Category Archives: Main Course

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

afoodcentriclife.com

My favorite thing about talking to some of our less-cheffy friends is that they make you feel super impressive and creative, even when your ideas are pretty standard. For example, Liza was recently telling The Chef and me about how there’s only so much you can do with chicken and vegetables, and you just can’t make pork tenderloin for two.

To which I said, um, depends on how large and fattening your portion sizes are, but that’s really not the point. Tenderloin is surprisingly simple to make, and it’s just about the best snack ever.

So when The Chef told Liza about this sweet and tangy marinade and the ways you could re-purpose your leftovers – tenderloin tacos, quesadillas, on buns with horseradish or honey mustard – she acted like he had just discovered fire. It was hilarious.

So this one’s for you, young Liza. Treat yo’self!

1 1/2 cups of maple syrup
1 cup of creole mustard
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs, chopped
salt and pepper

  1. Whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Pour marinade over tenderloin and marinate for 4 hours – overnight, depending upon how intense you want the flavor to be.
  3. Grill (or bake) until a thermometer registers 150 degrees. (If you are a little braver and like the pink, you can stop at 140.)
  4. Let the tenderloin rest for 30 minutes before slicing. Or, if you’re making this ahead of time for a specific occasion, refrigerate and slice when ready to serve. Tenderloin is just as good room temp.
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Filed under Main Course, Marinades, Pork, Southern food, Special Occasion

Vegetable Garlic Herb Lentils

With the colder weather finally creeping in down here, I have really been into hearty warming meals.  Lentils are my latest thing.  I have cooked them a lot of different ways, but this one is definitely the best.  It needs a bit more attention then just simmering in liquid because this recipe cooks it risotto style.  The outcome is amazing, and you won’t even notice that it is extremely heathy too!  I served these along a rack of lamb (cooked with same herbs), and it was the perfect combination.  Sorry the picture shows the lamb more then the lentils. – ts

3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup Beluga lentils (or French green lentils)
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
Sea salt and pepper
1 full sprig fresh rosemary
3 large cloves garlic, sliced

  1. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil for one minute over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, and sauté the vegetables until they are softened, 10 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, sliced garlic, rosemary and bay leaf and sauté for 3-5 minutes more, coating all the lentils. Increase the heat and add the red wine. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring, until the mixture becomes dry.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm. Add the warm chicken stock to the lentils (like cooking a risotto) 1/2 a cup at a time, letting the lentils absorb the liquid with each addition. Repeat, stirring the mixture constantly. After 30 minutes or so the lentils should be slightly chewy and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Filed under Beans, Comfort food, Main Course, Party food, Side dishes, Veggies

Pork Tenderloin a la Grosshans

bigflavors.blogspot.com

This recipe comes to us from the grill of the Grosshans. You may know them from such hits as JR’s Brandy Mustard Filets and Bonnie’s Artichoke Dip. And if you know those, you know this recipe is pretty much a guaranteed “W.”

These are undoubtedly amazing when cooked on the Big Green Egg, but the marinade itself will dress up your tenderloin even if you don’t have the daddy of all grills at your disposal.

Obviously we would pimp any of our Nummy sauces for this, but I’d wager that reducing the leftover marinade would make a pretty delicious topper all on its own. (But boil it before you reduce it, y’all. We don’t need anyone dropping dead of raw-pork-related illness on our watch.)

2 pork tenderloins
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp dry mustard
juice of 1 lemon
5 garlic gloves, smashed
2 tbsp of coarse black pepper

  1. Mix all ingredients together and marinate pork in them for at least 3 hours.
  2. Grill to your preference. Serve on rolls with Horseradish Cream Sauce.

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Filed under Main Course, Meat, Pork

Wild Mushroom and Leek Wild Rice Salad

I have not posted in a while, but that is because I have not been making new recipes recently.  We have so many great recipes on this site, and I had fallen into a trap of cooking the same 4 or 5 things because they are so tasty.   Yesterday I decided to browse my list of “to make” recipes and came across one that for months I kept meaning to make.  When it came down to buying the ingredients, it always just looked a little too healthy.  Since the holidays are around the corner, I thought it best to start getting the health in now.  This is a recipe for mushroom and leek wild rice I saw on Closet Cooking, with my own tweaks.  It is so tasty and surprisingly filling.  It reminds me of a healthier version of my mushroom and leek risotto recipe!  I highly recommend making this.  I served the rice over a bed of baby greens and added a couple slices of skirt steak for extra protein (quickly marinated in a soy, garlic, onion, sugar mixture and grilled).  
Wild rice takes longer to cook then regular rice so start it first!  The mushroom, leek, herb, rice mixture is tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.  Feel free to use your favorite recipe, I wrote down a standard one below.– ts

1 cup wild rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 – 3 leeks green and white parts cleaned and sliced
2 cloves garlic
8- 10 ounces mushrooms (sliced) – I used a mix of cremini, shiitake and oyster
1 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
a large handful chopped pecans
about a 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

