A Fun Food for Spring

Delilah helped make fruit spring rolls
Delilah helped make fruit spring rolls
Fruit Spring Rolls
Fruit Spring Rolls

Fruit Spring Rolls

For Easter dinner/lunch I decided on Fruit Spring Rolls.  I wanted to do something different, interesting, and fresh.  I figured that fresh fruit would add to the feel of spring.  It was also a lot fun getting Delilah involved and it was really exciting for her to feel the different texture of the rice paper.

This recipe is great fun for kids, requires a bit of technique, but as long you have a bit of patience it is a enjoyable treat.

Ingredients

1 Package of Rice Paper

1 Package of Rice Noodles

Fruits of your choice

Dipping Sauce

1 lime

1/4 cup of Honey or Agave Nectar

1 Pinch of Salt

Fresh Mint

Directions

Start with preparing your fruit.  Julienne the fruit into thin uniform slices. Don’t worry, they don’t have to be perfect.  Just try to keep the slices thin about the size of matchsticks.  I put all of the different ingredients in separate dishes so I can easily build my wraps, like an assembly line.

Cook the rice noodles.  Boil a pot of water, remove from heat and place noodles into pot for 5 minutes, gently stir.  Strain the noodles and place in a bowl or pot of cold water.  Without the water, they may stick to each other.

Time to assemble.

Fill a large bowl with hot water.  Place one sheet of rice paper into the bowl and wait about 30 seconds, then remove.  Place the rice paper onto a plate or cutting board.  Be careful not to fold it onto itself, they get sticky pretty quick.  Tip: Wet the plate or cutting board beforehand, the rice paper tends to stick.

Now stack your fruits in the center of the rice paper in a nice neat little pile, about the size of a small eggroll. Fold the bottom section of the rice paper over the fruit pile and lightly tuck under.  Next, fold the sides over and roll to complete the wrap.  Set your spring roll onto a platter.

Repeat the process until you have completed all of your spring rolls.  Be careful not to let them touch each other on the platter, they will stick.

Dipping Sauce

Combine in a bowl, zest and juice of 1 lime, honey, chopped mint, and salt.  Stir or whisk to incorporate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pork Wellington

 

Pork Wellington
Pork Wellington
Pork Welling with smashed potatoes, asparagus, and au jus
Pork Welling with smashed potatoes, asparagus, and au jus

An Amazing Pork Wellington Dinner

I love food and am always keeping an eye out for something exciting and different.  I had seen recipes for Beef Wellington and had always wanted to try it, but is a bit more expensive than I was willing to work with.  So, I thought I could possibly make an amazing pork dinner by changing the meat and making pork wellington.

Beef Wellington calls for filet steak (a whole tenderloin cut) and some other expensive ingredients, such foie gras.  The meat is covered with puff pastry and baked.  The pastry keeps the meat moist and adds a nice crispy crust.

Pork loin is way less expensive, but still very tender and juicy. Here is my take on Pork Wellington.  It is basically my version of several recipes that I had seen.

Ingredients:

1 Pork Tenderloin (usually comes vacuum sealed in a marinade, try to find one without the marinade.  It doesn’t need to taste like teriyaki or whatever flavors they infuse with the meat.)

3 to 5oz Prosciutto (enough to wrap the entire tenderloin)

1 Egg

Handful of Spinach

6.5oz Garlic and Herb Allouete Cheese

1 Sheet of Frozen Puff Pastry (thawed)

Handful of Flour

Salt/Pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Trim the silverskin (thin skin around the meat, it may come already trimmed) and butterfly (slice the tenderloin lengthwise, but not all the way through so it opens like a book.)

Spread cheese onto the tenderloin as if you were making a sandwich.  Place handful of spinach on top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fold to make a pork, cheese, and spinach hoagie type of thing.

Next is to wrap the tenderloin with the prosciutto.  Set aside.

Whisk egg in a bowl.

Dust clean countertop with flour and roll out puff pastry to about 12 inches square.  Place the tenderloin in the center of the pastry and wrap like burrito.  Fold over the section closest to you.  Brush on some of the whisked egg onto the edges and where the pastry will be touching.  This will act as a sort of glue. Then fold over the sides and roll over to complete the wrapping.

