A very simplified version of Thomas Keller’s brined pork tenderloin with lemon and rosemary. Not as a good as, for obvious reasons, but good enough for a lunch box. Or to add to a salad. Or to make a sandwich. One of the best dishes of this year – easy, delicious and versatile.
Roast Pork Loin with Garlic and Rosemary (adapted from a recipe found in epicurious.com)
- 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 2 1/2-pound boneless pork loin roast
1. Preheat oven to 200°c .
2. Line the roasting tray with parchment paper.
3. Mix the garlic, the rosemary, the salt and the freshly ground black pepper.
4. Rub the garlic mixture all over pork.
5. Place the pork, fat side down, in the baking tray.
6. Roast the pork for about 45min until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 70°C., a
7. Remove from the oven; let it rest for about 10 minutes. Serve.
The last thing I was expecting was seeing bacon muffins offered as a “healthy option packed with protein”. Specially, when I classified them as totally unhealthy, but worthwhile the risk about 3 years ago. Well, it is gluten free, after all… In any case, an excellent make ahead dish for brunch, lunch or keep the
beasts lovely colleagues happy, motivated or blissfully unaware of the sky falling down their heads challenges.
Bacon eggs and cheese muffins (adapted from Our Nourishing Groots)
- 12 eggs
- 350g of bacon, chopped and cooked
- 180g of Gruyere (or other sharp) cheese, shredded
- A pinch of dried basil and oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 80g 0f Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 175oC
2. Heat a large flat frying pan until is piping hot. Lay out the chopped bacon strips so that they are not overlapping but generally fill the pan. Cook the bacon on its own grease. When they are translucent, remove them from the heat and reserve.
3. In the meanwhile, stir together the 12 eggs whole eggs. Add the cooked bacon and the grated Gruyere cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the oregano and shredded basil.
4. Line the muffin tray with paper liners. Ladle the muffin mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until puffy and slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes on a wire cooling rack. Loosen the paper cups with a butter knife and lift out of the muffin pan.
6.Serve immediately while still warm, or let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
It was supposed to be a thank-you-for-all-the-love-and-birthday-presents dinner, but it turned out to be a bit of a messy even with an ever changing list of mobile calorie intake units guests. I ended up cooking for 8 (plus blog), when only 6 had confirmed. To make things works, one of the units guests got lost in Dübendorf looking for my flat (true story). It might have been a blessing in disguise: again, I had to fight bravely for the last piece of meat to feed my blog… That good it was. For bonus points, it is super easy to do. You just put it in the stove and (sort of) forget about it. And, happy guests, happy host.
Slow roasted smoked pork shoulder with chipotle mayonnaise (adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking)
For the pork
- 3 tablespoons hot smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar cane
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 4 thyme sprigs, leaves finely chopped, stems reserved
- Olive oil
- 2.5Kg pork shoulder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chipotle mayonnaise
- 300g mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of chipotle paste
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
Preheat the oven to 140ºC
Mix the paprika, sugar, garlic and thyme leaves in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then add a little olive oil to create a paste. Rub the mixture all over the pork, massaging it into the meat. If possible, leave in the fridge overnight to marinate. If not, you can start cooking straight away.
Roast for 1 hour, then cover with foil and cook for a further 4–5 hours, until the meat is really tender and falling off.
Meanwhile, make the chipotle mayonnaise. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Once the pork is cooked, cover it loosely with foil and set aside to rest for up to 1 hour. Serve with the smoky mayonnaise.
A tribute to my rosemary plant, who sadly passed away after 4 years of loyally providing springs for many different dishes It was a very long Winter and… sadly, it just gave up waiting for the sun and the good weather, leaving a big empty to fill in my kitchen. I got it as a birthday present and, in the meanwhile, a lot had happened. It made my company during many hours of happy and unhappy moments, inspired and uninspired cooking, every day and festive meals… Dishes like this chestnut with rosemary pesto, this roasted chicken or this fish wrapped in ham, to mention a few. How to better to celebrate her life but to use it in a Thomas Keller dish?
