onion

tasty tuesday: pan roasted pork tenderloin, barley and mushroom braise, roasted brussels, spinach, onions

Pork barley

Man, it feels like it has been a minute since I’ve been here. Since my last post, we’ve had lots of great food, from authentic Latin American fair to farm-to-table classics and the best of Charleston. Through all of that, I found some inspiration to make tonight’s dish, combining flavors and techniques I’ve experienced from both Sean Brock’s Husk and Hugh Acheson’s Five and Ten. But really, its not much more that good ingredients, nicely seasoned, and simply prepared. That combination goes a lot further than you make think.

I love pasta dishes. I can’t escape it. And for some reason pairing barley or farro with pork and Brussels just stuck out in my mind. It is very similar to a dish at Five and Ten I had about a year ago and it just popped in my head as a very memorable dish. It goes well with the mushrooms I had at Husk, braised with broth and greens. Fantastic all.

As this blog turns two, we thank you for staying with us and helping us grow. Let us know what else you want to see!

On to the food.

Pan roasted pork with braised barley and mushrooms, spinach and onions, roasted brussels

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of any fat and connective tissue
1 cup pearled barley
1 quart chicken stock
5 portabella mushrooms
1 sweet onion, chopped into thin slices, 1/4 finely chopped
2 tbsb butter
1/4 cup spinach
10 sage leaves
8 brussels sprouts, stems removed and halved.
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
salt, pepper, white pepper
Olive oil to coat pan twice

Start with the barley. In a deep pan, melt butter over medium and add the grains of barley and two pinches of salt. Toast for 2 minutes. Add the fine onions and vinegar. Heat 4 minutes, or until vinegar is absorbed. Add 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and cover 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chop mushrooms into thin slices. Add to barley and add 1/2 the remaining stock and sage. Simmer additional 20 minutes, until barley is tender.

Season the pork with a heavy coating of salt, pepper and white pepper.

Heat a large pan to medium high and coat with olive oil. Heat oven to 300. Place the sprouts in the hot oil insides down and sear for 3 minutes. Turn and heat for 2 minutes. Place sprouts on a cookie sheet lined with foil and place in oven for 20 minutes.

In same large pan, add more oil to coat. Place the pork in the oil and sear 5 minutes per side (three sides). Reduce heat to low and cover pan for 2 minutes. Remove pork from pan.

In same pan, add more oil and remaining onions. Press garlic and add to onion. Add spinach and stir 1 minute. Add remaining stock and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove mixture from pan.

Cut the pork into very thin pieces. Return to pan with remaining pork and chicken stock mixtures. Baste with jus for 2 minutes, until pieces reach desired doneness.

Plate with spinach and onions in center of plate. Top with barley and mushroom mixture then pork. Place sprouts around the side and top with rogue brussels crispies and sage.

Enjoy!

wild card wednesday: grilled chicken and rice stew

chicken and rice

 

So, new month, new wild card topic. It is February, its a time when we are ready for a season change for being tired of the leaves being brown and that patch of snow on the ground. By golly, when the sun has gone down and the chill hits, you want nothing more than “comfort food”. The problem with that is that most comfort foods seem to derive their name from being carb and/or fat rich and that comfort you feel is that natural sedative of heavy, complex carbohydrates. So, why not come up with some ways to get those comforts of food that feel like a warm blanket while still being a little conscious of the fact that you have still been eating leftover sweets from the holidays. Thus, the challenge: healthy, nutrient rich comfort foods. (If you think of a snappy way to say it, let us know)

I must admit that this meal has its origins in the fact that the finale of Top Chef New Orleans is tonight and there always seems to be recipes starting with celery, carrots, and onions. At the store, I started there and just kept adding flavors to come up with a nice stew with some big flavors. MMMM

Grilled Chicken for the Stew:

Chicken legs and thighs, one each per bowl.
Zest of two lemons
Juice of 1 lemon,
3 cloves garlic, minced.
Salt and pepper

Mix zest, garlic, salt, pepper and 1/2 the lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread over chicken pieces and marinate about 30 minutes. Grill on a grill pan (or sear, depending on preference) until skin develops a good color, about 4 minutes. Place in 350 oven until it reaches 165 or so, 10 mins give or take). Squeeze other 1/2 lemon juice over chicken.

Stew

They call it mirepoix.

They call it mirepoix.

