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.
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.
It is no secret that I love beets. I once did a beta carotene only diet with my roommate. We lasted about 48 hours until we read that your skin can turn orange. Prune restaurant in NYC is one of the best and definitely in my top 5 restaurants in NYC. If you live there or are visiting you must go for dinner or brunch. The bone marrow will amaze you. It is also located on my favorite intersection in NYC (aka nexus of the universe) 1st and 1st. Anyways back to the beets, I think beets simply roasted with olive oil add cheese and nuts is always a tasty treat. However, Prune serves their beets with this amazing aioli sauce and the beet greens. I finally got my hands on the recipe. ENJOY! – ts
16–20 small (not baby) beets with greens attached
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup mild olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°. Cut greens off beets, leaving 2″ of the stalks attached to beets. Wash greens and beets and set aside separately.
- Roast beets in oven (using method at right) until soft, about 1 hour. Unwrap beets and set aside to cool, then peel.
- Meanwhile, cook beet greens in a medium pot of boiling salted water over high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, squeezing out excess water, and put into a bowl. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
- To serve, spoon some of the aïoli (recipe below) onto 4 small plates, then divide greens and beets between plates, putting greens on top of aïoli and beets on top of greens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Put garlic, mustard, and 1 tsp. salt into a medium bowl and use the back of a wooden spoon to crush them into a paste.
- Add egg yolk and whisk until pale.
- Add lemon juice and whisk until frothy.
- Gradually add vegetable oil, and olive oil, in slow steady streams, whisking constantly, until oils are incorporated and mixture is emulsified. Adjust seasonings.
I know it is not artichoke season, but I love them. If I can still find them at my market, I will make them. In Rome I had the best artichoke I have ever eaten at Il Matriciano restaurant near the Vatican. It was addicting, and I could have eaten about 10 of them. Below is a traditional Roman artichoke recipe from Mario Batali. -ts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 artichokes, halved and trimmed outer leaves, choke removed, held in acidulated water (fancy talk for lemon water)
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup boiling water
- In a small bowl, combine the parsley, mint, garlic, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- In the cavity of the artichoke from which the choke was removed, place 1 teaspoon of the herb mixture. Repeat this procedure with the remaining chokes.
- Arrange all chokes in a deep pan that keeps them close together, in other words, one that doesn’t give them room to fall over.
- Add the wine, boiling water, remaining oil and a pinch of salt.
- Cover and simmer on the stovetop 1 hour. Serve hot or at room temperature.
I was clicking around on the Nums the other day, and I noticed an unfulfilled promise I made back on St. Patty’s Day about a pesto recipe. As a person who places unreasonable stock in that holiday, my “luck of the Irish” will be totally whacked if I don’t rectify this, so that’s what I’m doing here.
As the title would imply, this is Ina Garten’s recipe, and aside from the usual seasoning to taste, it needs no modification. It’s a great basic pesto recipe, and The Chef can attest to the fact that I waxed dramatic about how easy and completely worth it it is to make this rather than buying the jarred stuff. (I know that’s supposed to be obvious, but sometimes you need something like this or Batali’s Basic Marinara Sauce to reteach you that fact.)
Also, this freezes incredibly well, so make a bunch for your long-term carbo needs.
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts*
3 tbsp chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.5 cups good olive oil
1 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds.
Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.
Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.
*The time I made this, I was too lazy to brave the psychofest that is the parking situation at midtown Schnuck’s, and I couldn’t find pine nuts at Miss Cordelia’s, so I used all walnuts. It may not feel as fancy, but it tastes just as good.
It’s spicy up in here, y’all.
I feel like everywhere I look these days, there is a different colored bell pepper staring up at me, like a little edible Oompa Loompa. (Sometimes I like to imagine veggies are little people.. but then that brings up the distasteful idea of murdering them just so I can have salsa or whatever, and that’s a little more unseemly. Except for those Veggie Tales effers. Those creepy little things can burn.)
Anywho, there’s nothing better to do with these ripe little suckers than bathe them in a little olive oil, dress ’em up in garlic and send them out on the town.
The Chef tells me that “peperonata” is an Italian condiment for meats, but it can also be a great fish-topper and is yummy served cold as part of an antipasta course. I just think it’s fun to say.
As long as you don’t take it too far like Giada de Laurentiis (You’re Italian! We get it!). If I hear her over-pronounce “spahhh-gihhh-ti” or mohhh-zah-reh-lllla” one more time, I’m gonna smack the perky right off of her face.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1.5 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves, chopped
salt to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Slice peppers and onions thin.
- Heat oil in a large skillet on medium low heat.
- Add onions and peppers and salt. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Then add garlic, rosemary, and vinegar. Cook for about 15 minutes. Voila.
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
3 tablespoons olive oil
One 4-pound whole grass-fed chicken, butterflied
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with the remaining 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
- Season the pork with plenty of kosher or sea salt.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
This is a super simple breakfast potato recipe. I don’t really have measurements because this is all by taste and what I have in the fridge or pantry. It takes no time at all, incredibly easy and is the perfect hangover cure. I highly recommend topping with an egg over easy and using lots of hot sauce. – ts
5-6 small potatoes (any potatoes will do)
1 small red bell pepper chopped
½ large yellow onion chopped
seasoning (whatever you have on hand) options:
- fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary
- dried oregano (make sure to squish dried oregano between your fingers to release the seasonings before using)
- chili powder
1-2 scallions chopped green and white parts
2 cloves garlic minced
salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
- Boil water, and then boil potatoes for about 8-10 minutes or until tender
- Drain and let cool while you chop the bell pepper, onions, and garlic
- Heat pan with olive oil, and then add garlic. Let cook about 45 seconds or 1 minute, until fragrant. Add peppers and onions and sauté for a few minutes. Season the veggies with salt and pepper.
- While peppers and onions cook, slice potatoes up to about ½ inch slices. Add potatoes to pan along with all seasonings. Cook for about 20 minutes. Top with fresh scallions. Serve hot with hot sauce and fried egg over easy.
Because they’re adorable, that’s why.
Other than as side dishes on some high-falutin* Cooking Channel shows, I had no experience with baby carrots until I bought them on my last trip to the Whitton Farms stand at the Memphis Farmers Market 2 weeks ago. Obviously, I had to purchase them because I purchase anything tiny or orange (Go Vols!), but I was delighted to find out that they are not only cute as crap but really freaking tasty too.
The Chef gave these a good olive oil and herb bath and roasted them until they were like little bite-sized candies. Cooking them at this high temp makes every bit of them soft, right down to their little green hats.
Serve these up alongside the Zucchini Crudo and the Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette and you have an embarrassment of farm-fresh riches. Whitton Farms, you’ve done right by us once again.
3 bunches of baby carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 tbsp chopped herbs (sage and rosemary are great choices and they make the house smell amazing)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Toss carrot with oil, then salt and pepper, then herbs.
- Roast for 20 minutes.
- Eat with your hands. So much more fun that way.
*Many thanks to Carly whose blog came up first when I googled “What does the word falutin’ mean?” It does my heart good to know that the pressing Google issues I face are being taken care of by people who I already know.