Category Archives: Marinades

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

Sweet Chili Sauce

Earlier in the year I posted a great Thai Shrimp recipe that uses sweet chili sauce.  I noted that I should start making my own but never got around to doing so.  Ripley also posted a fried green tomato recipe that uses sweet chili sauce and noted that the Chef’s fav is Mae Ploy.  With good premade ones already out there, it is hard to get motivated to make your own.  However, it is simple with few ingredients and keeps well in the fridge.  Making it at home means no preservatives and additives.  – ts

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar, adjust according to your desired sweetness
6-8 small red chili peppers, chopped finely
1/2 tsp red chili paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 (2 inch each) orange peel, julienned finely

Thickener:
1 – 2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

  1. Combine ingredients for thickener in a small bowl and mix well then set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, chili, garlic, orange peel, chili paste. Heat over medium heat . Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Simmer until all ingredients has softened.
  4. Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture and cook until it thickens. NOTE: Add cornstarch mixture slowly so as to avoid becoming too thick. If you accidentally add too much cornstarch mixture and the sauce becomes too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little bit more water and cooking it a little bit longer.
  5. Remove from heat and cool before serving or refrigerating.

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Filed under Asian food, Dips, Marinades, Sauces, Toppings

Lemon Rosemary Brick Chicken

Chef John says: Shortly before leaving NYC, I was introduced to a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant called Balaboosta. If you are in NYC you should definitely go, there isn’t a bad item on the menu. A must-order from here was the Brick Chicken. I don’t really get how the whole brick thing works and I don’t really care, all I know is it’s delicious. The skin is super crispy, the meat is juicy and that’s what matters the most. I recently came across a recipe so I decided to give it a shot.I found the marinade to be very flavorful but switch it up to your tastes. Just be sure to use the brick.It’s allllllllll in the brick.

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped, plus additional sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
One 4-pound whole grass-fed chicken, butterflied

  1. Combine the garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and salt. Whisk in the olive oil. Rub two-thirds of the marinade all over the chicken and under the skin.
  2. Prepare your grill for direct medium-low heat or heat a cast-iron pan over a medium-low flame. Place the chicken on the grill or pan skin side down. Place a foil-wrapped brick or a heavy cast-iron skillet on top of the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the brick and turn the chicken over. Place the brick on the chicken again and continue to grill until the chicken is golden and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with the remaining marinade.

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Filed under Chicken, Comfort food, Main Course, Marinades, Middle Eastern

Grilled Artichokes and Stems with Garlic Herb Butter

As wonderful as living in NYC was for 6 years, now that I have outdoor space and a grill, I realize how much I had been missing out.  I love being able to grill.  Unless I am baking, there is now no need for me to turn on the stove.  In 110 degree heat and little kitchen air circulation, that makes me happy!  Below is an amazing grilled artichoke recipe I found from whiteonricecouple.com.  It taste unbelievable and is very easy.  You have to use fresh artichokes, and find ones with a large stem.  One thing I never knew until now, the stem is just a large extension of the heart.  Don’t miss out on it!  Preparing fresh artichokes seems like a daunting task but is honestly easy.  This recipe gives a little bit of directions but there are tons of instructional videos online that can help. – ts
Chef’s note:  You can substitute any herb for the tarragon in this recipe

6 medium artichokes with stems
4 tablespoons sea salt (for boiling water)
2 small lemons
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (any vinegar will work)
3 tablespoons crushed garlic, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ chunks
2 teaspoons sea salt, for sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

  1. Bring a large stock pot 3/4 filled with water to a boil. While the water heats, trim the artichokes. Cut off the stems, and cut them into manageable lengths (usually in half). Peel the outer layer of the stems and rub with half of a lemon. Trim the top third off of the artichokes, then trim the tips of the remaining leaves.
  2. Slice the remaining 1 1/4 lemons into large wedges and put in the boiling water. Add the 4 T of sea salt to the water, then add the artichokes and stems. Place a few layers of paper towels over the artichokes to weigh them down, sinking them deeper in the water. Boil for 20-30 minutes or until the heart is tender when pierced and an outer leaf pulls off easily and the meat is tender.
  3. Drain and allow to cool upside down in a colander until easy to handle. Slice stems in half. Cut artichokes in half and remove choke with a small spoon.
  4. Combine olive oil, vinegar, and 1 T of garlic in a plastic bag large enough to marinate the artichokes and stems. Add artichokes and stems to the marinate, toss to coat, and allow to marinate 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Heat a grill set up for direct heat. Remove artichokes and stems from marinade (reserving the marinade to make sauce) and grill artichokes and stems until lightly charred, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add remaining marinade to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat.  Add remaining 2 T of garlic and cook until garlic is soft (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Whisk in butter chunks until completely melted. Add sea salt, lemon juice, tarragon, and black pepper, whisking to combine. Serve immediately with grill artichokes and stems.

