Rosemary Beef Tenderloin

Rosemary Beef Tenderloin

Adapted from Saveur

  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
  • 1/2 cup canola oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Combine the rosemary, garlic, a pinch of kosher salt, and half the oil in a small bowl.  Rub the mixture all over the tenderloin, transfer the tenderloin to a platter or piece of foil, and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.  Melt the butter and remaining oil over medium heat in an ovenproof frying pan.  Add the tenderloin to the pan and brown on all sides.

Transfer the frying pan to the oven and roast until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 125 to 130 degrees for medium rare or 140 degrees for medium.

Remove the tenderloin from the oven, loosely tent the frying pan with foil, and let the meat rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Pork and Sweet Potato Stew

Just because I made this stew in the Advantium doesn’t mean you can’t tinker with the recipe and make it in your oven.  Your cooking time will be longer in the oven.

Pork and Sweet Potato Stew

Adapted from The GE Advantium Cookbook

BAH Note: I finally figured out how to cut sweet potato into perfect cubes.  Cut a thin slice off of one long side of the sweet potato.  Rotate the sweet potato so that the flat side is down on your cutting board.  Now cut a thin slice off of the left and right side of the sweet potato.  Rotate the sweet potato one more so that the last uncut side is accessible and cut a thin slice off it.  You’ve basically just squared your sweet potato.  Cut the pointy (or rounded) ends and remove any remaining peel.  Cut the sweet potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick “boards”.  Lay each “board” on your cutting surface and cut them lengthwise into 1/4 inch sticks.  Cut the sticks into cubes.  Viola!

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch medallions
  • 1 large onion, diced (or 1 cup butter braised onions)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • l large sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider (can substitute chicken broth)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion

Lightly coat a 4 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and add the pork, onion, and diced red pepper.  Microwave on power level 7 for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the dish from the Advantium and stir the contents.

Add the sweet potato, apple cider, salt, paprika, cumin, allspice and red pepper flakes to the casserole dish.  Cover and place in the Advantium on the metal baking tray (use potholders to remove the glass tray).

Press the SpeedCook button then scroll to My Recipes, New Recipe.  Set the cook time for 20 minutes and then use the following settings: U=4, L=4, M=5.  After 20 minutes, carefully remove the casserole dish, add the apples and stir.  Cover and continue to cook another 10 to 15 minutes at the same settings until the pork is done.

Melissa’s Sour Cream Biscuits

Sour Cream Biscuits

Adapted from Melissa d’Arabian

  • 4 tablespoons butter, cubed and frozen for 15 – 20 minutes
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk, heavy cream, or half and half (may not be needed)

Heat your oven to 425 degrees and line a half sheet pan with parchment.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, oregano, and salt in the food processor and pulse a few times.  Add the frozen butter and pulse until the mixture looks like crumbly like wet sand.  Add the sour cream and pulse until the dough comes together.  If your dough is still dry and crumbly, sprinkle the dough with the buttermilk (heavy cream or half and half) a teaspoon at a time and process just until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto your prepared sheet pan and pat it into a thick circle, about 4 inches across.  Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into 6 wedges and spread them out on your sheet pan.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Flashback Friday – Matchmaker

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 4/27/09 at Exit 51.

Matchmaker

Did you know I can see into the future?  Sometimes, I can.  And in your future I see scallops with balsamic glaze.  This will not happen right away.  No, it will take some time.  But I do see you together.

Glazed

How can I possibly know this?  I know because this was a recipe I tested for Cook’s Illustrated.  The final recipe should appear in CI sometime later this year.   Until then, you will just have to take my word that I think the two of you will really hit it off.

I wonder whether the published version will offer suggestions about how to use leftover balsamic reduction?  Because I’ve got a small container of it sitting in my fridge.  So far, the only idea I’ve had is to spoon it over sliced pound cake.  I’m not sure which is the better idea, making more scallops or getting more pound cake.

This seeing the future is tricky business.

Sauced

Blackberry Syrup

Expectations.  There’s a loaded gun just waiting for someone to pull the trigger and spray a barrage of emotionally painful bullets.  How often do our expectations trip us up?

There’s the expectations we have of ourselves. The idea that we should be able to get it all done – family, work, outside interests…the things we have to do and the things we want to do.  Yeah, I can see that leading to a case of poor self esteem when I find myself exhausted at 11pm, baking cupcakes for tomorrow’s office birthday celebration, because I just had to { fill in the blank } before I could get to it.  Our to-do lists are never ending and yet we still trick ourselves into believing that somehow we should be the exception to the rule.  We SHOULD be able to perfectly balance all of the demands for our time and attention.  It looks effortless in the magazines that sell us on the idea that if we only do ‘x’ we can lose 10 pounds overnight, plan the perfect wedding, be the ideal spouse or parent, and our life will be perfect.  I have yet to meet the person who has managed that feat.

Then there’s the expectations we have of others.  Like my expectations that people I hardly know will not ask me questions about things that are clearly none of their business.  Things like my bank statement and my feelings about whether parenthood is right for me are completely inappropriate topics of conversation unless you also happen to be intimately involved in that part of my life.  Or are my therapist.  And yet those wildly inappropriate questions still come my way without a second thought.

