Friday, June 21, 2013

Cuban Pork Tenderloin and Yucca with Garlic Sauce

This is my attempt at making Cuban food.  There is a Cuban restaurant that we like to go to on occasion and they have the best pork and what they call cassava (yucca).  I get the same thing every time we go, so I thought it was finally time on trying my hand at making it myself.

I searched the Internet looking for what I wanted.  I found two different sites and thought that their recipes sounded really good.  The one recipe comes from Our Full Plate and the other comes from Three Guys from Miami.  I made the recipes exactly to the specifications that they had, of course you know me, I plan on tweaking it when I make this again.

I hope you enjoy!

Cuban Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin (about 2 to 2.5 pounds)  This tenderloin came from IdleWild Farm
1 yellow onion, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 limes, juiced
1 large orange, juiced and zested
2 cups homemade vegetable broth
1-1/2 tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Place some of the sliced onion in the bottom of the crock pot, place pork on top.  Add dry ingredients and massage those into the pork.  Add lime and orange juices.  Add garlic and onion.  Pour vegetable broth over all.  Place lid on crock pot and cook for 8-10 hours on low.  (I actually cooked mine on high for about 8 hours, it made the pork so tender and it just pulled apart).  Serve with juice and cooked onions from crock pot.

Yucca with Garlic Sauce
1-1/2 pounds yucca, peeled and cut into chunks **see below on how to peel a yucca
Juice from 1 lime
6 cloves of garlic mashed into 1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
Place yucca in a saucepan; add water until yucca is just covered.  Add a little bit of salt to the water and the lime juice, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender about 30 minutes.  Drain.  Remove the woody or fibrous core from the center of the yucca.  Mash garlic cloves into salt using a mortar and pestle (if you don't have one, use a knife and mash it on a cutting board).  Add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and onions to a separate saucepan, heat until bubbling.  (I cooked this at the same time the yucca were cooking).  Add yucca to the pan of onion mixture, toss to incorporate and saute it over medium heat.  Serve

Here is how to peel a yucca (don't you just love the Internet?).  Check out this YouTube video

Peeling the yucca

This is what the fibrous/woody part of the inside of a yucca looks like.  It will be easier to remove once cooked. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Turkey Sausage with White Wine and Garlic, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic and Peppers and Onions

I went shopping today to pick up a couple of items for dinner.  Somehow when I go to this store I end up spending a small chunk of change, today was no exception.  I picked up the sausages that contain white wine and garlic.  I thought this would make a nice meal for tonight's dinner.

Cooked Sausage
Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil.  (I have a glass top stove and cooking with cast iron you have to be careful because if you heat it up too fast the pan will get hot and could cause the glass to break).  Place sausages into pan and cook.  Turning often so that they will cook evenly.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
small amount of olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place sweet potatoes into a Ziploc bag along with garlic.  Add a small amount of olive oil, just enough to coat potatoes.  Shake and knead bag to incorporate the oil onto the potatoes.  Pour potatoes onto a cookie sheet and place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tender.  Turning potatoes at least once.  Serve

Sauteed Peppers and Onions
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.  Place peppers and onions into pan, stir.  Continue to cook until onions and peppers become soft.  This could take as long as 15 minutes.  When the onions and peppers are about soft, sprinkle a little bit of salt (the salt will help to remove some of the moisture and flavor the peppers and onions).

Serve the above meal with a small salad.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Brazilian Curry Chicken - Crock Pot Style

Okay ready for a funny story?  I was looking on the Internet at a site that had some recipes on it.  I was so excited when I saw one that I could make for dinner tonight.  I prepped all the ingredients and got it all into the crock pot only to realize that I had dinner with my girl friends tonight and that we would be eating out.

I told my husband what had happened and told him that he would be eating good while I was out tonight.  Explained what he needed to fix and that he had to take a picture.  I am more bummed about that fact that I made dinner tonight and would not be eating it.  Of course I still want to go out with the girls.

I found this recipe on the PaleOMG website.  It contains a lot of paleo recipes and this one sparked my interest.

Brazilian Curry Chicken - Crock Pot Style
I varied the recipe slightly from its original form.

2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground ginger
5 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup of homemade chicken broth (of course I used my own right out of the freezer)
2 bell peppers, cut into cubes (I used one green and 1 red)
1 yellow onion, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl whisk together coconut milk, tomato paste, garlic, ginger powder, curry powder and chicken broth. Whisk in some salt and pepper to taste.  In the crock pot, place about half of the onions on the bottom of the crock pot, place chicken breasts on top, add rest of onions and the bell peppers.  Pour coconut milk mixture over chicken and vegetables.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours.

