Here in Maine we have become accustomed to bone-cold temperatures, snowstorms and even sleet. We know that the relief of a hot meal can transform a miserable day into a manageable one. One evening in January, when that biting chill was seeping into every nook and cranny of my body and home, I sought out “Roasting: Favorite Recipes & Essential Tips for Chicken, Beef, Veggies & More” by the editors and contributors of Fine Cooking (Taunton Press, 2014) on my overstuffed cookbook shelf and in it found warmth.

There are plenty of meals between the covers of “Roasting” that are good for any season, but during this interminable winter, this cookbook has been the perfect companion. Its mouthwatering recipes for main courses, side dishes and desserts help keep you warm from the inside out.

The final two sections of “Roasting” make it one of my new favorite cookbooks. One is dedicated to tips and tricks that can be helpful to all cooks, regardless of how long they’ve spent in a kitchen. The other provides recipes using leftovers of meals already discussed in earlier chapters, which will help make great lunches the following day.

On this particularly cold night, I selected a recipe for Pernil-Style Pork Tenderloin. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees (and hovered over the stove for as long as I could) before getting to work on a tasty rub for the meat. In a season that can become gastronomically monotonous, with one roast chicken after another, this book offers interesting options for all cuts of meat and fish. This Caribbean-inspired dish was no exception.

This was a quick, easy weeknight meal. One significant critique: It needed to cook for almost twice as long as was indicated in the recipe. I’ve adjusted the time below. Enjoy, and stay warm!



Pernil-Style Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4

3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 small shallots, coarsely chopped

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


1 teaspoon chili powder

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon sugar

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper


Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1¼-pound pork tenderloin

4 lime wedges

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine garlic, shallots, 3 tablespoons of the oil, the vinegar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, sugar, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pulse for several seconds to make a paste.

Cut the tenderloin in half crosswise and then butterfly both halves by holding a knife parallel to the cutting board and cutting a lengthwise slit to within ½ inch of the other side of the tenderloin. Spread 1 tablespoon of the paste inside each slit. Tie with kitchen string or secure with toothpicks and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy-duty, ovenproof, 10-inch skillet over high heat until hot and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, swirling the pan to coat the bottom. Add the tenderloins and sear on all sides until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes total.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 8 minutes. Turn the tenderloins over and spread the remaining paste on top. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each registers 145 degrees F, about 12 minutes more.

Transfer to a cutting board, remove string or toothpicks, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice ½ inch thick and serve with the lime wedges.

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