Tag Archives: pork

Missing in Action

4 May

I decided to stop by and check on things. Goodness! Seems it’s been a while.

Even looks like I’ve been away from the kitchen, but looks are deceiving. And important. At least in blog-land. So, I’m going to make it up to you. But, not in this post. My food photos are hanging out at the family computer while these words are originating from one of the household exemption’s laptop. Why, you ask, can you not simply go over to the family computer and marry your photos to your words? Excellent question! Simply put…Kaukab’s daughter is lazy. A word bestowed upon her from a young age, courtesy of Kaukab. Don’t worry, I’m long over it. In fact, in some warped way, “lazy” became a great motivator for conjuring up some hard work as a means for disproving the personality tag.

For now, I shall describe for you some of the magical foodstuffs I had produced in my hard-working kitchen and post the mounting photos shortly.

Here’s what I’ve been cooking:
1. I roasted some young, tender asparagus which are a lovely, easy way to prepare. I chopped off their bottoms, about a 1/4 or so up, spread them out on a large baking tray and drizzled them with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper. Shoved them in a 375 degree oven and waited about 25 min. or so. Just check on them around minute 20 and move them around a bit. Once out, I sprinkled them with some parmesean cheese. I forgot to squeeze a little lemon on them, as that would have finished them off just right. Or not. Twas all good. Picture coming.

2. I made a lovely pork tenderloin for Easter dinner. I had first planned to use some of my expensive (but only if you purchased retail; I purchased at Marshall’s) orange marmelade, but decided to forgo that idea in place of using dijon mustard, soy sauce, rosemary, thyme, cracked black pepper, and garlic salt. Just smeared all of it on the pork and placed on a canola-oiled shallow roasting pan in a 450 degree oven to brown. Then, I added a cup or so of water, cut potatoes and carrots and onions to the pan, covered with foil and turned down the oven to 350 degrees or even 325. How long to cook? Just check your meat package. To make a nice gravy, remove the meat to a platter and tent with foil. Place pan with meat juices on stove and place burners on medium-high. Whisk in a couple tablespoons of flour and adjust with salt/pepper. Stir until smooth. Turn down to medium and cook for 3 – 5 mintues, just to cook out the flour. Add more liquid if need be. Adding some chicken or vegetable broth adds a nice flavor. Photos to come–excluding the meat package.

3. A nice, simple way of making brussel sprouts, if I haven’t already told you, is to boil the fresh sprouts (bottoms slighted off and an “X” mark placed upon it) until almost done. Then, drain, cut into halves (you can do in the pan) and place on medium heat with enough extra virgin olive oil to prevent them from scorching. Add some sea salt and cracked black pepper, along with a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir, but make sure to let them sit on each side long enough to get nicely carmelized. Tasty and goes well with lots of main dishes. Healthier than butter version, although butter is tasty, too. Also, I believe pictures may be coming.

4. Oh, and I had made very festive roasted pablano peppers, which I stuffed with a black bean, roasted corn, finely chopped green onions, cilantro, and tomato salsa mixture, seasoned with lime, cumin, salt, panko bread crumbs, and olive oil. I put them on a baking sheet, spooned more salsa over them and baked on 375 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes. It would be good to douse the pepper with some olive oil to keep skins moist. Once the peppers were roasted, I pulled them out so I could top them with con queso (?) cheese (mexican white cheese) and put them back in to melt. And while these came out picture perfect and snap-shot ready, they never made the cut. Apparently, camera-boy (formally driver-boy) had elected to delete them before confirming with the cook. So, pictures not forthcoming. Kaukab’s daughter is most apologetic.

As you can see, Kaukab’s daughter may have been missing, but there was still a lot of action in the kitchen. See where I went with that?


Fall Cookery

6 Oct

Pork Roast w/Vegetables

Cool weather makes me yearn for hearty fare. Soups loaded with summer’s final bounty. Early fall’s root vegetables. Kaukab always made a lentil with swiss chard soup to soothe our colds. She was raised in the rural Lebanon hills where they counted on the land’s natural properties to provide them with medicinal aid. I hated lentils as a child. Thought them rather ugly. I preferred chicken noodle soup from the can. I was a spoiled American-born child who didn’t appreciate Kaukab’s soup. And, she told me so.

You might be wondering why I’m talking about lentil soup when the picture above looks deceptively like pork roast. Simple answer: It’s pork roast. Complicated answer: I didn’t have lentils, nor swiss chard, to make Kaukab’s soup. (The thought of her disappointment is unnerving.)

What I did have were two minature pork roasts and some onions and carrots.

Onion Twins

I’ve always wanted to roast whole pork tenderloins, but thought it difficult. It really isn’t. As long as you start with a nice rub, of sorts, and make sure to pan sear them, everything else just falls into place. Plus, these were pan-roasted–on the stove. Here’s what I gathered up to make them.

2lbs. ea. (or just under) pork tenderloins (mine were on sale)

2 onions, thinly sliced (cut onion in half, lengthwise; then thinly slice each half, lengthwise)

carrots (could saute mushrooms–halved, and would’ve, if had)

dijon mustard

2T to 3T Apple Butter, or 1/4C  Apple Cider

2C water or veg. broth

dried thyme

sea salt

cracked black pepper

Canola oil

2 T flour (optional, to thicken)

I first smeared the loins with a dijon mustard. Then, salt and pepper. End with dried thyme. Rub so both sides are covered. On high heat, pour enough oil to coat pan. Sear loins until both sides are with a nice brown crust.

Nice and Crusty

Remove from pan, and plate. Tent with foil while cooking onions. Next, saute onions over med. high. You should have enough pork fat rendered to cook these. Add a bit more salt and pepper to these while cooking. Stir often, until translucent and beginning to turn brown around some of their edges. Like this:

Cooked onions

Add apple butter and stir into the onions. Turn up heat to high, and add the water/broth, careful not to steam yourself. (If you’re using apple cider instead, then turn up heat first, and add the cider, along with the water/broth.) Scrape the browned bits from the pan’s bottom. Bring back to boil and then add back the pork loins and their juices.

Apple Butter

Onions w/Apple Butter Liquid

Pork in Broth

Cover pork (slightly tilted to let broth reduce) and turn down heat to medium-low. After 30min., add in thickly-sliced carrots. Continue to cook another 30min to 40min.

Almost done. Still needs more time to reduce.

Turn Up Heat to Boil and Wisked in Flour/Water (to thick liquid consistency)

Turn down heat to medium, cover slightly and continue cooking down liquid until thickens.  Should take another 20min.

Ready To Eat!

I hope, one day, to honor Kaukab by making her lentil soup so that I can share it with you. Kaukab would expect it.

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