Sunday, December 20, 2009

Orange Chile Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Every time I've ever seen pork, it looks so dry. It just always gets super overcooked. This is a really good way to cook pork and keep it juicy.

Orange Chile Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Pork Ingredients:
2 pork tenderloins (When you buy a package of pork tenderloins, it will generally have two in it)
1 gallon cold water
1/2 cup table salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp table salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Glaze Ingredients:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1-2 tsp red chile flakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Trim the silver skin off both tenderloins.
2. Add cold water and 1/2 cup salt to a large bowl or small bucket to make a brine. Add pork and brine in the fridge for at least 1 hour. (Longer would be fine).
3. Make the orange glaze while the tenderloin is in the brine. Combine orange juice, sugar and chile flakes in a small sauce pan or frying pan. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until it gets thick like a glaze. Set aside.

4. Whisk cornstarch, sugar, salt and black pepper in a small bowl until combined.
5. Pat tenderloins dry with paper towels, then roll in cornstarch mixture until evenly coated on both sides. Thoroughly pat off excess cornstarch mixture. Too much cornstarch will leave gummy spots on the tenderloin.
6. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat until just beginning to smoke. Reduce heat to medium and put both tenderloins in the skillet. Cook until well browned on all sides. Transfer tenderloins to a wire rack set in a cookie sheet.

7. Brush tenderloin with orange glaze and put into preheated oven. Let roast until the thickest part of the pork reads 145-150.
8. Remove from oven, brush with glaze and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Slice and serve

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

This pound cake is super delicious! I found it on this website and decided to try it out. It is probably one of my favorite pound cakes I've ever tried.

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

2 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
2 tsp orange zest (peel)
1 tsp vanilla
6 eggs
8 oz sour cream (1 cup)
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries
2 apples, diced

Preheat oven to 350

1. Grease and flour a bundt pan (extremely well or the top of the cake will stick and get stuck in it)
2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in orange zest and vanilla.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
4. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in sour cream.
5. Fold in cranberries and apples.
6. Pour batter (it's really thick) into the greased bundt pan. Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool about 15-30 minutes before removing from the pan.
7. Drizzle on the glaze while the cake and the glaze is still warm.


1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 cube butter
1/2 cup half and half

1. In a medium saucepan mix the sugar and the flour. Stir in butter and half and half.
2. Cook over medium head until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly
3. Drizzle over cake while still warm

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Derby Pie

Derby Pie

(Enough filling for 1, 10” or 2, 8” pies)

2 eggs

½ cup butter

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

½ cup flour

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp bourbon (Optional)

Melt butter. Add flour, sugar and slightly beaten eggs. Stir in nuts. Add vanilla. Stir in chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, the top should be golden brown.

(You will need to pre-bake your pie crusts for this recipe, bake them for 10-15 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Let them cool and then fill with pie filling)

Ready to go in the oven:

Cut open. You can see how the chocolate chips all sink to the bottom:



(Makes 3, 8” or 2, 10” cheesecakes)

Graham cracker crust

3 lbs 9 oz (7 cups) Cream cheese, room temperature

1 lb 2 oz (2 ¼ cups) sugar

¼ oz (1 ½ tsp) salt

15 oz (1 ½ cups + 1 Tbsp) eggs (Probably around 15 medium eggs)

1 ½ oz (3 Tbsp) egg yolk

7 ½ oz (3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp) heavy cream (or sour cream will work as well)

.75 oz (4 ½ tsp) vanilla extract

1. Coat the cake pans with a light film of fat and line them with parchment circles

2. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of each pan

3. Combine the cream cheese, sugar and salt and mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment, occasionally scraping down the bowl, until the mixture is completely smooth, about 3 minutes

4. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together. Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture in very small amounts, making sure to scrape down the sides after each addition and making sure they are fully incorporated. This may take up to 6 additions. This will make it so it is not lumpy and perfectly smooth.

5. Add the heavy cream and vanilla, mix until fully incorporated

6. Add batter to pans, gently tap to release air bubbles

7. Bake in a hot water bath at 325 (or 300) until the centers of the cakes are set, about 1 hour

8. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off and leave the cheesecakes in the oven without opening the door for 30 minutes – 1 hour

9. Cool the cakes completely in the pans on wire racks. Wrap the cakes in plastic and refrigerate overnight to set.


Chocolate cheesecake: To 4 cups batter for 1, 8” cake, add 5 Tbsp sifted cocoa powder and blend well.

White chocolate cheesecake: To 5 cups batter for 1, 8” cake, add ¾ cup melted white chocolate and blend well.

Marble cheesecake: To 1 cup batter for 1, 8” cake, add 4 Tbsp melted bittersweet chocolate: Pour the chocolate batter into 4 cups plain batter and gently swirl three or four times with the end of a wooden spoon. Do not over mix. Pour the marbleized batter into the prepared pan and proceed as directed above

Lemon cheesecake: To 5 cups batter for 1, 8” cake, add 4 Tbsp lemon juice and the grated zest of one lemon and blend well.

Pumpkin cheesecake: To 3 cups batter for 1, 8” cake, add 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree and blend well.

Easy Pie Crust

Easy Pie Crust

This is a 3, 2, 1 recipe.

3 parts flour

2 parts fat

1 part water

Normally it’s made with 3lbs flour, 2 lbs fat, 1 lb water but that makes a giant batch! It probably makes around 10+ pies so I am going to cut it in half.

Also you can use a variety of fats for this. You can use butter, shortening or lard either by themselves or a combination of the three. Pure butter tastes the best, but doesn’t hold up as well under the heat of the oven. Shortening holds up well but doesn’t taste as good and lard makes the flakiest crust of all. I like to use half butter, half shortening for mine.

