Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach Fennel Salsa

July 22nd, 2015

Grilled pork tenderloin with peach salsa 1

The first recipe I ever posted here was a pork tenderloin preparation that is still one of my favorites.  What is so likable about pork tenderloin is that it has a mild flavor and marries well with numerous ingredients.  With summer in full swing it just makes sense to pair it with a salsa made with some of the summer bounty, which includes peaches.  There are so many salsa recipes out there now.  We are no longer limited to tomato based salsas.  I recently posted a recipe for watermelon and blueberry salsa. Now I am in love with this peach and fennel salsa.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa 2

 

The recipe came from The Tupelo Honey Cookbook.  Tupelo Honey Cafe is a restaurant in Asheville, NC.  I believe they have another one in Knoxville, Tn.  “Reflecting the independent and creative spirit of the New South,  Tupelo Honey Cafe dishes up Southern comfort with innovative flavor pairings.”  It is always a revelation to eat there.  This combination of peaches, crunchy fennel, red onions and roasted red bell pepper is an example of one of the innovative dishes that they serve.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin 3

When you serve this salsa with grilled pork tenderloin, you will understand why it is such a great combination.  By the way, I have photographed several pork tenderloin dishes over the years and I have decided that it is one of the hardest meats to “make pretty”.  But put it on a platter with this peach fennel salsa and your aesthetic self and your camera will be proud.  Not to mention your taste buds.

GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH PEACH FENNEL SALSA

4 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds)

1 cup Peach Fennel Salsa

Preheat your grill to medium-high.  Combine the rosemary, olive oil, Worcestershire, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Place the pork in the bowl, covering it well with the rosemary mixture, and set aside for 30 minutes.  Cook the pork loin on the grill for 12 to 14 minutes, until medium, turning every couple of minutes to ensure it cooks evenly.  Remove the pork from the heat, let rest briefly and the slice into 1-inch thick pieces, topping each with the salsa.

PEACH FENNEL SALSA

1/2 cup diced fresh fennel (bulb, stalk, and feathery leaves, tough outer layer discarded)
2 cups peeled and diced peaches (about 4 large peaches)
1 cup diced roasted red bell pepper ( I used jarred peppers)
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
4 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the fennel, peaches, bell pepper, onion, garlic oil, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 30 minutes.  The salsa can be kept refrigerated for 2 days.

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Crock Pot Flank Steak Fajitas

July 13th, 2015

Crock Pot Flank steak Fajitas 1

Busy days on the lake call for easy meal preparations.  Flank steak fajitas cooked in the crock pot could not be easier.  But my hands off plan was somewhat thwarted when I realized I had forgotten to buy flour tortillas.

Crock Pot Flank Steak Fajitas 2V

I googled homemade tortillas and found a recipe that I was able to turn into the very best tortillas I have ever had.  It was not complicated and made me happy that I had forgotten to buy them.  Also, the bonus is having additive free tortillas. I did substitute half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour though.  It called for only whole wheat flour.

Gampy Fishing with kids

There are so many things going on around the lake.  Gampy has enjoyed taking the grandkids fishing this summer.  So far they have not caught anything.  Maybe it is because getting them up early when the fish are biting is not easy.

Crock Pot Flank Steak Fajitas 3

Add all the condiments you would like to this simple recipe.  It is sure to be winner with the whole family.  The recipe came from a new cookbook that I checked out of the library.  It is 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake.  She also has a blog of the same name where she stresses a diet based on whole foods rather than processed foods.  The only change I made to the crock pot flank steak fajita recipe was holding out some of the bell peppers to cook separately because the long cooking in the crock pot made them very soft and colorless.  The flavor of the meat is mild, so if you want more kick add the seeds of the jalapeno and a few pepper flakes.

CROCK POT FLANK STEAK FAJITAS

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds (grass fed) flank steak
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (leave seeds in in you like it spicier)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 or 5 bell peppers, any color, cored, seeded and sliced (Save two to saute separately)
1 onion, sliced

In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.

Rub the spice mixture over all sides of the flank steak, place it in the bottom of the slow cooker, and add the soy sauce.

Top the flank steak with the jalapeno, garlic, 3 of the peppers, and onion.  There’s no need to add any water or other liquid.

Cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 9 hours, or until steak can easily be shredded with two forks.

Near the end of cooking time, heat a small amount of oil in a medium saute pan and cook the 2 remaining sliced peppers until softened, but still retaining their bright color.

Thoroughly drain the meat and peppers, saving the juiced.  Shred the meat, and serve with the fajita fixings of your choice.

Recommended accompaniments:  Whole wheat flour Tortillas, freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese, sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, fresh chopped lettuce, sour cream and/or diced jalapenos.

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Grilled Herb Chicken with Red Onion Jam and an Outing

June 12th, 2015

Grilled Herb Chicken 1

With a little planning ahead, this was on the table in 15 minutes after I got home late the other night.  I marinated the chicken in herbs, olive oil and lemon juice before I left for the day and left instructions with David on how to make the red onion jam.  We accompanied this with fresh sweet corn and an orzo and spinach salad that I picked up at Whole Foods while I was out.  Dinner couldn’t have been easier or more delicious.

Antique Shop Greenville

I spent the day with my friend Penny (The Other Penny), from The Comforts of Home.  She has recently moved and it was the first chance that we had to get together this summer.  We spent a day antiquing and lunching in beautiful Greenville, SC.  Greenville is such a vibrant city with over 600 restaurants and many antique shops.  The above picture was taken at Southern Estates Antiques, Inc.  The vignette at the front door was very welcoming with cooling lemonade to greet us.

