Monday, May 25, 2015

Asian Glazed Roast Pork Tenderloin

Summer temperatures are eluding us, here on the Central Coast of California. We live in the sunbelt, but for the last week, we've been living under a canopy of grey clouds and drizzle. It looks like our BBQ kick-off will have to wait just a while longer.

I bought a pork tenderloin and some Bok Choy at my local Trader Joe's, with no idea on how I'd prepare either of them.  Asian... yeah, that's the ticket!

What? No tutorial pictorial on how to make this?  Yes, that's right!  I wanted to make a fast dinner, and I didn't take my camera into the kitchen.  This recipe was so quick and easy, that I think y'all can do this yourself very easily.  I have faith in you.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

("Skookie") Skillet Raspberry Crumb Bars

 I never tire of my scenic commute from our home in the Salinas Valley 'burbs, that eventually leads to Highway One along the coast of the Monterey Bay. Beautiful! I'm surrounded by so much agriculture, and acres and acres of Driscoll berries.  We are so spoiled and blessed with fresh product, pretty much all year round!

It's exciting to see freshly picked berries, of all kinds, on sale-- two for the price of one!  Soon, I'll be making homemade strawberry jam, olallieberry jam (berries that are indigenous only to California and Oregon).

Sometimes, a fruit crisp is an unfussy way to make a delicious dessert that showcases spring/summer berries.

This dessert was no exception in how fast this was to make, and I hope that you try it.  I adapted this recipe from "I Am Baker's" blog. Amanda uses fresh strawberries, which sounds delicious.  With the exception of Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, I much prefer to keep my fresh strawberries in their true uncooked form--like with my Fresh Strawberry Pie or Strawberry Cream Cake.  

Raspberries seemed an ideal substitute for this recipe, and they were on sale. Perfect! So, I grabbed my beloved cast-iron skillet and preheated the oven to 375F.
NOTE: Yes, you can use frozen berries, unthawed.

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sunday Gravy - Pressure Cooker Style

In my corner of the Central Coast of California, that I call home, we are experiencing a mish-mash of weather. One day, it's sunny and warm so we fire up the Weber to enjoy some grilling. The next day, the clouds roll in and bring some much needed rain (for just a short while) and I think more of slow cooking stews or pasta.  I'm okay with the change in weather, because I enjoy any kind of braised dishes.

Sundays have become my weekly afternoon to spend in the kitchen trying out new recipes.  I appreciate my Sundays as "me time" and being able to make more time-consuming recipes-- which has become therapeutic for me.

I can understand how a ragu sauce called "Sunday Gravy" derived it's name.  I can almost picture so many Italian Nonna's making this rich tomato sauce that has been slow cooking for hours on the stove.

From my internet research, I've learned that Sunday Gravy is an Italian-American dish-- very popular on the East Coast.  The "gravy" is more of a ragu that has been slowly simmered with various meats. There are many variations of this recipe, each of them touting to be "the best".  I've never had "Sunday Gravy" before, though I have heard about it from  few Italian-American friends who make this-- which left me longing to make it myself.

One afternoon, one of my most trusted recipe sources-- American's Test Kitchen ("ATK")-- showed an episode for their version of "Sunday Gravy".  I was smitten, and book marked their recipe.  The mouth-watering components of this dish were enough to finally entice me into make this in my own kitchen-- plus, it's no secret that we love pastas with tomato based sauces.

Braciole, (a pounded out piece of beef, that is stuffed with ingredients like raisins, pine nuts, cheese and prosciutto) is a  traditional meat ingredient for Sunday Gravy.  It's also a lot of work to do (and recipe I have yet to try making for myself).   

To cut back on the prep work, instead of making braciole, this recipe uses baby back ribs, homemade meatballs and hot Italian sausage.  Still, there is about an hour of prep work to do and that's why this isn't something to make on a work night. Hence, this was a Sunday supper. I rolled up my sleeves, put my ear buds to listen to an audio book, and got to work.

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