Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Cave of Food

If you are a fan of weirdo humor, you will like this. If you are not a fan of weirdo humor, then not only will you not like this, but I also do not want to be your friend no more.

 

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Pork Loin with Pear and Ginger Chutney

Pork Loin served over mashed potatoes

A long, long time ago I bought a pork loin. Okay, not THAT long ago, but for the purposes of creating a dramatic atmosphere without the benefit of music, let’s just say it was a long, long time ago.

Ahem.

Anyway, I had grand plans for this pork loin. Then I kept seeing recipes with instructions like “marinate for 3 hours” or “slow cook” or “cook in oven for 2 1/2 hours.” I just… well, I just don’t have that kind of time. So I threw it in the freezer and thought, “Another day.”

Then I got broke. $6-in-my-checking-account kind of broke. Nothing like poverty to make a girl resourceful. So with that giant hunk of pork in my freezer (get your minds out of the gutter, you dirt bags) and a jar of homemade pear and ginger chutney in my cupboard, I decided this was the weekend to finally tackle the pig.

On the menu:
Pork loin with pear and ginger chutney
Serves 2, Adapted from Epicurious.com

1.25 – 1.5 lb pork loin
1 cup white wine
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 cup pear and ginger chutney*
2 Tbsp dried thyme
3 Tbsp olive oil

In a small bowl, mix together the white wine, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, garlic, chutney, and thyme. Place pork in a shallow bowl and cover with the wine mixture. Use a spoon to distribute the mixture all over the pork so it is well covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (I put mine in a Pyrex dish and put the lid on it) and let it sit at room temperature for an hour, or in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet on medium/high heat. Brown your marinated meat on each side, 2 minutes each side. Pour wine marinade over the pork and place the whole skillet in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the pork registers around 140 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Place pork on the cutting board and cover with a foil tent. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing into rounds and serving. Pour pan juices over the pork once plated.

*You can use any kind of chutney you want. Apple and pear work best with pork, and this particular chutney was a KNOCKOUT. The BF kept saying, “It’s so… soft.” And it really was ridiculously tender. This dish takes almost zero culinary knowledge and is a great recipe to make for someone special on a date night. It looks super fancy, tastes incredible, and will get you major props.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lauren E. here wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day! The photo below is from my super romantic pre-Valentine’s Day dinner with The BF on Friday night at Tournesol. We like to celebrate early to avoid the ridiculously overpriced (and often disappointing) pre-fixe meals that plague every restaurant in New York on actual V Day. Need a last minute gift for your sweetheart? I suggest whipping up a quick batch of these (dye the batter pink if it suits you!) or these (with pink frosting!), or if you’re feeling particularly outgoing there is always Engagement Chicken.

Just kidding… don’t make that.

Beignets (like donuts) with yogurt, blueberries, strawberry sauce, and crispy honey sugar on top

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Chocolate Therapy


Ever have one of those days? You know what I mean. THOSE days. When anyone who crosses your path is gonna get an earful whether they asked for it or not? That was Saturday. I blame the phases of the moon.

In any case, here’s a recipe for one of those days. This recipe is surprisingly healthy, compared to store bought muffins. If you’re craving something sweet, these definitely fit the bill without completely desecrating your diet.

On the menu:
Chocolate muffins
Makes 24 muffins

2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 apple, shredded
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a different bowl, beat together the eggs, sour cream, water, milk, apple, and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line each cup of the muffin tin with a paper liner. Fill each cup 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

*Note: this recipe originally had vegetable oil instead of an apple, but I find most recipes use oil to make cakes moist. Apples will do the same thing with none of the fat! You can also use 1/2 cup apple sauce. The only downside to this substitution is that the cake might stick to the liner… but that’s what your teeth are for.

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