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pork tenderloin

Duck Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Chianti at Home

Allspiced Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze over Coconut Rice

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The mornings are felt with a slightly cool breeze from the west, drifting from the ocean that lies just beyond the small range of mountains.  As I sit on my back porch with my morning coffee in hand, I hear the sound of a train in the distance and my choir of bull frogs are beginning the morning hush after an evening of choir practice.

My songbirds are chiming though, making it known the competition is on.  Their melodies much sweeter to the human ears.  I won’t tell my bull frog choir however.  They seem to delight in their nightly choir practice.

Where the songbirds sing in my backyard // Karista's Kitchen

And so now, as I sit on my back porch watching the warm sun rise from the east, sipping my coffee that I actually took the time to make via my French press (the one I so joyfully discovered at the bottom of a box yesterday).. this is home.

They say, home is where you hang your hat.  Or at least that’s what I’ve always heard.  At the moment however, no hats have been hung in my house.  Most likely because we can’t find the box of hats.

Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Asian Cherry Glaze // Karista's Kitchen

We have however,  found the dishes, the cutlery, the pots and pans along with all the essentials for a well stocked kitchen.  Including our wine glasses. Definitely essential items for a well stocked kitchen.

Along with our stash of kitchen items, I found the box filled with my very carefully wrapped selection of wine; including my favorite Chianti.

Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice

Although I pair DaVinci Chianti at home with our hearty winter dishes of pasta and slow cooked meats, I also adore DaVinci Chianti served with spring and summer dishes of grilled chicken, salmon and Ahi Tuna Tacos.

Recently, I served our favorite chianti with an Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin topped with an Asian Cherry Glaze.  Simple to prepare, yet it feels slightly indulgent with the subtle flavors of Asian cuisine.

 

Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice

DaVinci Chianti pairs easily with the sweet, warm, earthy flavors of the Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin.  Typically used in desserts, the allspice, which is a single spice, has subtle notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg and is often used in Jamaican savory cuisine.

I’ve paired the Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze which also uses one cup of DaVinci Chianti.  I love how easy it is to roll this tenderloin in the fragrant Allspice and either grill it outdoors during the summer months or roast it in the oven on a busy weeknight.  The glaze is easily assembled and prepared, and when served with the grilled or roasted tenderloin and coconut rice, it makes a delicious and beautiful meal for the weeknight or weekend dinner guests.

For those who like wild game or want to prepare this dish for a special occasion, I’ve also included a version of this recipe using pan seared duck.  It makes a lovely presentation and the rich flavor of the duck is beautifully complimented by the rich fruit flavors and medium body of the Chianti.

Pan Seared Duck Breast with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice // Karista's Kitchen

Chianti at Home describes special moments in a day. Moments that bring family and friends, delicious food and great wine together.  Moments that remind me of my glorious visit to Tuscany, getting to know the beautiful people behind this gorgeous wine.

The loveliest of individuals who take great pride in creating this enchanting Chianti.  I think of them as I sip, as I savor the lush flavors that dance on the tongue.  Flavors that mingle and play ever so nice together

2013 DaVinci Wine Storytellers

Almost a year has passed since traveling to Italy as a DaVinci Wine Storyteller.   It’s now time to pass the baton.  Twelve new finalists for the 2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience have now been revealed.  I’m riddled with anticipation and excitement for these fantastic twelve, talented individuals. Who will be the final four 2014 Storytellers?

You can help select the final four Storytellers by voting for your favorite in each category: Photography, Travel, West Coast Foodie and East Coast Foodie.  Click HERE, be sure to “like” the DaVinci Wine Facebook page and then browse the list and categories and vote.

2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Finalists

2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Finalists

Chianti at Home … a wine for every season, every occasion.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

All-Spice Rubbed  Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze

The tenderloin can be grilled or roasted as listed in the Directions

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the rub:

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon ground all-spice

1 large pork tenderloin or 2 small; this can also be prepared with Duck Breast. Recipe Follows.