To go back to the gun metaphor here, I think the 50 caliber ammunition shell of expectations has to be the ones we have of the members of our families.  For instance, I expect The Mistah to somehow intuit what I’m thinking or feeling without me having to say a word.  We’ve been together for nine years.  Shouldn’t he have developed that sixth sense by now?  We expect the people closest to us to act and react the way we think we would in any given situation, to have the exact same values we do, and to somehow “know” the right thing to say to us at all times.  Talk about a powerful weapon capable of inflicting pain and suffering.

But my friends, there is a solution.  It is as simple as taking the bullets out of the guns we carry daily in our emotional holsters and replacing them with something else.  It is as simple as changing our expectations.  By reframing how we see something, and what we expect to get out of a situation, we have the power to turn that rifle shooting 50 cal bullets into a toy gun that blows bubbles.

So when I’m feeling especially prickly and cranky…which really could be any given day…instead of assuming The Mistah’s spidey senses are on full alert and getting frustrated with him because he didn’t unload the dishwasher or he left his stinky Army gear in the middle of the floor, I can remind myself that despite his many wonderful skills, mindreading is not one of them.  If I want the dishes put away or the gear moved elsewhere I should either ask him to do it or do it myself.  Regardless of which choice I choose, I have no reason to be disappointed by The Mistah.  I’ve taken a deadly 50 caliber bullet and turned it into a harmless emulsion of soap and water.

What’s my point here?  The next time you reach into your emotional holster for whatever you load your expectations into, ask yourself this question…”am I shooting bullets or blowing bubbles”.

Blackberry Syrup

Adapted from Food In Jars

BAH Note:  I set out to make blackberry jam.  Despite following Marisa’s directions to the letter, my jam never set up.  I felt defeated.  I felt disappointed.  I felt like a loser.  And then it occurred to me that while I failed at making jam, I had succeeded in making syrup.  I let my expectations cut me down initially, but once I reframed them, they took on a delicious new flavor.

  • 8 to 9 cups of blackberries
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon

Working in batches, blitz your blackberries in the food processor until they are good and pureed.  Pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer, working the juice through with a spoon.

Bring the blackberry juice and sugar to a simmer in a large, non-reactive (think enameled cast iron or stainless steel) pot over medium heat.  Stir in the cinnamon, lemon juice, and zest and bring to a low boil, stirring frequently.  Cook until the mixture has thickened to your desired consistency then carefully transfer the syrup to jars for storage in the refrigerator.

For longer storage, ladle the jam into heated jars (with new lids), leaving 1/4 inch head space, and process for 10 minutes.

Let the jars cool for 24 hours before checking the seal and storing the jars. Any jars that have not sealed should be refrigerated or immediately reprocessed using new lids.

Balsamic Preserved Cherries

I have a self imposed rule about shoes and purses.  In order for me to buy a new one, an old one has to go.  For the shoes, this isn’t so problematic.  I tend to go through them on a regular basis.  Typically, the pair I’m buying is to replace the pair that I’ve just worn out.

It’s a little trickier with the purses.  I have to think long and hard about which one I am willing to part with in order to add a new one to my collection.  Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve bought a new purse…but there was a lovely Kate Spade bag on ridiculous sale a few months ago that nearly pushed my beat up Coach bag into the donation pile.

In the year or so that I’ve been canning, I’ve come to realize that I need to expand this rule just a bit to include jars.  The collection of half pint jars…both empty and full…is threatening to take over what little storage space we have here at BAH.  That means that until we eat our way through what’s already been canned, or give it away, I am on canning restriction.  No new jars will be purchased and no new batches of jams or jellies will be cooked up.

Part of the canning collection that we’ve dug into recently is the balsamic preserved cherries.  Both savory and sweet, they are one of the more versatile jars in the stash…they could go with a pork or beef tenderloin as easily as they dress up my morning yogurt.  I can’t believe it has taken us this long to open them up and let them shine in all of their syrupy balsamic glory.

Fortunately, I should have plenty of time to work through the rest of the inventory before cherry season comes back around.  Because I need to make sure these get restocked.

Balsamic Cherries

Adapted from Nomnivorous

BAH Note: You’re going to want a cherry pitter for this project.  If you don’t have one, see if you can borrow one or just resign to buying one for about twenty bucks.  Pitting this many cherries is a bit of work, even with the gadget, but the pitter should cut down on the cursing and CSI worthy spattering.  If you absolutely can’t get your hands on a pitter, you could use a paring knife to carefully cut the cherries open and squeeze out the pits.

  • 4 cups sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1 /2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Combine the cherries and water in a large dutch oven or other non-reactive pot.  Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently and lightly crushing the cherries to break them up and release juice.

Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt. Continue to gently boil the mixture for approximately 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until it thickens a bit but is still loose.

Ladle the mixture into heated jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, and process for 10 minutes.

Let the jars cool for 24 hours before checking the seal and storing the jars. Any jars that have not sealed should be refrigerated or immediately reprocessed using new lids.

balsamic cherries