I'm a big believer in salads.
You know...doughnuts taste good- but I can honestly say I've never felt good about myself after polishing off a doughnut.
Salads, on the other hand, leave your body feeling good- and if you do them up right they leave you feeling full and happy too. I serve a lot of side salads at my house, just because they're so easy to throw together at the end of a long day and require pretty much no thought. As an added bonus they're a veggie side that my daughter will eat without complaint, which is always nice.
Salads are so versatile, and such a great way to use up whatever you have sitting around in your pantry or fridge.
A few extra dried cranberries...a handful of pecans...a little chicken breast or pulled pork from last night's dinner...anything goes, and anything's great. Toss in a little cheese- be it cheddar or blue, drizzle a little vinaigrette over the top (or a generous helping of ranch if you're my daughter...), and you're good to go! A nice big salad topped with some kind of protein is pretty much the perfect weeknight dinner in my book. I especially love to top it with a nice piece of salmon. Mmmmm...yum...
Anyway, the Allstars partnered with Smithfield again this month (remember those heavenly
Spicy Smoked Back Ribs with Maple Glaze I made with Smithfield® Extra Tender Pork Back Ribs for Father's Day? So darn good!) and when I saw our recipe choices I knew I had to try out the Pork Caeser Salad.
First of all, it's simple- and honestly on a weeknight when you don't have a lot of time or energy to put into dinner, that's important. Really important.
More importantly, though, it's delicious.
The recipe actually called for their Peppercorn & Garlic Seasoned Pork Tenderloin but my store didn't carry that kind and I didn't have time to track it down so I went with their Applewood Smoked Bacon variety. It was absolutely delicious!
I have to say, I was a little thrown off by the instructions when they said to cut the loin into strips and stir fry it- generally I would use a less expensive cut of pork for a recipe that called for me to cook it like that, but it was so tender and so delicious- it really left me kicking myself for not buying loin more often. There's really not that much of a price difference and the Smithfield flavors are wonderful.
The dressing has just a few ingredients, and it's one of those recipes whose flavors really shine due to it's simplicity. I did play with it just a little bit by upping the seasoning amounts to my liking, but overall I left it alone and didn't add any extra ingredients.
All in all, whether you serve it as a side or a heaping helping as a main dish, this really makes for a delicious weeknight meal!
1/2 cup mayonnaise Hellmann's and Best Foods Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
6 drops hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Smithfield® Peppercorn & Garlic Seasoned Pork Tenderloin, cut into thin strips
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3/4 cup croutons
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground black pepper
1. To make salad dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce in small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Stir-fry pork strips over medium-high heat until browned.
3. Layer pork strips over lettuce in large bowl. Top with croutons, cheese and pepper. Serve drizzled with salad dressing.