Olive oil

Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

For the sauce:

1 cup sour cherries

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup DaVinci Chianti

½ teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

½ teaspoon corn starch (optional)

Directions

Mix together the salt, pepper and ground all-spice.  Rub the tenderloin with oil and then season with the salt, pepper, all-spice mixture.  Let the tenderloin sit for a few minutes while starting the glaze.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low or medium low, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced.  The sauce should thicken as it cools, however, if you’d like to thicken it while it’s warm, add two tablespoons of warm glaze to a small bowl and then whisk in the ½ teaspoon of corn starch.  Once this mixture (called a slurry) is smooth, whisk it into the glaze and bring the glaze back to a boil for about one minute.  This will thicken the sauce.

Preheat the oven or grill to 400F.   To roast the tenderloin, place it in a baking dish and then place the baking dish in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the center of the tenderloin reaches 145F.

To grill the tenderloin, place it on the pre-heated grill, cover and cook, turning every 2-3 minutes for about 10-15 minutes, depending on size.  The tenderloin is done when the internal temperature reaches 145F.

Let the pork tenderloin rest for few minutes before slicing.  This will allow juices to redistribute and keep the tenderloin moist and juicy.

Place the coconut rice on a platter and then slice the tenderloin.  Place the tenderloin slices on top of the coconut rice and drizzle with the Asian Cherry Glaze.  Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

Serve with DaVinci Chianti!

Pan Seared Duck Breast with Asian Cherry Glaze

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

For the rub:

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon ground all-spice

2 Duck Breasts, thawed if previously frozen (Often I find them in the freezer section of my meat market)

Olive oil

Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

For the sauce:

1 cup sour cherries

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup DaVinci Chianti

½ teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

½ teaspoon corn starch (optional)

Directions

Mix together the salt, pepper and ground all-spice.  Rub the Duck Breasts with the seasoning. On a cutting board lined with parchment or plastic wrap, place the duck breast one at a time on top of the parchment or plastic and then place another piece of parchment or plastic on the duck breast.  Pound the duck breast with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until it’s a bit thinner and will cook a bit faster.  If you like, score the duck breast skin in a crisscross pattern.  Do not remove the skin.  The skin has delicious flavor and gets crispy when pan seared.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low or medium low, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced.  The sauce should thicken as it cools, however, if you’d like to thicken it while it’s warm, add two tablespoons of warm glaze to a small bowl and then whisk in the ½ teaspoon of corn starch.  Once this mixture (called a slurry) is smooth, whisk it into the glaze and bring the glaze back to a boil for about one minute.  This will thicken the sauce.

To prepare the duck pre-heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a dash of olive oil.  Once the skillet is hot, place the duck breasts skin side down and brown, about 5 minutes.  Once the skin is nice and deep golden brown, flip the duck breasts to the other side and cook another 5 minutes.  I like my duck breasts medium rare, a little pink in the center.  Cook another 2-3 minutes if you prefer it cooked through.

Once the duck is done, transfer it to a carving board and let it rest for a few minutes.  Place the coconut rice on a platter and then slice the duck.  Place the duck breast slices on top of the coconut rice and drizzle with the Asian Cherry Glaze.  Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

Serve with DaVinci Chianti!

Coconut Rice

This recipe is easily doubled

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk

½ cup water

¾ cup basmati rice

¼ t salt

Directions

Combine coconut milk, rice, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.

 

Recipe by Chef Karista Bennett

 

 

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

Tuscan Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Tuscan Herb Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Quick Tomato Sauce

I have a saucy crew.  Serving a meal without a sauce, salsa, relish, chutney, drizzle, vinaigrette… you get the idea –  is just not done in my house.  Many of you may already know the story about my saucy crew, especially if  you attended my culinary classes.  I love telling this story. 🙂

Years ago, I would arrive home from every culinary class motivated to master every challenge and every technique my instructors gave me.   So I practiced. Every night.  Most everything I chose to practice came with some sort of a sauce.  It was a French cooking school after all and much of the cuisine was French inspired… and saucy.

However, one day I prepared a Chicken Milanese – which you might notice is not posted anywhere on my website.  I should post one; now that I think about it.  I served that Milanese in the traditional style and with just a squeeze of lemon.  No sauce.

