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Every cook needs an easy, throw-together dinner that can be made ahead of time so that little to no preparation needs to be done before guests arrive (or your family sits down) for dinner. Featured in this photo are three dishes: Orange Marinated Pork Tenderloin, Carrot Salad with Dijon Dressing and Potato Soufflé (from my original cookbook Taste This!).

While I highly recommend this combination of flavors, this is not an all or nothing post. If you are just looking for that salad that can be made on a moment’s notice – this nutritious carrot salad is as chic as it is classic. It’s found in nearly EVERY French cook’s repertoire (and can easily be adopted as a salad staple by those who just want to play-French). Crunchy, fresh carrots blend with bright, zippy lemon mustard dressing in what is perhaps one of the easiest preparations in authentic French cuisine.

Orange Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Tenderloin Ingredients

1 cup orange juice

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 TBS fresh rosemary, chopped

3 tsps, garlic, minced

2 (3/4 pound) whole pork tenderloins

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Tenderloin Directions

Make the orange marinade by whisking together the orange juice, soy sauce, rosemary, and garlic. Pour over pork tenderloin and marinate for at least one hour, preferably overnight. (This is enough marinade to double the portion of meat being used if serving a larger party.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain pork, reserving the marinade, and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20-30 minutes until internal temperature has reached 160 degrees.

Meanwhile, strain the reserved marinade and bring it to a simmer in a small saucepan. Serve this as a sauce for the meat and/or over mashed potatoes.

Carrot Salad Dressing with Dijon Dressing

Salad & Dressing Ingredients

1 TBS lemon juice

2 tsps Dijon mustard

3 TBS olive oil

1 lb carrots, peeled and shredded

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh chives, chopped

2 TBS pine nuts, toasted

Salad & Dressing Directions

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, mustard and olive oil together until the dressing is completely blended. Stir the dressing into the carrots, chives, parsley and pine nuts. Add salt and pepper. Toss the salad again to blend the seasonings and chill it for 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 4-6.

Potato Soufflé

Caught in the act! Prima steals the prepared plate.

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