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Filed under Appetizers, Marinades, Sauces, Side dishes, Veggies

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Lemon Zest-Thyme Marinade

This is a favorite go to dinner Chef John and I like to make.  I normally serve with roasted potatoes, fennel, and onion and a side salad.  It is a Michael Ruhlman recipe. – ts
Chef John says: If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a big fan of all things pork. When I’m having a hard time thinking of something to make, I’ll turn to this recipe. It’s really quick and easy, probably takes about 15 min total to prepare the marinade. Also, I find it to be more rewarding to create your own marinade rather than just pouring something out of the bottle (which I have no problem doing). I’d let this marinate for at least a few hours but letting it go over night is even better.

1 pork tenderloin
salt to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
zest from two lemons
3 cloves garlic, smashed with a knife
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon coarsely cracked coriander
2 tablespoons brown sugar
a bunch of fresh thyme
1/4 cup white wine

  1. Season the pork with plenty of kosher or sea salt.
  2. In a small pan combine the oil, zest, garlic, shallot, pepper, coriander, brown sugar, and 7 or 8 stems of thyme and cook it over medium high heat until the garlic and shallots are bubbling.  Add the wine, bring the oil back up to heat for a few minutes, then remove the pan from the heat (it should cook for about 10 minutes in all) and allow it to cool till it’s not hot to the touch.
  3. Pour it over the pork, add several more stems of fresh thyme, and let it marinate a half hour (or for up to three days, refrigerated, if you’re making this ahead).
  4. Prepare a hot grill and cook the pork, removing the thyme stems, but keep as much of the aromats as will adhere to the pork, to medium rare.

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Filed under Main Course, Marinades, Pork

Lemon Sesame Vinaigrette

It’s Monday, and due to the fact that I spent the better part of my Sunday sitting in traffic on I-40, all I want to do today is watch Netflix and play on Facebook as I normally would on Sunday. Unfortunately I have this stupid job thingy that’s totally ruining my plans.

So I’m giving my brain a break and posting something simple and fresh that I wish I’d had for lunch instead of the cold chicken fingers I actually ate. The Chef served this vinaigrette over roasted shrooms and carrots, and I must say between this and the baby carrot recipe, he’s actively proving that they aren’t just lame ranch-covered OM-related snacks from my childhood.

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 sesame oil
1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds

  1. Whisk together.
  2. Dress your veggies.
  3. Intake.

The Chef says this also works well as a marinade for lamb or beef. I cannot, however, vouch for lamb yet as that is one of the foods he has yet to make for me in an attempt to prove that it doesn’t, in fact, taste like dirt and barnyard like I think it does. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

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Filed under Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces

Zucchini Crudo ~ a.k.a. Zucchini Summer Salad

As many of you know, I started a new job this week, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. And as it turns out, I’m not good at being clueless. At work, that is. I’m great at it on the weekends (See: the black eye I gave myself from tripping over Emily’s computer last Friday).

Photo from kissmyspatula.com

Anyway, my confusion over words and acronyms I don’t understand stops now, which is why I chose to dumb-down The Chef’s title of this post from “crudo” to “salad.” That is the speed I’m running on, people, so shift back a gear.

This salad reminds me of a simpler time when my biggest worry was what kind of wine I was going to drink alongside my Chef-prepared farm fresh MFM veggies… also known as  last week. Seems like a year.

Anywho, this salad was fresh and fantastic, and it was the perfect side to the Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette. The adorable baby carrots we had with it didn’t hurt either (recipe coming soon).

Lemon thyme vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme

  1. Combine all ingredients except oil.
  2. Slowly add oil while whisking.

Zucchini Crudo:
2 lbs zucchini, sliced as thin as possible (a mandoline or the slicer on your food processor is perfect for this)
2 tbsp crushed walnuts
shaved parmesan cheese, about 6 thin slices
salt to taste

  1. Place zucchini in a strainer and sprinkle with salt.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Toss zucchini with dressing and add walnuts. Top with parmesan cheese. Serve cold. With lots of white wine.

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Filed under Italian food, Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces, Side dishes, Veggies