This and that: Crazy Ingredient Challenge ~ Gingerbread Spice and Onions

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crazy Ingredient Challenge ~ Gingerbread Spice and Onions

It is that time of the month... Crazy Ingredient Challenge.  If you haven't heard about this challenge we are given two ingredients to work with from Jutta of Hungry Little Girl and then on the 20th of the month we then show the world what recipe we made with these two ingredients.  Some of the past challenges were Broccoli and Pumpkin and Avocado and Caramel.  This is the fifth month and I have had so much fun with this challenge.  It makes me think outside of the box and cook or bake with ingredients I may have never thought of putting together.  If you would like to join our group there is a button at the bottom of this post that will take you to the page with the instructions and how to join.  Come and have fun with us... Bring on your creativity.

This month's Challenge is Gingerbread Spice and Onions.  The first thing was to find out what Gingerbread Spice was.. Jutta was kind enough to let us know that there is a German and American version.  I decided that I wanted to use the Gingerbread version as I like the addition of the anise, coriander and cardamom. With the combination of the two ingredients I knew that I had to make a savory dish... didn't think onions would work with sweet but maybe I should have tried something sweet.. I am putting on my creativity and thinking outside of the box.  But I went with savory.  I had used anise with meats, although when I checked to see what spices would go with meats, no meats where paired up with anise.  I had to find out what meat would go with all the other spices and the most common denominator was pork and decided to go with pork tenderloin.  As I was decided how I was going to make it.. my first thought was in the crock pot.  This would be great to make up and put into the crock pot when I got home, sleep all day and get up to a wonderful meal.  The morning that I was going to make it... I had a uh-huh moment ~ I am going to sear it and that is what I did...

One thing when making this recipe.. be prepared for your family to come to the kitchen and ask when the gingerbread cake will be done..  It was a wonderful smell as I was searing the meat and my house smelled like gingerbread.. YUM.

Gingerbread Spiced Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms/ This and That #tenderloin #gingerbread

Seared Gingerbread Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

1 tenderloin pork (mine was about 1.2 pounds)
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp EVOO- extra virgin olive oil (I used Pompeian Olive Oil)
1 medium sweet onion
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp sugar ( I used Zulka Moreno Pure Cane Sugar)
8 oz mushrooms sliced
2 tbsp butter 
1 tbsp EVOO
2 tsp sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Pat tenderloin dry.  Sprinkle gingerbread spice over all sides of the pork tenderloin.  Let sit for 5 -10 minutes.
In cast-iron pan melt 2 tbsp butter in 1 tsp of olive oil over medium high heat.  Once butter melted and slightly brown, sear meat on all sides for a few minutes each side.
Place pan in preheated 375 degree for approx 20 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.
While pork is cooking caramelize onions and mushrooms (I did mine separately).
Slice one medium sweet onion.
In saucepan melt 2 tbsp butter in 1 tbsp EVOO over medium- high heat.
Place onions in and cook until soft about 5 minutes.
Add sugar and continue to continue to cook until golden brown approx 10-15 minutes.
In saucepan melt 2 tbsp butter in 1 tsp EVOO over medium-high heat.
Add mushrooms and cook until the start to get slightly soft.
Add sugar and continue to cook until golden brown approximately 10 -15 minutes. 

Once tenderloin is done, let sit for 3 -5 minutes.  Cut into slices and serve with onions and mushrooms.  Enjoy.


We had ours with a salad and garlic bread.  The pork tenderloin was moist and favourful.  Even my husband enjoyed it.  I was a little worried about him liking the meat as he is not a fan of cinnamon and when I was mixing the spices he was watching me and I had to put the cinnamon into the spices on the sly. The only thing that he said to me was the next time I would like to eat this warm.. A big problem with being a food blogger, you need to take many pictures to hopefully get that perfect one and not an easy task when it is dark outside and your lighting is poor.
I think this would be a great meat to make for Thanksgiving or Christmas as with the gingerbread spices it gives it a festive taste.


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  1. Wonderful! I made something similar and loved the flavors! Great job!!
    Jenni @ Jenni's Ferris Wheel of Food

  2. I cannot even imagine gingerbread spice and onions together! Has me curious now!

  3. I'm not really a fan of pork, but I know my husband would love this!

  4. Wow... that is a crazy combo of ingredients! It looks wonderful! Pinning!

  5. My stomach started growling as soon as I saw the picture. Your recipe is amazing! I have a pork tenderloin at home and this is going on my weekend menu plan.


  6. Looks good but I'm leary of the gingerbread spice. It might surprise me.

  7. Looks wonderful! I loved that this challenge made my house smell like gingerbread too :)

  8. I'm so glad someone made pork! I so wanted to make pork because I know that ginger and allspice are amazing with pork and just knew that the other spices would just work extremely well. But I just couldn't decide exactly what I wanted to do. I am so, so glad someone did it.

  9. Awesome! This sounds like so much fun! I'd love to join you guys!

  10. This looks yummy! I'd love to join in on this challenge! Sounds like fun!

    1. You need to join. It is a lot of fun and you can decide each month if you want to join that month or not. I love doing this project.

  11. Love this idea! Pork tenderloin is my favorite cut of meat, I can see this working very well.

  12. I imagine this smelled amazing as it was cooking. A great way to use the spices. Very creative.

  13. That is such a neat idea! Thank you so much for sharing on yesterday's Daily Blog Boost! :)
    ~ Brooke ~


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