Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cooking: No Halloween and two recipes

Holy Smokes! It is FREEZING! We had a mini version of Halloween last night. One kid is out of town the other is grounded, so no parties or trick or treating for us. We did give out candy and then about the time the polar vortex hit, shut off the porch light and called it a night.

Warm day  a few weeks ago when I hiked to Lula Lake on Lookout Mountain

Delaney was supposed to row in the nation's largest regatta this weekend. However, she had already committed to a Model UN conference and had to choose on or the other (in September, mind you). She chose her first commitment and wisely, it turns out. They canceled the event she would have rowed in and now it looks like the whole Head of the Hooch is going to be canceled. That stinks as people come from all over the world for this weekend.

I am still fighting an awful cough, so I am taking this rare chance to stay in pjs all day to clean, do laundry and cook.  Should be a great day.

On that note, I want to share a delicious soup I made recently that was a huge hit in my house. It is vegetarian and since I live in a house where I get away with serving vegetarian once a week, I served leftover pork tenderloin with it for my carni folk. This is a recipe I read on the great blog, Life In Grace and made my own via a few changes.

Also below is my pork tenderloin recipe. It is my one and only meat dish that people ask the recipe for. It smells so good I often want to try it. I never do.

Pumpkin Barley Soup

2 T butter and 2 T. olive oil
1 onion (diced)
1 large carrot (diced)
3 stalks of celery (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 container vegetable stock
1 can of pumpkin puree  (not pie mix)
1 can coconut milk (not reduced fat)
1 tsp. ginger (not powdered...actual ginger)
1/2 c barley
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
2-3 T honey
1-2 t. canned chipotles, chopped fine
1 c. Greek yogurt 
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter and add olive oil to large dutch oven or soup pot.  Add veggies and saute until tender. Season with salt to release juices. Add garlic after the veggies have cooked about 5 minutes.
Add pumpkin, broth, coconut milk, chipotle and spices.  Cook at medium to high heat  for about 45 minutes to an hour or until barley is tender.    Turn heat down to simmer.   Add sour cream or yogurt and whisk so that no lumps remain. Taste and reseason, adding more honey if it is too hot.  

I served this in a bowl over leftover pork tenderloin chopped in chunks and served with crusty bread. It is VERY filling.

Magic Pork Tenderloin

2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 medium sized pork tenderloins
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons bottled ground fresh ginger
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; rub pork with spice mixture. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; add pork. Cook 6 minutes; brown on all sides. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 155. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
While pork bakes, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add ginger, and cook 4 minutes. Stir in broth and syrup, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring broth mixture to a boil; cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 10 minutes). Cut pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices; serve with sauce.

I call this magic because it goes so fast. I have served it to dinner parties, family meals and friends and it is gone in a flash. I love making it for my family because I usually get a meal and then lunches (or breakfast in the case of  the girls)out of  one night of work.

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