Archive: July 2010

Today is the last day of my longest-ever Recipe-A-Day Week. I think if I do another one I’ll just call it Recipe Week.

Anyway, this is a really delicious pork tenderloin recipe from the April ’10 Food and Wine. But I learned something about pork tenderloin while making this: it is impossible to photograph a whole piece of pork tenderloin and NOT have it look like a slithery, alien invader. Delicious, but really unattractive as a whole piece.

I served this with grilled asparagus and buttery herbed orzo, simple and awesome. And fairly healthy, the pork is not weighed down with tons of oil or butter. I also made up a pan sauce to go with it because I like sauce, but it’s not pictured on this plate. However, if you’re interested in the sauce, it’s at the bottom of this recipe. I did my best to remember the measurements I used since I technically put in a bit of this, bit of that. But I tried to stick to what I loosely understand about making such sauces, and whatever I made was pretty yummy.

The original recipe served 8 people and involved 4 tenderloins, so I’ve shaved down the proportions for 2 people (but some of the herbs are amped up for the proportion because that’s just how I roll). And you do need to marinate this for 6-8 hours, just a note in case you’re anything like me and decide to start dinner without first checking how long it takes to make. And here’s the original recipe if you’d like it. Bon Appetit!

Spicy Lemon-Rosemary Pork Tenderloin (adapted from the April 2010 Food and Wine)
Serves: 2

1.5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
1/8 cup fresh rosemary leaves (which I took straight from my herb pot!)
1/2 Tbsp crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
One 1-pound pork tenderloin
Salt and pepper

Read more on Recipe-A-Day Week Vol. III, Day 7: Spicy Lemon-Rosemary Pork Tenderloin…

Here’s a crazy fast and delicious recipe for a Friday. Basil Pesto. Honestly, it takes 10 minutes to make and apparently keeps for an eternity. This was the 3rd sauce I made on Sauce Day last week. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of this pesto on anything yet, so I’m limited to an unappealing photo of it still in the mixer bowl. I didn’t really think the photos for this one through. But I can tell you it is delicious. But instead of my usual “finished recipe” photo to start, here’s a picture of the abundance of basil I’ve got growing on my back steps. The stuff is growing like weeds, and it is delicious and incredible having it fresh whenever I want to cook with it. But it was starting to take over this flower pot, so I decided to cut down half of it and make a big patch of pesto.

I should admit here that although I had Mario Batali’s recipe, I first decided to just “wing it” and make up a pesto recipe for a new How To page. I kind of realized this wasn’t going to work as I planned, so I went back to Batali’s recipe and tried to adjust it best I could with the ingredients I had (I didn’t use any pecorino romano, just parmesan). So I’m posting the original Batali recipe here, but my results are a little more of a bright green affair than his are in the magazine. And I doubled the amounts in this recipe because I had so much basil. But here is the original.

Basil Pesto (from Mario Batali’s recipe in the May ’10 Food Network Magazine)
Makes about 1 cup of pesto

3 garlic cloves
2 cups lightly backed fresh basil leaves
3 Tbsp pine nuts
Generous pinch of sea salt (he suggests Maldon, I used kosher salt)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
3 Tbsp grated pecorino romano

Read more on Recipe-A-Day Week Vol. III, Day 6: Basil Pesto…

I promised to post this recipe after the Greek Epicurean Feast back in May, but I never did. Better late than never.

My mother-in-law Cora, who splits her time between England and Crete, thought it was really strange that the recipe I used (from Michael Symon) had butter instead of olive oil. Next time I make these I will definitely try olive oil, because the amount of butter needed for the number of spanikopita I made was insane. I didn’t use a fraction of it, but mine were also drier and without that golden brown, shimmery outside. I’m wondering if a small amount of olive oil will do what a large amount of butter would, but at any rate I’ve adjusted the butter quantities to reflect what I used myself.

Anyway, I made 2 kinds, and both were insanely delicious. The 1st kind requires some cooking of the filling, so it was more labor intensive. The 2nd version is just mix and then spoon onto the phyllo. These recipes are adapted to the amounts I actually made, follow the links below for the originals.

Spanikopita with Shallots and Spinach/Spanikopita with Rosemary and Pine Nuts (both HEAVILY adapted from Michael Symon)

Preheat oven to 440 degrees F. Cover the phyllo dough with a damp towel. **NOTE: You may need to cut your phyllo sheets lengthwise, in which case you’d only need 5 sheets for each version. My phyllo, which I bought frozen, already came in lengthwise strips like I used in the photos below.

For the Shallots and Spinach version
Makes: 10 pieces

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoon minced shallot
4 cups cleaned spinach
8 ounces goat cheese
10 sheets phyllo dough
3 ounces melted butter

Read more on Recipe-A-Day Week Vol. III, Day 5: Spanikopita 2 Ways…

So last week I posted about the Purple Quilt for a friend going through something horrible, and I also mentioned that she asked me to bake her something. So I made these dark chocolate cupcakes, which are from the same recipe as the Pac Man cupcakes. And I also made vanilla buttercream, from a different recipe than my usual vanilla frosting.

My favorite thing about this batch of cupcakes (aside from the purple frosting, just add food coloring) is that I didn’t realize I had no sour cream until the minute I needed to add it to the batter. Which should have been a baking crisis, BUT I happened to have some Greek yogurt left over from another recipe I made last week. So I just threw that in instead, same quantity, and…I may be making these with Greek yogurt from now on. It just gave them the slightest little tang that was really yummy and hard to put your finger on. So maybe that will be my new secret ingredient (Shhh…don’t spill the beans).

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream (from America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book)
Makes: 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 sticks (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet; I had no bittersweet on hand)
1 cup (3 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1.5 cups (7.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups (10.5 ounces) sugar
1 cup sour cream (or yogurt!)
4 cups frosting (recipe for buttercream at the bottom)

Read more on Recipe-A-Day Week Vol. III, Day 4: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream…

My tomato sauce has meat in it, but I wanted to try my hand at making a real, true bolognese sauce. So last week when I spent the day making sauce, I gave this recipe a try. It is delicious, rich, and probably something I’d keep to a winter menu.

Bolognese Sauce (from the April ’10 issue of Martha Stewart Living)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 to 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 to 2 carrots, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (80 percent lean)
8 ounces ground pork
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 can (28 ounces) peeled plum tomatoes with juice, pureed

Read more on Recipe-A-Day Week Vol. III, Day 3: Bolognese Sauce…

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