Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spicy North African Pork Tenderloin

1/4 C roasted red bell pepper (make your own by broiling halved red pepper until skins start to blacken.  Put broiled pepper in a sealed bag or tupperware for 10 minutes.  Remove and discard skins)
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, divided
1 Tbsp sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
1/4 tsp salt, plus some to sprinkle on pork
1 tsp cumin, divided
1/4 tsp coriander
2 garlic cloves
1/2 C greek yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 1-lb pork tenderloin, sprinkled with salt

Combine bell pepper, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp juice, sambal oelek,  1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, coriander, and garlic in a food processor.  Process until smooth.

Combine yogurt, mint, 1/2 Tbsp juice, and 1/2 tsp cumin.

In a large skillet, brown salted pork in a little olive oil for 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides.  Put pork in baking dish.  Pour bell pepper mixture over the pork, turning pork to cover all sides with the bell pepper mixture.  Bake at 425 for 11 minutes or until it reaches 145 degrees.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.  Serve with yogurt sauce.

Original Recipe from a Cooking Light Magazine (I think it was last September's magazine)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pi Day 2012

Another year has passed and once more we were forced to eat pie in massive quantities.  How I love that peculiar little number that gives me such a splendid excuse to binge on pie once a year.  As always, we hosted our annual pie day party.  The pie line up featured lemon meringue, oreo, key lime, peach, pecan, berry cheesepie, banoffee (a brilliant combination of bananas and toffee), and caramel apple.  All were delicious.  I made the lemon meringue, oreo, and key lime (recipe here).  And as a bonus, tune in later this week for a german chocolate pie!

Oreo Pie

9 inch chocolate pie crust (I just bought mine, but I've made them before.  Just combine 1 C oreo crumbs, 3 Tbsp sugar, and 1/3 C melted butter.  Press into a pie pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes)
8 oz cool whip
4 oz cream cheese (I buy the 1/3 fat kind, Neufchatel cheese)
4 oz instant chocolate pudding, prepared according to package instructions

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 of the cool whip.  Spread into pie crust.  Pour prepared pudding over cream cheese mixture.  Spread remaining cool whip over pudding.  Garnish with oreo crumbs and cookies.

Super easy!  And when you're making 3 pies, cleaning the house, and tending a 4 month baby, at least one of the 3 pies needs to be easy to make.

Lemon Meringue

1 Baked pastry shell (see my favorite recipe here)
3 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp cornstarch
dash of salt
1 1/2 C water
2 Tbsp butter
1-2 tsp lemon zest
1/3 C lemon juice

Separate egg yolks from whites.  Set whites aside for meringue, allow them to come to room temperature.  Beat egg yolks with a fork and set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and a dash of salt.  Gradually stir in 1 1/2 C water.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Reduce heat and cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat.  Gradually pour 1 C of hot filling into the egg yolks, whisking the eggs constantly.  Return egg yolk mixture to the saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Cook and stir 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in butter and lemon peel.  Stir in lemon juice.  Keep warm.


3 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 Tbsp sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar.  Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar while beating on high speed for about 5 minutes or until whites form stiff, glossy peaks and all the sugar has dissolved.

Pour warm filling into pie crust.  Top with meringue, spreading to the edge of the crust to prevent the meringue from shrinking.  Bake for 15 minutes.  If desired, broil for an additional 1-2 minutes for browner meringue.  Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Chill 3-6 hours before serving.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burrito

Here's another recipe with veggies in odd places.  Sweet potato in a burrito: a delicious combination of spices and sweet, if I do say so myself.  And, Caroline, I thought of you because if I hadn't used a little chicken broth to cook the rice, this would have been vegetarian (same goes for the mac and cheese from the last post).  Plus it was delicious, you should give this a try.  Oh, and even if your name isn't Caroline, you should also give this a try.

Rice (we like to have extra rice around for instant meals the next night, so cut this in half if you just want enough for the burritos):
2 Tb. Butter
2 C rice
juice and zest 1 large or 2 small limes (I just threw in a few spoonfulls of a jar of lime juice)
2 1/2  cups chicken broth or water or any mixture of the two
2-4 Tb. chopped cilantro
 1 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. cumin

Combine all ingredients together in a rice cooker.  Cook rice.

Sweet Potato:
Boil 1 large sweet potato (peeled and cubed) until tender.  Mash with butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Black Beans:
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1/2 C dry beans, soaked and cooked)
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
3 dashes cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Combine beans and spices in a small bowl.

Olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green chili, deseeded and minced (I used half a can of green chili's)

Heat oil in a pan.  Add onion, garlic, and green chili and cook until tender.  Add to bean mixture.

Assembly (makes 4-5 burritos):
Layer sweet potato, rice, beans, and cheese in burrito size tortillas.  Roll.  Brush lightly with olive oil and place under broiler for a few minutes until crispy.  Optional:  Top with a dab of sour cream and/or salsa.