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Orange and Rosemary Pork Tenderloin What makes a recipe one that you’ll keep and want to try again? When ease of preparation combines with incredible results, that recipe earns a permanent spot in my repertoire. Being lean and versatile, pork tenderloins are popular mealtime choices. I’ve tried many pork tenderloin recipes, but few have earned an encore in my kitchen. That is until now. Now I have a pork tenderloin recipe that meets all my requirements: quick and easy to prepare, delicious and appealing enough to serve to company, and a snap to clean up.

Orange and Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
Recipe adapted from Diva di Cucina Blog

INGREDIENTS
1 package of pork tenderloins (2–2.5 lbs), there should be two small tenderloins in the package
6 garlic cloves, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Either spray a large baking pan with cooking spray or line it with foil.

3. Use a sharp knife to slash six 1-inch deep holes, spaced across the top of each tenderloin.

4. Press a sliver of garlic into each hole, close the hole the best you can, and place the tenderloins in the baking pan.

5. In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, mustard, honey, juice, rosemary, pepper, and olive oil.

6. Pour the marinade over the tenderloins.

7. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes basting every 7–10 minutes. This gives the tenderloins a delicious glaze over the top. If checking with an instant-read thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 145 degrees F.

8. Transfer the tenderloins to a large cutting board and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

9. Slice the tenderloins and transfer to a serving dish or individual plates.

10. Drizzle the cooked marinade from the pan over the sliced pork medallions.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1.  I purchased a 4-pack of pork tenderloins at Costco, so I doubled the quantity of marinade.

2. Don’t overcook the tenderloins or else they will become dry. Pork can be eaten pink as stated by the USDA: Can Safely Cooked Pork Be Pink?
“Cooked muscle meats can be pink even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. If fresh pork has reached 145° F throughout, even though it may still be pink in the center, it should be safe. The pink color can be due to the cooking method or added ingredients.”

Enjoy!

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Grilled Pork Kebabs with ginger Molasses Barbecue Sauce“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Elizabeth Barret Browning did not pen those words while reflecting on food, but for some reason, her words danced through my head as I ate the Grilled Pork Kebabs with Ginger Molasses Barbecue Sauce. Let me count the reasons why I love this recipe. Made from lean pork tenderloin, these kebabs are lower in fat. In fact, in an article written by Jeff Volek, Ph.D, R.D. for Men’s Health, he states, “Pork really is the other white meat. Ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin has less fat than a chicken breast.” In addition, as the complex flavors of the sauce swirled in my mouth, I thought about its versatility and how fabulous it would taste on other grilled meat, particularly salmon, prawns, or chicken. The final reason why I love this kebab recipe focuses on its ease of preparation and its make-ahead convenience. Serve these kebabs with rice pilaf for Valentine’s Day and experience love at first taste.

Grilled Pork Kebabs with Ginger Molasses Barbecue Sauce
Gourmet, August 2003

INGREDIENTS
For Barbecue Sauce:
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1½ tablespoons molasses (regular or robust, not blackstrap)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh serrano or other small hot green chile (1 or 2), including seeds
1/2 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

For Pork:
1 (1-lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt

Special Equipment:
About 30 (8-inch) wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

DIRECTIONS
1. To make barbecue sauce: Stir together all sauce ingredients in a 1- to 1½-quart heavy saucepan and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 3 minutes. Transfer sauce to a medium bowl and cool to room temperature.

2. Put tenderloin on a cutting board. Starting about 5 inches from narrow end of tenderloin and holding a large sharp knife at a 30-degree angle to cutting board, cut a thin slice (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) from tenderloin, slicing diagonally toward narrow end and cutting through to cutting board. Continue to cut thin slices from tenderloin following same diagonal, starting each consecutive slice closer to wide end. (You will have about 12 slices. Cut any slices more than 2 inches wide in half lengthwise.)

3. Thread 2 skewers, 1 at a time and 1/2 to 1 inch apart, lengthwise through each slice of pork and transfer to a tray lined with plastic wrap.

4. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light charcoal. Charcoal fire is hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 1 to 2 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes.

