Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pork Tenderloin with Oregano and Parsley

One of the many things I love about visiting my siblings is the food, and when I can get a new way of preparing or a new recipe along with all the love and visiting, I figure I'm ahead of the game.

I told you about the stellar meal I had with my sisters' Pork Tenderloin with Herbs and I had to try and recreate it for Tapas this month.

And it worked.   There was just a little of the pork left after Tapas, and I scarfed it down for lunch yesterday, topped with this incredible coconut sauce Leon had made for the chicken drumsticks.  He left me some of the sauce, giggle.  And it was good.

But this post is about how I made the tenderloin.   And even though I didn't make a sauce to go over it, it was tender, flavourful and totally yummy.

 Preheat the oven to 425 deg. 

I started off this dish by going out into the garden and harvesting some herbs.  My oregano is going great guns, so I grabbed some of that, as well as some parsley and a little rosemary.   I took the leaves off of the oregano, I didn't want the stems, as well as cutting the stems off of the parsley.  I also took the leaves off the rosemary, and gave them a rough chop.  Stems are not fun to bite into, trust me on this, they don't soften enough to eat.  

To start with, take out your tenderloin, and very carefully remove as much of the silverskin.  It just gets tough anyway and why not take it off?

*Hint*  Take out your meat at least  45 min. to an hour before cooking it, it cuts the cooking time a little, and helps to keep the meat moist.   Because it has already come almost to room temp, or at least warmed up a little, it doesn't 'shock' it as much when you put it in a hot pan, or on the grill or in the oven. 

Then take a sharp knife and cut a slit the length of the tenderloin.  Sprinkle or place your herbs into the slit,

and then take a long bamboo skewer and thread it through the tenderloin, kinda sewing it together.  You want it to stay in one piece. 

Heat a pan with a little oil, I used olive oil and coconut oil, not much, just a little and sear the tenderloin on both sides.  You want a little browning action going on here.
Put the tenderloin on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 25 minutes.  That's all.

After 25 minutes I did check with a meat thermometer and it registered 155 degrees, which was almost too high, but the meat was cooked all the way through.    I then placed the tenderloins in some aluminum foil.  I wanted them to stay warm, as my guests weren't coming for another half hour.   I did place them back into the oven, but by that time the temp in there was down to around 170 degrees.

Just as people started coming, I pulled the tenderloin out, unwrapped it, and cut it into slices,

and put it on the table.   And even though I didn't 'pynt' up the plate, I noticed people were helping themselves to it in short order.

I have two more tenderloins in the freezer and I think I might just do this again.

 And if I can get the recipe for the coconut sauce from Leon, I'm good to go.  A little tenderloin, some Basmati rice, and that sauce.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tapas Night for July

I'm tired this morning, but it is worth it.   We had another great turnout last night for Tapas, lots and lots and lots of great food, wonderful company, lots of laughs and conversations.  
All in all, another great night.

Even though it's a bit of work for me, I do enjoy having these parties.  

And when I say work, I mean the housework part, cause the cooking part is just plain fun. 

That being said, here's the round up of all the food that was brought.
At least I think it was all, I do get busy visiting and talking and sometimes I fall short in the picture taking department.  And if I missed your dish, I'm sorry.  You'll just have to come again and bring something fun.

Potato Salad, and it looked good. 
 Watermelon, locally grown and it was tasty.

Nibbles and look at that bowl.  I do love a pretty serving dish.

  Pasta salad and again, look at that cute bowl. 

Coleslaw and at the risk of repeating myself, wow, take a look at that bowl.

 Taquitos and Salsa.  And the salsa was served in another pretty bowl. 
 There was a name for this, but I can't remember it now.  However, this was a hollowed out bread stuffed with a cheese filling.   So pretty and tasty.
 Trust the vegetarians to come up with the tasty veggie dishes.  This was a superb veggie casserole.  By the time I got around to sampling it, there was only a tiny spoonful left.
 Eggplant Parmesan, and again, by the time I got to it, it was gone. But it looked good.  And judging from the scraped clean dish, it was also tasty.
 I'm not too sure what to call these, but they were good.  A hamburger/taco filling in a pastry shell
 Veggies and dip, always good. 
 Crab Cakes.  Nuf said, they were yummy.
 Look at this platter.   OMG, fresh figs, an incredible coconut sauce and chicken legs.   I could have licked the platter.  (I did score some of the leftover sauce, I'm having some over the leftover pork from last night.)
 Wings.  Always a winner.   And they did disappear, fast. 
 Quiche cups.   I managed to snag one.   I do love me some quiche. 
Pot Roast with Veggies.  Really good.  
  And I made an Herb Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.   Just like the one my sister made, but I'll tell you all about how I did it later on.
 I also made some Samosa's, the ones on the left were gluten free, and really good.  I'll tell you all about it later on.
Veggie Potstickers with Quinoa, again, I'll tell you all about them later on.   Gotta keep you reading...
 And then there were the desserts.    I didn't get a chance to taste this one, but it looked good.
 I'll just let you drool as you look at the pictures.
 I mean, there was so many desserts, it was hard to taste them all. 

I know there were some who tried. 
 You were waiting for this little guy, weren't you?  He appeared along side the pineapple again.
 I will mention one dessert by name.  This was an Eclair cake.   And the dish was scraped clean.  I didn't even get a taste, but that's OK, we used to get this one a lot when I lived elsewhere.   If you see one, get a taste, it's worth it.
 Chocolate, always a good choice, especially with all the chocoholics around here.
And last, but not least Pumpkin Cheese cake bites. 

Heaven, well, close to it. 

I hope I got pictures of everything.    But you know, if I missed something, I'm sorry.   And as I write this I realized I didn't get a shot of one dish, but I got the recipe and I'm going to make it. 
Just thought I'd add a level of suspense here. 
Hope you all had a great Saturday as well.  

