Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bread, ya'll.

Notes to myself: French Boule with Tbs oil, proof 2x addition of Tbs honey each time. Steam pan on top of pot during baking

The Forgoten Pig

Although its Spring, the weather has been chilly for the past few days. Add into that the dreaded "Temple Test" (psychology class) and I was in need of something warm and comforting. Hence why I am posting this dish, a very Autumn-y dish that is really just a basic format for any meat and root veg combo.
Pork Loin is one of those cuts that everybody eats, but nobody really cares about. You've got your chicken breast lovers, your filet mignon devotees, your sushi fanatics, but Pork Loin hasn't really got a cheering section. And that's a shame, because its a lean affordable cut of meat that when treated right, can be a juicy, tender, and dare I say, comforting dinner.

Roasted Pork Loin with Fennel Seed and Curry, Root Vegetables
-2-3 lbs pork loin (bring to room temperature for even cooking)
-2 Tbs fennel seed
-2 Tbs curry powder (store bought or homemade)
-assorted squash and root vegetables

1) Heat a pan in a 375 degree oven with a light layer of oil. Once the oil is hot (about 10 minutes) add your vegetables and coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some curry powder. Place in the oven. (Here, the preheated oil will ensure the starchy veg doesn't stick and develops a nice crust) Set timer for an 1 hour 15 minutes.
2) After the veg are in the oven, heat a pan over high heat until searing hot. Apply salt, pepper, fennel seed, and curry powder to the outside of your room temperature pork. Add some oil to the pan and sear on all sides until a golden crust is made.
3) Now your veg should be at about 45 minutes, so take them out and flip everything. At this point add your seared pork loin to top of the veg in order to finish roasting in the oven. Pork should be done at the same time as the veg, but may take up to ten minutes longer. Roast until desired doneness.

This is an easy way to cook big chunks of meat (and in my opinion, one of the bests). If you have the time, brineing the pork would be great. But then again I still got that test...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More Bread, Whole Wheat

100% Whole Wheat French and 50% Wheat 50% AP Focaccia.

Whole Wheat Crumb Structure, still not exactly sure on my wheat ratios, needed more water, perhaps use finer flour.

Focaccia Crumb Structure, good crumb structure, addition of olive oil kept the bread moist for a few days.

I wanna try making a sourdough starter next.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lamb with Tzatziki

I come home for Spring Break and ask my family what's for dinner. Turns out my sister loves lamb (my 11 year old sister.) and I have no idea how or when she had it. Apparently she remembers when I made it, which isn't as often as I would like. I love lamb, but it gets such a bad rep amongst most American eaters. It's gamey (which I like), but most supermarket lamb today is pretty mild by most standards. But it's also foreign to us. You can't go to Chili's and order it. Or Red Lobster. Or any other big chain. It's got a unique flavor, but its similar to beef in that you can eat it medium rare (although I cooked this medium well since my family isn't super fond of bloody meat). I think if Americans are willing to give lamb a second chance, most will be rewarded with a brand new source for culinary experiments.

Roasted Leg of Lamb, Onions, Zucchini, and a Mint-Rosemary Tzatziki. Plus these awesome chive blossoms that I could not not use.
The onions and zucchinis you can replace with pretty much any vegetable (although these work pretty well).
The Tzatziki is basically Greek yogurt pureed with a bunch of garlic, herbs, and cucumber (I left out the cucumber used rosemary and mint. I also added some Kewpie mayonnaise for additional richness and sweetness).
I used a boneless leg of lamb (3-4 lbs). Seared it in a pan until brown and roasted in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour 30 minutes (for medium well, medium rare would probably take about 1 hour and 10, but use a thermometer for better accuracy). Let the meat rest and and serve with Tzatziki, vegetables, and pan drippings.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Busy busy busy...but here are some food pictures.

Corned beef with cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms. Made great corned beef hash the next day.

Soba Noodle Salad with Chinese sausage, arugula, bell peppers, radishes, five spice tofu, and a sesame-soy vinaigrette.

Pan Roasted Pork Chop with Rosemary Chimichurri, Collard greens, and mashed potatoes