5. Sprinkle pork slices with salt and brush both sides with barbecue sauce, then grill on oiled grill rack, uncovered, turning over once, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes total. Discard any leftover sauce.*

6. Cooks’ notes: Barbecue sauce can be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Kebabs can be prepared 6 hours before grilling (without salt or sauce) and chilled, covered with plastic wrap. If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, cook kebabs in a hot oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. For even cooking, try to cut pork in uniformly thick slices.

2. The spiciness of the sauce can be adjusted by reducing or increasing the amount of minced chile.

3. *I make double the amount of sauce and pour about half of it into a separate bowl to serve alongside the meat or to slather it on the grilled meat prior to serving. Discard the remaining half that was brushed onto the raw meat.

4. These kebabs make hearty appetizers and taste just as good when served at room temperature.

5. I sprinkled toasted sesame seeds on the kebabs and cilantro leaves on the serving plate prior to serving.

ENJOY!

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Grilled Fish Tacos If you raise children to have adventurous taste buds and you give them an appreciation for well-prepared food, most likely they will grow up to be good cooks. This little bit of parental advice may not hold true for everyone, but I’ve been rewarded in spades. All my children enjoy cooking good food as much as they enjoy eating good food. Not only do my children enjoy good food, they also share it. I’ve been the lucky recipient of some really wonderful meals prepared by them. A couple of weeks ago, my middle child and his wife treated me to delicious homemade fish tacos. Because they were so good, I had big-time cravings for them and had to make them for myself. These fish tacos are easy to prepare, moist, flavorful, and healthy. No batter or deep-frying involved. Fish Taco Fridays may become a regular occurrence in this household!

Grilled Fish Tacos
Adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe

INGREDIENTS
Tacos:
1 pound white fish, such as mahi mahi, orata, tilapia, basa, etc.
1/4 cup canola oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 jalapeño, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8 flour tortillas*

Garnish:
Shredded white cabbage
Hot sauce, tomato salsa, or pico de gallo
Crema or sour cream
Thinly sliced red onion
Thinly sliced green onion
Chopped cilantro leaves
Queso Fresco, crumbled

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2. Place fish in a medium size dish. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeño, and cilantro and pour over the fish. Let marinade for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Remove the fish from the marinade and place onto a hot grill. Grill the fish for 4 minutes on the first side and then flip for 30 seconds and remove. Let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Place the tortillas on the grill for 20 seconds.

Serves 4

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. *I use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. I think they are a better choice for tacos and they are slightly healthier to eat.

2. If you don’t want to grill the tortillas, you can warm them up in a frying pan on your cooktop.

3. The Kachumbari Salad I prepared last week goes wonderfully with these fish tacos.

Enjoy!

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Kachumbari Salad: A Kenyan Tomato Salad Sweet vine-ripened tomatoes, the gems of summer, make the perfect base for salads. From Kenya comes this recipe that pairs tomatoes with red onions, cilantro, chile, and lime juice. Visually attractive and packed with flavor, this salad is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining. Tonight, those incredible flavors will marry beautifully with the fish tacos I’m serving!

Kachumbari Salad
Share: The Cookbook that Celebrates Our Common Humanity

INGREDIENTS
1 lb firm and ripe tomatoes, sliced or diced
1-1½ red onions, very thinly sliced
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 chile, sliced (optional)
1-2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Place the tomatoes into a medium salad bowl with the onions. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

2. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir in the chile, if using. Season and gradually add the lemon or lime juice to taste.

Serves 4

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. One pound of tomatoes is approximately 2.5 large tomatoes. For this recipe I used about two pounds of assorted tomatoes (cherry, heirloom, and beefsteak).

2. I cut the cherry tomatoes in half from top to bottom, but the larger tomatoes, I sliced crosswise into rounds.

3. Because I sliced them into rounds, I gently mixed the salad in a large pan instead of a bowl. This salad is attractive when arranged on a platter.

4. I used half of a red onion instead of a whole one and I’m glad I did. Even with this reduced amount, there were a lot of onions in this salad.

