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
- Whisk together all ingredients.
- Pour marinade over tenderloin and marinate for 4 hours – overnight, depending upon how intense you want the flavor to be.
- Grill (or bake) until a thermometer registers 150 degrees. (If you are a little braver and like the pink, you can stop at 140.)
- 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.
© Quentin Bacon
It has been so long since I started writing up this recipe from my brother’s engagement party that he is now married. Inexcusable, no?
Well I’m not sorry! With the warm weather and the actual paying writing jobs, something had to give, and this was it. (I actually am sorry, though. This recipe nonsense is considerably easier and more fun to write about than FAA grants, and this audience is loyal as hell, so please forgive me.)
Anyway, we – and by “we” I mean “The Chef” – made a huge batch of this recipe for a St. Patrick’s Day engagement party and served it up in shot glasses. In my world, Soup + Shots + Bacon = Phenom. Seriously – peas are usually beyond lame, but the toppings on this make it delectable.
This is actually Daniel Boulud‘s super schmancy pea soup recipe, but it has been classed-down by Food & Wine for an easier preparation. It’s served cold so it’s a cinch for a party. Make a bunch and sip all summer.
8 slices of bacon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
5 cups chicken stock
2 rosemary sprigs
salt & freshly ground white pepper
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
2 10-oz boxes frozen baby peas
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced
- In a medium soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate; reserve the fat in a bowl in case you need to add it at the end for more bacon flavor.
- In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, 4 slices of the cooked bacon, 1 rosemary sprig and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Discard the bacon and rosemary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snaps and cook for 3 minutes. Add the frozen baby peas and the parsley and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute; drain.
- Add the sugar snaps, baby peas and parsley to the blender and puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of the broth to loosen the mixture.
- Transfer the soup and the remaining broth to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool.
- In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, garlic and remaining rosemary sprig to a boil. Simmer over low heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Strain the garlic cream into a bowl and let cool.
- Ladle the chilled pea soup into bowls and drizzle with the garlic cream. (Use a squirt bottle to make pretty designs out of the cream. It’s absurdly cheffy, but so freaking fun.) Crumble the remaining 4 slices of bacon into each bowl and serve.
Merry New Year, Nummy!
I was thinking of making some sweeping New Year’s Resolution about posting more interesting things than soup in 2012, but then I realized I hate resolutions and I still love soup, so everyone can deal.
Seriously though – I wonder what percentage of people actually follow through with resolutions. Because I’m betting 90% of us just end up hating ourselves for not being able to cut it and the other 10% are overachievers who the rest of us hate.
Anyway, the soup: Not only is this delicious, but it’s also a good alternative when you’re looking to strap on the Italian feedbag but don’t want to pile on the calories. The tastes are the same, but because it’s mainly broth and veggies, it could be construed as mildly good for you. And it has a 2 full servings of veggies! (I made that up, but it could be true.)
Also, because this is not cream- or roux-based, all of you clichés who have resolved to eat more healthily in the new year can keep the dream for one more day.
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp oil
6 cups (or more) chicken broth
1 cup pasta sauce
2 cans stewed/diced tomatoes with juice (if stewed, chop those suckers)
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, barely chopped
1 bag spinach, roughly chopped
1 zucchini, chopped evenly
1 package refrigerated tortellini (tri-color for the fun)
1 cup parmesan cheese + extra for garnish
Seasonings to taste:
Italian seasoning + extra basil/oregano/thyme (fresh would be the bomb)
- Saute garlic and onion in oil until translucent.
- Add the next four ingredients and all of the herbs and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Bring to a boil. Add chicken, zucchini, and tortellini.
- Cook under zucchini and tortellini are tender. Stir in parmesan. Serve.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
So I probably should have posted these recipes last week before Thanksgiving, but I forgot and I wanted to test them out twice to get all kinks out of the way. I was lucky to have two Thanksgivings this year, a “friendsgiving” down in NOLA (which was way better then my family Thanksgiving) and family Thanksgiving. I still never want to eat again. Below is an amazing crawfish stuffing that Chef John’s family has requested a double batch of for next year. Perhaps you can save in your Thanksgiving recipe file for next year or break it out for the December holidays! Chef’s note: make sure to use dry corn bread so it soaks up all the sauce. – ts
Chef John Says: Everyone knows that the best part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing. I usually dedicate about 3/4 of my plate to it. My family always has a traditional stuffing/dressing but this past Sunday we had a pre-Thanksgiving feast at our friend’s house in New Orleans and it was decided that we should make a more NOLA-style dressing. Tanya came across this beauty: Besh’s Crawfish Corn Bread Dressing. Like ALL of Besh’s recipes, this is very easy and delicious.
