Monday, September 28, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Butternut Squash Risotto; 3-4 Servings
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
4 T. bacon grease
4 T. cumin
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
I was daydreaming about pork loin a few days ago when Dawn and I ran in the grocery store to grab some ingredients for something or other and I walked past a meat fridge with a few packs of butter-flied pork loin cutlets. After staring intently at them for a few moments I had the idea of stuffing them with something but was unsure of what until I started looking through the ingredients I had to work with at the house.
After probing through the fridge for a couple minutes, I found the plump Brown Turkey figs from Whole Foods a couple days prior. After some contemplation, couscous came to mind as the missing link to the dish that I was dreaming of but could not initially connect. Perhaps it was some kind of Freudian dream and I was repressing couscous like the overly simple relative. But despite the repression that became the opus- fig and couscous stuffed pork loin with a hint of herbaceous goat cheese.
Fig and Couscous Stuffed Pork Loin
2 butter-flied pork loins
3-4 fresh brown turkey or black mission figs
Several pats of soft herb infused goat cheese
1 C Chicken Stock
½ C small grain couscous
2 T olive oil
1 T soy sauce
1 T fresh mint plus more for garnish
Salt & Pepper to taste
Lay pork flat on grill pan and cook for three to five minutes per side or until meat registers 140 degrees in center.
Bring one cup chicken stock to a boil, add couscous, salt, pepper. Place lid on pot and remove from heat.
Chop figs in quarters and place in skillet with oil, salt and pepper, goat cheese, and soy sauce. Cook on low until ingredients are well incorporated.
Spoon several tablespoons of couscous and then fig sauce into the mouths of each pork loin. A few more crumbles of goat cheese can be added on top of fig sauce with mint shreds for garnish.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
One of the things Daniel and I enjoyed doing most for each other after we were married was to make breakfast for each other, trying infinite combinations in omelets and all forms of pancakes and waffles. We’ve somewhat slowed down significantly since then, and during the week breakfast is often not more than fruit or yogurt or cereal, unless we bake muffins or scones or bagels sometime earlier in the week. Since I’m on a break for the next week or so, I’ve enjoyed getting to make breakfast for Daniel again in the mornings, and this morning decided to try for a savory scone recipe.
Scones are definitely a hit or miss source of breakfast delight. The line between a crumbly dry flavorless biscuit, and a flaky, crumbly, melt in your mouth delicious scone is sometimes difficult to navigate. I’m ashamed to say that my first attempt at lemon poppy seed scones produced small inedible bricks that self-destructed at the slightest touch. Since then, I’ve learned that no, the butter does not need to be softened if you want an edible scone treat, and have expanded my scone repertoire to include sweet and savory combinations. Having picked up some delicious bacon from a local farm at this weeks farmers market, I decided to try a savory bacon scone, to pair with a tomato jam I’d prepared earlier in the week.
The scone recipe I used below is straightforward enough. To try to obtain more of a bacon flavor, I cut a little bit of the butter out of the recipe and substituted approximately one-half a tablespoon of the cooled grease from the fried bacon. The result was a slightly flakier scone, almost more buttermilk biscuit-like, but with a smoky bacon flavor permeating every bite. Overall, I was quite satisfied with the scone on its own. I’m typically a purist when it comes to a lot of breakfast foods. I don’t eat syrup on pancakes, butter on biscuits, etc. I’m not sure why, just habit I suppose. Nonetheless, I was really happy with the results of my tomato jam adapted from Natalie’s Killer Cuisine, so I decided to put the two together. As usual, the sweet pairing with the smoky, peppery bacon was both rewarding and satisfying, and gave us a quick, enjoyable breakfast for a few mornings.
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
½ Tsp Salt
½ Tbsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp Cold Butter
½ Tbsp Bacon Grease
½ Cup Shredded Cheese (the obvious choice is cheddar, but I used Monterrey Jack since that’s what we had already shredded, you choose!)
1 Green Onion, diced, with diced scallion tops
Approx 4 Slices Bacon Fried Crisp and Crumbled (approx 2/3 Cup)
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream (Approximate, less maybe)
Preheat oven to 425. Lightly grease pan.
Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
Using fingers or fork, work butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Mix in cheese, chives, and crumbled bacon. Until evenly distributed. Add cooled bacon grease and most of the cream. Stir quickly to combine. If dough still appears too crumbly and does not stay together, continue adding cream until dough comes together, mixing as little as possible. Divide evenly into four large, biscuit sized minds. Place on baking sheet and cook approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on pan. Remove, and serve warm. Will keep in a covered container for a day or two, re-warm before serving.
Tomato Jam (adapted from Natalie’s Killer Cuisine)
Makes approximately eight ounces of jam
2 lb Tomatoes, very ripe
3/4 cup Sugar
¼ Tsp Ginger
½ Tsp Cinnamon
½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Pinch of Salt
Chop Tomatoes in medium dice, discarding seeds and skins where easily removable.
Add all ingredients into stockpot and bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce to low heat and let mixture reduce to a jam-like consistency, stirring occasionally (approx 1 hour). Once jam reaches desired consistency and has thickened, remove from heat and transfer to another container to cool.