1 medium onion chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp sage, separated
2 tsp thyme, separated
2 tsp red pepper flake
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped discarding stems
4 cups chicken stock
1/8 cup flour

Heat oil and butter in dutch oven. Add the onions, carrot, celery and saute with 1 tsp of each sage, thyme, and red pepper with salt and pepper until softened slightly. Heat stock in separate pan.

Add flour to the vegetables and stir until coated. Heat for about 2 minutes to cool the flavor our of the flour. Stir in half the stock until the consistence of thick gravy. Add the remaining stock. Add in the sweet potato, remaining herbs and spices, and kale. Bring to a boil, stir, and simmer at least 15 minutes.

Serve the chicken and stew over a couple spoonfuls of a quinoa rice blend (2 cups water, 1 cup rice, bowl water, add rice, cook 15 mins until water absorbed) or brown rice.

This stew will have a light flavor will be packed with vitamins and fiber. The chicken will add a nice bright flavor that will mesh well with the flavors of the stew.

My belly was certainly happy. Hope yours will be to!

wild card wednesday: mushroom and caramelized onion stuffed cheeseburgers, beer cheese and mac with blackened shrimp, parmesan sauteed spinach

We're getting wild

We’re getting wild

If you can’t tell this time the challenge is CHEESE. Eleta made the challenge this time, and I am not sure she knew what she was getting.

I decided to take it to the limit with something I have seen on TV several time, so I had to make it for myself- Stuffed cheeseburgers. It really works to hold flavors together, taste the meat, and to experience good gooey cheese. MMMMM.

Stuffed Cheeseburgers with mushrooms and caramelized onions:

1 lb ground sirloin
2 slices swiss cheese
1/2 vidalia onion, sliced into strips (pinch of sugar)
4 oz portabellas, sliced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 TBSP Worchestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic
Salt, Black Pepper, Paprika, Red Pepper Flake to taste.
2 buns

Mix the spices, garlic, Worchestershire and crumbs into the sirloin until just mixed and crumbs disappear, set aside.

Heat a saucepan with olive oil and add the sliced onions and the pinch of sugar. The sugar will help the onions color well. Cook over medium high heat until they sweat and lower and cover. Stir occasionally until they have begun to brown. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir. Cook until mushrooms are softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan.

Divide the burger meat into 4 equal quarters and mash until thin. Place one half of a slice of cheese on each patty. Add enough of the onion shroom mixture to satisfy on two on the patties and cover with the other two. Press to seal the mixture in.

Heat a griddle to medium-high. Once hot, grease the griddle and toss the burger on. Cook about 4 minutes on one side, flip and reduce heat and cover with a pan lid. Cook another 6-8 minutes, until done to taste. This added up to medium for me.

Place, with no further adornments, on a bun.

How could I avoid making a delicious mac and cheese for challenge cheese? Exactly, I couldn’t. But, I also had to ad beer because it is delicious.

Beer Mac and Cheese with Blackened Shrimp

1/2 lb rotini
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP flour
8oz Pale Ale
8oz evaporated milk
12 oz sharp cheddar
3 TBSP white cheddar Boursin
Grilled green onions, chopped
8oz Shrimp, chopped into bite size pieces
Blackening spice (or paprika, chili powder, black pepper, red pepper)

In a large stock pot, boil about 2 quarts water and cook pasta. Season the shrimp with spices.  In a fry pan, heat a little bit of olive oil and cook shrimp, about 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Set aside.

In a sauce pan, melt butter and add flour. Whisk into a roux and cook for about 3 minutes. Whisk in beer and milk and cook 2 minutes. Add the the cheese and whisk until fully melted. Lower heat to low and stir occasionally add green onions (to grill green onions, take the whole bulb and stock and cook on a grill pan for about 4 minutes per side). Once pasta is ready, drain and return to pot. Add shrimp and pour in cheese mix. Stir, devour.

—-

Sauteed Spinach

1 lb spinach
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup of parmesan
Olive oil

In fry pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the spinach and stir until coated. Once the spinach begins to wilt, add cheese and continue to cook until all leaves have wilted down. It is ready to eat.

All told, it was great, hearty, and enough to induce a coma. I highly recommend this dish and exploring flavors you like with the burgers and the mac and cheese. Let me know what you come up with!

Juicy, gooey, sweet. No drool in picture.

Juicy, gooey, sweet. No drool in picture.