Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An American Meal in a Spanish Kitchen

Jerry has been cooking dinner a bit more often lately.  So, no longer is every one of our meals in Sevilla enjoyed in a restaurant — although, on another recommendation from Ricardo, owner of our electronics and appliance store Casa de las Planchas (House of the Irons), we did have an excellent tapas lunch yesterday at Mesón Olalla in Plaza de la Encarnación.

One of my favorite meals that Jerry used to cook in California was Cinnamon Apple Pork Tenderloin.  Jerry discovered the recipe when he was about to prepare dinner one night in Irvine and I offered to run to the store to pick up some things.  He gave me the list, which included some cut of pork or another and I returned home with a beautiful pork tenderloin.  That was not what Jerry had in mind but, undaunted, he went online and found this pork tenderloin recipe on  We loved it so much it became one of Jerry's standards.

The other night, Jerry decided to produce the same meal here.  He couldn't find pork tenderloin and he forgot to buy cinnamon.  So, he improvised.

I feel obligated to comment on improvisational cooking.  It is something I cannot do.  If I were again to prepare Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and someone instructed me...

In your microwaveable dish, add 1-1/3 cups hot water.
Pour the pasta from the box into the hot water
(be sure to remove the packet of cheese sauce first).
Stir the pasta and put the uncovered dish in the microwave oven.
Cook for 7–9 minutes on HIGH.
You must stir the pasta every 1–2 minutes so it doesn't stick together.
It has cooked long enough when there is no longer water in the dish.
Make sure to check it often, and do not overcook.

... that is precisely what I would do (although I would have no idea how to know if it was being overcooked until it was in fact overcooked).

But, back to Jerry, someone who can safely improvise in the kitchen. As a side dish for the excellent pork, apples, and raisins, he included another old standby, sauteed cabbage.  And he added a new dish (for us), spinach with raisins and pine nuts.  ¡Increible!



  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins


Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the pork tenderloin in a roasting pan or casserole dish. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir. Spoon the apple mixture around the pork tenderloin. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Remove the lid and spoon the apple mixture over the tenderloin. Return to the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until pork tenderloin is browned and cooked through. A meat thermometer in the center should register at least 150° to 160°.
Serves 4.


  1. Hello Mitch:
    Now, this is all sounding very homely indeed. Jerry cooking supper for you both, and a particularly delicious looking one too, and enjoying it in your own home. How lovely!

    Thank you so much for the kind comments which you left on our previous post and to which we have made general reply.

  2. Marrano a la canela...I have some variations of well as other fabulous recipes...I mix Cuban, Spanish, American and even give it touches of Asian. If you care I could send you some...they are my own originals but no secrets here...I love to share and then hear the comments on the results.


  3. Looking good on the meal front.I absolutely love to eat spinach maybe next time I will add raisins and pinenuts as a variation.

  4. Looks fabulous, and I'm loving the side dish.

  5. J&L:
    So happy to have you back. Yes, we've settled in quite a bit in recent weeks.

  6. Raulito:
    Jerry loves new recipes and I love being fed, so please send recipes if you've got time. And thanks. Also, thanks always for visiting and commenting.

  7. the cuby poet:
    I also love spinach and I loved the combination of textures (and flavors) in this dish.

  8. Bob:
    The spinach was excellent. I definitely recommend it.

  9. Cooking is hard. That's why I keep a French Chef on staff.
    That meal looks delicious!

  10. Mark:
    I didn't remember that you also aren't a cook. But I have been "cooking" for myself every morning. I open a container of Greek yogurt and put it in a bowl. I then open a can of fruit, drain it, and add it to the bowl of yogurt. I stir. Tres gourmet!

  11. This reminds me of a pork tenderloin apple bake that David Allen Waters posted on his food blog, but now I can't find it. Cook more! :)

  12. I'm like Jerry, I love to cook and this looks delicious. I've never made this recipe, but I will soon. Don't have raisins nor craisins in the house this minute. In the photo is it being served with steamed cabbage and spinach with pine nuts?

  13. OK. I need to read more carefully! I just jumped to the photograph. Sorry!

  14. Writer:
    I hope you're not suggesting that I personally should cook more! That would be a disaster. But, I will definitely tell Jerry to cook more. (I look forward to hearing from David about his recipe.)

  15. Kristi:
    So glad you looked further. Jerry is napping and that really was a cooking question!

  16. Mr,B: This sounds and looks amazing....writer is right, I do make something much like this....I really want the recipe for the spinach...PLEASE (he says with his best pouty lip ;)

    cook on Jerry, cook on

  17. David:
    I'll get that recipe from Jerry (no pouty lips required). It is so, so good!

  18. Mmmm looks fabulous. Love the cinnamon/brown sugar combo. And the veggies look so good too...might have to try this one.

  19. Jerry, Fritz and I are the same kind of cooks. I love to experiment with new recipes, particularly international ones (current faves are paella and tagine). Fritz can take four or five things that happen to be around and improvise wonders. The pork tenderloin sounds really great and will surely be tried here before the middle of next week.

  20. Mouth watering! You're a lucky guy having your own personal Chef.

  21. The pork and the side dishes look delicious. Looks like a meal that would be a big hit at our house.

  22. Delicious food cooked and eaten in your own home, how very satisfying and homely. I'm a bit like Jerry from the sound of it, in that a recipe is just a starting point. I love to cook and when I am in the mood I can happily spend all day in the kitchen experimenting and pottering around, especially when I am cooking for friends and family. I live alone though so there are days when I don't feel like being creative and that's when a well-stocked freezer comes in handy.

  23. Mitch, tell Jerry the meal looks SOOO yummy, all of it, but especially the spinach - what a great twist! I'm going to try it this weekend. Love you both!

  24. Caitlin:
    You will especially love the spinach dish, I'm sure. I'll get the recipe from Jerry and will send it tomorrow, although I think you'll figure it out for yourself.

    I am in awe of people who can take four or five things that happen to be around, and then turn them into a meal. Can't wait to hear what you think of the pork tenderloin. (Jerry, I think, always doubles the apple/raisin stuff.)

    I am definitely a lucky guy (and he's lucky to have someone willing to clean up after him)!

    Hope you try it at home and tell me how it goes.

    I can happily spend a day in the kitchen organizing the spices and everything else. That's I far as I get.

    You will absolutely love the spinach dish. I just mentioned I will get the recipe from Jerry tomorrow in case you don't want to improvise yourself.


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