Tuesday, July 31, 2012

pork tenderloin with plum chutney

The other half of the plum chutney post is this roasted pork tenderloin,
also from the same issue of Bon Appetit magazine.
I made this for a dinner the other night and WOW!
That may have been the fastest 'meat disappearing act' I've ever seen.
Yes - it is a bit labor intensive.
Anything that involves rubs and meat tying is going to take a little effort.
But i promise this is totally worth it.

I hope you try it.

note: I used regular bacon instead of Pancetta.
I also cooked and finished it differently from the original printed recipe.
I will post here the way I prepared it.


2 pork tenderloins
(this MIGHT feed 8 - 10 people.....might because it's that good - you may need to get a third one)
kitchen twine - 12 to 16 pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
(please do NOT use dried rosemary - get the fresh - it will make a world of difference)
4 teaspoons herbes de Provence
4 teaspoons olive oil
12 - 16 slices bacon - 
depending how big your tenderloins are
(yes - i apologize for how terrible that above statement is but i'm not sure how else to word it and i honestly can't stop laughing long enough to try)


Stir rosemary, herbes de provence and olive oil in a small bowl.
rub all over the pork.
Season both sides well with salt and pepper.
Wrap the bacon slices around the pork.
With the kitchen twine - tie a knot over each slice of bacon.
Here's what my process usually looks like.
I usually lay all my strings out.
Then lay a slice of bacon over each string - overlapping a little.
Then lay the pork over the top of the bacon slices.
Then start tying until the entire thing is wrapped.

I also clip all that excess string - yes i do - it's prettier that way.

Place the two tenderloins on a large baking sheet.

oven to 350

Place the above sheet on the stove covering two burners.
Turn these two burners on medium high heat and brown the bottom of the bacon until you can see the edges getting a little crispy.
Do not turn the pork over.
You are only browning the bottom.
Remove from heat.

Into the oven - do not cover.
About 20 minutes.
Check the temperature - should come out around 147 degrees.
It's going to cook a little more even after you remove it from the oven.
As soon as the temperature is where you want it - change the oven to BROIL - let cook until the Bacon is lightly crispy on top.

Remove and let rest about 10 minutes before slicing.

Spoon warm plum chutney over the top, serve then watch it disappear.

plum chutney

Straight out of the latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine is this little recipe for plum chutney.
I don't know where this recipe has been all my life but right now this chutney and i are having the most amazing love affair.
Please make this.
It will be the summer hit.
Definitely serve over roasted pork loin like the magazine suggests - and then everything else you make for the next day or so.
Or just spread it on some really delicious bread and savor every drop.
I also strongly urge you to double this recipe so there is extra for the next day, or two, or three......

note: I made a couple changes form the original printed article based on what was in my pantry.


4 - 6 red or black plums
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot - sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1 bay leaf


Halve and pit the plums.
Cut into 1/4 inch wedges.

Heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the shallot and cook until soft - 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the brown sugar - stir to coat all the pieces of shallot.
Add the next 6 ingredients + a 1/4 cup of water.
Cook until fragrant - about 3 minutes.
Stir in plums.
Bring to a simmer.
Cook 7 to 8 minutes - stirring occasionally.
Uncover and let cook another 10 -15 minutes - until fruit is soft and juices have thickened.
Season to taste with salt and more pepper if needed.

Let cool before it meets a jar and the refrigerator.

If serving with the roasted pork loin warm the jam a bit first.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

dinner @Tate's / July 2012

The July dinner@Tate's was fantastic!

Perfect mix of people and chatter and wine and the food wasn't so bad (I cooked) finished the evening with a little shrinky dinks! Hilarious!

Here are some photos.
(btw - I am still just using the phone for a camera so please bear with me)

The evening started with fried squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese and dill and a little black sea salt from Kauai. 
While at the farmer's market that morning I also found endive. So I served those up with some fresh peaches and crumbled gorgonzola and candied pecans.

Next up was this bacon wrapped pork loin served with a fresh plum chutney. WOW!

Sides started with blanched green beans and radishes garnished with proscuitto and pepper.

Smashed potatoes with butter and sour cream. 
(not sure where my photo went)

And Panzanella.

After all that other craziness I also served stone fruit poached in Rose wine and homemade cinnamon vanilla ice-cream - served with butter cookies covered in chocolate ganache and toasted almonds. Not sure where those photos went either but here's an older photo from the last time I made the fruit and cookie items.

And then someone said "I want to make shrinky dinks!"
So we did.
Here are the few that were not immediately scooped up and taken home with guests.

That Spider-Man one is ridiculous! 

Great fun.
Fantastic people!
Great food.
Even better Wine!

Can't wait to do it again.

Friday, July 20, 2012


It's a bread salad.
Usually made with chunks of stale bread and tomatoes and dressed with just olive oil and vinegar. Maybe add some onion and basil - and in this case several other items I found in the kitchen. 
What I ended up with is probably blasphemy to a true Italian (I imagine Joe Bastianich would have my ass for calling this Panzanella) but this salad was wonderful and filling and again - used many of the ingredients from one of my Farmers Market visits.

I added cucumbers and capers and made basil croutons instead of using plain 
bread. Also made an olive oil and lavender honey vinaigrette and used some fresh squeezed lemon juice.


