Monday, 30 December 2013

Moroccan Orange Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin is inexpensive, tender and perfect for two. I think this quick tenderloin is juicy and packed full of Moroccan seasonings along with complimentary orange and honey. Any leftovers are wonderful in a sandwich served cold and sliced thin. Make two tenderloins just so you have nice slices for lunches. I have served mine with a coconut rice and green beans. Ras El Hanout is a blend of spices from North Africa the name translates to "head of the shop" and implies it is the shopkeepers best blend. It is typically a blend of cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ground chilies, coriander, cumin, peppercorn, fenugreek and turmeric. If you cannot find this blend in your store it is easy to go on line to find a recipe for a blend to make yourself.

You will  need:

  • 1 pork tenderloin - cleaned of any fat and silver skin
  • 3 cloves garlic - crushed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil - your best quality like Mandranova Nocellara
  • 1 heaped tsp Ras El Hanout - which is a Moroccan blend of spices
  • 1 tbsp orange zest - finely zested
  • salt and pepper
  • Juice from one large orange
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • coconut rice (see Note*)
  • your favourite vegetables

Note* Cook 1 cup rice in 2 cups liquid. In a 2 cup measuring cup add 160ml of coconut milk and fill the rest up to 2 cups with water and a pinch of salt. Add liquid to rice in a pot with a lid.  Bring to a boil and reduce to low and cover. Cook on low for 20 minutes until cooked. You can turn off and leave covered on stove until pork is ready.

Step 1: remove any fat and silver skin from the tenderloin.

Step 2: crush garlic with a garlic press and rub over the entire tenderloin. Pour over great olive oil and add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Leave to sit and make your coconut rice and chop your vegetables.

Step 3: sprinkle the Ras el Hanout over tenderloin and zest the orange over meat. Roast in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Juice orange and mix with honey reduce in a small pan for 5 minutes until thickened and concentrated.


Serve with a drizzle of honey orange glaze. 

Friday, 27 December 2013

Brioche Buns

 These are sweet and soft and make a nice loaf of bread roll or even hamburger buns.

You will need:
  • 3/4 cup (6oz.) warm water
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups bread or all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt

Step 1: let the warm water, warm milk, yeast and honey sit for 5 minutes to make sure the yeast is activated.

Step 2: in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment add flour, salt and butter.

Step 3: add the eggs and yeast mix and beat 5 minutes. 

Step 4: remove the paddle and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 2 hours until doubled.

Step 5: remove the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead a few times until it comes together in a nice ball. Divide into balls for buns or rolls or roll up for a single loaf of bread and place in a buttered loaf pan.

Step 6: brush with melted butter and place on an oiled baking sheet or use parchment paper. Cover and let rise for a final 30-45 minutes.

Bake in 375 degree F oven until browned and baked through. 20-25 minutes

Let cool slightly before slicing or serve warm if you made small rolls. This is also an excellent bread to freeze any leftovers and use for a bread pudding or french toast.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Stuffed Turkey Burgers

This is like a full turkey dinner in a burger. It is a burger made with ground turkey, filled with stuffing and topped with cranberry sauce. You could also top with gravy for the full deal!!!

 A burger that tastes like Thanksgiving or Christmas any time you like.

You will need:
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 2 cooked sausages- like mild or hot Italian grilled or cooked in a pan
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to your taste
  • 1-2 tbsp cranberry sauce - more to serve on top of burger
  • 1/2 pound of ground turkey (a mix of dark and white meat or all dark is best-ground breast is too dry.

Step 1: make the stuffing by adding onion, carrot, celery, fresh thyme leaves, fresh sage leaves, fresh parsley, fresh rosemary and cooked sausages into a food processor. Puree until finely minced.

Step 2: with a few tbsp of olive oil cook for 6-7 minutes until most of the water from the vegetables has cooked out. Add salt and pepper and taste. Adjust to your preference.

Step 3: add a few tbsp of cranberry sauce. I make my own however store bought is fine. If you don't have any you can substitute some blackberry or currant jam. Let cool completely.

Step 4: you can form 2 thin patties and add the filling to the middle by hand or I have used a small lid to use as a form. Place one thin patty as the bottom (it can't be too thin or the dressing will not be covered) place a ball of stuffing/dressing in the center and top with another thin patty. Mould to enclose the stuffing. Repeat.

Step 5: you can grill these or simple place in a hot cast iron pan with a bit of olive oil. Cook on both sides to develop some browning. Then finish in a 375 degree F oven for another 7-8 minutes to cook through.

Top with more cranberry sauce, some gravy or just some lettuce and tomato.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Beef & Ricotta Cannelloni

This is a simple baked pasta that can be made with dry pasta shells that do not require cooking. You simply stuff, add sauce, cheese and bake. Add a beautiful salad and dinner for a crowd is served.

You will need:
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic - peeled
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves-removed from stalks
  • 3 basil leaves (larger ones)
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley 
  • 3 tbsp good extra virgin olive oil - like Mandranova Nocellara
  • salt and pepper to taste and add all along the cooking way!
  • 1/2 pound ground beef (or mix half beef and pork)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning mix
  • 250gram/1 cup ricotta cheese
  • more fresh basil leaves 2-3
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves removed from stalks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pkg no bake cannelloni shells
  • 796ml/28 oz. can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella or Parmesan (or both) to top
  • salt and pepper to taste in each step.

Step 1: to a food processor add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, thyme leaves, basil leaves and parsley. Puree until mix is a fine mince.

Step 2: in a large hot pan add good olive oil and minced vegetables. Sprinkle salt and pepper. People usually do not add enough salt and pepper to their cooking in an effort to reduce sodium however, this is why you taste all along the way so you can adjust when it tastes bland. 

Step 3: add ground meat, dry Italian seasonings or even some chili flakes and cook until cooked through. Make sure you cook out all the water and then the meat will start to brown in the olive oil. Do not stop until all water has evaporated and it sizzles for a few minutes and starts to brown. Taste it and adjust salt and pepper. Set aside in a large bowl to cool slightly.

Step 4: add basil leaves, parsley, thyme, olive oil and garlic cloves to a food processor. Pulse until chopped. Add tomatoes and puree for 15 seconds until pureed. Add more salt and pepper. That is your sauce, set aside.

Step 5: once meat has cooled slightly add ricotta cheese and you may want to add a bit more chopped basil and parsley. This will add a bit of fresh uncooked flavour to the meat and cheese mix. Taste it and add salt and pepper if bland.

Note: it is not necessary but, I removed 2-3 tbsp of the meat before I added the ricotta so I could sprinkle it on top of my finished dish. 

Step 6: fill your no bake shells (I use my clean hands because it is the easiest) Place on a large pan with a layer of sauce as a base. I use a pan that will accommodate 2 rows of shells. Because you are using no bake shells you must be generous with the sauce as the shells will absorb much of the liquid. If it looks like there is too much sauce don't worry. I used 3/4 of the sauce and saved a bit for serving to add a fresh uncooked sauce to the finished cannelloni. 

Step 7: cover the tops of your cannelloni with tomato sauce to cover, sprinkle with cheese and the reserved beef if you like. I think it tells people there is meat in the dish. Bake in a 350 degree F oven until browned and bubbly approximately 30-40 minutes.

Top with a bit more parsley and some extra sauce for those that want some.