You can make the corn bread ahead or use leftover corn bread. In fact, the dressing may be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until an hour before serving. I used more andouille, hot sausage, and garlic than it calls for… obviously. This recipe makes 8–10 cups, more than enough to stuff a turkey, but at our Thanksgiving we stuff our bird separately and serve dressings like this alongside. Serves 10
4 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (I used a couple tablespoons of butter instead)
¼ pound andouille sausage, diced
¼ pound hot pork sausage meat, removed from casing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups peeled crawfish tails, chopped (you can usually find a package of frozen tails)
2 green onions, chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices
6 cups crumbled Basic Corn Bread
2 cups Basic Chicken Stock
½ cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
- Put the bacon fat, andouille, and pork sausage into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the pork with the back of a wooden spoon.
- When the pork sausage meat has browned, add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the crawfish and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the sausage and crawfish and stir together until well combined. Spoon the dressing into a large heatproof dish.
- At this point, the dressing may be covered and refrigerated (for up to 1 day) until you are ready to bake it. Bake the dressing in a preheated 350° oven until it is piping hot and golden brown, 15–30 minutes.
Well in case you haven’t heard, Carol is famous. That’s right, young Carol was featured in the Times Free Press a few week’s ago for offering her soup expertise, and clearly we could not be more proud.
This is a recipe Carol adapted from Epicurious.com, and I can personally attest it is delish.
The really fun part here is the jalapeno parsley puree. It’s bright (in taste and in the bowl) and it gives the creamy corn chowder a wonderful kick.
This would be a perfect dish for a day like today in which everyone is feeling gray, wet and pretty darn depressed that the long Thanksgiving weekend is over.
Except me. Because I’m about to go see Twilight. By myself. And no, I could not be happier, so don’t you cry for me, Nummy! Now get your soup on.
5 fresh jalapeño chilies
1⁄4 cup olive oil
11⁄2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp water
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (depending on how much you like garlic)
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
Salt, to taste
1 onion, chopped fine
2 ribs of celery, chopped fine
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chicken broth
21⁄2 cups water
11⁄2 lbs boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 3⁄8-inch cubes
4 cups fresh corn kernels including the pulp scraped from the cobs (organic frozen mixture of white and yellow corn works just as well)
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced (very important; adds a great finishing touch to the soup)
- For the puree:
- Broil the jalapeños on the rack of a broiler pan under a preheated broiler about 2 inches from the heat, turning them about every 7 minutes, for 20-30 minutes or until the skins are blistered and charred.
- Transfer the jalapeños to a zipper-lock bag and let them stand, covered tightly, until they are cool enough to handle.
- Peel the jalapeños, cut off the tops and discard all but 1 teaspoon of the seeds.
- In a blender, puree the jalapeños and reserved seeds with olive oil, lime juice, water, garlic, parsley and salt. The puree may be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.
- For the chowder:
- Cook onion and celery in vegetable oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the celery is softened.
- Add broth, water and potatoes; simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in corn and thyme; simmer for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- To thicken, purée in blender 2 or more cups of the chowder, depending on the consistency you prefer your soups, and return to pot.
- Serve the chowder with a small dollop of the jalapeño and parsley puree swirled into it. Add salt and pepper to taste as well. For added crunch, sprinkle with tortilla chips.
Filed under Soups, Veggies
Aight, Imma be straight wichu: this has been in my backlog for months. And it’s not because I don’t think it’s good.
I actually can’t remember anything The Chef has cooked for me that wasn’t awesome… barring one incident with some enchiladas. And that was a disaster mostly because I was hopping around the kitchen on one leg with a large knife and we were too tired to be cooking anything more than frozen chicken nuggets. (And we actually forgot to turn the oven on when we tried to cook those, so that kind of indicates what level we were on that day.)
Anyway, I’ve been less than anxious to post this only because it’s not in my comfort zone, meaning it is not soup or pasta or a dip made with cream cheese.
But you know what? That’s exactly why it needs posting. This dish actually has some nutritional value and is pretty tasty when you sauce it up all Asian-like. And it’s downright different. So Free Yo Mind, y’all. The rest will follow.
6 oz baby bok choy, cleaned
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp garlic. minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp scallions, thinly sliced
1 /2 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
- Blanch and shock the bok choy.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan. Sweat the ginger, scallions, and garlic until tender.
- Add bok choy. Season with salt, pepper, and sesame oil.