Oh the horror.  My darling family asked “where’s the sauce?”  I replied “there isn’t a sauce, it’s a Milanese.” To which my darling husband said “but we always have a sauce.”  Huh.

So back into the kitchen I went to make a sauce.  It ended up being a delicious idea.  I whipped up a light and quick tomato sauce that paired perfectly with the chicken Milanese, making it taste a bit like a chicken parmesan sans the mozzarella.

Today, the tradition continues.  A sauce or something “sauce like” is paired with most our family meals.  Which is why this lovely Tuscan Stuffed Pork Tenderloin is lounging on a platter of homemade tomato sauce.  Originally I paired this tenderloin recipe with a white wine sauce, however, on occasion I switch to this lovely and light tomato sauce.  A nice transition into spring and summer dining.

If you’re short on time, and you don’t have homemade tomato sauce in the freezer, don’t worry about making your own sauce.   Your favorite good-quality jarred tomato sauce will do.  I typically make pots and pots of sauce (and stock) and keep it in my freezer for these occasions, but a jarred sauce is perfect when you’re preparing this on a busy weeknight.

Wishing you all a most delicious and Happy Easter!

Loads of Love,

Karista

Tuscan Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4-6 

Ingredients

1 ½ – 2 lbs Pork Tenderloin

¼ cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage or oregano

3 cloves garlic minced

Pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne (optional)

½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Kitchen twine

Quick Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and grated parmesan

Serve with Gnocchi, pasta or creamy polenta and an Arugula and White Bean Salad 

Directions

In a small bowl, mix together the rosemary, parsley, oregano or sage and garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and if you like a little spice add just a pinch of either cayenne or red pepper flakes.

Place both tenderloins (most tenderloins come in pairs) on a cutting board and slice the tenderloins lengthwise about ¾ of the way through.  Fill the tenderloins with equal amounts of the herb and garlic mixture.  Next, sprinkle with salt and pepper and tie up the pork with kitchen twine, in about three different places to secure the herbs.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Heat a large oven proof skillet on medium high heat and add a few drizzles of olive oil.  When the skillet is hot, but not smoking, brown the tenderloins on all sides.  Next add the white wine or chicken broth to the skillet and let it deglaze the pan a bit.

Place the skillet in the oven and let the tenderloins roast for about 20-25 minutes or until done, or until an instant read thermometer reaches 140F degrees.  Once your pork is out of the oven, let it rest for at least 5 minutes to achieve optimum flavor and final cooking temperature of 145F.

While your tenderloins are roasting prepare the tomato sauce.  Or, if you’re using homemade or jarred sauce, heat about 2 cups of sauce for the pork.

Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board, remove the twine and slice at a slight diagonal about 8-10 slices per tenderloin.  Ladle the tomato sauce on the bottom of a platter and then place the tenderloin medallions on the sauce.  Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley and grated parmesan.

Quick Tomato Sauce

Makes about 2-3 1/2 cups

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

4-6 anchovies (keep the leftovers in the frig for soups, stews, salads and sauces, or to add to an antipasti platter)

1 small red onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 handful Italian parsley, chopped (sometimes during the summer I also add in extra fresh Italian herbs I have from my garden. Basil, oregano, marjoram)

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1 18-28 ounce jar tomato sauce (about 2-3 cups) ( I like using glass jarred tomato sauce, but if using a tin can find one that is BPA free or enamel lined)

Squeeze of lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large skillet over medium heat add a few tablespoons of olive oil and then add in the anchovy.  Let the oil and anchovy heat.  As the oil gets hot stir the anchovy a bit, the anchovy will begin to break up and blend with the oil.  When this happens, stir in the diced onion and sauté the onion until wilted.  Next stir in the garlic, parsley and pinch of red pepper flakes and let it cook for about one minute.

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the tomato sauce.  I take the pan off the heat so the tomato sauce won’t splatter everywhere.  Mix to combine ingredients and then place the skillet back over the heat and bring the sauce to a simmer.  Let the sauce cook for about 10-20 minutes.  The longer it cooks the more flavorful it will be.