Antique cookbook holder

I spotted this metal cookbook stand and almost bought it.  I was curious about the word on the oval embellishment.  As it turns out, it is the French word for belt or a sash for the waist.  I would assume that this was originally a display stand for belts.  Now I am sorry that I didn’t buy it.

Passerelle Bistro Penny

After visiting several antique shops, Penny and I had lunch at Passerelle Bistro on the river in downtown Greenville.  It was our second time eating there. Even though the day was warm, the breeze off of the river made it pleasant to eat outside.

Trout on Toast

I had the Mountain Trout on Toast with Lemon Vinegar and Gribiche Sauce.

Passerelle Bistro Mussels

Penny had the Basquaise Mussels and Frites.  Lunch was delicious.  It is always a treat for us to get together.

Grilled Herb Chicken 2

This chicken with red onion jam was also delicious.  It would make a nice dish to serve on the 4th of July.

GRILLED HERB CHICKEN WITH RED ONION JAM (Saveur Magazine)

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CHICKEN:
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup minced parsley
¼ cup minced basil
2 tbsp. minced rosemary
2 tbsp. minced thyme
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼” thickness, halved

FOR THE RED ONION JAM:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 large red onions, sliced thin
¾ cup dry red wine
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup sugar
¼ cup black raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Make the chicken: Mix oil, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, chile flakes, garlic, and lemon juice and zest in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (or overnight).

2. Meanwhile, make the jam: Heat butter in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, sugar, liqueur, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring, until thick, about 40 minutes; let jam cool.

3. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat broiler to high.) Working in batches, grill chicken, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve with jam.

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Crab Cakes with Cucumber Salad

June 4th, 2015

Crab Cakes with Cucumber Salad 1

Crab cakes are such a treat.  We rarely have them because of the exorbitant cost of crab meat.  You can buy premixed crab cakes at most Super Markets these days, but I find that they have too much breadcrumb filler.  But, I still think that some filler is an added bonus and does not take away from the sweet taste of the crab meat.  The idea is to achieve a balance, especially when you have three kinds of diced peppers in the mixture.

Crab Cakes with Cucumber Salad 3v

A wonderful cooling ingredient in this recipe is the cucumber salad that compliments the crab cakes perfectly.  We found this to be a perfect meal with grilled sweet corn.  I even had the crab cakes the next day for lunch with a tossed salad.

Crab Cakes with Cucumber Salad 2v

I feel like I owe all of you an update on my health issues.  My sprained ankle has healed.  I still need surgery to remove plates and pins in my leg, but I can probably wait until later to have it done.  We have so much going on this summer and a 3 week trip to Italy in September that it is one of those things that I thought could wait until the quiet months of late fall to confront.  When life is so full, why mess it up with surgery?  My Doctor agrees.  Thanks to all of you for your support.

These crab cakes with cucumber salad are worth your attention.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.  We have a beach party on the shores of Lake Lure this Saturday with The Ocean Boulevard Band performing.  If you have never heard of beach music or dancing “the shag”,  it originated in Myrtle Beach, SC. and is popular in our area.  Our Lake Lure Association president is Garrett Humphries.  Here is a you tube video of his award winning dancing. David and will try to keep up.  Ha!

CRAB CAKES WITH CUCUMBER SALAD

Cucumber Herb Salad:
2 cups cucumber, seeded and julienned
2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon)
1 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Crab Cakes:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

In a medium serving bowl, mix cucumber, herbs, lemon juice and oil until cucumber is completely coated; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl, gently combine all crab cake ingredients except olive oil.  Using a 1/4 cup, measure out 16 cakes.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat.  Sear 4 to 6 cakes until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Turn crab cakes over and sear for an additional 2 minutes.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining oil and crab cakes.  Bake in oven for about 6 to 8 minutes and serve over Cucumber Herb Salad.

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Mashed Potato Casserole and Other Ramblings

May 15th, 2015

Mashed Potato Casserole 1

Allow me to ramble a bit.  This will be a rather disjointed post.  It seems I have been snapping pictures willy nilly with no particular theme in mind.  We did have this mashed potato casserole last week.  David was grilling ribs and I knew that the timing for dinner would remain up in the air.  There are many steps involved in his rib recipe.  So, as not to worry about the mashed potatoes, I turned them into a casserole that could be kept warm in the oven.  The topping of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and butter was delicious.

Porch Tulips 1

Yesterday we had an old friend from our college days over for lunch.  She has moved close to our area and we had the best time catching up with each other.  I set the table on the porch, and although it was cool, we enjoyed being outside.

Porch Couscous

Our lunch included Ina Garen’s Couscous and Tuna Salad.  You can find the recipe here.

Porch Salad

I made a simple tossed salad with Spring greens, mandarin oranges, raspberries and almonds and these focaccia breadsticks with an oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce.

Porch Sign

David took me out to lunch for Mother’s Day at a small town near us.  After lunch we browsed in several antique shops.  I found this “Antiques” sign.  It is obviously not old, but it looks great hanging on my porch.

Lake Lure House Spring 1

I also found this colorful hanging basket to hang at the entrance to the cottage.

Potato Casserole 2v

MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE

6 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 to 1 cup half and half or cream
A large handful of chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:
1/3 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon melted butter

Place potatoes in a large saucepan with water to cover.  Add a generous teaspoon of salt.  Bring to bowl and cook until tender.  Drain potatoes.  Add butter and enough half and half to mash into a creamy consistency.  Add chives and mix in.

Grease a casserole dish.  Add potato mixture.

Mix together the topping ingredients.  Spread over potatoes.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Can be held in a warm oven until needed.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.