5. Here are some tips from Craig Kielburger, the contributor of this recipe to the cookbook: If you prefer a milder onion flavor, rinse the onion slices in hot salty water before putting them in the salad. This will ensure the onion is less harsh on the palate. Squeeze the lemon or lime juice into the salad just before serving to avoid sogginess. If the tomato and onion are chopped more finely, this recipe also works well as a homemade salsa.

6. The chile is optional, but its heat adds a nice flavor dimension to the salad.

ENJOY!

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Creamed summer Corn Ears of sweet summer corn require little embellishment to be fully enjoyed, but for a change of pace try this refreshing version of a traditional creamed corn dish. Just a little bit of lime zest, lime juice, and cayenne pepper transforms a normally predictable dish into a bright, surprisingly-sophisticated summer side dish.

Produce man Michael Marks gives this advice on selecting and storing fresh corn: When you’re picking your corn, make sure the husk is bright green and looks fresh. If it’s tanned and shriveling, it’s old or heat has gotten to it. Feel the top end. Fully mature ears of corn will have a rounded top. If the top feels pointy, it’s likely immature. Then pull down the husk and take a peek. There should be no cracks between those plump kernels. If you see any dimples in those kernels, step away from the corn. It’s old; the sugars will have turned to starch and it won’t be pleasant to eat. As soon as you get your corn home, refrigerate it and try to enjoy it within a couple of days.

Creamed Summer Corn
Torie Ritchie’s adaptation of a recipe from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

INGREDIENTS
6 ears white or yellow corn, shucked
1 large lime
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
Pinch cayenne
1-1/2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

DIRECTIONS:
1. With a chef’s knife, cut down each ear of corn to remove kernels. Place kernels in a bowl. (To remove excess silk see note below.)

2. Holding one cob over the bowl at a time, use the back of a knife or a spoon to scrape any remaining corn and “milk” (corn juices) from the cob into the bowl. Repeat with remaining cobs.

3. Grate the zest from the lime onto a small plate and set aside. Cut lime in half. Juice lime into a ramekin and have a tablespoon measure handy.

4. Melt the butter in a large fry pan over medium heat. Add corn kernels and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the corn, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the corn starts to sizzle, about 12 minutes.

6. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cream, cayenne and lime zest. and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to medium and simmer until cream is thickened and almost absorbed, 6-8 minutes.

7. Taste and add more lime juice, salt, or cayenne as desired and stir in remaining cream for a creamier texture, if desired.

8. Remove from heat, stir in chives and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

LINNELL’S NOTES:
1. The easiest way to cut kernels off a corn cob is to stick the stem end into the hole of a Bundt pan. Holding the cob carefully, run your knife down the cob to remove the kernels. As you cut off the kernels, they will fall into the Bundt pan. Kitchen Tip: How to cut kernels off a corn cob

2. Here is Torie Ritchie’s note on removing corn silk: To remove any last bits of silk from the corn kernels in the bowl, set another bowl of water next to it. Swish your hands through the corn kernels in a circular motion to let your fingers pick up most of the remaining silk strands. Rinse your hands in the water bowl as you work to remove the silks. Repeat this a couple of times. I tried her technique and it worked for the most part — I still had to pick out a few strands of silk.

3. At step #7, I added a tiny bit more cayenne and the rest of the lime juice.

4. I keep an 8-ounce box of shelf stable whipping cream from Trader Joe’s in my pantry for convenience. No last minute dash out to the market to purchase whipping cream for me!

5. This recipe would go well with any tropical-type menu.

ENJOY!

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Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seed Dressing Hot summer days evolve into lovely summer evenings. The sun mellows in the sky and temperatures drop to a comfortable warm. It’s the perfect time of day to dine al fresco and to entertain company. Keep the evening enjoyable and effortless, by preparing a simple menu that can be made ahead. Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seed Dressing is just such a recipe. It’s easy to prepare and it can be made earlier in the day. Plus, it’s delicious, visually appealing, and a great accompaniment to grilled meats.

Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seed Dressing
The Loaves and Fishes Party Cookbook by Anna Pump and Sybille Pump

INGREDIENTS
4 pounds sugar snap or snow peas
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sesame seed oil
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons coarse salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Blanch the peas in a large quantity of boiling water just until they turn bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and plunge the peas into very cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again. Transfer the peas to a mixing bowl.