The recipe posted here is how I made this. Make whatever changes suit you.


1 loaf French bread - cut into half inch cubes.
2 tablespoons dried basil
olive oil
1 cucumber - cut into chunks.
1 pint red cherry tomatoes.
1 pint small sweet yellow tomatoes.
1 red onion - sliced thin.
1 4 ounce jar capers - rinsed and drained.
fresh basil
fresh mint
1 cup feta cheese
half a red bell pepper - sliced (this went in because I found it in the refrigerator and figured why not?)
around a half cup of vinaigrette dressing(recipe follows)

Vinaigrette Dressing:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup Lavender honey (regular honey works fine)
1 cup of regular olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


oven to 350

Place all the chunks of bread in a large bowl and toss with the dried basil and 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt and pepper.
Spread the pieces out in a single layer onto a large baking sheet. 
You want each piece to toast - not steam - so the single layer is important.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes - until most all the pieces are golden brown.
Set aside and let cool completely.

Make the vinaigrette.
Set aside.

Chop up all other ingredients. I sliced all those tomatoes in half. 
Yes...I've lost my damn mind but they just seem easier to eat sliced in half. 
(I know....I'm sure it's just me)
Make sure you don't forget to rinse those capers!

Assemble your salad a half hour or so before serving - including the dressing - taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Let sit at room temperature for a short while so all your flavors come together. Right before serving give it all another good mixing - add the fresh basil and mint - mix again then sprinkle the Feta cheese on top - some fresh ground pepper - enjoy!

book page markers

Thank you Pinterest.....again.....

These came to life because a friend of mine sent me a photo saying she needed a few, so here they are!

Book page markers.
Super cute.
Relatively simple to assemble once I figured out how I wanted to do them. Let me say btw...I never did find an actual tutorial that I liked and thought was easy to understand so I had to go figure it out for myself.
And, being of the old-fashioned group of people that still loves to actually hold a book in their hands, these are pretty handy.

Here's how to do this:

Cut some squares of fun paper. 
I did 4x4 and a couple 5x5 - whatever size you choose should work fine - just make sure they are  perfectly square.
Cut out a 2x2 corner - but save that little 2x2 square - you may want it to cover the plain white portion.
You now have an L shaped piece of paper with 2 small 2x2 sections. These need to be folded into sort of a diamond.
Then fold the top corner down to the opposite side.
Repeat with the remaining diamond piece to the opposing side.
Then tuck the flap portion.
Can you see where I used that 2x2 cut-out? Trim it down a little bit and stick onto the white section.
There will be a small gap on the top part of the triangle area. I used a piece of double-stick tape before folding the last corner down. Didn't want that little gap.
Decorate as desired.
I used a 3/4 inch circle punch for the white portions of the eyes and then a 1/2 inch punch for the black dots. Just glued everything where I wanted them.
note: our favorites are the ones with googly eyes, but then your book wont close completely shut. Decide whichever you like best.

Friday, July 6, 2012

blanched summer vegetable medley

Not really much of a recipe here. I guess more of a technique posting and knowing in which order we should cook which vegetables - which I of course had to learn the hard way. 
This is originally from Laura Calder- French Food at Home - and I actually think I made everything she made in this episode - one of my favorites.
This one was especially fun because I purchased all the produce at the Farmer's Market - including the Olive Oil and honey - although those were from an earlier trip.
Here's a photo
The zucchini blossoms I blogged about a couple weeks ago.
Here's a link to those - fried zucchini blossoms.

And down there on the right side is my favorite spinach scone which I still have not gotten around to duplicating yet...eventually...I will get to that.

Most all the fruit was eaten by Ada before I could really do anything with it. 

But at least I was able to get my hands on a lot of the vegetables before she ate all those.

This recipe pretty much requires a pot of boiling water, a large bowl of ice and water, olive oil, salt and pepper, and the lavender honey I purchased a few backs back. I'm sure regular honey will also work just fine. I'm also sure whatever vegetables you want to add will be fine. 


fresh mint
fresh basil
string beans - two colors is best
snap peas
fingerling potatoes
a handful of asparagus stalks
a couple of carrots
olive oil


Get that pot of water boiling so it's ready to go as soon as you are.
Wash all the vegetables you plan to use.
Cut everything to whichever size you desire.

*note - I am posting times here for the sizes I cut. If you leave the vegetables whole you will need longer cooking times - smaller, shorter time...you get the idea.
As soon as the water is boiling gently add the potatoes.
Cook for 7 minutes then add the carrots.
Cook another 3 minutes then check to see if they're all done.
For me this means I have to fish one out and take a bite.
If ready remove and place into the ice water bath.
Next in went the radishes for about 3 minutes.
Took them out - added to the ice water and potatoes - then added all the beans and asparagus to the hot water.
Cooked about another 3 minutes.
Out of the pot.
Last was the onions which were only in the pot for a minute or so.

What you end up with is an empty pot of boiling water and all the vegetables in the ice water bath.
Gently pour all this into a large colander and let sit for a few minutes to drain.

Now place all the vegetables into a large mixing bowl.
Add salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and a tablespoon of honey.
Gently mix all this then repeat with the salt, pepper, oil and honey.
Add some fresh mint and basil leaves.
Mix well and taste for seasoning.
More mint if you would like.
Serve and enjoy.