Season the sauce with a little squeeze of lemon and then salt and pepper to taste.  The leftover sauce can be frozen for another use.

Karista's Kitchen Pork Sauces, Salsas and More

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Roasted Red Pepper Hazelnut Sauce

Roasted Red Peppers, Hazelnut, sauce for pork

Roasted Red Pepper Hazelnut Sauce

I always keep a spare pork tenderloin, or two, in the freezer.  It’s one of those quick fix meals that pairs beautifully with most any sauce or roasted winter fruit.  I had planned to use this tenderloin with a spiced apple compote, which is delicious, but I just wasn’t feelin’ the apples that day.

I must be longing for summer, or maybe I need extra vitamin C,  because my taste buds have been craving the flavor of roasted red peppers.  A little smoky, slightly sweet with a touch of tang, that makes for a lovely pairing with pork, lamb, poultry, pasta and veggies.

And don’t get me started with the mini roasted sweet peppers.  I can eat them like candy.  So sweet and so flavorful, I often roast them with a little oil, salt and pepper and serve them as a side dish.  They’re also fabulous stuffed with cheese.

Bell peppers (and mini sweets) make the loveliest sauces, salsas, and relishes.  Complimenting grilled or roasted meats and fish so beautifully.  I read somewhere that bell peppers are like the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world.  All that bright beautiful color in all those wonderful shapes and sizes.

This sassy little sauce is no exception.  Combined with toasted hazelnuts, fresh herbs and olive oil, this sauce’s bright orange/red color is pleasing to the eye and tantalizing to the taste buds.

Extravagant in taste, but simply prepared.  My favorite kind of weeknight meal 🙂

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Roasted Red Pepper Hazelnut Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 pork tenderloin, sliced into 1/2 to 1 inch medallions

Salt and pepper

4 tablespoons high heat oil, or clarified butter (ghee)

Fresh chopped Italian parsley (for garnish)

Sauce Ingredients

2 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded

1/3 cup Hazelnuts, roasted and skinned

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Thai Kitchen roasted red chili paste or a dash of hot sauce

½ cup extra virgin olive oil  (decrease the olive oil to ¼-1/3 to use this sauce as a pesto or dip)

Directions

To Prepare the Sauce:

Place all the sauce ingredients, except the olive oil, in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until the hazelnuts are finely ground.

Next, with the processor running, pour the olive oil over the mixture until well blended.  The sauce should have a very thick salad dressing consistency.  You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl several times in between blending.

The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to one week.   Bring the sauce to room temperature before using or warm lightly in a double boiler, never getting the sauce to hot as the oil will separate.

Serve over any grilled meats and poultry.  Or serve as a dip for crudités or pesto for Crostini. 

To Prepare the Pork Tenderloin Medallions:

Season the medallions with salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot and shimmering,  add the medallions (you may need to cook in batches) adding more oil as needed.

When they are brown on the first side, flip and brown them on the second side.  It shouldn’t take long for the pork medallions to cook through, 2 minutes on each side depending on thickness.  Pork should be cooked to 145F internal temperature for perfectly moist and juicy pork.

Ladle the sauce on a platter and place the cooked pork on top of the sauce.  Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Chef Jerry Traunfeld, The Herbfarm Cookbook (a must have in your cook book library!)

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

Super Bowl Sunday Round-up!

As usual I’m “late to the party” with this post.  But if you’re like me and haven’t decided what to prepare for Super Bowl Sunday, here’s a rowdy round-up of complete deliciousness 🙂

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Chicken Wonton Tacos with Sesame Slaw from Alaska from Scratch

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites with Jalapeno Spiced Raspberry Glaze from 1227 Foster

Butterbean Hummus with Smoked Paprika Oil from Frugal Feeding

Award Winning Beef chili from Blue Kale Road

Can’t forget the dessert!

Cherry Berry Chocolate Ice Cream Cake from Pink Patisserie

Coconut Tuiles from Pastry Craft Seattle

Dreamy Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting from A Beautiful Bite

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Grilled Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Sautéed Sweet Onions and Swiss Cheese

Serves 12

Ingredients

2 lbs Pork Tenderloin (not marinated) Each whole tenderloin is about 1lb each.

