Pork Tenderloin with Onion Jam and Apple Cider Molasses

June 23, 2013
Pork Tenderloin with Onion Jam and Apple Cider Molasses

Pork Tenderloin with Onion Jam and Apple Cider Molasses

Visually stunning, aromatic, lean and healthy, this menu will become your new “go-to” menu when company is coming for dinner.  Two homemade condiments make this dish a wowee, wowee entree.  They are Apple Cider Molasses and Onion Jam.

 

 

Apple cider molasses is made by boiling down a gallon of apple cider until it is thick and syrupy.  It has a surprisingly bright sweet tart flavor,which is fantastic with pork.  Very simple to make, it lasts for months in the fridge.  Next time I make it, I think I will preserve it in small canning jars to make it last even longer.

OnionJam

Caramelized Onion Jam

The onion jam is also simple to make, but a bit of a pain in the eye to peel all those onions.  I like to make a big batch so I have it on hand for recipes like this.  But you can try a small batch for the first time, to see if you really like it.

I peeled eight large sweet onions and chopped them using my food processor.   I did a rough chop.  The onions are then, slow cooked in a big saute pan with a little butter, some salt and a splash of vinegar.  After about an hour and a half the onions will be reduced to a thick, jam-like consistency.  Thanks to the vinegar, the jam lasts a long time in the fridge.  You can use this jam in so many ways; with cream cheese on crackers or crostini, baked with chicken, pork or beef, on pizza or pasta, used in marinades, etc.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Caramelized Onions

Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Caramelized Onions

For this pork recipe, I made a marinade with olive oil, the cider molasses, soy sauce, Worcestershire  sauce, Fresno chili peppers (red jalapenos),  salt and pepper, and herbs.  After marinading, I grilled the pork tenderloins.  I reserved the marinade for a finishing sauce.  I added some onion jam to the marinade and cooked it down until it was thick.  I like to add a small pat of butter at the end for glossiness.  The end result is a savory sauce with a hint of sweet, balanced with the tartness from the cider molasses, a little bit of heat for excitement and made rich by the caramelized onions.  You can see from the picture how beautiful the sauce looks on the sliced tenderloin.  For a detailed recipe click here.

Beet and Fennel Salad with Walnuts and Orange Vinaigrette

Beet and Fennel Salad with Walnuts and Orange Vinaigrette

And just to take this menu over the top, I served this gorgeous fennel, orange and beet salad.  The flavors in this salad compliment the pork beautifully.  The salad has roasted beets, fresh sliced raw fennel, orange segments and toasted walnuts.  The dressing is made with orange juice, rice vinegar, and a splash of canola oil.  The trick to keeping this salad looking its best, is to dress the fennel separately from the beets.  Then, ever so gently, mix the two.  Otherwise the red beet juice turns the whole salad red.  It is much prettier when you can see the contrast of the white fennel, the orange segments and the red beets.  Finish it by zesting a bit of orange peel on top.  For a detailed recipe click here.

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Creamy Polenta With Sage Butter

To round out this fabulous company menu, I prepared creamy polenta with sage butter.  I prepared the polenta according to the package directions.  Then, I added fresh chopped sage leaves that had been sauteed in butter.  Of course, I added the butter as well!

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Summer Menu With Ribs and Crisp Fennel, Orange and Beet Salad

June 30, 2012

If it’s summer, it has to be ribs for dinner.

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Moist and Sticky Barbequed Ribs with Summery Salad

I did baby back ribs and paired them with a luscious summery salad of crisp shaved fennel, juicy orange segments, roasted yellow beets and red onion on a bed of baby arugula.  I made the dressing with fresh orange juice and orange zest, fresh lemon juice, chopped shallots, grated ginger and extra virgin olive oil.  I topped the whole thing off with a few crumbles of feta cheese.  I used fat free feta, but you can use your favorite.

I just read through the new issue of bon appetit, the July 2012 issue.  On the cover is a picture of amazing looking ribs.  So, I was inspired to try their “ultimate do-ahead ribs”.  This is a great recipe for company because you can do the bulk of the cooking several days before the ribs are finished on the grill.

Crisp Shaved Fennel with Roasted Beets and Orange Segments on a bed of Arugula with a sweet tart Ginger Dressing.

First, I rubbed the slab of baby back ribs with a mixture of salt, pepper, brown sugar and ancho chili powder.  You could use any kind of chili powder.  Then,I wrapped the full slab in heavy duty tin foil.  I placed the packet on a cookie sheet and baked them in a 350 degree oven for two hours.  I drained off the liquid the ribs generated into a glass bowl and refrigerated for later. I wrapped the ribs back up in the same foil and put them in the refrigerator.

