Before leaving for our anniversary trip, I'd been having a ball trying out some new recipes from the book I got while thrifting. Its a collection of recipes from Taste Magazine. Oh so yummy ones.
- White Sangria
- Avocado- Cucumber Soup
- Tomato and Avocado Salad with a interesting twist of mint, lemon, and olives.
- Beet and Bulgur Salad (I switched out the Bulgur for Quinoa to be gluten free)
- Chicken stuffed with Zucchini, Tomato and Basil
- Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Peppers and Onions
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Orange and Cardamom
ooo so yummy.
I think I'll also be trying a Mushroom Ragout and a Chilled Asparagus with Ginger Soup from The New Inter Courses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook.
Rather than just brag about the amazing things happening in my kitchen, I thought I'd share a meal for you. I served the Avocado-Cucumber Soup and the Pork Tenderloin together.
Even if you are vegan/vegetarian/or just don't eat pork.... do check out the soup. It is AH-mazing. Simply breathtakingly yummy. Like an orgasm in a bowl. Seriously the best soup I have ever made - which is saying something because I love making soup! I really could go on and on about how delicious it is, but instead... I'll just get on with the post.
While I usually don't eat much pork, this recipe was delicious and really work sharing!
So without further yapping:
(From Williams-Sonoma, the best of TASTE) - but paraphrased with my added genius :)
The book says serves 4.
It is so yummy that 2 people with gobble it up (trust me on that one)
1/2 small red onion
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large cucumber
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 large ripe avocados (Hass variety are best)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Make pickled onions: Cut half a small red onion into very thin crosswise slices. Combine with 3 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand while preparing the soup
2. Chop shallots finely. You should have 1/3 cup. Add or subtract as necessary. I found this to be exactly one typical-sized shallot, but I had another larger one on hand, just in case.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute for about 3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prep the cucumber, leaving it unpeeled, so that it is halved lengthwise and seeded. Then cut crosswise into slices 1/4 - inch thick.
4. Add sliced cucumber and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the cucumber is tender. About 15-20 minutes.
5. Peel, pit, and chop the avocado. Add to the pot after the cucumbers are tender. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Pour into a blender and puree (you may need to do this half at a time for a smoother puree. I didn't mind flecks of cucumber skin so I just did it all at once.)
6. Return puree to pot and bring to a slow simmer. Then reduce the heat low. Stir in lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to your own heart's desire. Divide among serving bowls and top with pickled onions.
OH MY GOODNESS! Divine, right?
Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Peppers and Onions
I made Pork Tenderloin with toppings of peppers and onions
This is scaled down to serve 2 people, and we still had leftovers for lunch the next day.
1 red bell pepper
1 pork tenderloin
4 green onions
Salt and pepper
However the recipe says you can substitute out vegetables and suggests you try summer squash.
- Prepare your grill. It doesn't have to be fancy. I got mine for free off the curb. This is an upgrade from the tiny smoker I got for free the year before. Maybe I should preference all my shared recipes that I'm not actually a chef or a cook of any real training. I've never taken a night class in cooking, or even a weekend workshop. My mom didn't even teach me too many recipes. Hell, I didn't even take home-ec in highschool. I really just love yummy food and making yummy food. And I consider it an extension of my art. All that said, I don't have all the proper fancy schmancy tools. And you know what? My food is still SERIOUSLY good. So - just saying - anyone can cook and you don't have to go blowing all your money for the extra tools the recipe books make it seem like you need. It helps if you have a pearl necklace to wear. Mine is just a cheap silver necklace but its kinda pearl like. It instantly makes you Julia Child and you will cook like a pro. Seriously. Anyways... a coal grill is good for flavoring.
- Light that bad boy up. It helps to leave the top off the grill so that your coals get really nice and hot. The coals are ready when they are grey - and you want all the coals to be pretty even in readiness. If you aren't used to grilling, just be patient - the coals will get their all on their own.
- Brush the pepper with some oil and grill over a medium fire (I just did this while the coals were still getting grey). Turn the pepper occasionally so that it is charred on all sides.
- Meanwhile, cut the green onions, including the green parts, into 2-inch pieces.
- Check on your pepper (you almost forgot about it out there on the grill, didn't you)! If it is ready, bring it in and see step #8 or keep cooking it if needed.
- Remove any skin from the pork. Butterfly.
- The recipe book will tell you to pound it to achieve an evenness. I will say that I didn't have plastic wrap or a mallet so I skipped this step.
- Let the pepper cool down some, otherwise it will burn your fingers as you hold it in place. I actually know this, ouch! Then cut the pepper into wide strips, removing seeds and ribs.
- Now... if you were a good recipe follower (of the book) and have a nicely pounded thin and wide tenderloin, then you can top it with the bell pepper strips and green onions. Add some seasoning. Roll up and tie with chicken string at 1-inch intervals. Skip step #11. Or... if you are like me and didn't pound the meat (gosh, that sounds dirty) and don't have kitchen string in your pantry see skit step #9 and jump to #10.
- Rub tenderloin in oil. Grill and turn, brushing with more oil. Should just take 10-15 minutes.
- Place onions, slightly oiled, on a grill basket and grill.
- Remove tenderloin from heat. If you didn't make a roll - then top with peppers and onions and sprinkle with seasoning. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.