Pork Tenderloin Medallions & Balsamic Reduction

I like to cook, a lot.  But I don’t know if there’s ever been a time when all four burners on my stove were turned on at the same time.  It finally happened last night.  And since I was trying to keep everything straight and make sure the timing came out, I only took 2 pictures.  I need an extra set of hands or a full time professional photographer.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, July 2011.

Substitutions made, noted below.

balsamic pork 1

Pork Tenderloin Medallions & Balsamic Reduction

with Grilled Peaches and Wild Rice Salad

1 tblsp oilve oil
1 tblsp minced shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary – I used dried
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 12 slices
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Heat oil in a small saucepan over med-high heat.  Add shallots and garlic; saute 2  minutes.  Add vinegar and next 3 ingredients; cook until reduced to 1/2 c.

Heat a large skillet over med-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.  Place pork in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side.  Add balsamic reduction; cook 1 minute, turning pork to coat.

For the Grilled Peaches:
Heat a grill pan over med-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 4 peach halves to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side. Cut each half into 3 wedges.

For the Wild Rice Salad:
Cook 1 cup fast-cooking white and wild rice per directions, omitting seasoning. (I did not use the fast cook rice, just regular white/wild rice mix.) Stir in 1/4 c chopped green onions, 2 tblsp chopped dried cherries (I used dried cranberries.) and 2 tblsp chopped pecans.

 

balsamic pork 2

cartoon-strawberry-9There’s a lot of flavor going on with these items, but it all blends together really well.  This dinner also serves beautifully, it’d be great for a small dinner party (everything is set to serve 4).  I’m a fan of balsamic, add in some garlic and I’m over the moon.  This is a new favorite in our house.

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Stir-Fried Shrimp w/ Spicy Orange Sauce

I’ve been on a quest to set a grocery budget and live (or die) by it.  Make a weekly menu and buy only to that menu each week.  So  far, so good.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, August 2007.

No substitutions were made.

spicy orange shrimp 2

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce

1.5 lbs peeled and deveined large shrimp
1 tblsp cornstarch
1/4 c fresh orange juice
2 tblsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tblsp honey
1 tblsp rice wine vinegar
1 tblsp chile paste with garlic
2 tblsp canola oil
1 tblsp minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c chopped green onions

spicy orange shrimp 3

Place shrimp in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss well to coat.  Set aside.

Combine juice, soy sauce, honey, vinegar and chile paste, stirring with a whisk; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  Add minced ginger and garlic to pan; stir-fry for 15 seconds or until fragrant.  Add shrimp mixture; stir-fry for 3 minutes.  Add juice mixture and onions; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and shrimp are done, stirring frequently.  Serve immediately.  Yield: 4 servings.

spicy orange shrimp 4

cartoon-strawberry-9There was a suggestion to serve this over udon noodles or rice.  I had vermicelli in the pantry, so I used that instead, and added in some green beans.  I expected this to be more on the spicy side (hence the name..).  There was a good heat, but not an overwhelming spicy heat.  If you have some shrimp on hand and are able to find the chile paste, this is a great dinner!

Stuffed Sausage & Spinach Loaf

A couple of Fridays ago me, husband and another couple had made plans to go to an outdoor screening of The Sandlot.  (Best baseball movie – EVER.)  The problem was it had been raining for about 3 days straight here with no signs of letting up.  Instead we decided to hang out at home and try something new.

This recipe is from the Early Summer issue of the Penzey’s catalog.  2013 issue, I think.

No substitutions were made.

sausage spinach loaf 1

Stuffed Sausage & Spinach Loaf

First is the recipe for the White Bread.
1 1/4oz package dried yeast, regular or quick rise
2 tblsp warm water (110 degrees)
1/4 c sugar
2 tsp salt
1/3 c butter, softened
1 c hot milk
3/4 c cold water
1 egg, beaten
5 1/2 to 6 c all-purpose flour

Grease and set aside 2 standard loaf pans.  – Skip this if you are making solely for the Sausage & Spinach Loaf.  In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water.  Stir to blend and set aside.  Combine the sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl.  Add the hot milk and stir until the butter is melted.  Add the cold water and let cool until the mixture is lukewarm.  Add the yeast mixture and the beaten egg to the milk mixture.  Gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough.  This will take about 5 cups; the other 1/2 – 1 cup can be used to flour your kneading surface.  Use your hands to mix the dough in the bowl and incorporate as much of the flour into the dough as possible.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Do this by folding the edges of the dough toward the center and pushing the dough away from you with the heel of your hands and rotating it on the board as you continue to knead.  This should take about 5 to 10 minutes.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  This is the point to wrap half in plastic wrap and freeze if desired.  Use the other half for the Stuffed Sausage & Spinach Loaf.

sausage spinach loaf 2
Sausage & Spinach Loaf:
1 lb bread dough
1 lb bulk Italian sausage, hot or sweet
1 10oz box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp oregano
1/2 garlic powder

