For last nights meal I decided to bring a few items and raid the girlfriends freezer for the protein. All in the meal was about $30.00. She provided the pork tenderloin which I might add she scored a two pack for less than $6.50 because it was on sale and got an additional 10% off because she bought it on a Tuesday using her student card. So were in for about $5.90 for almost 2 lbs of lean and delicious protein. Also on the shopping list, a pre-made caesar salad (because I wasn't even thinking about salad until I walked by it at the store), 1 lb of white mushrooms, a 237 ml container of whipping cream, a tub of cream cheese (I was going to buy mascarpone cheese but a small tub was $6.79 W.T.F.) and a bottle of the cheapest white wine I could find because it was mainly for cooking (although the rest of the bottle did go nice with the meal). I brought a handful of potatoes from home and some Dijon mustard because she would never finish the mustard on her own and 5 lbs of potatoes would end up growing sprouts by the time she finished them. All said less than 20 bucks at the store plus maybe 2 bucks in potatoes and mustard. So were in for about $27.90 and the girlfriend made the dessert which was less than $5.
So what was this delicious meal you ask? Pork Dijoinnaise with mushrooms and cream cheese mashed (but more like whipped potatoes due to the lack of a potato smasher which was substituted by a hand held wand mixer = bad life decision), caesar salad to start and cinnamon rolls for desert. I wont get into the potatoes too much but I added butter to the boiled potatoes after they were drained. Then added a half tub of cream cheese, seasoned and then attempted to mash with the hand wand mixer which turned the potatoes into an over whipped paste like substance which although edible was not my greatest side dish.
For the Pork Dijoinnaise, I first heated up a fry pan with some olive oil and gave the two pieces of pork tenderloin a good sear. Meanwhile I preheated the oven to 325 and when the pork had finished its sear I placed it in the oven for 20 minutes to cook to a medium well to well state of done-ness. I used the same olive oiled pan and tossed in some minced garlic that was in the fridge. I gave the garlic a chance to heat up being careful not to let it burn. I then added the 1 lb of mushrooms to the fry pan and waited for them to sweat out and reduce to about half of there original size, on about medium heat. Then I poured a little less then half the bottle of wine into the mix. Now the important part, let the wine reduce to about half of what you pour in to the fry pan, I turned the dial up to medium high to help this process speed up a bit. By now the pork tenderloin was finished so I pulled it out to rest. Then I added the whipping cream, pepper and 2 generous spoonfuls of Dijon mustard to the pan. You want to let this reduce a bit too. Mean while I sliced the pork tenderloin into medallions and added it to the pan. Then toss the mixture ensuring the pork tenderloin gets a good coating of the sauce and mushrooms. Do not overdue this part as by now the sauce has reduced to a good constancy and the pork has already been cooked to perfection by the oven and leaving the pan on the heat to long may result in the pork becoming overdone.
Meanwhile the girlfriend set the table, dressed the salad, had the wine breathing and a candle lite. I plated the potatoes on half the dish and the pork, mushroom and Dijonnaise mix on the other side. I also drizzled some of the excess sauce over the potatoes (so good as a sauce on potatoes).
And voila dinner is served and all for around $30. You spent some quality time in the kitchen with your significant other, you saved a few bucks by not going out and have a nice glow from the wine that will surely enhance the rest of your evening. ;)