September 7, 2010

Well, the Smoke Alarm Works!

When Hubby's parents came for a visit last Thanksgiving, the first morning they were here, my FIL decided he wanted to cook himself a breakfast mid-morning. I showed him where everything was and left him to it. The next thing we know, the smoke alarm is blaring. He had bacon going in the skillet so hot that it smoked up the whole front of the house.

Our smoke alarms are not in the kitchen. There are two hot wired into the electrical system, one at the front of the hallway around the corner from the kitchen and one in the back of the hallway by the bedrooms. And since they're hot wired, you can't just remove the batteries if you want to.

When Hubby rented the Demo Hammer last October to blast out all the old white tile, we had the alarm going off for days from all the tile dust floating in the air. But in the 11 years we had lived here, I had never set the smoke alarm off cooking. I was completely amazed that my FIL managed to do it within hours of arriving and he even offered to teach me how to set it off. Ha ha!

So imagine my surprise when I cooked family dinner last Thursday and managed to do it all by myself. I made a Parmesan Crusted Pork Tenderloin which cooks at a very high heat, but I'd made this dish many times before without a problem. The only difference was this time I had a large 3-1/2 pound tenderloin instead of a small 1 to 2 pounder.

Not long after I started it roasting in the oven, I could see that the kitchen and family room were starting to smoke up. Apparently, the 450 degree heat and the size of the tenderloin caused my baking sheet to buckle, which caused spillage of pork juice and cheese on the cooking elements in the bottom of the oven, which, of course, continued to smoke throughout the entire cooking time. Which triggered the smoke alarm. Fun, fun, fun. When I went back and checked my recipe notes from making this previously, I realized that I had kept the oven at 425 degrees, which I'm sure made all the difference!

The Granddaughter and our Youngest Daughter were watching TV and reading in the family room. Hubby is working in our home office. And I'm running around like a lunatic, opening doors and windows, trying to keep Miles-You-Little-Bastard from escaping down the street. I'm frantically waving a dish towel at the alarm that is approximately 13 feet high on the wall. Plus the air conditioning was blasting and it was around 108 degrees out so all the cool air is rushing outside ... but not the smoke.

I finally decided to simply let the alarm sing, soldier on and just keep cooking since it wasn't going to stop smoking until I turned the oven off. In addition to the "smoked" pork, we had mashed red potatoes, corn and French bread. Fortunately, everything tasted great, including the tenderloin, which was incredibly juicy. So if I haven't scared you off from making this dish, here's the recipe ...

Parmesan Crusted Pork Tenderloin

2 pound pork tenderloin
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup good parmesan cheese, grated (not the powdered kind in a can)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, Italian seasoning, pressed garlic and salt. Form this mixture onto the top and sides of the tenderloin. Bake approximately 40 minutes. (Standard cooking time for pork tenderloin is 20 minutes per pound and inner temperature should reach 160 degrees with your meat thermometer.)

Another dish that's great with the roasted tenderloin is ...

Roasted Vegetables

2 T olive oil
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3 or 4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 sweet potato
1 carrot
1 onion
8 crimini mushrooms

Cut sweet potato, carrot and onion into 1" chunks. Mix with whole mushrooms, olive oil, Italian seasoning, pressed garlic and salt. Then spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes at 425 degrees.

When you do these together, roast the veggies for 5 minutes, then pull the baking sheet out of the oven, clear a space in the center for the pork, add the parmesan cheese mixture to the tenderloin, return to the oven and bake another 40 minutes (this is for 2# of pork tenderloin).

I suppose it's a good thing to test your smoke alarms periodically! ;-P


Tiffanee said...

Love the story!! The pork looks so delicious!! Will you email me at I need your email so I can send you the code for your csn winnings. Thanks.

Tightwad Mom said...

Ha!Ha!Ha! I just love you! You made my whole day with that story! I can just see you racing around the kitchen flappin' your apron and cursing the dog! Your roast looks delish! I just bought a pork tenderloin and Parmesan cheese on sale,so I will have to give this recipe a try!

Snowcatcher said...

What an adventure! Yes, we need to check our smoke alarms every once in a while, but you certainly found an attention-grabbing way of doing it! Glad the meal turned out nevertheless!

Carol said...

Around here that alarm usually means dinner is ready. I cook so seldom anymore that when I do, I usually forget, and I'll be in the family room having my usual dinner of ice cream and oreos when the alarm goes off.

Dazee Dreamer said...

thanks alot for the nummy looking picture while I'm eating my ramon noodle. I need a personal chef.

Loren said... are such a HOOT!!! I just love you!
After all that I am sooo happy it all turned out delicious! It sure looks delicious!!!

Baby Sister said...

Lol. Love the story!! And the food looks amazing!! I'm going to have to try it one day. :)

Debby said...

Oh my, I hate when that happens.
Dinner looks like it came out perfect. Yummy!