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Month: October 2008

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Artichoke and Spinach

2 lbs pork tenderloin, butterflied
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
1  jar (5 oz) of artichoke hearts, drained and diced
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Ask your butcher to butterfly the tenderloin or do it yourself: splitting it down the middle, cutting it almost but not all the way through, and then opening the two halves so they lie flat (shape should resemble a butterfly.  You may need to use a mallet to flatten out the meat some for enough surface area to stuff and roll.  Lightly season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper.

Stir the ricotta, herbs, spinach and artichokes together and spread the mixture evenly inside the butterflied pork tenderloin.  Roll the loin closed and tie with butcher’s twine in at least five places.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the tenderloin in a roasting pan and brush with olive oil.  Roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes then slice into 1/2 inch thick medallions.

Herbed Polenta

4+ cups water
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
3/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp fresh basil, chopped (optional)
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Bring the water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan.  Add salt and gradually whisk in the cornmeal.  Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring often, and the cornmeal is tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Add the cheese, milk, butter, herbs, and pepper then stir until butter and cheese melt and thoroughly combined.

Classic Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 (12 oz) can evaporated low-fat milk
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 (15 oz) can unsweetened pumpkin

1 refrigerated pie crust dough

1/4 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp amaretto
2 tsp powdered sugar

Position oven rack to lowest the position and preheat oven to 425.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add pumpkin, and stir with a whisk until smooth.

Roll dough into an 11-inch circle and fit into a 9 inch pie plate coated with cooking spray.  Fold down or trim off excess dough then flute the edges (pinch with your fingers).

Pour pumpkin mixture into the crust.  Place pie plate on a baking sheet on lowest oven rack.  Bake at 425 for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake an additional 50 minutes or until almost set.  Cool completely on wire rack.

For the topping, use a mixer at high speed to whip the cream to stiff peaks.  Add the amaretto and powdered sugar and beat until blended.

London Broil with Zinfandel Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme (1-2 tsp)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (1-2 Tbsp)
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp Worchestire sauce
1 Tbsp honey
ground black pepper

2 lbs. london broil/flank steak

1 cup zinfandel red wine
2 cups beef/veal stock
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Place marinade ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Place marinade in a freezer bag with the steak and marinate 4 to 12 hours in the fridge.  Gtill steak to medium-rare (about 4 minutes per side over high heat for an average flank steak, 140-145 degrees).

Place wine in a non-reactive pan and reduce over medium heatuntil 1 Tbsp remains.  Add stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  WHisk in tomato paste and continue cooking until sauce thickens to about 1 cup.  Add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps

1 lb. steak (flank, skirt, or sirloin)
1 Tbsp sriracha or other asian chili-garlic sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame seed oil (optional)
1 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 inch of fresh ginger, grated or sliced

2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
1 tsp spicy asian mustard
1 tsp rice or white vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp mirin (optional)

8 leaves of boston bibb lettuce
red onion, sliced paper thin
green onions, sliced
carrot, julienned
jalapeno or red chile, sliced thin
roasted peanuts, crushed
lime wedges
fresh cilantro

Steak can be cut into long strips about 2 inches wide for faster marinating and cooking.  Combine chili sauce, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, lime juice, garlic, and ginger.  Place steak in marinade for at least 30 minutes.  Cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes per side, or until desired doneness.  Let meat rest 5- 10 minutes, then slice against the grain in thin strips.  Place a few strips of steak onto a lettuce leave, top with desired toppings, and then a drizzle of sauce.