Monday, May 7, 2012

Roasted Sesame Pork Tenderloin (Char Su)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tbls packed brown sugar
1 tbls toasted sesame oil
1 tbls grated fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 pork tenderloins
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Combine soy, hoisin, honey, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in large baggie.  Add pork tenderloins and turn to coat evenly.  Marinate for at least 2 hours.  Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 500 degrees.

Spread sesame seeds on a plate, remove the meat from the marinade, draining off the excess, and roll in the sesame seeds.  Remove to a rack in shallow roasting pan.  Roast the tenderloin until meat reads 150-155 degrees, 20-25 minutes, or until desired doneness.  Let the pork stand, loosely covered with foil, for 5-10 minutes, then slice.

Serve with stir-fried vegetables if desired.

Tamale Pie

Butter for greasing pie plate
1 tbls vegetable oil
1/2 lb 90 percent lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 medium jalapeño, minced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp gr cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbls chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 tbls minced fresh oregano
Gr. black pepper
2 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

4 cups water
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups coarse cornmeal (I used polenta)

1. For the filling:  Butter a 10" deep-dish pie plate (or similar 3 qt. dish) and set it aside.  Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat oven to 375.

2.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot, about 1 minute.  Add the ground beef and pork and cook, breaking up large chunks, until no longer pink and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.  Add the onion and jalapeño and cook until just softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, and salt and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes with their juice along with the black beans and corn.  Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the oregano and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

3.  For the crust:  Bring the water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed, large saucepan over high heat.  Add the salt and then slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking vigorously to prevent lumps from forming.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly, until the cornmeal begins to soften and the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.  

4. To assemble:  Spread two-thirds of the cornmeal mixture (about 2 1/2 cups) over the bottom and up the sides of the buttered pie plate.  Place the lid back on top of the pan with the remaining cornmeal mixture to prevent from drying out.  Spoon the beef mixture evenly into the dish and sprinkle with the cheese.  Spread the remaining cornmeal mixture evenly on top of the cheese, spreading it out to the edges of the pie plate to seal in the filling.

5.  To bake:  Bake until the crust has set and the pie is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove the pie plate from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  

To Freeze/Serve:  Assemble and freeze uncooked.  Thaw, bringing back to room temperature before baking and bake according to recipe directions.

*Note:  When spreading cornmeal mixture in pie plate to create crust, work quickly so that it is easier to spread... if it cools too much it is hard to spread.  

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Chicken Parmesan Burgers (makes 4 burgers; mine were about 1/3 pound each)
As adapted from Giada’s rosemary burgers and Epicurious’ “chicken Parmesan burgers”

Basil mayonnaise:
    1 cup mayonnaise
    ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

    1 pound ground chicken (I ground mine from boneless, skinless breasts)
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1 large loaf of ciabatta or other Italian bread, sliced in half and then into four bun-sized pieces
    ½ cup of prepared pesto
    1 cup of prepared marinara sauce
    4 thick slices (each) of good quality mozzarella and provolone cheeses

For the mayonnaise: In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, garlic, basil, and cheese; set aside.
For the burgers: Preheat a gas or charcoal grill or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, salt, and pepper and ½ of the mayonnaise mixture. Using clean hands, gently combine the ingredients and form the chicken mixture into 4 patties. They will be very moist. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for about 7 minutes on each side; turning carefully to avoid breakage and placing one piece of each cheese on top after flipping.  Transfer to paper towels and let rest for a few minutes.

Brush the cut side of each piece of bread with half of the pesto and during the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time for the chicken burgers, grill bread until slightly golden.

To assemble the burgers: Spread a dollop of the remaining mayonnaise mixture on the top of the toasted bread. (To save calories, I omitted this step.) Place the chicken burgers on the bottom half of the bread and top each with ¼ cup of sauce. Finish with the top half of the bun.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sweet, Sour, & Spicy Orange Chicken & Broccoli with Cashews

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
4 tsp soy sauce
4 tsp Hoisin Sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes (I left out for Tati & Jacey)

Chicken Stir-Fry
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
6 TBS plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts trimmed and sliced thin
4 TBS toasted Sesame oil
2 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS all - purpose flour
2 cups unsalted toasted cashews
3 pounds broccoli florets
8 medium scallions, sliced 1/4 inch thick on bias

1. FOR THE SAUCE: Whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

2. FOR THE STIR-FRY: Combine the garlic, ginger, and 2 TBS vegetable oil in a small bowl and set aside. Combine 2 cups water, soy sauce, and sherry in a medium bowl. Add chicken and stir to break up the clumps. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes for up to an hour. Pour off excess liquid from chicken.

3. Mix sesame oil,cornstarch, and flour in a medium size bowl until smooth. Toss chicken in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated.

4. Heat 4 tsp vegetable oil in a 12 inch non stick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half the chicken in even flat layer and cook, with out stirring until golden brown on first side about 1 minute. Flip chicken pieces over and cook until lightly browned on second side for about 30 seconds. Transfer chicken to a clean bowl and repeat with 4 tsp vegetable oil and remaining chicken.

5. At this point instead of browning the broccoli and cooking it more I bleached it in boiling water for one minute, then drained and ran cool water over it.

6. Return chicken to the skillet and toss to combine. Whisk sauce to recombine, add to skillet and cook stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed.  I didn't thicken as much as needed because I wanted you to be able to reheat and not have it get to thick.

7. At this point I turned off the heat and stirred in the broccoli. You would also stir in the toasted cashews at this point but I have bagged them separately so they don't get soggy. Sprinkle scallions on top before serving over rice. This is a completely yummy dish from Cooks Illustrated!

Cousin of Cabonara!

Pasta Carbonara is Matthew’s favorite pasta. After much research this is hopefully my freezer friendly version. The following recipe is largely based on Marcela Hazan’s pasta carbonara, although where she used egg I got a tad creative with cream.

½ pound of cubed pancetta or slab bacon
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
¼ dry white wine
2 large eggs (I omitted for a béchamel sauce)
¼ cup freshly grated romano cheese
½ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
freshly ground pepper
2 TBS freshly chopped parsley
1 ¼ pound spaghetti
1 ½ cup half and half
1 TBS butter
1 TBS flour

 DIRECTIONS: Mash the garlic with a fork and sauté in the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat while you cook the spaghetti. ( I am giving you the uncooked noodles). Saute until the garlic becomes a deep gold color, then remove and discard from the pan…save the oil in pan. Put the onion and bacon in the pan and cook until onions are golden and the bacon is crisp at the edges. Add the wine and let it bubble for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and set aside. From this point I altered the recipe as follows but I will include the real directions after in parenthesis. Melt one tablespoon of butter and stir in the flour just long enough to get rid of the flour taste. Slowly whisk in the half and half, and add pepper. Cook stirring until the sauce thickens. At this point I stirred in the chesses and parsley. Once combined I mixed all of the ingredients together with a whisk. Once cool and bagged I placed it in the freezer. (Break the eggs into a serving bowl in which you will toss the pasta. The serving bowl can be warmed in the oven if it is oven proof. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, add the cheeses, a liberal grinding of pepper and chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly. Add cooked drained pasta to the bowl and toss rapidly, coating the strands well. Briefly reheat the onion and bacon over high heat. Turn out the contents of the pan into the bowl and toss thoroughly once more. Serve immediately.) When ready to eat cut the sauce out of the bag and slowly heat on the stovetop. You will have to whisk it back together as the oil separated a bit from the rest. I also added a bit of the pasta water to thin just a bit. Definitely cook and toss when you are ready to eat it. Hope you enjoy! Jennifer ☺