2.24.2009

Cauliflower gratin

It's debatable if this dish is of "eat your veggies" type or "drown yourself in cheese and butter", regardless it is good! Adapted from the an adaptation of a recipe...

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk + 1 cup of water
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup of Swiss cheese ( but really follow the recipe referenced above, I only had Swiss on hand )
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp panko crumbs
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan
Boil cauliflower in water and drain after 6 minutes. On low-medium heat, melt butter in the pan and add flour when it's fully melted. Mix continuously with a wooden spoon for a minute or so, and add in the milk / water combination. Mix and cook until thicken (when it is just starting to boil). Remove from heat and add cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Place the cauliflower florets into a ceramic baking dish, pour the cheese mixture over them. Sprinkle with crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Serve with a nice, hearty steak...

2.21.2009

Spring Asparagus

It may be wishful thinking but young asparagus made me think of spring when I saw it at the market. I stood at the produce stand for a while, picking out the thinnest crayons. The thinner, the more tender. I brought them home, without the slightest idea of what to do. Thanks to Elise though, I made a wonderful side. The only modification to her recipe was a bit of lemon juice (1 tsp) and leaving these tender guys whole.


2.17.2009

Cuban Panini

What to do with the pork tenderloin leftovers?!

  • sliced pork tenderloin (see previous entry)
  • ham
  • swiss cheese
  • pickles, sliced lengthwise
  • hot mustard
  • ciabata bread....or cop out to whole wheat sandwich bread like i did

Assemble and grill (on the panini press or george foreman grill) for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread has grill marks.

2.16.2009

Cherry Encrusted Pork Tenderloin with a reduced balsamic glaze

  • 1.5 lb of pork tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp of cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup of dry cherries
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 cup of red wine (2007 Yellow Tail Cab)
  • kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Roll cleaned / dried tenderloin in cracked pepper and salt. Lay it atop of dry cherries. Press the meat on top of the cherries and add 1/4 cup of red wine to the pan. Cook for 30 minutes and rotate the meat with tongs (most cherries should stay attached to the meat). Add the remaining wine and olive oil to the pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes at 400F, depending on the thickness of your tenderloin, but just enough to keep the center pink and let the cherries caramelize.

Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes to reabsorb the juices and serve with slowly reduced balsamic.

Udon Noodles with Pesto

I wasn't going for the complex cultural mix. Frankly, we don't eat a lot of pasta, so I only keep a small variety in the pantry, but when my dad dropped off a bunch of basil I decided to make pesto. There are plenty of uses for that, and pasta was the first thing that came to mind. Thus, to celebrate those of Japo-Italian (?) heritage, here's what I made.

Pesto
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 1/2 bunch, basil
  • 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan reggiano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Blend basil and pecans, as you slowly pour in olive oil. Add cheese. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta

Boil wheat udon noddles for 6 minutes and rinse with cold water. Let drain. Mix in pesto (amount to your liking). Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese. Enjoy!