For the brine
- 85g honey (app 1/4) cup + 2 tablespoons honey
- 12 bay leaves
- 3 fresh rosemary springs
- bunch of fresh thyme sprigs (about 15g)
- bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley springs (about 15g)
- 12 cloves garlic, crushed with the skin left on
- 2 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 150g salt
- 2L water
For the pork
- 2 pork tenderloin, silverskin removed
- Olive oil to taste
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 garlic clove, crushed
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh rosemary spring
- 8 slices cured lemon slices
- sea salt
Combine all the ingredients for the brine in a big pot, cover and bring to boil. Stir and let it boil until the salt is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.
Put the pork tenderloin and brine in a bowl just big enough to hold them. Let sit in the fridge for 4 hours. Be careful about the time – otherwise the pork will be too salty.
Remove the pork from the brine, discarding the liquid. Rinse it & pat the meat until dry. Let the pork rest at room temperature for about half hour.
In the meanwhile, preheat oven to 175oC/350 F.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan until piping hot. Season the tenderloin for salt and pepper, add them to pan and sear until golden brown in all sides (about 6min).
Add the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary and lemon slices. Let it cook for another 2min, tilting the pan and using a spoon to baste the pork with the pan juices. r two minutes basting the herbs, lemon & garlic with the juices in the pan.
Transfer the pork to a roasting pan with a rack set in it. Overlap the lemon slices down the length of the tenderloin, overlapping them a little. Top with the thyme, rosemary and garlic. Roast for 20 minutes, until the core of the pork is between 60oC-65oC. Remove from the heat and let it rest for 15min (it should be medium-rare to medium).
Slice the pork in diagonal unto 1 to 3cm thick slices. Arrange the slices on a serving platter and garnish with the garlic, rosemary and salt.
Last time I tried pork and prawn balls, it was a mess… After that, I talked myself to never try this dish again and stick to the Asian restaurant around the corner for my prawn and pork fix. Then, I saw Gordon Ramsay cooking them on his Ultimate Cookery Course and I sort of changed my mind. As usual, a very brief list of ingredients and a method which looked foul proof – definitely something worthwhile trying. In fact, it is so easy to do it has become one dishes I do over and over again. In less than 30min, I have the balls ready to be eaten. To make it even more convenient, once fried, the balls keep in the fridge for a few days. All you have to worry about is get the stock going and in less than 10min, you have your freshly cooked dinner ready. For added valued, almost not fat and no carbohydrates in sight…
Pork and prawn balls in aromatic broth (adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course)
For the balls
- 100g raw prawns, peeled, deveined and finely chopped until almost minced
- 250g minced pork
- 1½ tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and diced
- Enough sunflower sun for pan frying the balls
- 2 big handfuls of spinach
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced, to garnish
For the aromatic broth
- 1L stock, home-made or from stock cubes
- 1 lemon grass stalk
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Place the minced shrimps in a bowl with the pork, chives and ginger. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper and mix until the ingredients are well combined and sticking together. Roll the mixture into small balls about the size of a golf ball. Transfer to a plate, cover and chill until needed.
Meanwhile, get started on the broth. Heat the stock in a saucepan, add the other ingredients and mix well. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes to infuse, then taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and add a dash of oil. Fry the pork and prawn balls, turning frequently, for 6–7 minutes until golden brown all over. Transfer into the gently simmering pan of broth and leave to cook for 5 minutes until the balls are cooked through. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute until just wilted.
Taste the dish and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve garnished with spring onions
And another cook off: pork and prawns balls in aromatic broth. It is a bit of a foreign taste to my Mediterranean roots, but still delicious enough to me go back to it over and over again. Nothing that I would cook for myself, though. Never having cooked them before, the broths seem too complex and the flavours seem to be quite hard to get in the right proportions.
But, this Hairy Dieter’s version seemed achievable. A lot of work, but still, within my possibilities… Halfway through the process, there was a lot of huffing, puffing and fiddling around. Indeed it soon become a full blown mess, which included the mixer to go on strike to never work again. To make matters worse, it wasn’t as delicious as one would expect after all process. Well, maybe I haven’t “followed the recipe to the letter”, as The Hairy Dieter’s strong recommend, but after all this effort, I was somehow expecting something a bit more elevated… It is very unlikely I will try it again.
