Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Herb-Marinated Loin of Pork

I love pork tenderloin.  It's just such a beautiful cut of meat.  It's lean, flavorful, and quick.  These are great marinated overnight, but I just managed an hour this past time and still enjoyed this pig.

These proportions serve 6, but calls for three 1 lb  pork tenderloins.  I have yet to find these mythical 1 lber's so I usually just adjust the amount to how much I am making.  Halving the recipe makes more than enough for one pork loin.

Grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
1/2 c olive oil, plus extra for brushing grill if grilling
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (feel free to use dried, and just halve amount.  I used dried before and thought it was still delicious)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine lemon zest, juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 tsp salt in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag.  Add the pork and turn to coat with the marinade.  Marinate in the fridge at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

2. If you're grilling, grill for 15-25 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill and size of your pork, until meat registers 137 in the thickest part.  Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum.  Allow to rest 10 min and carve.  If you're cooking in the oven, I recommend searing it first in a pan then popping it in the oven.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lemon Orzo

Eliese made this several times in college and I was so smitten with the recipe that it was ingrained in my memory.  I don't know if it's completely accurate since I've been eyeballing it for years, but this is the closest I've come to the amazingness that this recipe is.  It's probably from Gourmet because it was one of those fabulous recipes her mom would always send her, so you know of course it's good.  And it's so easy.  And it's made with everything you can regularly keep on hand in your cupboard.  Honestly, as I eat this orzo my mouth waters for more, it has such a great citrus bite.  Hope you can enjoy it as an easy go to recipe. It makes a great side with poultry and fish, or just eat it on it's own like I am today with the leftovers.  Also, Eliese, feel free to note any differences you have in your original recipe.

Serves 4

2 tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
3-5 garlic cloves, diced
1 cup orzo
1 1/4- 1 1/2 cup of water (depending on how dry your climate is and how quickly your orzo cooks)
juice of 2 lemons (or 1/4 c lemon juice from the bottle, I've made it both ways and it's been great)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tbsp dried parsley

1. Melt butter in a large warmed skillet on medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, 3-5 min.

2.  Add orzo and cook, stirring occasionaly, until starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes.

3.  Add water, bouillon, and lemon and let simmer until most of the liquid is cooked off, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.  You will need to taste the pasta to see if it is cooked and add more water if it needs a little longer.

4.  Add parsley and cook, stirring, until orzo is moist but not goopy (see picture).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grandma's "semi-homemade" Lentil Soup

Angela, Becca, Jenny, and I used to have Sunday dinners together in college. I made this soup quite a bit, and we always loved it. It starts with cans of soup which seems somewhat odd, but definitely a go-to easy recipe!

2 Cans (depending on how much soup you want) Progresso lentil soup. None of that low fat stuff either
1/2 a bullion cube or bullion bits
1 small-medium onion
3-4 cloves garlic
olive oil, about 1/3 C
fresh basil, very finely chopped

1. sautee onion and garlic
2. put soup on stove and add bullion, sauteed onion and garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and basil

I think that's it! Heat until nicely simmered
Rosemary and Lemon Cupcakes (Better Homes and Gardens)
I made these for Easter and they were a hit! I thought they'd be more like muffins, but when you add the glaze they truly are like cupcakes. I guess you could eliminate the glaze and it would become a muffin. As usual, I have no pictures.

1/2 C butter, softened (let sit out for 30 minutes before baking)
2 eggs (let sit out for 30 minutes before baking)
1 3/4 C cake flour. I couldn't find cake flour so I used normal, everyday flour
2 t finely snipped fresh rosemary--next time I make these I will double the rosemary
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 t lemon extract
1/2 t vanilla
2/3 C milk
2 t finely shredded lemon peel
2 T lemon juice
1 recipe lemon glaze (at the end of the cupcake recipe)
Heat oven to 350

1. Line muffin cups with bake cups, or if you are using mini muffin tins, spray with non-stick cooking spray
2. Combine flour, rosemary, baking powder, and salt; set aside
3. In large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium high 30 seconds. Add sugar, lemon extract, and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes (Med-hi) until light and fluffy
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
5. Alternately add flour mixture and milke to butter mixture, beat on low after each just until blended. Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice. (Here I thought the batter looked too runny, but it was just fine)
6. Spoon into muffin tins and bake 22-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Mini muffins will bake about 15-18 minutes. cool in muffin tins on rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool.

Lemon glaze:
Mix 1 C powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to attain spreading consistency. Add lemon peel to glaze if you want.