This half batch makes about 6-7 pie crusts:

1 ½ lb (3 cups) flour

½ lb (1 cup) butter, cold

½ lb (1 cup) shortening

½ lb (1 cup) ice water

1-2 tsp salt or sugar (depending on your pie – if it’s super sweet, add salt. If it’s not, add sugar)

The trick to good pie crust is to keep it as cold as possible. Use cold butter, ice water and put the dough in the fridge when the butter starts to melt in your hands to cool it back down.

In a large bowl add flour and all your fat. Using your super clean hands start breaking the fat up and incorporating it into the flour. You will continue to do this until the butter/shortening pieces are about the size of a pea or a little smaller.

If the butter starts to get warm, put in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill it back down again.

Once the butter is incorporated into the flour, add the ice water and mix with your hands just until it comes together into a dough. Do not knead it, it will break up the butter chunks.

Roll it out and put into a pie plate. Once it’s in the pie plate, you don’t have to worry about chilling it anymore. If you mess up on rolling the first time, put that part of the dough into the fridge and work with the rest of the dough.

Shape and use like normal pie crust.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Chicken Salad
Cooked chicken, cubed
2-4 stalks celery, diced
1/2-1 red onion, diced
Toasted almonds
Old Bay seasoning
Salt and pepper

Combine chicken, celery, onion and almonds in a bowl. Add mayo and stir until well coated. Season to taste with old bay, salt and pepper.

Serve on a croissant or in eclair shells (pate a choux - I will try and post a recipe later. That's what's pictured above)

Artichoke Dip two ways

When I participated in the Annual Lee's Holiday Food Show, I served two different types of artichoke dip. The first dip was an artichoke and green chile dip. It's just a different take on your normal artichoke and spinach dip. The second was a cream cheese, spinach artichoke dip. Both are delicious and very easy to make.

Artichoke and Green Chile Dip


2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp hot sauce (I use Franks Red Hot)

Combine mayo and yogurt in a medium bowl, stirring until smooth. Add drained and chopped artichoke hearts, drained chiles, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and Tabasco sauce. Spoon mixture into a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes or until lightly brown.

Serve on toasted baguette slices or crackers.

Cream cheese, spinach and artichoke dip

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach
1 (7.5 oz or 14 oz) can artichoke hearts
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Spread cream cheese into the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Mix the spinach, drained and chopped artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese and garlic powder until well blended. Spread over cream cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cheese melts and the top is golden brown.

Serve on toasted baguette slices or crackers.

Rosemary and Peppercorn Brined Turkey

Rosemary and Peppercorn Brine Turkey
Dried rosemary leaves
Whole black peppercorns
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 small-medium onions, roughly chopped
Poultry seasoning
Vegetable oil or butter

1-3 days before you are ready to cook your turkey, rinse it off and put it in a 5 gallon bucket or a pan big enough to hold the turkey and cover it with water. Fill it up with cold water, making sure your turkey is fully covered. For your brine you will use 1/2 cup salt for every gallon of water. Add salt, 1 container dried rosemary leaves, and 2 palmfuls of whole black peppers into the water. If your turkey is sticking out of the water at all, cover with a clean rag. It will absorb the water and keep the turkey wet. Keep the turkey in a cold (below 40 degrees) place for 1-3 days until you are ready to cook it.

The day you are ready to cook the turkey, preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Pull turkey out of brine and dry off with paper towels.
Stuff the cavity of the turkey with some of the celery, carrot and onion. Put in a large roasting pan and put the remaining celery, carrot and onion in the bottom of the pan. Rub the top of the turkey with vegetable oil or room temperature butter. Season with poultry seasoning and a little salt and pepper. (Don't use too much salt, it was in a brine)

Put turkey into a preheated oven with the legs in the back for 30 minutes. (The turkey should be golden brown). Pull out of oven and cover only the breast with tin foil. Leaving the legs exposed, put back in the oven with the legs in the back and drop the oven temperature to 350. Leave in the oven until the breast temperature reaches 161 degrees. (If you have a 15 pound turkey, it will be about an hour and a half). Pull out of the oven when the breast is 161 degrees. Cover with foil and let it rest for at LEAST 30 minutes. This will let the juices re-distribute.

Carve and serve

Hearty Beef Stew

Hearty Beef Stew
3 pounds chuck-eye roast, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped coarse (about 2 cups)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup red wine - alcohol will cook out (If you don't want to add this, add 1 cup extra stock)
2 cups beef or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
6 small yellow or red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on how big they are
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place beef cubes in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. In a large cast iron skillet or a large soup pot, heat 2 Tbsp oil. Add beef in two separate batches. Brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch, adding remaining tablespoon of oil if needed. Remove meat and set aside. (If using a cast iron skillet, move meat into a soup pot). Add onions to now empty pan, saute until almost softened, 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic. Continue to saute about 30 seconds longer. Stir in flour, cook until lightly colored (about 1-2 minutes). Add wine, scraping up any browned bits that may have stuck to the pan. Add stock, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to simmer. Add meat, return to a simmer. Cover and place in oven. Simmer in oven for 1 hour.
2. Remove pot from oven, add potatoes and carrots. Cover and return to oven. Simmer until meat is just tender, about 1 hour. Remove stew from oven. (Can be cooled, covered and refrigerated up to 3 days)
3. Add peas and allow to stand 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup

4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2/3 cups flour
6 cups milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green onions, divided
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (Optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Pierce potatoes with a fork, bake at 400 for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes, coarsely mash. Discard skins.
3. Put flour in a large pot gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until milk starts to thicken. Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt and pepper and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in sour cream and most of the green onions (only save a few for a garnish). Cook over low heat until heated all the way through.
5. Ladle into a bowl and top with cheese, onions and bacon
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