Easter dinner was a success, considering I made several recipes I had never tried before and served them to company. Risky.

We had my husband’s two sisters’ and their husbands and families here and it made for a large crowd and fun day.

I’ll share two recipes now and save the other two (a delicious cilantro lime salad and fabulous carrot cake) for later. And trust me, you don’t want to miss out on those recipes – I was licking the plate after both were served!

As for today, the pork tenderloin was phenomenal – the most tender pork I’ve ever eaten and it had a delicious rosemary and garlic flavor. Plus I had enough left over to shred and look forward to making a version of the Honey Lime Enchiladas. Can’t wait!

The baked apples were tender and sweet and tart. My husband actually used the glaze from the apples on his pork and loved it. And finally, the asparagus…the recipe, a Barefoot Contessa original, comes recommended by Leigh Anne at Your Home Based Mom and it is now my preferred way to eat asparagus. Yum!

Pork Tenderloin with Baked Apples
Printable Version
Printable Version with Picture

5 pounds pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt
dash black pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 cup water

Baked Apples
4 Granny Smith apples, sliced
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Place pork in roasting pan. Make seasoning by mixing together salt, garlic salt, seasoning salt, pepper and rosemary. Lightly sprinkle seasoning mixture over pork. Cook in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until brown, then add 1 cup water. Cover with foil and cook for another 1 1/2 hours at 225 degrees. Pull out of oven and let sit about 10 minutes before slicing (I let mine sit covered in foil up to 30 minutes while I pulled dinner together and it was still nice and hot).

To make gravy, drain meat juices into pot. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Slowly add to pork juices, stirring constantly over medium-low heat. To thicken gravy, add more cornstarch mixture until gravy reaches desired consistency. (The gravy was my one problem – I didn’t have enough pan juices to make enough gravy so I had to improvise and use some packaged gravy mix. Added to the pan juices it turned out quite good.)

To make baked apples, lay apple slices on greased sheet pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar first, then dribble with melted butter. Cook in preheated oven at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes or until brown.

Serve pork slices with baked apples and gravy. Makes 12 servings.

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
from the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network

2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (about 30 large)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

If the stalks of the asparagus are thick, peel the bottom 1/2 of each. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and return to the oven for another minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe Source: from Lion House Entertaining

12 Responses to Easter Dinner Delights

  1. Roxie Rae says:

    Hi, Mel.

    Thanks for your explanation. I ended up using a large boneless pork loin roast, cutting it into two approximately equal pieces. The roast was juicy and tender and our guests loved it. Definitely a recipe I will make again!


  2. Roxie Rae says:

    Hi, Mel. I am planning to make your Pork Tenderloin with Baked Apples recipe for Easter 2017. We’re not having ham this year at my husband’s request.

    I’m confused about the size of the tenderloin you mention in this recipe (https://www.melskitchencafe.com/easter-dinner-delights/). Do you mean pork loin roast? I see pork tenderloins in the grocery store but they’re usually about 1 lb max. Or, do you mean five 1-lb pork tenderloins should be used in this recipe?

    I love your site and use many of your recipes regularly. Your pumpkin chocolate chip bread is one that I make many times every fall as well as during the holiday season.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Roxie – wow! This is an old recipe…I don’t think anyone has commented on it in years! 🙂 I haven’t made it in a long, long time, but I always use pork tenderloin (not pork loin) – the pork tenderloins I buy from Costco are a bit larger, so 2-3 of the tenderloins are about 5 pounds. However, I think this recipe could be adaptable to other types of pork, too.

  3. Marianne Bluth says:

    Could you do this in a crock pot or prepare ahead somehow? We have later church and will be too hungry to wait for over an hour to eat. Thanks!

  4. Erin says:

    Ooooh, those two recipes both look fantastic. Yum. And I love asparagus, but usually use it inside a recipe, with pasta or soup or something. I haven’t figured out how to serve it plain, so I will try out that Barefoot Contessa recipe.

  5. Deborah says:

    These both sound wonderful! What a great Easter menu – can’t wait to hear about the other recipes!

  6. Sarah says:

    That looks yummy! I had pork tenderloin for Easter dinner as well…with mashed sweet potatoes. Mmmmm….

  7. Steph says:

    Yum, everything looks and sounds delicious! Definitely bookmarked!

  8. Melanie Anne says:

    What a beautiful dinner! Your menu sounds amazing! I love asparagus too!

  9. PheMom says:

    That looks like it was a fabulous Easter dinner! Yum! (That is my favorite way to eat asparagus too!)

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