  1. Simmer the wild rice in the broth on medium-low heat, covered, until it is tender and it has absorbed all of the broth, about 50-60 minutes and remove from heat.  Drain excess liquids.
  2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large dutch oven/pan.
  3. Add the leeks and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and saute until the mushrooms are just starting to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Mix the wild rice, mushrooms, pecans and balsamic vinaigrette
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1-2 large cloves garlic minced
chopped herbs (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Mix/shake everything together

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Filed under Main Course, Rice, Salad dressings, Side dishes, Veggies

Tom Yum Soup & Shrimp Stock

I was cleaning up the ole WordPress today and ran across this dusty draft in my backlog. How it is possible to forget such a yummy recipe – especially one that involves not one but two types of soup – is beyond me. Let’s remedy that, shall we?

templeofthai.com

This is 2-for-1 in that it is The Chef’s recipe for both Shrimp Stock and Tom Yum Soup. Usually, if you don’t have the time or patience to make your stock, you can buy it; but the ingredient list on this sucker makes me think you should go traditional or go home.

And I’d wager that the flavor will be well worth it. Tom Yum is spicy, brothy Asian goodness, and the longer it simmers and permeates your house, the better it will be when you finally slurp it down.

Shrimp Stock:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
shells from 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp (shrimp reserved)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
stems of 1 lb shiitake shrooms
2 lemongrass stalks, rough chopped
3 inch piece of ginger, rough chopped
2 celery stalks, rough chopped
1 onion, rough chopped
2 tsp of tomato paste
1/2 cup rice wine (mirin)
enough water to cover

  1. Add oil to stock pot. Add shrimp shells and cook them until pink.
  2. Add the rice wine.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover.  Simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain.

Tom Yum Soup:
1 tbsp peanut oil
1.5 lbs shrimp
2 tsp sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped*
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped*
3 Thai chilies*
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
2 celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch slices
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
8 cups shrimp stock
2 cups cilantro, no stems
1 lime, cut into quarters for garnish
cilantro for garnish

  1. Heat large pot over medium heat. Add peanut oil. Then add garlic, chiles, ginger, lemongrass, onions, celery, sesame oil, and chili powder.  Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp, mushrooms, and stock. Cook for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add fish sauce and cilantro.
  4. *Remove lemongrass, ginger, and Thai chilies.
  5. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs. Add soy sauce if you need salt.

The Chef warns that you will definitely have leftover stock, so freeze it for next time, and your Tom will be Yum in no time.

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Filed under Asian food, Main Course, Soups

Mustard & Herb Crusted Salmon

If there is one thing on a menu that will lock down The Chef’s order, it’s crusting something. With nuts or herbs specifically, but honestly, I think you could crust something with Captain Crunch and that would get him to bite… OK, that’s probably something that would pull at my redneck heartstrings more than his, but I think we can all agree that crusting is pretty yummy.

Another that makes this a Chef Favorite is the use of fresh herbs. I think he is second only to Jamie Oliver in his love of all things herby, so using three in one recipe is a definite win.

willhatchett.blogspot.com

Incidentally, if you’ve never watched Jamie’s show on the Cooking Channel, you should check it out. He’s always Macgyver-cooking somewhere insane – like he’s annihilating a head of garlic with a rock on a beach while cooking fish he caught with his bare hands – and it still comes out looking delicious. He’s also rustically adorable, so look into it.

The Chef likes to top this with Lemon Buerre Blanc. To make that, follow this Buerre Blanc recipe and add some lemon juice and zest. Or top with Tanya’s Preserved Lemons and serve up with a side like Red Potatoes with Arugula.

alwaysorderdessert.com

4 salmon fillets*
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup dry mustard
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Coat fillets with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to a dish and turn fillets in the mixture to coat both sides.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick saute pan and saute fillets on both sides, cooking until they are golden brown.

Jamie would pronounce this “fill-its.” You see what I mean? Adorable.

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Filed under Fish, Main Course, Seafood

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Chicken Pot Pie

I have not been seasonal in my postings.  Butternut squash has been a theme these past weeks, and let’s be honest it just screams fall.  Here is a very tasty take on chicken pot pie incorporating butternut squash, mushrooms, gravy, biscuits, and bacon.  Do I need to say more?  –ts

1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. olive oil
6 slices center-cut bacon
3 portabella mushroom caps, cleaned and diced (about 3 cups)
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup diced onions
2 lb. chicken breasts and thighs, diced
salt to taste
buttermilk biscuits (make your own if you can, but I can’t bake)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the butternut squash, milk, chicken broth and garlic in a small pot and set over medium-low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the smoked paprika and set aside.
  2. While the squash cooks, set a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil and the bacon and the onions. Saute until the bacon begins to crisp and the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and cook through, about 10 more minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Grease a casserole dish. Place the contents of the skillet in the baking dish, then ladle the butternut squash puree evenly over the top. Halve the biscuits and place them in an even layer over the top.
  5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are cooked through and golden. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before servings.

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Filed under Bread, Chicken, Comfort food, Main Course, Sauces, Southern food