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Smorg, family style.

I love it when my family does a smorgasbord, especially when I get to join them.  One of the hardest things for me is living so far away and not being able to visit often.   Distance does take its toll, sometimes.

Luckily for me, I have a great family.  I got to take over one sister's kitchen to make a Low Country Boil, and then went to visit my other sister, and she decided we needed to have a Smorgasbord.  As I said, lucky me.

I'll share a couple of recipes with you, later on, cause you know I got some that I'm just dying to make and share here, but for now, let me lead you through our lunch.

To start with the table must be set correctly.   And you must serve the food in the correct order.   This is a given, and not negotiable.
 If you look at the above picture, there is a small plate on top of a larger plate.  And very, very important, there is also a snaps glass as well as a beer glass at the top.
 And the beer is already on the table.

 And also very important for the meal, the right ambiance or table decorations.  We Danes like our fresh flowers and candles on a table.   How about combining them?  This was so pretty.

First you have the pickled herring, and a glass of aquavit, the fish needs to swim, after all.

Then the next course is the hot fish serving, in this case a lovely sole and some Cod Roe, OMG, my tongue and tummy were in heaven.  I haven't had fried Cod Roe in years.   And to think I used to dislike it.  Silly me.  

Pickled herring tends to flavour everything else on your plate, which is why we let it have its very own plate.  As well as the rest of the fish as well.

So, now that we have that sticky little how-to out of the way.   Here's the Herring.   And yes, I did capitalize it.  On purpose.

I got to sample four different varieties, giggle.  And they were all good.
My sister made some Carry Sild  (curried herring), then there was this spiced herring as well as a wine herring and regular.   I savored every single bite, and went back for seconds on a couple.

And then as I said before, the fish.      And it must be served with a remoulade.  Which we usually make from some mayonnaise and hot dog relish (the kind with mustard), and a little lemon.  Don't worry, I'll show you how to do it in another post, cause I'm really craving some lovely sole. Again.  And if you notice, I'm still eating my fish on the small plate.  The pink stuff you see is from some Sildsalat.

Then the next course is the hot stuff.

No, not the spicy kind of hot, but a hot entree.

We had some Frikadeller, a chicken made the danish way, with Parsley, and I've shown you how to make both those dishes before.
Then of course there is always the 'pålæg'.   Which is basically various cold cuts or toppings for your bread,  some ham with Italiensk Salat, which I told you about not that long ago.   And of course you have to have Sildsalat as well, and my sister also made a Fransk Salat, and I got the recipe, giggle.  I'll be showing you how to make that in a future post. 
And on my plate there, clockwise from the pink stuff.  That is the Fransk Salat, a little rye bread, some chicken, a frikadeller, some red cabbage, and one of my own personal favourites.  Makral i Tomat Sauce.  (Mackeral in Tomato Sauce.  I kinda broke the rules here, I put fish on the big plate, don't tell anyone, OK?)  And a slice of my brother's cheese bread.  And you know I think I need to make some so I can share the recipe.  I have the cook book he got the recipe out of. Great minds do think alike or at least cook alike. 
Did that make sense?
Another thing we always have on the table is a plate of hard cooked eggs and quartered tomatoes.  In the past my mom would put a strip of anchovy on each egg half, but you can serve them plain.

I also had some lovely shrimp.  And it went so well on the cheese bread. You just add a touch of mayonnaise to the shrimp and serve it.

My brother made his famous (in our family at least) cheese bread to go with the meal. 

And we had rye bread, I took the leftover rye bread home and it is currently residing in my freezer, and as soon as I get to the big city I'm getting some herring so I can eat it properly. 

And somewhere along the way we forgot to put out the platter of  cold cuts.  Some salami, Lyoner sausage and Mortadella.   We ate it the next day though.

 I also forgot to mention the cheese plate, that's also a 'must' for a Smorgasbord.

And we finished it off in style with a wonderful chocolate truffle cake.  Which I still need the recipe for. 

There was plenty of stuff left over for dinner the following night.

OK, I'm now making myself hungry...

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Birthday Party Fun

I just love getting last minute invites to parties.

Really, I do.

It means I get to go into my pantry and see what I can come up with to make and bring.

It's my idea of fun, OK.

You go have fun your way, and I'll do it my way.

So, I get the invite to a last minute celebration, and immediately the neurons in my brain started firing, and missing, but that's a story for another day.

I'd run into a tin of Kippered Herring in my re-organization of the pantry and well, I got the idea for a Fish Dip, so I made this Kippered Fish Dip to bring.

But I wasn't the only crafty one, there was as usual a lot of good food.   And since I've already shared the how to on the fish dip, here's some pictures of the rest of the food.

An orzo vegetable salad very nice.
 And it's not a gathering around here without the Santa toothpick holder and the pineapple.
 Grapes, cheese and Crackers, a perfect trifecta.

Chicken Salad, the kind with grapes. (pardon the shadow, but whatcha gonna do when the light's behind you.
 Fried chicken.  Amazing how often that just disappears.
 Guacamole with the addition of cheddar in it.
 Salted, boiled peanuts.  A southern staple.  And these were good.
 More guacamole, and it disappeared in short order.
 Hummus, with some sliced olives on top, which was a neat idea. 
Smoked sausage bites, and with a piece of pineapple, made a lovely bite.

And back for an encore bow, some Fish Dip.

I did say this was a birthday party, didn't I?

The birthday cake.  

A Mango Blueberry Pecan Upside Down Cake.
Look how pretty, and it tasted really good as well.  I am going to have to get the recipe or try some experimenting in the kitchen.  I loved the freshness and yet the festive look of this cake.

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