With the seam of your pork burrito on the bottom, make some thin cuts with a knife to create hash marks on the top. Brush the top with the egg wash. Place in oven for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145°F.

When done, remove from oven, cover lightly with foil and let rest for 10 of 15 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

 

Saffron Poached Pear with Vanilla IceCream

with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce
Saffron Poached Pear

Saffron Poached Pear

I like to get fancy with my cooking sometimes.  One of my favorite desserts is poached pears.  It’s not too sweet, savory, and delicate, yet bold.  This is quite an easy recipe to make and not very time consuming. It looks impressive, tastes excellent, and is an easy way to make a simple dessert seem sumptuous.  Perfect for a special occasion or when serving guests.

Here’s the Recipe:

Ingredients:

4 Pears, peeled, but leave the stems on Continue reading “Saffron Poached Pear with Vanilla IceCream”

Chorizo Stuffed Poblanos

Choriso Stuffed Poblanos
Choriso Stuffed Poblanos with asparagus and butternut squash

Simple and Easy Stuffed Poblanos

This recipe may look complicated, but it is really quite easy to make.  Stuffed Poblanos is perfect for when you want something that is completely different.

I love the flavor of peppers.  Who doesn’t like jalapeno poppers? And who doesn’t like sausage, right?  Well, this is my take on making a meal of stuffing a pepper. This stuffed poblano is stuffed with chorizo, rice, and cheddar cheese.  For those who don’t know what chorizo is, it is basically a Mexican version of a sausage.  It’s amazing with eggs…actually, now that I’m thinking about it this would be a great recipe for breakfast.  I would basically just substitute the rice with scrambled eggs and potatoes.

Here is the Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 tsp Olive Oil

2 tsp Ground cumin

1 tsp Red Chili Powder

1lb Pork Chorizo

1Cup Wild Rice (Any rice would do, but I prefer wild rice)

1 Diced Tomato

1/2 Diced Onion

4 Poblano Peppers (seeded and blistered)

1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese

1 Bunch of Cilantro

1 Lime

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

Start by cooking the rice, just follow the direction on the package.(generally about a cup and a half of water for a cup of uncooked rice)

Sautee the onion. Pour a little olive oil in a hot frying pan, then add the diced onion and sauté over medium heat until caramel colored.  Remove from heat, mix in tomatoes, cumin, and chili powder. Set aside.

Prepare the peppers.  Poblanos have a skin on the that needs to be cooked off over flame, this is called blistering.  To do this, you will need a grill or gas stove.  Basically, cook or char the peppers until they start get little blisters or bubbles all over them.  Don’t worry, it is fairly difficult to burn them.  Place the peppers in a covered container.

While the peppers are cooling, cook the chorizo in a frying pan over medium heat.  I usually let it sit on the pan and get a nice char on the bottom before stirring.  When done, it should be crispy and a fairly dark shade of a reddish brown.

When the peppers are cooled, peel the thin skins off of them.  It should peel right off.  Leaving the stem on, slice a slit into the peppers from top to bottom and scoop the seeds out.

Mix together onion mixture and chorizo in a bowl.  Spoon this mixture into the peppers leaving enough room for a generous amount of cheddar cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  In addition, at the 20 minute point fill peppers with cheese and continue baking for the last ten minutes.

To finish things off, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.  Serve hot with dollop of sour cream, guacamole, and fresh salsa.

 

 

 

Cornbread Waffle with Chili, Cheese and Sour Cream

cornbread waffle
Cornbread waffles with chili

I really wanted cornbread and chili.  We had just gotten an old antique waffle maker and really wanted to use it.  So I thought making cornbread with the waffle maker would be fun way to make a meal.

The Recipe

I just used a basic cornbread recipe and homemade chili. I topped it off with sharp cheddar cheese, a fried egg, sour cream, and fresh chopped cilantro.

This is just a simple recipe for something new and different.  Cook time is not very long and great for kids who like cornbread and chili.

What I Would do Different Next time

Next time, I may experiment a little with different cornbread mixes and thicknesses.  The waffles came out a bit hard and could have been a bit fluffier.