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine)

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon (or more to taste) Asian chili paste or hot sauce (I like Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste)

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

6-8 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

Dash of sesame oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Serve with:

Sautéed Sweet Onions (recipe below)

Hot mustard

Slices of Swiss cheese (optional)

Mini or slider buns, or Hawaiian Bread Rolls

Directions

Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag or glass baking dish.  Add the tenderloins to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To prepare:

Pre-heat the grill to 375F (The pork can also be oven roasted. See below).  Place the tenderloins on the grill and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145F.

You may need to flip the tenderloins a time or two to keep the marinade from burning and evenly brown the pork.

When the pork is done remove from the heat and place on a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.

Thinly slice the pork and assemble on slider buns, topped with a small slice of Swiss cheese and warm sautéed sweet onions.

Serve with Asian hot sauce or hot mustard mixed

*The pork can also be roasted in a 375F oven until the internal temperature reaches 145F.  About 20 minutes.

Add a little of the marinade in the roasting pan or baking dish to keep the tenderloin moist.

Sautéed Sweet Onions

Ingredients

3 large sweet onions, halved and thin sliced (Walla Walla, Vidalia, Maui, Texas Sweet)

4 tablespoons clarified butter or oil

Directions

Heat the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan or skillet.  When the butter is melted and/or oil is hot, add all the onions. Keep turning the onions in the pan for the first few minutes to keep them from burning.  Turn down the heat to medium low if needed.

Let the onions cook down, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and caramelized.  This usually takes about 20 – 30 minutes.  Once they are nicely golden brown remove them from the heat.

Season with a pinch of salt and serve with the pork sliders.

Appetizers Grilling Kid Friendly Pork

Superbowl Sliders! Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Sauteed Sweet Onions and Hot Mustard

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Sweet Onions and Hot Mustard

My sister emailed me this morning asking if I had any Superbowl Sunday recipes to share.  “When is Superbowl Sunday?” I emailed back.  “Sunday”  My sister replies.

Superbowl Sliders

Oh shoot!  Where have I been?  Hiding under a rock somewhere? I have obviously not been paying attention.  And yes, I’ve seen Ranger Craig watching football since the season began.  But it didn’t occur to me that Superbowl is a few days away.   Honestly, I think I’m way past Superbowl and Groundhog day.  I’ve moved onto Valentines already!

My new cutting board from my friend Heidi

Although I seem to be oblivious of football season, I’m not oblivious about the food involved.  So into my recipe vaults I went and pulled out this delish little dish.

Simply prepared and packed with flavor.  It’ll be a knockout with all the football fans in your home!  Hmmm… I think that’s a boxing term.   How about… it’ll be a roaring touchdown with all the football fans in your home!  I think that’ll work. 🙂

Grilled Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Sautéed Sweet Onions and Swiss Cheese

Serves 12

Ingredients

2 lbs Pork Tenderloin (not marinated) Each whole tenderloin is about 1lb each.

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine)

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon (or more to taste) Asian chili paste or hot sauce (I like Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste)

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

6-8 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

Dash of sesame oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Serve with:

Sautéed Sweet Onions (recipe below)

Hot mustard

Slices of Swiss cheese (optional)

Mini or slider buns, or Hawaiin Bread Rolls

Directions

Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag or glass baking dish.  Add the tenderloins to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To prepare:

Pre-heat the grill to 375F (The pork can also be oven roasted. See below).  Place the tenderloins on the grill and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145F.

You may need to flip the tenderloins a time or two to keep the marinade from burning and evenly brown the pork.

When the pork is done remove from the heat and place on a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.

Thinly slice the pork and assemble on slider buns, topped with a small slice of Swiss cheese and warm sautéed sweet onions.

Serve with Asian hot sauce or hot mustard mixed

*The pork can also be roasted in a 375F oven until the internal temperature reaches 145F.  About 20 minutes.

Add a little of the marinade in the roasting pan or baking dish to keep the tenderloin moist.

