Roasted pork loin with garlic and rosemary

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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)

Ingredients 

  • 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

Method

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.

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Bacon eggs and cheese muffins

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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)

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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.


Slow roasted smoked pork shoulder with chipotle mayonnaise

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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)

Ingredients

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

Method

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.


Brined pork tenderloin with lemon and rosemary

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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?

Brined pork tenderloin with lemon and rosemary  (adapted from Thomas Keller‘s Ad hoc at home)

Ingredients

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

Method

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.


The pork and prawn balls in aromatic broth cook off: Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course

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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)

Ingredients 

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

Instructions

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


The pork and prawns balls in aromatic broth cook off: The Hairy Dieter’s take

pork and shrimp meatball with fragrant broth and mushrooms

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)

Ingredients

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

Method

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.


Pork chops with sweet and sour red peppers

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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)

Ingredients

Pork chops

  • 2 pork chops, about 200g each
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on, crushed
  • small bunch of thyme
  • butter

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

Method

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.