Barbequed Pork TenderloinThis is a recipe that I have meant to share for quite some time. It was passed on by our friend, Katie (Cannon) Miller and is absolutely delicious.
6 pounds pork tenderloin 3 cups art apples 2 cups raisins 1 cup chopped celery 1 bottle (16 oz) prepared BBQ sauce 2 cups brown sugar
Heat oven to 300 deg. Place pork tenderloin in large shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with apples, raisins and celery. Pour BBQ sauce over this evenly. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake until meat thermometer registers 185 deg (about 1 and 1/2 hrs). Remove meat to warmed platter. Garnish with unpeeled apple slices or parsley springs. Put the remaining sauce in a gravy boat to spoon over the meat. Yield: 8 servings.
I have never cooked a 6-lb. tenderloin. Here are the proportions I generally use for four generous servings:
2.5 lb tenderloin 1 1/2 to 2 cups apples 1 cup raisins 3/4 cup celery 1/2 bottle BBQ sauce 1 cup brown sugar
Generally I line the roasting pan with foil for easy clean up and cover the tenderloin for the first 30 minutes or so and then fold foil back for the rest of the cooking time. This is a great tasting recipe and believe me, the fruit compote which results of this is yummy. Try it for sure, it is sooooo good.
¶ 8:18 PM8 comments
Quick and Spicy Mexican Tofu1 tbsp each of olive oil and butter 1/2 chopped onion 1 or 2 seeded and chopped Jalapeño peppers 1/2 lb cubed tofu 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1 tsp each of chili powder and cumin salsa
In a medium skillet, sauté onion and Jalapeño peppers in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter until onion is transparent . Dredge cubed tofu in cornstarch and add to skillet, allowing about 4 minutes for tofu to brown (the cornstarch is better for this than all purpose flour, which is okay to use if you don’t have cornstarch). Add sun dried tomatoes and spices and cook another 2 to 3 mins for all to blend together. Top with grated cheese and salsa.
If you have an aversion to tofu, this might dispel those qualms. This is a quick, easy and healthy way to have a “Mexican food fix” without all the calories – and Kim even says it is good; in fact, she is the one who said to name and blog this recipe. I just concocted this one day when I wanted Mexican food for lunch and was in a hurry. Of course, you can double this recipe as I was just making it for myself when Kim said she wanted some of it. Try it, you’ll like it.
¶ 8:16 PM1 comments
Gingered Broccoli1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp sesame oil 3 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts 1 cup cooked chicken or beef pieces (optional) 1/2 cup peanuts
Sauce: 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup brown sugar
In a medium sized frying pan, heat olive and sesame oil over medium high heat, until hot. Add broccoli, green onions, garlic and ginger, cooking until broccoli is crisp tender. Add water chestnuts and chicken or beef pieces, heating through. Top with peanuts before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
My notes: This recipe is easily adapted to use other stir fry vegetables or for larger quantities. Just adjust sauce quantities accordingly. This is an extremely easy and quick way to use left over chicken or beef. I served it with plain rice.
¶ 8:15 PM2 comments
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Blackened Chicken RecipeLots of cooking has gone on since I last blogged, but I did promise someone this recipe. It is always a challenge to produce food for this household which will "hold" since I am never quite sure what time of day/night Kim and David and Matt will be here and/or hungry. By this I am meaning, not individual steaks or fish or something which must be served immediately upon cooking. I think it must be akin to running a "short order diner", but it is an endeavor which I enjoy daily and I am never sure it will be a success, cookingwise, or whether or not everyone will like what I've produced. I am a product of the depression and the "starving children of whatever country your Mothers told you had the worst famine". Consequently, I "sale" shop for groceries and mainly this dictates our menu. Unless, of course, someone gives me a hint or clue as to what they would like to eat.
This year's Thanksgiving dinner had the disaster we all dread -- the turkey did not get done on time. Although we had timed our dinner and had the dressing cooking across the street at a friend's house, somehow the worst did happen. When we put the turkey on the platter to rest, it was immediately evident we needed more time in the oven. The legs and outer breast was done, which was carved and "nuked" and dinner was served. Our friend had provided all the desserts and I did most of the rest, but in all the years of Thanksgiving cooking, it has never been the turkey which caused all this alarm. However, many years ago, I learned that something of this sort is not the end of the world and we just had another glass of wine.
Anyhow, this is one of the easiest and best tasting chicken dishes that I have ever run across. The original recipe came from "America's Kitchen "by Anthony Dias Blue, but adapted from a recipe by Paul Prudehomme of K. Paul's Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans and was for Blackened Redfish, but I wanted Blackened Chicken and Voila, this recipe of mine was born.
3 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this may be reduced or eliminated completely, if desired) 2 teaspoon dried thyme 2 teaspoon onion powder 2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 8 teaspoons butter, melted 4 chicken breasts (about 8 oz each)
In a mortar and pestle, pulverize the dried oregano and thyme and add the other spices and mix thoroughly. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can grind them in a coffee grinder - or use the powdered form of the herb. In a small bowl, melt the half stick of butter - and I use butter instead of margarine, but one could use oleo in a pinch or if preferred.
Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of Saran wrap and pound the large end of the breast to make a relatively even piece of chicken in order that they will cook uniformly. If the breasts are unusually large, pound them to make them thinner. When the breasts are pounded, remove top piece of Saran and rub them with the prepared herb/spice mix on both sides.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until beyond the smoking stage, about 5 minutes or less. If you are using a ten inch cast iron skillet, it will hold two or three breasts - do not crowd the pieces. Cook the breasts three minutes (use a kitchen timer or the microwave timer, but do time this step carefully). Spoon 1 teaspoon of butter over each breast; turn the breast over and spoon on one more teaspoon of butter and cook another timed three minutes. Place the cooked breasts in a Pyrex or any other type of oven proof dish and continue cooking breasts until all are cooked. And that is all there is to this recipe.
The breasts may be served however you desire - as a main dish with vegetable and salad. Or they are wonderful served thinly sliced in a Chicken Caesar Salad. They are great leftover as they make great chicken sandwiches. This technique of cooking has proved to produce a breast which does not dry out and is as good the next time as the first. This recipe is very easy and improves with repetition. It does not take much time to prepare the herb mix and only cooks six minutes - but you need to check the breasts (using a sharp paring knife) until you get comfortable using this technique. I use tongs for turning in order not to pierce the chicken breast too much.
Please try this and I think you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to make such a fast and wonderful tasting chicken dish.
¶ 3:30 PM8 comments
Winter Green Salad with Sweet Orange Vinaigrette with Honey-Roasted AlmondsAlso for you is a refined recipe from Thanksgiving. Several years ago, I found a wonderful salad recipe in the Seattle Times using the packaged Salad Greens with Oranges and Caramalized Almonds. I never quite got the knack of caramelizing the almonds down to an easy job. However, this year's Thanksgiving cooking guide "saved my bacon" by providing me with an easier version which I am happy to share with you. The men especially liked this recipe and David asked several times for me to make it. So here it is:
Winter Green Salad with Sweet Orange vinaigrette with Honey-Roasted Almonds
Serves 8 to 12
Vinaigrette (makes about 2 cups): 1 six ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate 1/4 cup white balsamic (did not have white, but used what I had) or lemon juice 1 tablespoon sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper 1 cup canola oil about 3/4 cup honey roasted almonds (recipe follows) prewashed, mixed organic salad greens
1. To prepare vinaigrette: Put orange juice concentrate in blender with vinegar or lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper and blend until well combined. With blender running, slowly stream in oil to create a smooth emulsion. The vinaigrette will keep, covered and refrigerated, for several weeks.
2. Prepare almonds and set aside.
3. When ready to serve, toss greens with about 1/3 cup vinaigrette and distribute among salad plates. Scatter almonds over each salad and serve. Since this was served at a large dinner gathering, I simply poured the vinaigrette over the greens already in a serving bowl and added the almonds and tossed. The first time I made this salad, I used peeled fresh oranges sections, but this time, I simply used Mandarin Orange Slices from the can which had been refrigerated overnight.
2. Toast almonds in the oven until they take on a warm toasted smell and turn golden brown (recipe says 10 minutes), but I have found that it takes less time than that and you have to watch them closely after three to five minutes or its a disaster and you have to start over - almonds burn easily, believe me. Meanwhile, put sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
3. In a large frying pan over high heat, combine honey, almond oil or butter and the flavoring and/or syrup and stir until mixture is boiling. Stir hot, toasted almonds into boiling glaze and cook, stirring or tossing, or one to two minutes until glaze has dried up. Toss almonds in the sugar and salt mixture to coat. Then scatter the nuts over a baking sheet in a single layer. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
¶ 2:54 PM2 comments
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
My first true entryMy Goodness, my first entry on The Cook's Blog (my daughter gave me the moniker of The Cook some time ago). It feels awkward typing into the ether even though I know eventually this message will go into the wide world of the Internet. Today I am restricted to physical movement due to an arthritic knee injury - what is a 67 year old doing trying a karate kick at Water Aerobics? Learned that lesson Monday and will not repeat.
Decided dinner would be taco salad and trimmings and wanted to make my own favorite Salsa and did do. In the Cuisinart, put two cut up Jalepeno peppers, a small onion, a half bunch of cilantro, a can of tomatoes, half tsp salt, half tsp sugar, a little chili powder, juice of a lime (or some vinegar if lime is not at hand), and a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Pulse until combined and store in a pint jar (with a little left over).
Now that is the first entry and not Doggie Treats which I decided to make since the Cuisinart was out of its storage place. Take a pound or so of beef liver and put in Cuisinart, add a tsp each of garlic and onion powders, two eggs, a cup of oat meal and a couple of tablespoons of Wesson oil. Blend well and pour into a 11 x 17 jelly roll pan which has been sprayed with Pam. Place in 350 deg oven for 30 minutes; take out and cut into inch pieces. Cool and store in plastic bags or storage containers. The dogs love this treat, but I learned when I first started making it that it must be refrigerated or it will become moldy quickly.
The next cooking tip to pass along: when braising hamburger for tacos, when starting to brown the meat, add about a half cup of milk - there is an enzyme reaction which makes the meat very soft. Found this tip in The Cook's Magazine last year and it works so well. I always wondered at Mexican restaurants why their taco meat had a softer consistency and this must be the way they do it; I had attributed it to perhaps their cooking it in much larger quantities and for a longer time. Try this, you'll like the results.
Hope everyone has a good day and loves to cook for their families as much as I do.
¶ 9:01 AM10 comments
Monday, October 17, 2005
Zuchini cook upZuchinni, garlic, sundried tomatoes, green beans.