Sunday, February 28, 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Butter Braised Radishes


It's Secret Recipe Club time of the month (special extra week) and more importantly, it is Leap Day. I always feel like I should do something exciting and different on February 29th since it only comes every 4 years. But then again, we are leaving for vacation in Iceland 2 days later, so I guess our adventures can wait. 

This month, I forgot to register for the normal group C reveal day for Secret Recipe Club (whoops). However, this month has 5 Mondays, so they are doing a special theme reveal day this month. With both St. Patrick's Day and Easter coming up, we were challenged to do recipes for either one. I was assigned Camilla's blog Culinary Adventures with Cam and there were quite a variety of recipes to choose from.  I was very interested in her Kale Kissed Whiskey Algonquin for St. Patrick's day but I can't imagine drinking that much kale juice after the tiny amount I needed for the drink. I ended up looking at her Easter recipes and I was really intrigued by the Butter Braised Radishes. I had a large bag of red radishes at my house and I wanted an easy thing I could just throw on butter lettuce for a nice salad. 

These were delicious. I had some leftover chicken from dinner the night prior and had these lovely radishes with chicken salad sandwiches. It might only have been February when I made this, but this will be the perfect dish for a spring picnic (and the perfect side dish on your Easter table). Thanks Cam for this great recipe!

Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Radishes, cut in half (amount doesn't really matter so long as your pan isn't crowded)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and basil)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil, fresh lemon juice and butter lettuce
Directions
  1. Brown the butter slightly over medium heat in a large pan. Add the radishes, tossing to coat well in the butter. Add honey, water, salt and pepper.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until radishes are tender. Season to taste, adding acid if needed.
  3. Place butter lettuce on a plate and drizzle a little olive oil and lemon juice over the leaves. Heap radishes on the leaves and enjoy.


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Monday, February 22, 2016

Sous Vide Maple Rosemary Pork Tenderloin


For Christmas this year, my husband got me one of those fancy immersion circulators for cooking sous vide. I know, I got myself a winner. These machines are expensive, but I've been wanted to experiment with sous vide cooking for quite some time. I have had some successes and some failures with this machine, but I keep trying to find some great recipes.

I'm still not confident enough in sous vide cooking to deviate from a recipe by much. For one, you need to season food a lot more than you might normally. You don't have the browning reaction at the beginning. Foods spend a longer amount of time exposed to low heat, so certain fresh herbs or daily might not do well. There are a lot of factors to take into account and it can be a little intimidating.

I tried pork tenderloin because it is notoriously difficult to cook. Well, it' always fine when I make it, but it could always be better. This one was absolutely fantastic. Not dried out at all and perfectly flavored with just the right mix of herbs, sweet and savory. Best of all, sous vide is really the fancy mans crockpot. You basically bag it, set it and forget it...but it's so much more than that. It's an expense (about $170 for the Anova and extra for a vacuum sealer) but I know I'll be using this for years to come.


This brilliant recipe comes from the Anova customer submitted recipes section and it is divine!

Ingredients
  • 1 1lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 yellow apples, peeled and diced
  • splash apple cider vinegar
Directions
  1. Mix rosemary, maple, salt and pepper together and rub all over pork tenderloin. Put pork and all seasonings in a vacuum bag and seal on the moist setting. Let pork marinate 2 hours
  2. Place pork in a water bath at 135 degrees for 2 hours.
  3. Remove pork from bag, reserving juices, and pat dry with towels. Sear in a little oil in a smoking hot cast iron skillet until browned on all sides (about 3 minutes total) Let pork rest 10 minutes before slicing
  4. Meanwhile, add shallot and apple to pan to cook until softened. Add bag juices and apple cider vinegar. If not enough liquid, add chicken stock to cook the apples until soft.
  5. Season to taste and serve with the sliced pork loin.



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Anzac Biscuits





These cookies have been my absolute favorite cookie since I was 17 years old. I got the recipe from an ex-boyfriend's mother. He was never really a boyfriend I guess. Just a best friend that moved back to England. We saw each other a couple times after that, but we knew we would never be. I think he lives in Australia now... he was always so cute and so foreign :-)

Anzac Biscuits refer to the Australian and New Zealand Army. They were originally sent as part of rations and they actually get better as they get a little more stale. Give them a week and they are amazing (not that they ever last that long)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp golden syrup (can get at Wegmans or Whole Foods)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp hot water
  • pinch of salt.

Directions
  1. Mix together sugar, flour, coconut and oats.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan with salt and golden syrup. When hot and bubbling slightly, add baking soda and water, stirring quickly until it froths
  3. Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix. 
  4. Drop tablespoons of cookie dough on parchment/silpat lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. For me, it's about 12 minutes. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sweet Potato Oatmeal



A few weeks back, I saw a photo on pinterest for Sweet Potato Oatmeal. I didn't even open the link because it sounded far too weird to be enjoyable. But then, about a week ago, I had some leftover roasted sweet potatoes in the refrigerator that I was going to puree anyway for sweet potato pie. I took a spoonful out and added it to my breakfast, just to see how it was. Boy, was this an excellent bowl of oatmeal. It was sweet, super filling and tasted just like sweet potato pie. This was a winner for sure.

Ingredients for person
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large spoonfulls of pureed sweet potato
  • cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • maple, pecan halves and dried cranberries to taste
Directions
  1. Bring water, milk and ginger to a simmer with a pinch of salt. Add oats, cinnamon, ginger and sweet potato, stirring until liquid is absorbed and oats are cooked through
  2. Stir in maple syrup to taste. Garnish with pecans and dried cranberries.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Apple stuffed pork tenderloin with butternut squash whipped potatoes and sour cherry jus



Are you looking for something a little different for your Easter dinner? I've never been a big fan of ham, but I've always enjoyed pork. The drawback of pork is that it's easy to overcook, but it's great to find some recipes that are simple, delicious and sure to please a crowd.

Pork tenderloin is small...they're only about a pound each. One tenderloin is good for about 3 people for dinner, so you might want to make sure. This recipe is good for about 2 pork tenderloins

Ingredients for pork and stuffing.

  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 apples
  • stale bread
  • fresh sage and thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chicken stock
  • 2 pork tenderloins
Directions
  1. Saute onions, celery, garlic, carrot and apples in a little bacon fat until vegetables are tender. Add herbs and seasoning.
  2. Pour vegetables in a bowl with stale bread cubes. Pour a little chicken stock over it just to moisten it. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Butterfly open the pork tenderloin and spread out. Place filling in the pork and roll back up. Tie tightly with kitchen twine.
  4. Season pork with salt and pepper. Sear hard on all sides and roast pork loin in the oven until internal temperature of the stuffing reaches 145 degrees (about an hour)
  5. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
For sour cherry sauce, chop up some pitted sweet cherries packed in syrup. Saute in a little butter and add a good splash of rice vinegar. Pour some of the syrup over and let cook until reduced, adding more sugar, syrup or vinegar to taste.
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