2. Place the sesame seeds in a large skillet over medium heat. Tossing lightly, toast until golden brown, and add to the sugar snap peas.

3. In the same skillet, heat the sesame oil until smoking hot. Remove from heat and add the red pepper flakes. Let stand for 5 minutes.

4. Pour the oil over the peas, add the salt, and toss to blend.

5. Transfer the peas to a deep bowl or platter and serve hot.

Serves 16

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I purchase jars of pre-toasted sesame seeds at Asian markets and store them in my freezer. No need to defrost them. Just add them directly from the jar to whatever you are making. If you are toasting your own, keep an eye on them while they are in the skillet. Because they contain oil and because they are small, they can burn quickly.

2. Sesame seed oil is a thick and heavy oil. A little bit goes a long way. That being said, I felt the recipe called for too much of it. The next time I make this recipe, I will start with half the amount.

3. Stir the red pepper flakes into the hot oil and keep stirring. Some of my pepper flakes burned as they sat in the hot oil. Stirring them might have helped prevent burning.

4. Although the recipe says to serve this hot, it also says that it can be served cold. In my opinion, room temperature is best.

5. The recipe can be prepared without the red pepper flakes if you prefer, but I think the little added “kick” really makes the dish.

Enjoy!

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Korean Barbecued Hamburgers

Instead of eating ordinary hamburgers on a bun, take your hamburger dining experience to a whole new gastronomical level. By creatively substituting and adding different elements, you can successfully fuse together the flavors of different cultures. Last weekend I created Korean Barbecued Hamburgers for a weekend backyard barbecue. Soy sauce, sesame seeds, brown sugar, and chopped green onions flavored the hamburger meat. After grilling the patties, the fun began! Spicy kimchi topped the burgers instead of traditional pickles and a small handful of fresh pea shoots, instead of alfalfa sprouts, added a nice crunchy texture. And, in lieu of ketchup, I substituted Korean Ssamjang sauce. Ssamjang sauce is a thick spicy condiment normally made from doenjang (Korean soybean paste), gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste), sesame oil, onion, garlic and green onions. With everyone asking for MORE, these tasty burgers were deemed a huge hit!

Korean Hamburger Elements
Ingredients:
Korean barbecued hamburger patties (recipe below)
Hamburger buns
Lettuce leaves
Tomato slices
Kimchi
Pea shoots (AKA pea sprouts)
Ssamjang-Mayo sauce (recipe below)

Korean Barbecued Hamburgers
Meat recipe revised from the Favorite Island Cookery: Book II

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
2 stalks green onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1½ T. soy sauce
Dash pepper
1 egg
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2-inch piece of ginger root, minced
1 tsp. sesame seed, toasted
1 tsp. sesame seed oil

Directions:
Combine ingredients and form into patties. Broil 3 to 5 minutes on each side, pan fry or grill them on the barbecue.

Yields 3 to 4 servings

My Ssamjang-Mayo Sauce:
2 T. mayonnaise
1-2 T. Ssamjang sauce, depending on desired level of spiciness

Mix both ingredients together in a small bowl.

Assembly:
1. Spread Ssamjang-Mayo sauce on buns.
2. Add lettuce leaf to bottom portion of bun.
3. Place hamburger patty on lettuce leaf.
4. Place tomato slice on top of hamburger patty.
5. Put a few slices of kimchi on top of tomato.
6. Place a small handful of pea shoots on top of the tomato.
7. Place top portion of bun on top of shoots.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I always double the meat recipe when serving 5 people.
2. Kimchi, Ssamjang sauce, and pea shoots can be purchased at most Asian markets. Kimchi and pea shoots can often be found at Trader Joe’s and I’ve purchased pea shoots at farmers’ markets, although they’re more expensive there.
3. If you can’t find Ssanjamg sauce, any chile garlic sauce like Sriracha can be used.
4. Recipes for two great side dishes to accompany these Korean Barbecued Hamburgers can also be found on this blog:
Asian Coleslaw
Asian Cucumber Salad

Enjoy these flavorful burgers and make sure to have plenty of napkins on hand!

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