Who needs a brush and paint? My canvas is food…

Salads / June 24, 2017

There are places we feel most ourselves. Places that bring out the best in us, that are resonant with simplicity and honesty. Perhaps it’s holding a baton in one’s hands that bring us to a place where our souls are soaring. Maybe it is in the garden surrounded by earth and mulch. Or maybe it is singing loudly that makes us feel alive. All of these things we choose because we have a PASSION for them. And although they may not bring us riches or fame, (yet!)  they fill us with joy. That is how cooking is for me.

I once heard a chef say that you can teach skills, but you can’t teach someone how to taste. And I feel that is true. I am always absorbing myself in videos to learn how to handle bread dough and to understand the many, many steps required to make as aspic. But without even a cheat sheet in front of me I can walk the aisles of a food market and choose various items of differing flavors and I KNOW it will produce a fantastic meal. I “know” what coriander tastes like. I “know” what fresh thyme smells like. And I “know” how cardamom feels in your mouth; an almost heady and hot sensation as the aroma creeps into the highest part of your sinuses.

These recipes are all lovingly created so that the flavors meld beautifully. It will be a feast for the senses, it will nourish you, and it will make any summer day that much more beautiful. And when you try these recipes, I hope you will love them, too.


Here are two easy and healthy recipes that are also beautiful to the eye:


Seared Pork Loin Medallions With Lemon Caper Gravy over Wilted Spinach and Honey Roasted Butternut Squash

Serves 4


Ingredients:

2 ½ lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 2 inch high medallions
1 Knorrc hicken bouillon cube dissolved in 2 C boiling water
3 T capers, drained
2 T fresh lemon juice (fresh!)
1 T butter
¼ C Olive Crate olive oil, divided
8 C fresh spinach leaves
4 cloves of garlic
1 small butternut squash, peeled
and cut into small pieces
2 T Olive Crate Balsamic
4 T Olive Crate Honey Balsamic divided
1 T sugar
½ red pepper, julienned
2 T cognac
Drizzle of honey
Salt and pepper
Julienned fresh basil leaves for garnish


Method:

  • In a small bowl add the red pepper pieces and cover with 2 T honey balsamic, 1 T sugar. Let sit while you make dinner. They will be pickled and sweet for your garnish.
  • Spread squash out on large baking sheet. Toss with Cognac, honey, 2 T olive oil, 1T balsamic, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes.
  • Heat a large saucepan and add 1 T butter and 2 T olive oil. Add the pork and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear the medallions on each side for about 2 minutes leaving the center rare. Remove and cover with foil. Deglaze with 1 C of the stock, and let reduce slightly. Add the lemon juice. Return the pork to the pan, reduce heat, add the capers and let simmer, braising the meat for about 3-4 more minutes to cook them to medium rare. Remove pork to a plate, add 2 t flour, whisk until slightly thickened adding a little more salt to the gravy to taste.
  • For spinach, pour about ½ C stock in pan. Cover with spinach. Put garlic cloves on top and sprinkle generouslywith sea salt or kosher salt. Bring heat up until steaming. Cover and let start to wilt. Stir and then turn off heat,return lid to pan and let it wilt completely. Remove garlic, and serve.

Herbed Turkey Meatballs With Charred Pineapple Bourbon BBQ Sauce and Corn Salad

Serves 4


Ingredients:

Meat Balls:

1 lb ground turkey
2-3 t Herbs de Provence seasoning blend (I love Victoria’s brand!)
2 large cloves of garlic chopped
½ small shallot diced small
1 egg
1 T plain bread crumbs
3 T heavy cream
1 ½ t kosher salt
½ t black cracked pepper
Handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 bottle Harry & David “Charred Pineapple Bourbon Grilling Sauce”


Corn Salad:
  • 5 ears of corn cooked and corn cut off. ½ pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, ¼ C red onion chopped, ¼ C chopped cilantro, 1/3 C sliced radicchio, ¼ C red pepper diced, ½ t sesame seeds. Stir and pour in 2 T rice wine vinegar, 1 T light oil, 2 t lime juice. Stir and serve.

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients for turkey, form into 1 ½” balls. Sauté in a bit of oil until almost done. Remove extra oil, pour the bottled sauce over the top, and let bubble on low for about 3-4 minutes to finish cooking the meatballs. Serve with corn salad over a little rice, and a square of good goat cheese.


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Let's think about food preparation as art, and flavors as adventurous stories. Say ‘goodbye’ to safe sequences, or copycat flavors, and use your senses to curate the perfect meal. My recipes help your kitchen come to life as I share anecdotes about food chemistry, and fun shortcuts that conquer menu-mediocrity. my cooking style is one that combines everyday ingredients into sensuous layers that wake up the bored palate as I reveal easy-to-understand tips, tricks, and hacks so everyone can prepare and serve Bling Cuisine with confidence and joy!

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