Pork and prawns balls in vegetables and noodles aromatic broth (adapted from Dave Myers and Si King’s The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight)
For the broth
- 2 liters chicken stock
- 2 lemongrass stalks
- 4 chillies (2 cut across, 2 deseed and thinly sliced)
- 6 kaffir lime leaves, dried or fresh
- 2 long shallots, thinly sliced
- 50g fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthways
- 4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (1 1/2 limes)
- 3 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
- 2 medium carrots peeled and cut to thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- 1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 150 chestnut mushrooms
- 150 mangetout
- 50g fine vermicelli rice noodles
- large handfull of fresh coriander
For the pork and shrimp balls
- 250g lean minced pork
- 100g cooked peeled prawns, thawed if frozen
- 1/2 long shallot peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 chili, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoons of cornflour
- fine salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
Start with the broth, pour the stock in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and add the lemongrass stalks. Split w of the chillies lengthways almost all the way through and pop them in the pan.
Add the lime leaves, half the sliced shallots and finally, all the ginger and garlic. Bring the broth to a low simmer and cook gently for 20min. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for about 30min.
While waiting for the broth to cool down, start the balls. Put the minced pork and prawns in a large bowl. Add the chopped shallots, garlic, deseeded chilli, cornflour, salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper in food processor. Blend to make a tick, slightly textured purée. Add the coriander leaves and it another quick blitz until just combined. Take out the processor blade the roll the pork and prawn mixture into 20 small balls.
Strain the infused stock through a sieve into a clean pan. Stir in the remaining sliced shallot, lime juice and fish sauce. Stir in the remaining chillies, very finely chopped. Bring to a gentle simmer and add to the pork balls. Let it cook for 5 minutes, allowing the liquid to bubble gently. In the meanwhile, cut the carrots into large ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Deseed the peppers and slice them thinly; clean and slice the mushrooms. Trim the mangetout and cut them in half diagonally. Still the carrot strips, mushrooms, mange tout, peppers and noodles into the broth and let it simmer for 3-4min more, or until the pork balls are cooked through and the vegetables and noodles are just tender, stirring occasionally.
Ladle the broth into deep bowls and scatter the coriander on the top.
After the blondies, another dish out from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course. Insort, three main ingredients to a delicious dish super easy to put together… All of a sudden, all these recipes with loads of cream, chorizo, stock seem a bit too baroque and convoluted. Tweaking a bit the methods you can also end up with a quasi-healthy dish. Meaning, using olive oil sparingly, skipping the butter and take out the fat from the chops. Well, sort of – or at least, this is want I want to believe because this combination is really outstanding.
Pork chops with red peppers (adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course)
- 2 pork chops, about 200g each
- olive oil, for frying
- 2 garlic cloves, skin on, crushed
- small bunch of thyme
Sweet and Sour Peppers
- Olive oil, for frying
- 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
First, prepare the peppers. Take a large frying pan and put enough olive oil to cover its bottom. Heat until piping hot and then add the onion and peppers. Season with salt and pepper, add the sugar and sauté over a high heat until soft and coloured.
Add the vinegar and let it bubble for a minute or two until it has reduced and the peppers are soft. Turn down the heat, add the tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Take the peppers out of the pan and set aside to infuse.
Wipe the pan clean, ready to cook the pork.
Using a sharp knife, make cuts into the fat of the chops, about 5mm deep and at 3–4cm intervals, making sure you don’t cut into the meat. (This will stop the meat from curling up during cooking and will make it cook more evenly.) Season the chops on both sides,
Place the cleaned-out frying pan over high heat and put enough oil to cover the bottom. Let it heat until piping hot and add the chops, garlic and thyme and fry for 2–3 minutes until coloured. Turn and fry for a further 2–3 minutes on the other side.
Towards the end of cooking time, add 3 knobs of butter. Let it cook for a while, pressing the fat again the sides of the pan to render the fat. Squeeze the garlic out of its skin and place with the herbs on top of the chops.