At this point, you can leave the juices and ribs in the fridge for up to 3 days.  When you’re ready to eat, add the reserved rib juices to store bought barbeque sauce or your own homemade sauce.  Put the cold ribs onto a hot grill and slather them with the sauce/juice mixture.  Turn the ribs over every minute or so and slather on more sauce each time.  Do this for about seven minute or until the ribs are heated through, nicely glazed with some nice char marks.  Delicious!!


Pork Rib Roast

August 22, 2010

Roasted Yellow Beet Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette

I don’t usually begin my posts with a discussion of the salad, but this salad was so surprising I must begin here.  For quite some time I have been looking for a delicious way to serve beets.  I guess I really don’t like beets, I just like the idea of liking beets.  They have such fabulous color, whether red or yellow.  I buy them, I store them, I look at them, I store them and then I look at them some more.  I really don’t like beets.

So here I was again, having purchased beets, this time the yellow ones.  They had been in my fridge for two weeks (so I could stare at them for a goodly number of times).  I found this recipe for the beet salad at Melissa’s produce site.  I tweaked it a bit to suit myself.  I used champagne vinegar instead of balsamic and I added fresh tarragon.  It was so delicious, I couldn’t believe I was eating beets.  Even Mum, who we all know hates her vegetables, ate up every last bit.  The salad has roasted yellow beets, toasted pine nuts, shallots and feta cheese.  It is dressed in a shallot and walnut oil vinaigrette with fresh tarragon.  Wowee, it was really good!  You must try this recipe. It has a lot of ingredients, but that’s what must be done to beets to make them taste good.

Pork Rib Roast with Garlic and Rosemary

With the amazing beet salad, I served an impressive pork rib roast.  I thought I would try to make it exactly the way I made the lamb rib racks for my birthday.  I did the pork the same way, but added ten more minutes to the cooking time and they came out perfectly.  They were medium rare, and as tender and juicy as could be.  The rosemary and garlic added their usual intoxicating aromas to the gorgeous meal.

Plated Pork Roast with Parsley Potatoes

With all the complexity of the salad and the show-stopping rib roast, I decided I better keep the side dish simple.  So, I served very simple, yet elegant parsley new potatoes.  I quartered and boiled the potatoes until tender.  I drained them and added butter, fresh parsley and salt.  They were delicious.

Tipsy Plums and Raspberries

Fresh plums are in season and I am drawn to their beauty.  I found a great recipe in the August 2010 issue of Food and Wine magazine for “Tipsy Plums & Raspberries. The plums are sliced thin and soaked in Japanese Plum Wine with a dash of ground ginger.  After soaking for an hour or so and just before serving, fresh raspberries are added.  The raspberries fall apart if they soak for too long.  The recipe didn’t call for any sugar, but I sugared the raspberries before adding them.  The compote is served with a sprig of mint and ginger snap cookies on the side.  Really simple, really delicious.


Whole Snapper, Stuffed and Grilled

August 2, 2010

I grilled a whole snapper and it was so gorgeous, I wanted to share the photo with you.  Unfortunately I can’t remember what the heck I stuffed it with.  I’m a bit behind on getting my posts up, and my memory seems to have failed me here.  The pictures don’t really reveal what is inside the little bugger either.  I suppose a nice crab or chopped shrimp stuffing with butter, garlic and breadcrumbs would be delicious.  I know I was strictly watching my carbs and calories, so I probably didn’t do a breadcrumb stuffing.  David thinks I stuffed it with multi colored bell peppers and onions.  I think that would be pretty to look at, but I think the buttery breadcrumb stuffing would taste way better.  So, suit yourselves.

Grilled Snapper with Mystery Stuffing

Make sure your fish monger takes all the scales off any whole fish you plan to cook.  The snapper had very big scales, and lots of them.  I stuffed the fish, tied it with kitchen twine.  I rubbed it with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.  I grilled on medium high for about 4 minutes a side.  My grill runs extremely hot, so you may want to grill it for a bit longer.  Better to err on the side of under cooking.  I served the fish with a tossed salad that included green olives and feta cheese.

If I stuffed it with peppers and onions, I think they would have been previously grilled (I prepare grilled peppers and onions frequently).  They wouldn’t cook as quickly as the fish would.  So, I probably had some left overs from the previous day and used them as a stuffing.  If only I could find a few of those missing brain cells.  Be brave and come up with your own stuffing.


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