Sautéed Sweet Onions

Ingredients

3 large sweet onions, halved and thin sliced (Walla Walla, Vidalia, Maui, Texas Sweet)

4 tablespoons clarified butter or oil

Directions

Heat the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan or skillet.  When the butter is melted and/or oil is hot, add all the onions. Keep turning the onions in the pan for the first few minutes to keep them from burning.  Turn down the heat to medium low if needed.

Let the onions cook down, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and caramelized.  This usually takes about 20 – 30 minutes.  Once they are nicely golden brown remove them from the heat.

Season with a pinch of salt and serve with the pork sliders.

Kid Friendly Pork vegetarian

Yakisoba Noodles with Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin, Fresh Cabbage, Carrots, Shallots and Bean Sprouts

Recently, I had the fun privilege of cooking with my sister-in-law while she, my brother, neice and nephew were visiting from Japan.  Originally from Colombia, South America,  Paula, her Mother and Grandmother prepare the most delicious South American food I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting (which I’ll blog soon!).  However, the dish Paula and I created this time was a divine little Yakisoba she learned while living in Japan. 

Cam (my handsome little brother) poured Paula and I some Plum Sake and we started cooking.  What we ended up with was a yummy dish of Yakisoba noodles tossed with fresh sautéed cabbage, carrots, shallots and bean sprouts.  Top with chopped fresh green onions, chopped Anori (seaweed) or fresh cilantro and you’ve got one heck of a meal! 

If you live here in the Pacific Northwest you’ll probably find Yakisoba noodles readily available in your local market.  My two Bennett gals prefer the refrigerated noodles that contain the seasoning packets (makes for a quick meal).  If you can’t find the refrigerated Yakisoba with the seasoning packet, check in the Asian section of your market for “Soba” noodles that are dry and can be cooked just like pasta.  I’ve listed a quick recipe for the sauce if Yakisoba sauce is not available.  It’ll still be tasty!  And better yet… try locating an Asian market in your corner of the world.  You’ll find all sorts of delectable foods, and like me, you’ll be hooked! 

Just a side note: Leave out the pork and this will also make a fabulous vegetarian or vegan meal.  Extra veggies fresh from your garden?  Throw them in the Yakisoba, it’ll be yummy!

Thanks Paula and Cameron for a fabulous visit!  (And for all the great food too!) Food is fun, brings families together, and creates some of our happiest memories.  Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

Happy Cooking!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1lb Pork Tenderloin, thinly sliced

1 lb Yakisoba noodles (refrigerated) or Soba noodles (dry)

1/2 cup chopped shallots (or 1 cup chopped yellow onions)

1 small head cabbage (I like chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage)

1 – 1 1/2 cups carrots, Julienne, shredded, or sliced

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

Add ins: Chopped fresh broccoli, asparagus tips, fresh green beans, fresh corn, Japanese squash, butternut squash or zucchini

Garnish with fresh chopped green onions. pickled ginger or Anori (seaweed)

Yakisoba sauce or sauce packets, or Japanese Worcestershire

To make a sauce:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup rice wine (Mirin)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

Mix together until sugar is dissolved and set aside.

Directions

Over medium high heat add a little high heat oil to a large skillet or frying pan.  Add the pork and fry until it turns white.  Next, add the onion and carrot and fry until they soften slightly. Then add the cabbage and fry until soft.  Add the bean sprouts last.

Pull the noodles apart to keep them from staying in a clump, and stir them into the mixture. When everything is nicely mixed together, pour 2 or 3 tablespoons of water over it and stir-fry a little longer.

Add the seasoning sauce (powder or liquid) that comes with the package of noodles, or if there is no sauce, use Japanese Worcestershire sauce, or recipe sauce above.

Toss the noodles and veggies with the sauce and serve immediately.  Garnish with pickled ginger, chopped green onions, Anori or fresh chopped cilantro.  Enjoy!

