Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tuscan Style Pork Tenderloin Roast

Last night I made Tuscan Style Pork Tenderloin Roast. It was easy to make and was delicious. Here is the recipe:

2 T chopped fresh thyme (or 1 T dried)
1 T chopped fresh sage (or 1 1/2t dried)
6 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
2 T olive oil

1 pork tenderloin or boneless pork loin roast

In a small bowl, mix the thyme, sage, garlic, salt & pepper to taste and enough olive oil to make a thick paste. You might need more or less than 2tablespoons of olive oil.

Run the herb paste all over the pork roast and place the roast into a shallow dish. Cover, and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. About an hour before you plan on putting the toast in the oven, remove the roast an allow it to come to room temperature.

Pre-heat an oven to 350F. Place the roast into the oven and cook until the internal temperature is 150F. Remove the roast from the oven, place on a cutting board and loosely cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Cook's Notes: I actually cooked two pork tenderloins. I tied them together using butcher string. I placed the remote temperature probe into the thickest part of the tenderloin.

I could not have been happier with how the roast turned out. The thyme and sage gave the meat a wonderfully soft taste. Along with the roast, we served Deirdre's World Famous Chopped Salad and plain cous cous. Thanks to our friend Amy at Art of the Table, we enjoyed a bottle of Greco Campania from the Benito Ferrara Winery. The wine complemented the pork perfectly.

I will be looking for more recipes I can cook in our new oven as the weather here starts to turn to winter. While I love to grill, it is sometimes better to cook indoors when it is snowing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Steak au Poivre

I made the following recipe last night at the Cafe:

Steak au Poivre with Red Wine Pan Sauce

- 4 boneless beef sirloin steaks (at least 1 inch thick)
- Salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- olive oil
- 1 T unsalted butter
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 cup beef stock or broth
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1 T cornstarch combined with 2 T water
- 2 T freshly chopped parsley

Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Cover the steaks and let them stand at room temperature for an hour or so before cooking.

In a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the steaks and cook to desired doneness, turning once, 3-5 minutes a side for medium rare. Remove the steaks from the pan and transfer them to a platter. Loosely cover with aluminum foil while you make the pan sauce.

In the same pan over medium high heat, add the butter and melt. Add onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is softened (2-3 minutes). Add the wine and beef stock/broth and boil until reduced by half, 4-5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, whisk in the cornstarch mixture and the tomato paste and simmer, whisking occasionally until slightly thickened. Add more stock if the sauce seems too thick. Stir in the parsley and season to taste.

Spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the steaks and serve at once. Pass any extra sauce at the table.

It was a yummy dish, but next time I make it, I will use more onions and less tomato paste.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dijon Chicken Breasts

Tonight I made Dijon Chicken Breasts. I served this dish with a chopped salad and a handful of small red potatoes. Below is the recipe for the main dish:

Dijon Chicken Breasts

1/2 cup canned unsalted chicken broth or stock
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 chicken breasts

1. Combine the chicken broth, onion, garlic, mustard and thyme in a large skillet. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium low heat. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes, until cooker through.
2. When the chicken is done, remove from the skillet and cover with foil to keep warm.
3. Reduce the liquid in the skillet until reduced to sauce consistency, 2-3 minutes.
4. Serve the chicken breasts and pour the reduced sauce over the breasts.

Serves 6

I only cooked two chicken breasts, but I used the amounts listed in the recipe. I had not made thsi dish in quite a while and it was a yummy meal. It is a deceptively simple and elegant dish. I decided to make this reciep because I knew that I had all the ingredients in my fridge. I suppose that I was facing the same thing that the Recovering Lawyer was facing on Saturday. It is amazing the stuff you can whip together with just a few simple basics and a few minutes of effort!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mustard Crusted Pork Roast

Last night I made the recipe below, which was sent to us by Lisa H a few weeks ago. It was easy to make and it was delicious. I like to make a recipe 4 or 5 times, tweaking it each time until I get it just right. This was the second time I made this dish and I started tweaking things. We washed it down with a bottle of 2005 Sommers Reserve Criston Willamette Valley Pinot Noir:

Mustard Crusted Port Roast
4/5lb boneless pork roast
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 T dried rosemary
1/2 cup coarse grain mustard
3 T olive oil
3 T balsamic vinegar
8 garlic cloves, mashed or minced

Pre-heat your oven to 375F. Place the pork in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle the rosemary over the roast. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Place the roast in the oven, uncovered, and cook until the internal temperature of the roast is 160-165F.

Cook's Notes:
1) I cooked the roast until the internal temperature reached 165F. The roast was tender and juicy at that temperature.
2) I used Dijon mustard instead of coarse grained mustard. Dijon is an acceptable substitute.