Monday, July 19, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Spiced Apples

I love pork tenderloin, it is lean, cooks fast and while at first look it seems to be an expensive cut but there are no bones, tiny amount of fat.. that means there is very minimal waste, so it ends up being quite reasonable.

It is a very often overlooked, healthy protein that is wonderful for a week night meal when you have little time and want maximum reward.

Today I spiced the tenderloin with a mixture of

1 Tablespoon sage
1 Teaspoon thyme
1 Teaspoon all spice
1 Teaspoon paprika
3 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Mix this up add a little olive oil (to make a paste) and rubbed it all over the meat. Let it set for about an hour...

Put a little olive oil in an oven proof pan and sear the meat on all sides...
then cook it off at 425 for about 20 min.. until the internal temp is about 150 (this is super tender and just slightly pink in the center) Don't overcook!

Don't forget to let the meat rest for about 10-15 min before you cut into it.

While your meat is in the oven cut up a few (I used 4) apples. I use pink lady or fuji, I don't know much about apples but these are the ones we eat in our house and I am not going to buy special apples for a recipe. Heat about 2 tablespoons of butter, add the apples and let them start to get a little color on them, add 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 cup water, it should start boiling pretty much right away, just let it boil for about 2-3 min until your sauce thickens... then remove from the heat. Serve over the pork or with a little cinnamon cream for dessert. You can't go wrong either way.

Today we served this with roasted veg and a creamy cheese soup.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sandwich Night

Another boring sandwich night? I think not! With a few swaps you can turn a sandwich into a wonderful meal.

Swap out your flat white bread for a roll, baguette, or even better you own home made bread (pictured)
Swap out your bulk lunch meat for a Salami, Serrano ham, Chorizo......
And please swap out your square American cheese for a Provolone, Goat, Munster, Swiss......
In place of your lettuce try a few basil leaves

Toss a few olives on the side, maybe a nice spinach salad and you have a sandwich night that will not leave you disappointed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Healthy Enchiladas??

I was talking to a very special someone who was looking for a healthy version of my enchiladas... um... healthy enchiladas??? OK so here goes...

I am using boneless skinless chicken breast because that is what was requested but you can use a super lean cut of steak like a flank steak or a round with all of the visible fat trimmed off. I am a fan of been in enchiladas so I would use steak but today we use chicken.

The star of our show

The Sauce

2 med onions (diced)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
2 beef bullion cubes (yes use beef even though we are cooking chicken for the filling)
3 tablespoons canola oil (canola oil is just as heart healthy as olive)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons hatch chili powder (find this here)
2-3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

Toss onion and 1 tablespoon oil on a cookie sheet...

and bake at 400 for 30 min (stir at the halfway mark) add garlic and cook 5 min. Remove from pan and set aside.

Put remaining 2 Tablespoons oil in a deep skillet, sprinkle the flour in and whisk...

let this cook for 5 minutes. Whisk in chili powder (it will look a little like red clay)

Add 2 cups water, bullion cubes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over med heat...

When bullion cubes are dissolved (I put 3 in here today and it was a little much so stick with 2) add onion and garlic and remove from heat. If it is too thick just add a little more water.

To assemble the enchiladas take a corn tortilla dip in the sauce...

top with cooked shredded chicken and cheese, keep doing this until you have the right amount per person. (excuse the messy photography here)

Top with a fried egg.
Ok ok, I know...fried egg... maybe not so healthy but hey, I cooked the onions in the oven to reduce oil, used reduced fat cheese (ok not really but you can), used skinless chicken breast... let me have the fried egg!

Note. The chicken used here was just cooked in foil with a little salt, garlic, onions then shredded.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


It is said that a true Italian makes pesto with nothing more than a knife, and a food processor is just shy of the devil himself.. but today this Italian girl has about 5 minutes to make this batch so we will use the food processor.
The recipe for pesto isn't really a recipe exactly, some times I add a little lemon zest and juice, sometimes I do not...
Keep this in mind, for every cup (ish) of basil you want 1 clove of garlic.. this is a nice balance.

today we are making a rather large batch so we are going to use
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup pine nuts
almost a cup of Parmesan (fresh grated please)
some good quality extra virgin olive oil
and a large zip lock bag of fresh basil
toss the garlic in and give it a whirl (or you can use the garlic paste we made here)then toss the nuts and cheese and let it go for a min...

add the basil and drizzle the olive oil in until you get the consistency you want, you will want a moist pesto the oil helps preserve all of the good stuff we put in.

Ok so you just made pesto... now what?!? Well, you can slather this on bread, pasta, chicken, fish, pretty much anything you want. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Coming Soon Pesto!

A dear friend gave me a HUGE bunch of basil... stay tuned!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Soft White Bread

I have had some questions about the soft white loaf I posted on here earlier so I have played around a bit and found a simpler recipe for you guys...I have also created a video for it so you can see step by step what we do.

The cast for the show today
4 cups flour (bread or all purpose)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon butter
approx 1 1/4 cup warm water (hot will kill your yeast, you want your water to be about body temp)

Bake at 350 until golden about 30 min

Note about the video... for some reason getting it from my computer to you tube it lost a lot of quality, you tube couldn't keep up with my mixer speed! lol
Excuse the poor quality during the mixing scenes.

That's a wrap! (if you want to keep the crust soft that is) LOL

Friday, April 30, 2010


If you don't know what a "sopaipilla" is let me introduce you to heaven...sometimes this is a savory heaven stuffed with meat and cheese, other times it is a lovely pillow begging for a drizzle of honey (or chocolate is you are my daughter lol) Here is what we need for our culinary trip to New Mexico!

4 cups flour (all purpose or bread)
4 tablespoons shortening (not the butter flavored)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup warm water

cut the shortening into the flour (using a fork, pastry cutter or your finger tips break the shortening up into tiny pieces that are worked all through the flour) then add the salt, baking powder and stir together. Next add the water, the dough will be messy and look way too dry...

but once you work it a little bit...

it all comes together. From here cover it with plastic wrap then with a towel and let it rest for about 30-45 min. Then roll out super thin, see how thin this is?

Still not thin enough... keep rolling... nope not yet roll a little more... the thinner they are the better they puff (and taste!) Then you need to cut them into squares and deep fry them.. watch how they transform in the video below

Now isn't that a beauty???

Now what?? Well you can stuff them like we did here with some shredded pork, New Mexican chile and cheese.

Or, open them up and fill them with honey

Or just drizzle the top and take many pictures because they are so absolutely beautiful!

Whatever way you have them I hope you enjoy a little taste of New Mexico!