I make 2 loins at a time and just let it keep marinating in the fridge, it just gets better and better. Yes, it has happened that I have taken an extra trip to the fridge to grab a slice or two just because…

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Citrus & Soy marinated Pork Tenderloin.

1-2 pork tenderloin.

1/2 lemon.

1/2 lime.

1/2 orange (optional).

1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium preferably.

1-3 tbsp. Mirin. (Sweet. Tastes as rice wine).

1 tsp. hot sauce (optional).

1-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar. (optional).

The zest from the 1/2 lime & lemon.

1/4 cup cilantro (chopped into large pieces).

Directions:

Sear the meat in a frying pan. Make sure you brown it all around. Put the frying pan into a 400 degree oven so that the meat can get evenly cooked.  I prefer it to me medium well. It will have a light firm feeling if you poke it with a finger. (It will take about 35-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°).

Take out the meat. Let cool.

Zest the lemon, orange & lime. Put all ingredients into a zip-lock bag. When the pork tenderloin has cooled down, add it to the zip-lock. Note, put the meat in whole, not cut.

Put into the fridge. It must marinate at least over night.

Cut the meat in very thin slices. Make sure that you have brushed off any cilantro pieces.You can serve this pork with anything.

I like to use a mix of red & white quinoa, rice or couscous. Adding it to a salad works well too. Since I prefer to eat it cold, I usually just cut up cucumbers and add some zest and a little of the marinade.

I hope you will enjoy this as much as I do.

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I am all about making things easy and simple. During the weekends, I can cook complicated things, but for the weekdays, it has to be fast and furious!! However, it doesn’t hurt if it looks hard and complicated, that is just an added bonus.

There is nothing worse than you cooking for hours and having people not realizing that you spent most of your day in the kitchen… I learned that early on. One time, I must have been an early teenager, I cooked some chinese complicated dish. It took almost a whole day. When I finally was done, my brothers came home, and it just said “swoosh” and that was the end of that. All gone in a matter of a split second or two. I’m not even sure they knew what they ate. It was the last time I did a complicated family dinner. I was so disappointed. But, that is how my mother (and so many other cooking parents all over the world)  must have felt many times.

I try to come up with simple but fun ways of cooking things, in particular vegetables. It is a little “tricky” for some people to eat that in my house… I see these little isolated vegetable islands on my husbands plate… But, if I make things fancy looking or different from its original shape, it works. (Hm…isn’t that what one does with children, tricking them into eating vegetables??)

Anyway, A really smart way of skipping some carbs is to make zucchini spaghetti. It actually tastes great.

You can serve it to so many things. I choose salmon today…

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Sesame Salmon with Zucchini “spaghetti”.

Fresh salmon. As many pieces as per people you are serving.

Sesame seeds, white non toasted.

Zucchini, yellow and green. Be sure it is fresh and firm or it will taste very bitter.

1 Lemon or lime, squeezed. Or half a lemon, half a lime.

1/2 cup Mirin (next to the soy sauce in the grocery store.)

1/2 cup Soy sauce.

1/2 cup rice vinegar (or vinegar of your choice. You could also use balsamic vinegar.)

1/2 bunch of cilantro or Mexican cilantro. Finely chopped.

Pinch of salt.

Oil for frying.

Salt & pepper to taste.

Directions;

Use a zester  to carve out long spaghetti like strips from the zucchini. Disregard the center that has all the seeds. Collect all the spaghetti into a bowl.

Mix Mirin, soy sauce, lemon/lime, cilantro, vinegar & the pinch of salt together. Pour over the “spaghetti”. Let sit and have the tastes “marry” while you cook the fish.

Pour out the sesame seeds onto a plate. Salt and pepper to taste. Dry the salmon and push it firmly down into the seeds. Let it be very well coated. Don’t forget the sides. You could even do this a little ahead of time and let it rest in the fridge.

Heat up some oil on medium heat. Cook the salmon until seeds turn golden brown. Be sure to not have the heat on too high, or you would just burn the seeds and have the salmon still being raw.

Swirl the zucchini spaghetti onto a fork. Make it into a little “birds nest.” Plate it and place the salmon on top. Decorate with some slices of lemon or lime and sprinkle over some sesame seeds..

Enjoy.

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