Transfer the chops to a plate, and rest for 5–10 minutes, spooning over the basting butter now and again. Serve the chops on top of the peppers with the resting juices.
This is where the rest of the ham ended up… A delicious combination of flavors with a sophisticated touch, ideal for Summer.
Serrano ham with melon mousse (adapted from the Inés and Simone Ortega’s Book of Tapas)
- 3 gelatin leaves
- 3 halved small melons, seeds removed (it works best with cantaloupe)
- 1 cup (=250 mL) of whipped cream
- 12 thin slices of cured ham
- Salt and pepper
1. Follow the instructions of the box to prepare the gelatin leaves.
2. Scope out of the flesh of the melon with a spoon and put them skins in the fridge. Make sure you don’t break brea skins as you will need them to plate this dish.
3. Puree the melon flesh in a blender, until you don’t see any chunks of fruit.
4.Put a small amount of the melon puree in a small pan. Warm it through over a low heat. Fish out the gelatin leaves from the water, and add to the warm melon. Stir well until it dissolves. Fold in the remaining puree and let it cool.
5.Fold the whipped cream in the gelatin-melon mix. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Poor the mixture into the melon shells and put it back into the refrigerator until it is solid.
7. When you are about to serve it, put the ham slices on top. Be careful not to let the melon go warm.
In Spain, we take cured ham seriously. Very seriously, as a matter of fact. But, when I posted my ex-Mother-in-law’s take on Iberian ham and tomato bread a couple of weeks back, I was far from image the Spanish Association of Selected Swine and Pure Iberian Breeders would get in touch with me via twitter. “Do you like ham! But, which one do you like? “, the asked me in less than 140 characters. In case I didn’t know my cured ham, they pointed me to a documentary about everything you always wanted to know about Jamón ibérico and never dared to ask. From the different types of pig to the state of industry during the recession and the grades of cured ham, everything is in there.
Even if you don’t share a passion of ham, it is worthwhile taking the time to watch. And, hopefully not be fouled again by some labels we see at the food shops in this part of the world.
A few weeks ago, I posted the
watered down light version of this dish. A dinner party loosely inspired in Spanish cuisine prompted me to do the actual thing, with all its condiments, red wine and olive oil. Mind you, for extra slow-home-made-cooking points, the meatballs were rolled by hand with all love and care by T. and myself. It seemed like a lot of food, but at the end all it was left was the meatballs used for this snapshot. And, I had to hide it in a dark corner of my fridge.
Meatballs in rich tomato sauce (adapted from Carlos Horrillo and Patrick Morcas’ Tapas: Simple Flavours, Striking Combinations)
For the meatballs
- 650g of minced pork and beef
- 2 pinches of very finely chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, tarragon, coriander and oregano.
- 1large egg
- small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 red chili, finely chopped (or to taste)
- 300g fresh breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Enough olive oil to coat the baking tray
For the tomato sauce
- Olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 stick celery, finely diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 70mL ruby Port
- 250mL red wine
- 3 cans of 400g-chopped plum tomatoes
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 2 bay leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 180 oC.
2. Put all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl, and season all the salt and pepper. Combine with your hands until you have a consistent mixture which allows you to form the meatball.
3. Start rolling the meatballs with your hands.
4. Put a generous amount of olive oil in baking tray
5. Drop in the meatball, stirring them to coat them evenly.
6. Put the tray in the oven for 30min, or until the meatballs are all golden brown. Do not forget to stir them occasionally to cook them in all directions.
7.While waiting for the meatball, start the tomato sauce. Place a large, deep sided saucepan on a low heat and pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add the sliced vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Fry gently until they are soft and start to color.
8. Poor in both wines, and bring to boil.
9.When the wine is boiling and has reduced to half the volume, drop in the tomatoes. Season again, and bring to boil, stirring at all times.
10. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for about 15min.
11. Once the meatballs are cooked, fold them in the tomato sauce. Let it simmer for 10min more. (in reality, what I did was to do the tomato sauce and the meatballs in advance. On the day of the party, I combined them both while cold. Then, I slowly warm them. It actually tastes better, as the flavors combine and develop).