Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Caraway Pork and Peppery Beef

I'm not a bad cook, but if I don't have a recipe, I'm totally lost!

My husband, on the other hand, is one of those people who can throw a bunch of ingredients together without using any recipe. And everything he cooks makes you think "Oh wow! This is the best thing I've ever tasted!" (My only complaint is that he makes a huge mess in the kitchen that I have to clean up, LOL!)

Unfortunately, my hubby has to work a gazillion hours and the job of daily cooking has fallen to my shoulders. Luckily I can call him up and he can tell me what to put together over the phone. He is especially talented at thinking up seasoning mixes and marinades. 

Here are a couple that we've made recently...... (sorry, I forgot to take pictures!)

Caraway Pork Loin
2 Tbsp caraway seeds, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Mix the ingredients and then liberally coat a 1 1/2 lb pork loin (it really doesn't matter what size loin you use..... if your is bigger, just increase the amounts of the ingredients to make slightly more rub). 

I use a pan that I can use on the stove and then put directly in the oven (but you can transfer from pan to oven safe dish if you need to).

Over medium/high heat, seer the pork loin on all sides (about 3-4 minutes per side). There is already oil on the pork, so you don't need oil in your pan. Transfer to a 325 degree oven for about 25 minutes (I can't really tell you how long it will be because it will depend on how thick your loin is. Use a meat thermometer and remove the pork when the thermometer in the thickest part reaches about 170 degrees). Remove the pork from the oven, cover with foil, and let rest 5-10 minutes. 

We enjoy this pork with rice, quinoa, or a green salad.

Peppery Beef Tri-tip
5 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 Tbsp rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsp thyme
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
1/4 C olive oil

I used this amount for a fairly large Tri-tip. It's alway better to have extra marinade, so if you think your Tri-tip is extra big, you can increase the amounts listed. 

Combine ingredients and rub liberally over all sides of the Tri-tip. Seal in a ziplock bag and let sit in the refrigerator up to 2 days (the longer the better!) 

This beef is best on the B-B-Q, so I called in my husband (a.k.a. "master griller") to do the job. Cook to just UNDER your preferred doneness. Remove from grill, cover with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. It will continue to cook after you remove it. (You should ALWAYS let meat rest before you cut into it or you will lose all of the yummy juices!)

Slice up the meat and enjoy with rice and sautéed (or barbecued) veggies. Yum!!

Please comment and let me know if you try either of these recipes. I would love to hear how you liked it!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Spice-Rubbed Pork With Quinoa

I just wanted to share this delicious recipe I cooked this week. Based on a recipe I found on the Food Network a few years ago....

2 tsp paprika 
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 lb pork tenderloins, halved crosswise
1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
pinch of kosher salt

1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 medium onion, sliced
fresh ground pepper

1 jar of salsa verde (I usually don't use canned salsa, but we had it, so I used it)
1 avocado

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine first 5 spices above in a shallow dish. Rub the pork with the olive oil. (I forgot to do this and it still turned out great. So you can omit the oil if you want). Roll the pork in the spice mixture to coat. Transfer pork to a baking dish and roast covered in the oven until thermometer interred into the thickest part of the meat registers 145 degrees F. About 25 minutes, but will depend on the thickness of your tenderloin. Remove roasted pork from oven and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, put the water with a pinch of salt and the quinoa into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is transparent. Drain any excess water and fluff with a fork. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then toss it with the corn, black beans, onion, and fresh pepper.

Slice the pork. Serve with quinoa and sliced avocado. Pour salsa verde over pork and quinoa (the quinoa salad is a little boring without the salsa....). ENJOY!!