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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pork tenderloin pan roasted

On working days I still try to cook a decent dinner - usually something that takes less than an hour of cooking so I can stay in the studio longer.

Last night I made a pan roasted pork tenderloin - easy, and delicious - definitely a keeper recipe. I served it with corn, and roasted un-skinned red potato chunks (cut about 1" thick) lightly coated with olive oil, sprinkled with salt,a touch of cayenne pepper and fresh slices of garlic, and roasted at 400F for about 30-40 minutes.

Here's the Pork tenderloin recipe:


2 lb. pork tenderloin
1 T butter
1 T oil
2 Sprigs of fresh thyme
2 peeled, sliced garlic cloves
1/4 c. chopped shallots
Salt & pepper to taste
1/3 c. red wine
1 -2 tsp butter

1. Wash pork under cold running water; dry with paper towels.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat.

3. Turn to medium high and when the butter foams, add the tenderloin and brown on all sides.

4. Lower heat to medium, add the thyme and garlic, and cook till the garlic is a pale tan color (only a minute or so depending on how thin you sliced the garlic. Don't brown it.)

5. Add the chopped shallots, salt and pepper and stir about a minute.

6. Turn heat to high and add 1/3 cup red wine and stir to scrape up any of the browned bits.

7. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook about 40-45 minutes till it registers about 145-150 on a meat thermometer. (You can cook it to a higher temperature if you don't like your pork pink).

8. When done, remove tenderloin to a cutting board and tent it lightly with some silver foil and let it sit 5-10 minutes to let the juices settle in.

9. Meantime, skim any fat from remaining sauce, add a couple of tablespoons of water and cook a bit to thicken it into a light, thin, sauce texture. Then strain it, pressing hard to get all the juice out, and return the sauce to the pan, and swirl in the butter till it melts. Keep the sauce warm on the lowest setting while you slice the meat, then serve the tenderloin slices with a bit of the wine sauce poured over.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bucatini all' Amatriciana

Yesterday I was going to make a Lidia Bastianich Bucatini recipe, but to make a long story short, I realized quickly that the dish had very little to recommend it other than way too much heat, so I quickly changed gears after doing a lot of the pre prep, and combined parts of that recipe with another bucatini recipe. It turned out great - a definite keeper. Here's my version of the revamped recipe is you want to try it.

Bucatini all' Amatriciana Serves 4

1lb bucatini pasta (or thick spaghetti)
2 cups of canned plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of thick sliced bacon, cubed
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (I added some pepperonic paste from the first recipe, so the pepper flakes should approximate the same amount of heat. You can add a bit less or more of the pepper flakes to suit your own heat taste).
1/2 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt to taste

3/4 cup of toasted, fresh bread crumbs from day old country bread.

Preheat the oven to 350F and coarsely grate the day old bread. Spread the crumbs thinly on a raised cookie sheet and bake them, stirring a couple of times till they’re toasted (about 8 minutes). Set aside.

Saute the bacon till light brown, (leave the bacon fat in the pan) then add onion and saute till onion is transparent and bacon a bit browner, and add the garlic a saute that with the bacon and onion for about a minute or two. Remove and discard the garlic as soon as it begins to brown, add the hot pepper flakes and the drained, chopped tomatoes.

Add salt to taste and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking, and adding some water if it thickens too much.

Cook the bucatini pasta until al dente in boiling salted water, drain and add to the pan with the sauce. Add the toasted bread crumbs and toss. Remove the pan from the heat and put on serving plates and sprinkle some of the grated cheese over and pass the rest.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Muscat de Provence squash

The garden is quieting down but still supplying us with some of the late planted pole and bush beans. I checked the three Muscat de Provence squashes and they're part green, part orange, so I think they'll be ready to harvest right after the first  good frost, which will harden them off and guarantee their longer storage.

This is my first time growing this squash. Our daughter, who lives in Germany, buys these to make her pumpkin cake and squash soup. I'm eager to try those recipes as well as a pumpkin pie as soon as they're ready.

My chile and other peppers and some tomatoes are still producing, although I've been covering some of the peppers with remay, and have moved the potted ones indoors for the night. Fortunately we had a freeze scare, but came out of that without getting touched and now we're in a warm spell and it looks like there's no threat of frost of freezing for the rest of this week.  Guess I'll be picking more beans, tomatoes and peppers for a while.