Sautéed Pork Tenderloin; O’Brian Potatoes

Do you ever lose the will to cook?

Not to eat, but to cook?

It happens to me, occasionally….  with the change of seasons.

I think the problem is that the seasons never quite manage to change fast enough to suit me.

I’m perfectly content with winter and winter cooking until that first warm, spring-like day.

Then I want to stow my tagine and soup pots and get out the barbecue grill and smoker.

Never mind that said first spring-like day is followed by weeks of cold, damp, windy rain.  I’ve had my taste of spring and I want it.


I’ll freely admit the same thing happens in the fall.

I’m happily grilling and smoking and making salads when the first cool night happens.  We light a fire in the stove and summer cooking is over. Even if the temperature soars once again my taste has turned to soups and stews.

It’s all mon mari’s fault, of course.

He’s conditioned me over the years.

He loves to cook outdoors and he’s in charge of summer cooking.

I still make the marinades and the sauces and the salads and the pastas….  But he actually does the cooking of the meats and potatoes and vegetables on one of his many outdoor grills.

Summer cooking is not about the work involved in preparing the meal or even (at least not completely) the method of cooking; it’s about the flavors and types of foods…. and being outside on a warm evening.

We eat completely, totally, different foods in summer than in winter. I would no more consider eating chili or roast chicken in August than I would eating a salad or barbecued chicken in January.

So I find myself in cooking limbo.

It’s warm, the grill comes out of the barn; it gets cold, the grill goes back in the barn.  It’s a warm sunny moring, I thaw something for the grill; rain comes in and I have to cook inside.

So I find myself cooking interesting combinations….. Like Lemon Meatball Salad.

Or I find myself doing something I rarely do anymore….

Cooking something that is extremely simple.

At which point I wonder why I don’t do it more often…. Has writing a food blog somehow caused me to eschew the simple in favor of the complicated?

In honor of simple food….

The recipe, Sautéed Pork Tenderloin, has been updated, nutrition information added, and re-posted here: Pork Medallions, Pan-Fried.

Serve with some simple potatoes:

The recipe, Potatoes O’Brian, has been updated, nutrition information added, and re-posted here: Potatoes O’Brien.

Simple can be good….

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8 thoughts on “Sautéed Pork Tenderloin; O’Brian Potatoes”

  1. Katie – I so so understand! Our spring has been wet, windy and cold! I just did a post – about the odd day, and I do say odd, because it does not happen that often, thankfully, where I just do not want to cook. Lucky you, your hubbie cooks! I am the only cook in this house, it would be nice to share once in a while. And yes, sometimes simple is the best way to go!

  2. Spring is difficult, too, because only a few new veggies are available in the spring and the winter veggies are either boring by now or really tired. At least in the fall we have the last few precious tomatoes and the squashes are coming in…

  3. Kate, that’s an interesting question. Right now, I could care less to cook — but hadn’t thought about why until this post. I thought it was my workload at work!

  4. Mmmm, this is my kind of meal Kate. If you live in Canada you are conditioned to BBQ even in the winter. Pretty funny if you think about it with our gloves on, hoppin up and down to stay warm. Thank gooness for hot summer days and the grill!

  5. “Cooking in limbo” – LOVE that concept. Although I don’t love the way it feels to be in limbo. I totally know what you mean.
    Sometimes simple really is the only way to go and these chops sound delicious!

  6. The calendar says fresh veggies and grilling. The temperatures and precip are saying “soups and stews”. That’s this time of year. Well, I can’t grill anyway since I live in an apartment.
    I like this recipe a lot for those days when you don’t know what to cook. Just make something simple and tasty.
    I haven’t heard the term O’Brien potatoes since I was in college!

  7. Pam, I think I’m rediscovering it – and certainly appreciating it.
    Ina, I look forward to his grilling and he looks forward to it when it moves back to the kitchen. Works well.
    Zoomie, you are so right – before the asparagus and artichokes start there’s nothing – and then there’s another lag till summer.
    TikiPundit, could be the workload…. could be lack of interesting produce….
    Val, we never did in the winter in MN and don’t here, even though we could… I think he’s just not interested in doing it in the dark rain….
    Joanne, I just need a warm sunny day to shake me out of it….
    Rachel, see – that’s my problem, calender and weather not agreeing. I’ve always liked them (when I make them) so I guess I kept the name alive.

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