Serve over some cooked brown rice.  Also served it with a side salad.  My husband said that this went well with a Imperial Red Ale from Apocalypse Ale Works.

Everything in the crock pot ready to be cooked.

Sitting on top of cooked brown rice.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

I have been wanting strawberry shortcake but of course I need to have it gluten free but I also don't want to have it with a ton of sugar.  I considered a lot of options and even looked at some of the mixes out there.  The problem that I have with most of the pre-made mixes on the market is that they contain things like artificial flavor (whatever that is) and other things like corn starch, xanthan gum etc.

For this dessert I did use a mix but the ingredients in this is something that I could have made at home, but instead opted for convenience in this case.

I used Namaste Foods Waffle and Pancake Mix.  The mix contains brown rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, rice milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and ground vanilla bean.  All you have to do is add egg, oil and water.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Cut 2 containers of strawberries into small pieces.  Place strawberries into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.  The longer they sit the more juicy they become.

Prepare pancakes according to package directions.  I made the pancakes small, more like the size of a small biscuit.

Place 1 pancake into a bowl, top with some strawberries, layer with another pancake and more strawberries.

I tried to make a coconut milk whipped cream.  I used a brand of coconut milk that I had never used before.  What you want to do is place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator to let the milk and separate.  Pull off the thick part of the coconut milk (it will be thick leaving the water part behind), whip it into a cream.  This particular brand of milk didn't separate and so I thought I would try it anyway.  It just didn't work.  Oh well, I will try it again another time with a different type of milk.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Sauteed Radish Greens

I went to the farmers market yesterday and got some great vegetables.  The radish greens came from our garden.  My husband loves radishes, I on the other hand do not like them.  Last year he would pull his radishes from the garden and throw out the greens.  I kept telling him to keep them and finally he did and was so glad that he had listened.

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with a Barbecue Rub
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Rub mixture all on sides of the steaks.   Place steaks on a 600 degrees Fahrenheit grill for 3 minutes, flip and cook for 3 minutes more. This will give you a perfect medium rare.

Sauteed Radish Greens
Wash the greens and pick off the bottom parts of the stems.  Heat a skillet with a small about of olive oil over medium high heat.  Add greens, toss, and cook until tender and wilted.  Add a little salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Steamed Snow Peas
Place washed snow peas into a steamer basket, place basket over a pan that has about 1-2 inches of water in it.  Cook over high heat letting the peas steam, cook until tender but still crispy.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Decided to cook the potatoes whole.  To speed up the process of cooking.  I placed the sweet potatoes into the microwave and cooked them for a couple of minutes.  Then wrapped them in foil and placed them on the grill, indirect heat, while the grill was heating up.  They were the last thing to come off of the grill.  Mike likes his sweet potato with a little bit of cinnamon.

Serve the meal with a side salad of fresh salad greens and tomatoes.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Baked Salmon with Blueberry Sauce

I must start off this post with a warning.  If you make this and eat it your teeth and mouth will turn blue from the blueberries.

Made this for a quick dinner tonight before a meeting that I had to attend.  I never thought about the blueberries staining my teeth, it took me 3 times brushing my teeth before it was good enough to go out (still not great but better).  Of course after 3 times brushing I could without a doubt say that I had minty fresh breath.  :-)

The sauce is fantastic.

If I had planned my meal a little better I would have served this with quinoa.  Instead I just served it with a small side salad.

Blueberry Sauce
This recipe came from Epicurious.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon allspice
6 ounces fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Fresh ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots, saute for 5 minutes until soft.  Add garlic, salt, thyme, and allspice.  Stir until fragrant.  Add blueberries, water and vinegar.  Stir to blend.  Mash berries with a potato masher and cook until sauce thickens, stirring often.  Stir in chopped mint and season with fresh ground black pepper.

Baked Salmon
I did something different with the salmon this time.  I used a recipe/theory that the America's Test Kitchen used.
2 salmon fillets
olive oil
salt and pepper
Adjust oven rack to lower position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  Make 4 to 5 shallow slashes about 1 inch apart along the skin side of each piece, careful not to cut into the flesh.  Pat salmon dry with paper towels.  Rub fillets evenly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Reduce temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and remove baking sheet.  Carefully place salmon skin side down on baking sheet.  Cook for about 9 to 13 minutes.