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Archive for September, 2008

Apple Risotto with Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Apple Salsa

Mon Sep 22, 2008

Apple Risotto

The perfect autumn dish and way to use all the varieties of apples you find at the farmers’ market. I used Newton Pippins for the risotto and a combination of Spitzenberg, Red Stripe and Muutsu for the salsa.

Apple Risotto with Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Apple Salsa

Pork Tenderloin
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup coarse kosher salt
1 tbsp juniper berries
1 tbsp peppercorns
5 cardamom pods
1 tsp fennel seed

Combine ingredients in a large zip-top bag. Add whole pork tenderloin and add enough warm water to completely submerge the pork. Shake to dissolve sugar and salt. Refrigerate minimum 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Heat grill. Brush tenderloin with olive oil and place on grill. Cook about 7 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees for medium rare (the temperature will increase about 10 degrees after you take it off the grill). Let rest 15 minutes before slicing into ¾-inch pieces.

Apple Risotto
adapted from Silver Spoon
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 Newton Pippin apples, diced
4 tbsp butter
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
5 tbsp dry white wine
2 tbsp parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated
salt and pepper to taste

Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a sauté pan. Add apples and lemon zest. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, until apples are beginning to soften.

Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add rice and stir until coated in oil. Sprinkle with wine and cook until evaporated. Add a ladleful of stock, stirring until it has been absorbed. Continue adding stock a ladleful at a time, stirring until absorbed before adding another. Add apples to the rice mixture about six minutes into cooking the risotto. When the rice is almost tender, stir in the cheese and remaining butter. Season to taste.

Apple Salsa
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp chile flakes
3 apples, cored ad chopped
1 tbsp tarragon

Stir sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add a half of the apples and cook until the apples are soft. Remove from heat. Mash the apples with a potato masher or an immersion blender. Stir in tarragon and the other half of the apples. Chill for 1 hour.

Serve the sliced pork over the risotto topped with the apple salsa.

Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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24, 24, 24: Farmers’ Market Iron Chef: Battle in the Kitchen

Sun Sep 21, 2008

FM Montage

Farmers’ Market Iron Chef: Battle in the Kitchen

With just 20 minutes remaining in Battle Apple I knew I was toast. I hadn’t made my apple vinaigrette, the batter for my apple fritters or heated my fry oil. Across fthe kitchen island stood my fellow food blogger and Foodbuzz Iron Chef challenger, Foodwoolf’s Brooke Burton, looking as relaxed as if she’d just come back from a beach vacation. And worst of all? The sweet-tangy smell of apples, caramelized sugar and cinnamon was making me hungry.

The competition seemed simple. Choose an ingredient at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market to plan a 3-course meal around. Each blogger-chef would have two hours to prepare their food, which would be judged on taste, plating and originality by a panel of food savvy professionals. But less than 24 hours before we were to take up our knives, we suddenly found ourselves without a battlefield, for the second time.

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Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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Going Camping: Granola Bars!

Fri Sep 12, 2008

Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars!

Work. It doesn’t go away. If you’re planning a vacation, you have to do more of it, in a shorter period of time, so that you don’t miss any deadlines when you’re gone. When you get back, you have to catch up on all the work you missed while you were away, quickly negating the relaxing vacation you worked so hard for.

Problem is, we’re a culture that puts way more value on hard work than we do on play. We talk about how many jobs we have or how busy we are with work like it’s a badge of honor, like our exhaustion is something to be proud of. We look at people who live to play with disdain, but their easy smiles tell a different story. I’ve lived among them. I’ve been one, albeit a bad one (I always worked at least two jobs), living in Tahoe for years. And I’ve got to tell you there’s a lot of work that goes into a playful life, it’s just tempered with more rewards, more balance.

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Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Thu Sep 4, 2008

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

I am corn. At least according to Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, I am. And so are you. This makes the end of summer and early fall bittersweet. Everywhere you look at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market these days, weathered men are deftly hacking away at corn stalks with machetes, peeling back golden silks to reveal long checkerboard ears of bicolor, snowy white and flaxen-hued yellow corn, and stacking them into slightly ironic food pyramids made entirely of corn. Sure, this sweet corn is different than the industrial stuff that feeds our livestock or gets processed into high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch and Fritos. But if I already am corn, do I really need to eat more?

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Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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