Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Orange Vinaigrette

I don’t cook pork tenderloin very often.
I love a bone in pork chop.
Something to hold onto.
Know what I mean?
Pork tenderloin always seemed to me to be a bit…I don’t know…light.
Boring, maybe?
It just wasn’t my “go to” pork for dinner thing.

However, I’ll go to it for this fabulous meal any time.
Bobby Flay’s way too cool rub . …lime juice and ancho chili powder and spicy hot Spanish paprika…makes you think it would be too spicy, right?

Wrong…it’s perfect.

And then the spicy orange vinaigrette to drizzle over the top when you serve it. Orange juice reduced to a sweet syrup and blended with sherry vinegar and more ancho.

And leftovers make a killer chef’s salad for lunch.

Nothing boring about that!!

Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Orange Vinaigrette
Adapted from Bobby Flay's From My Kitchen to Your Table

¼ cup ancho chili powder
¼ cup hot Spanish paprika
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix in blender and pour over two pork tenderloins. Let sit for at least an hour. Remove from marinade and season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill until medium rare to medium, 10-12 minutes turning and basting with marinade. *

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp ancho chile powder
¼ cup aged sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Heat the orange juice over medium high stirring often. It will thicken and reduce down to about a ¼ cup.
Put ancho chili powder, sherry vinegar and salt and pepper in blender and slowly add the olive oil and let blend.

Serve over the sliced pork tenderloin. Lots of fresh cilantro for garnish.
Serves 3 generously

* I have preheated the oven to 450, heated a cast iron skillet and filmed it with olive oil and seared the tenderloins on all sides. Then popped in the oven and let cook until done, takes about 20 minutes. Works great when you forget to buy gas for the grill!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Crispy Tortilla Eggs with Avocado and Lime

Well, to look at this picture, you’d think this meal was a hot mess.

By looks alone, it may appear that way. But taste wise…this simply rocks.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from The Splendid Table‘s: How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift.

Crisped corn tortillas, eggs, Vidalia onion, then let your imagination go…this version has avocado, tomatoes, green tomatillo salsa, a bit of Manchego…and then a spritz of fresh lime juice.

Great ingredients that come together fast to make one of the best and easiest busy night suppers you’re gonna eat. You can virtually clean out your fridge and be lazy at the same time.

Multi tasking at it’s best.

Brilliant concept.

Brilliant book.

Crispy Tortilla Eggs with Avocado and Lime
Adapted from The Splendid Table‘s: How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

A couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil
4 stale corn tortillas, cut into long narrow strips
½ medium Vidalia onion, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup green tomatillo salsa
A couple of mini Bradley tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup grated Manchego cheese
1 large ripe avocado, sliced
1 lime, halved
¼ cup sour cream, Greek yogurt or crème fraiche
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (I didn’t have any but it would be fab on this)

Swirl the olive oil in large nonstick saute pan and heat over medium high heat til oil looks wavy. Add tortilla strips and try until they begin to crisp, about a minute. Don’t move around too much , let crisp on one side and then turn them.

Add the onion and continue frying until the tortilla strips are crispy and nicely browned. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from heat and if there is any extra fat, pour off and reserve 1 tbsp in pan .

Return pan to burner, reducing the heat to medium. Move the majority of the strips to the edge of the pan, leaving about three inches clear in the center. Pour the eggs in the center and partially over the strips. Allow the eggs to set, and then gently pull them apart, letting the uncooked egg reach the surface of the pan. Once the eggs are firmly set, turn them in large pieces to finish cooking.

Serve with the salsa, cheese, slices of avocado, a squeeze of fresh lime and the sour cream.

Serves 4.
Halves well.
Tastes divine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fresh Fig and Strawberry Jam

I’ve been on a picklin‘, jammin’ kick over the past month. The veggies and fruits of late summer have been totally inspirational.

The fresh figs of late have been exceptional.

As well as the brown sugar strawberries.

So I decided to try my hand at an adaptation of a recipe for Fresh Fig and Strawberry Jam from a great cookbook called The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard.

This is the perfect for people who don’t want or need mass quantities of pickles or jelly in their house, but enjoy the process and the outcome.

Fresh figs, fresh strawberries, vanilla sugar, a bit of Harvey’s Bristol Cream and fresh orange zest.

Makes you want to bake bread at the same time.

Fresh Fig and Strawberry Jam
Adapted from
The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard

1 pound fresh green figs, stemmed and cut into small pieces
2 cups quartered strawberries
2 cups vanilla sugar
3 tbsp Harvey’s Bristol Cream
Grated zest of one Valencia orange

Place figs, strawberries, vanilla sugar and Harvey’s in medium stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Cover and let stand for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and boil rapidly, uncovered until mixture will form a gel about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.

Ladle into hot jars (with two piece tops) and process for 10 minutes. (see below for instructions)

Makes 4 cups.. (4 half pint jars)

Use the freezer test to see if it’s gelling. Put a couple of small plates in freezer. After 15 minutes, put a spoonful of the jam on plate and return to freezer for two minutes. (take jam off the heat while you wait so it doesn’t overcook.) Then take the plate out and rotate it. The jam should move slowly as you rotate it. If it throws itself off the plate onto the floor, keep cooking and try again in five minutes with the other plate. You’ll get a feel for this.

To prepare the jars, fill a large stockpot with enough water to cover the jars and place the jars in the water. Start heating over medium. About 10 minutes before you’re ready to fill the jars, put the tops in.

Fill the jars, leave about a half inch from the top for airspace, wipe the rim and side so the jars will seal well. Put the filled jars back in the hot water.

Place the pot over high heat, cover and bring to a rocking full boil. Once it boils, set timer for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, turn off heat, take off top and leave jars in water for five minutes. Then lift out and place on heat safe surface. I put mine on a kitchen towel on a cake rack out of the way. Don’t touch or dry jars for 12-24 hours. Be sure all are sealed. (You’ll hear them pop and when you punch the tops they don’t make a sound.)

If they don’t seal for any reason, refrigerate them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Panna Cotta with Lemon Thyme Peaches

Every now and then a recipe jumps out of the pages of a magazine and demands to be made.
That was exactly what this Panna Cotta with Lemon Thyme Peaches did to me in late June when Gourmet’s July issue arrived.

I dreamed about this recipe.

Cream, honey, Greek yogurt with sugared peaches and lemon thyme.
Bliss. Swoon.

I thought about it for weeks. I kept talking about making it.
The opportunity never presented itself.
Until one of Groom’s dear friends came for a visit and dinner was planned.
Around dessert.

I know, I know there have been Panna Cottas all over the place this summer. We had a dreamy version in Apalachicola last spring at Avenue Sea.
This one, though.
It’s something special.
And with the last of this summer’s peaches, it’s perfection.
I should have made it sooner.

Panna Cotta with Lemon Thyme Peaches
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine July 2008

1-1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin from packet
2 tbsp water
1-1/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup wild honey
1/8 tsp almond extract

1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
3 peaches, washed and sliced thin

Put water in medium saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand a minute to soften.
Add the heavy cream and salt and heat, stirring, until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat.

Whisk together yogurt, honey and almond extract. Then whisk in the gelatin mix. Put in four small bowls, glasses…your choice and refrigerate. (Recipe says 8 hours, mine were ready in 4.)

About 20 minutes before serving, take the panna cotta out of the fridge. combine peaches, lemon thyme and sugar and let sit until ready to serve. Spoon over top of panna cotta and get ready to swoon.

Makes 4.