Born in "THE" Bronx, raised on Long Island...stints in Rochester, NY; Manhattan, NY; Andover, MA; Montclair & West Windsor, NJ and now Memphis, TN., our cuisine of birth is Italian, but we enjoy cooking Chinese, Mexican, American and hodge-podge.

Our recipes will be as accurate as possible, but you see, I rarely measure things. I prefer to combine based upon taste.

Also, I will use brand names on occasion, but am not sponsored by any company and these mentions do not put cash into my pocket.

Music is my other love & we will share music related to food (in even the smallest sense) with y'all with every new post.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Texas Meal...

Hope y'all had a fine weekend. The rains and thunderstorms here in the Memphis area kept me from attending the Beale Street Music Festival this year.

Saturday, Nancy and I hung at my apartment and I grabbed a cookbook my sister-in-law Cindy had given me for Christmas a few years ago.

Cindy worked for the man who owned La Mansion del Rio and the Watermark Hotel and Spa in San Antonio. The executive chef for those two restaurants - at that time - was Mr. Scott Cohen. The cookbook is called The Texas Hill Country Cookbook - A Taste Of Provence.

I have used this cookbook before and found the recipes well documented and totally delicious. On Saturday I happened upon a recipe for Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Jalapeno Cream Sauce. As accompaniments, Mr. Cohen suggested Haricot Verts and Texas Dirty Rice.

I had done the Dirty Rice before and Nancy had been asking for it again, so this made sense. But, what, my feeble brain asked were Haricot Verts?

So I flipped over to that recipe and low and is just French green beans! LOL.

When I was at the store, instead of buying the smaller Pork Tenderloins, I bought a large one that was going to require some trimming.

I cut off all the fat and silver skin and cleaned up the portion that was near the ribs. I then sliced the larger piece in two. Instead of $4.99/pound, it cost me $2.99/pound and about 20 minutes of my time.

With Nancy assisting with all the prep, it took about 75 minutes from start to finish. If you do not have a sous chef, begin by prepping all of your vegetables, because once you start, you are going with something until you are ready to eat.

4 pork tenderloins
Salt & white pepper to taste
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Jalapeno Cream Sauce

Heavily season the pork with salt and white pepper
In a large skillet,heat the oil and sear the tenderloins until they get a deep golden color - about 4 minutes a side
Put the pork in a 350 degree oven to desired doneness. I just slid the entire skillet into the oven.
I cook my pork to 160 degrees using a meat thermometer.
Let the meat rest 10 -15 minutes before slicing into 1/2" pieces.

1/2 cup pork sausage meat
1/2 small onion - diced small
1 stalk celery - diced small
1/2 green bell pepper - diced small
1 cup rice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon coffee blackening spice (see below)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chicken broth

In a large saucepan cook the sausage thoroughly
Add onion, celery and green pepper
Stir frequently until they are all sweating
Add rice, thyme and blackening spice.
Add oil and coat the rice.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil
Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir rice and cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Left: Before covering Right: Stirring after 10 minutes

1 shallot - minced
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ounces cognac
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup demi-glace (see note)
salt and white pepper to taste
1 jalapeno - seeded and minced

NOTE: I found this at the local Whole Foods, but it is also available on-line.
I keep at least one in the house at all times.

In a medium pan, saute the shallots in oil until the sweat.
Deglaze the pan with the cognac (remove it from the stove first)
Flame the cognac and when the flame dies down cook until it is almost dry.
Add the heavy cream and reduce y half.
Add the demi-glace and reduce to a sauce consistency
Season with salt and white pepper
Strain through a fine mesh sieve
Add the jalapeno (the longer the jalapeno sits, the hotter it will become, so time that according to taste. I put it in immediately and then finished up the rest of the meal. The sauce had a nice bite to it, but not too over-powering).

FROM LEFT: shallots in cognac & oil, adding heavy cream; demi-glace waiting

After adding demi-glace

1 pound French green beans (or what is available)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced shallot
salt and white pepper to taste

Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes and then put into an ice bath. (I did this before beginning anything else and let them rest)
Allow butter to rbown in a skillet.
Add shallots and cook for 20 seconds.
Add beans and saute 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.

Put about 1/2 cup Dirty Rice in Center of the pate.
Lay green beans next to rice
Lean pork slices against rice opposite green beans.
Drizzle with sauce and let some sauce drip around the plate.

These recipes are right out of the book. The Dirty Rice is the best recipe I have ever made. I do it straight from the book. The Haricot Verts were spectacular. The flavoring given by the browned butter and the shallots is subtle yet covers the palate.
For the pork, I might add a tad more cognac and another jalapeno (or add some of the seeds to the sauce before it is strained to give it a touch more heat).

It is yummy - can I take the rest of the Dirty Rice home?!?!

"Mangiare Bene e Piacere"

Coffee Blackening Spice:
(This also works well as a rub for meats and will store in an air-tight container for months)
2 tablespoons high-end coffee ground fine
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cayenne powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons dried basil
Mix together and store in glass jar for a month - the coffee will begin to lose flavor after that

10 spices added:

katherine. said...

okay these all look WONDERFUL

I don't think I've ever had coffee blackening spice...but would love to.

what is the proper etiquette?

does one sit on the couch first and then sit at the table?

or should I sit at the table first and then go sit on the couch?

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

KATHERINE: Thanks. The coffee blackening spice is superb.
You may sit on The Couch and have a cocktail and then move to the table for food and then back to The Couch to relax!

s. stockwell said...

Hey Chef! This looks like something we could do to make some people happy. We will try the Dirty rice tonight! Thanks from Santa Barbara, s

Liz Hill said...

That spice mix looks interesting. Must have been the weekend to cook pork as I did some for the Derby party too.


Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

S.STOCKWELL: You will LOVE the Rice...

TURNBABY: It adds a wonderful flavor. SMOOCH

Desert Songbird said...

I can't believe I knew something about food that you didn't - I had no idea that people didn't know what haricot verts were!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

SONGBIRD: hush girl!

Ralph said...

I expected a New Orleans dirty rice. Except I would prefer my rice with sausage instead of gizzards. Yours seems more palatable...

I am assuming that the cream adds a subtle sweetness to the pepper heat. Looks and sounds delicious!

Pork tenderloin is a nice treat, as any savory flavor just enhances pork. What a meal!

I even blogged about pork tenderloin here:

Cinnamon Girl said...

Jesus I am hungry! And it is bedtime! Dammit!

You should open a restaurant my friend.

Rex said...

Tenderloin and Jalapeno sauce... You had me at tenderloin. I am going to have to try this out.

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