Thaw bread down on a greased baking sheet, let rise until doubled. – I put my dough into a greased bowl and let rise.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the sausage until nicely browned and crumbly.  Drain and cool slightly.  Roll the loaf of dough into a large 14×12-inch rectangle.  Doesn’t need to be perfect.  Spread the sausage mixture lengthwise down the rectangle, about 1/3 of the way from one of the long ends.  Top with spinach and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Roll up jelly-roll style, staring with a long side; pinch seams to seal and tuck the ends under.  Place on a baking sheet, seam side down.  The the ends under and form in a crescent shape.  Brush with egg.  In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, oregano and garlic powder, then sprinkle on the loaf.  If the egg drips all the way to the bottom of the loaf, be careful removing the loaf after baking because it could be stuck.  Carefully run a spatula underneath to loosen it.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Let rest a few minutes before cutting.  Serve warm.

sausage spinach loaf 3

cartoon-strawberry-9Well.  This calzone/loaf  monster tastes amazing.  Totally worth the time and effort involved.  BUT I would love to meet the person who can jelly roll a pound of sausage, 10 oz of spinach and 2 cups of cheese.  IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!!  I just folded the ends up over themselves and prayed for the best.

Black Bean & Cheese Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce

I did it again.  Made a new recipe for dinner, didn’t take a single picture.  Made new recipe a second time and took a ton of pictures.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, October 2011.

Substitutions made, noted below.

BB enchiladas 3

Black Bean & Cheese Enchiladas w/ Ranchero Sauce

2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 c water
2 tsp olive oil
1 c shopped yellow onion – I used sweet onion
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 c organic vegetable broth
2 tblsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tblsp no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tblsp fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 c (8 oz) preshredded Mexican blend cheese, divided – I used cheddar
3 thinly sliced green onions, divided
Cooking Spray
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
6 tblsp light sour cream

BB enchiladas 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Combine chiles and 2 c water in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.  Drain chiles in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1c cooking liquid.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Add onion; sauté 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium; add garlic and salt. Cook 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally.  Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through cumin); cook 8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Pour onion mixture into a blender; add chiles and reserved liquid.  Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender.  Please a clean towel over opening in lid.  Blend until smooth; stir in lime juice and red pepper.  – I blended this in the pot with my hand held blender.

BB enchiladas 2

Combine the beans, 1 c cheese, and half the green onions in a bowl.  Spread ½ c sauce in the bottom of a 13×9 glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Warm tortillas according to package directions.  Spoon 3 tblsp bean mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up.  Place, seam-side down, in prepared dish.  Pour remaining sauce over filled tortillas.  Top with the remaining cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with remaining green onions; serve with sour cream.

BB enchiladas 5

cartoon-strawberry-9If these hadn’t been good, I wouldn’t have made them twice.  The Ranchero Sauce alone is worth the recipe.  The sauce can been made a day or two ahead of time and refrigerated.  I would have liked the filling to be a little more substantial.  To do this I would add another 1/2 c of cheese and a half or full can of black refried beans.

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

I am a fan of the butternut squash.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2011.

I did not alter the recipe in any way.

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tblsp olive oil
4 shallots, quartered
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
14.5 oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
3 c cubed peeled butternut squash (1 inch cubes)
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro – I skipped this.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add beef; toss well to coat.

Heat oil in a dutch oven over med-high heat.  Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; cook 1  minute, stirring frequently.

Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add squash; cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender.  Sprinkle with cilantro.

I served this sans cilantro (I can not stand the stuff) with brown rice.  Husband and I both really liked this dish.  Spicy, sweet and a good hearty meal for a cold fall night.

Pierogies and Kielbasa

I’ve never had a pierogi before this recipe, did you know it has polish origins?  For some reason I thought the pierogi was an Italian dish.

This recipe came from Food Network Magazine, July/August 2011.

The recipe calls for a grill (or grill pan), neither of which I have, instead I used a 6 quart chef pan.

Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa

1 lb kielbasa (pork or turkey), cut into 4 pieces
2 tblsp whole-grain mustard
2 tblsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white oinion, cut into 6 pieces
1 lb frozen potato and cheddar pierogies (do not thaw)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 c roughly chopped fresh parsley

Preheat a grill to medium. Grill the kielbasa, turning, until marked 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter.
I heated my pan to medium, and cooked the kielbasa for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl.  Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth.

Toss the onion and pierogies with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until the pierogies thaw and the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the pierogies and onion and continue to grill, covered, until the pierogies are cooked through and the onion is tender, 4 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet or platter.
Since I was using my chef pan, I cooked the pierogies and onion for 10 minutes, turning frequently to brown the pierogies and soften the onion.

Slice the kielbasa into pieces and add to the bowl with the mustard dressing. Roughly chop the onion and add to the bowl along with the pierogies and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss.
I added the sliced kielbasa and mustard dressing directly to the pan, tossed so everything was coated and turned the heat to low. I let it sit for 3 minutes, added the parsley and served.

Husband and I were both on the fence about this one.  It wasn’t bad, but not amazing either.  Considering I wasn’t sure I could find frozen pierogies here in the south, I probably won’t go out of my way to make this recipe again.