Grilling Kid Friendly Pork Sauces, Salsas and More

Spicy Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Peach and Ginger Compote

This time of year fresh summer peaches are a staple in our fruit bowl.  But with all those peaches I’m usually scrambling to use them before they turn soft and end up as peach preserves.  One of Ranger Craig’s favorite peach dishes is white peaches in Sangria.  I’ve posted this recipe previously and you’ll find it under the category “sweets”.  It’s fun and festive, not to mention beautiful and delicious! 

However, this week I wanted to use my summer peaches in a dinner recipe.  The main ingredient would have to be pork, as most stone fruit beautifully compliments the flavor of pork, and well, I happened to have a tenderloin or two on hand.  I just love it when I’ve got all the ingredients in-house and don’t need to make a run to the market!

Pork tenderloin is one of the easiest cuts of pork to prepare.  It’s of course tender, a smaller cut that requires less cook time and can be cooked whole, in small medallions, or pounded into thin cutlets.  A great cut of pork to keep in the frig or freezer.  Check out all the delicious pork tenderloin recipes posts under the category “pork”.  Great ideas for simple, fresh and delicious meals. 

I decided to keep the peach and ginger compote as simple as possible.  Sauces, salsas, compotes, and chutney’s can include a lot of different ingredients, which works well with some dishes.  But I really wanted the clean flavors of the peach and ginger to shine through and compliment the tender cut of pork that had been rubbed with delicious spices. 

A little bit spicy and a little bit sweet (I’d love to be described the same, instead I’m describing a pork!)  A beautiful blend of fresh flavors that truly make a delicious dinner.  Enjoy this delicious taste of summer, and maybe your family will describe you a little bit spicy and a little bit sweet! 

Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life.  Happy Cooking!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1-1/2 lbs pork tenderloin (usually 2 pieces)

Olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder)

1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs or dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 large fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (you can substitute with 2 cups frozen peach slices)

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1/4 cup peach preserves

1/4 cup dry white wine (or apple cider)

2 teaspoons butter

Fresh chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Directions

Paper towel dry the tenderloins and shave off the silver membrane on each tenderloin.  This is a sliver of tissue that can be tough if left on the tenderloin.  Place the tenderloins in a glass baking dish and rub with a little olive oil. 

Mix together the cumin, salt, pepper, chipotle chili powder, oregano or Italian herbs, garlic salt and brown sugar.  Rub the mixture onto both tenderloins and then refrigerate for about an hour. 

To prepare the compote: In a medium sauce pan heat on medium the 2 teaspoons of butter and a dash of olive oil.  When the butter has melted and is warm, add the shallots and saute for a few minutes until fragrant. 

Next, add the peaches, ginger and preserves.  Let the mixture slowly simmer until the peaches become tender.  Add the white wine or apple cider and continue to cook on low for about another 10 minutes.  The mixture should have come together nicely and peaches should be soft but not falling apart. 

Add a pinch of salt and taste for additional seasoning.  It should be savory but sweet.  Remember, you’ll have lots of flavor on the pork, so the compote should taste clean and fresh, not over done. 

Pre-heat a grill to 400F, or an oven to 350F. 

To grill the tenderloin:  Oil the grates and sear the tenderloin, continually turning so they don’t stick.  Turn the heat down to a medium flame.  Once both tenderloin have been seared, turn one burner off and place tenderloin over the burner that is off.  This creates indirect cooking which is a preferred method of grilling for a pork tenderloin.  Otherwise the tenderloin will burn on the outside before the inside is done.  The tenderloin will be done when a meat thermometer reaches 160F.  It’s usually about 10-15 minutes on the grill. 

To oven roast: Place the tenderloin in the pre-heated oven and let it roast for about 20 minutes.  Check for doneness with a meat thermometer.  The center of the tenderloin should reach 160F. 

Once the tenderloin is done it’s very important to place it on a platter or dish and let it rest for 5 minutes or so to let all the juices redistribute.

Slice the tenderloin and place on a platter or individual plates.  Top with the peach ginger compote and garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley.  This is delicious served with fresh summer greens tossed in a light vinaigrette, or grilled asparagus and zucchini tossed in a white balsamic vinaigrette and garlic parmesan cous cous. 

Bon Appetit!