Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

From our kitchen to yours!

Virgin Pork Tenderloin Chef

I have never made pork tenderloin, even though it is one of L.'s favorite dishes. I found this recipe for a pork tenderloin with arugula endive and walnut vinaigrette in the March issue of Gourmet magazine (which is dedicated to French Bistro cooking - one of our favorites!!!). Since I was not working yesterday, I decided to make a special dinner for L.

I was a bit nervous for some reason. Maybe because it was my first time or maybe because it is one of L.'s favorite meals or maybe because he talks about how great his mother's tenderloin is. Not sure why, but I was a bit nervous.

After I laid out all the ingredients, I even read through the recipe, which is something I never do - I usually pull everything out and just start cooking. This quick read through definitely put my mind at ease and I was excited at this point, this would be easy and I was confident very good. L. poured a brandy and relaxed and I started doing what I do best, cook. The recipe was really easy, you sauté the pork with a little olive oil and then put it in the oven to continue roasting. While it is cooking you make a salad of Arugula (I used spinach, mishap at the market) and endive. After the porker is done, you make a really nice caramelized vinaigrette using the pan juices, some red wine vinegar, toasted and crushed walnuts and garlic - the garlic really gave this vinaigrette a great deal of flavor with the pork and the salad, together.

I was so happy, my tenderloin came out ultra moist, you did not even need a knife to cut it, and it was very flavorful with the salad and the vinaigrette. L. did say it reminded him of pate, maybe because the pork was so fresh? Or maybe he is use to his mother's recipe. Regardless, I am not afraid anymore and we will be eating the "other white meat" more often!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Lemon Risotto with Chili Shrimp

with Bill Granger, well, not Bill Granger himself but one of his recipes. You must be thinking that L. and I have taken Chez down under these days, first a week of Donna Hay and now Bill! I have not made on of his prized recipes, in awhile and decided that I would make this for Goretti and Patricia's last meal with us; something special.

I love this risotto recipe as not only is it light in flavor; but, with ingredients as well - no cheese and no butter. Just the basics here, stock, olive oil, onion and rice and then flavored with lemon zest and lemon juice at the end. Served with it is a spicy garlic and chili shrimp. You quickly sauteed the shrimp with some olive oil just until golden and a nice pink, then at the very end you add this wonderful paste of garlic and chilies. The finished result is a nice spicy garlic shrimp (the hot part of your dish) cooled off with a warm and ultra creamy lemon risotto. I love to serve a simple oven roasted asparagus that is lightly drizzled with olive oil and sea salt with this dish, it really compliments the lemon in the risotto.

Definitely takes you down under for a night!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Whoo Hoo

I have been meaning to blog about this great package we got in the mail last Friday; but, have been so busy with family in town and work, that I have not had a chance until now.

I had mentioned in a previous post, about Coconut and Basil Chicken, that I could not find Kaffir Lime leaves so I have to use Lime Zest ...... well, Diane and Todd over at White on Rice Couple (you should be reading their blog for some great fun!!) read our post and offered to send us some lime leaves. So NICE!!! Well, even nicer, was receiving this great package in the mail - full of Kaffir Lime leaves, Kaffir Limes, Mandarins and Meyer Lemons and all from their yard!! We were super excited to receive such a great package and we can not wait to use everything - well, everything that is left. Mandarins did not last long - not past one night in fact!

Bloggers are great - Thanks Diane & Todd!!