EwE: Pork tenderloin with fennel and grapes~

22 02 2015

 

I confess…I am a fennel fiend.  I love the anisity of it…but I don’t really care for licorice.  I know…doesn’t make sense to me either.  Regardless, I knew I’d love this dish from the start.  Fennel powder….fennel bulbs….oh my…garnish with fennel…
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Step 1 – toast fennel seeds….grind fennel seeds and release that aroma….  Sprinkle the pork medallions with the fennel, salt and pepper….brown them up, then make the sauce….yes…those are fennel bulbs in the sauce….

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This recipe was selected by Gaye, and is found on page 119 of Ellie Krieger’s Weeknight Wonders.  The recipe can also be found online here.  You can see what my cooking-mates did with their dishes at Eating with Ellie.

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This was a GREAT recipe…and if it had been any meat other than pork, maybe it would have been wonderful.  Maybe it was my choice to use Pork NY Steaks (I swear that’s how they were packaged!)…  Other than that, this was absolutely great!  There was just the right amount of sweet-tart going on…the fennel melted into gloriously buttery bites of numminess… The whole dish was cloaked with the delicate aroma of fennel…  I confess, no.  The fennel didn’t come with those lovely fronds…those are from my garden.  My Florence fennel is lushly gorgeous out there!  I’ll be fixing this dish again…with chicken the first time, and tenderloin after that.  There’s a lot of fennel out there!

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Eating with Ellie: Japanese-style savory pancakes with shrimp~

11 02 2015

Chaya selected this week’s recipe….Japanese-style savory pancakes with shrimp, found on page 183 of Weeknight Wonders.  What a hit at my house!

EwE-Japanesepancakes2This recipe is reminiscent of egg foo young in that it makes a battered vegetable pancake…but there are no bean sprouts nor is it heavily eggy.  It was more like a fritter in that regard.  However, without regard, this is quick and tasty…pretty much a weeknight wonder!

EwE-Japanesepancakes1I made a half-batch for the two of us as a “snacky” kind of dinner.  We had eaten lunch rather late, so we weren’t really very hungry….even so we ate every bite.   Cabbage, onions, carrots and garlic come together with bits of shrimp held together with a whole wheat pancake batter that was very light.  Hubby found these utterly wonderful and told me not to lose track of this recipe, as he “could eat a mess of these!”  The recipe also had a sauce to brush on top…very simple…ketchup, soy and Worcestershire sauce stirred together.  Next time…a few drops of toasted sesame oil will go into the sauce as well.  I’d also like to try Ponzu (a lemony soy sauce) or hoisin sauce with these.  Definitely a “keeper” recipe!

If you’d like to join us cooking Ellie Krieger’s Weeknight Wonders, please visit our blog page and jump on in!!





Eating with Ellie: Penne with Grape Tomatoes, Spinach and Toasted Garlic~

1 02 2015

This week our selection comes from Peggy… Penne with Grape Tomatoes, Spinach and Toasted Garlic.  Another recipe that goes together in less time than it takes to boil water and cook the pasta.   penne2

There isn’t a lot going on here…whole wheat penne pasta….grape tomatoes and spinach sauteed in toasted garlic olive oil, with a shake of freshly grated parmesan.  I think the lack of popping flavor has to do with the time of the year I fixed this….February.  This would be a lot better with fresh, Summer tomatoes…and a chiffonade of fresh basil.  My only complaint is the flavors are lacking.  Salt and pepper helped some, but not quite enough.  Again… I think it had a lot to do with almost red, semi-tasteless hot-house tomatoes.  That’s okay.  We’ll try it again during the height of summer with fresh from the Farmers’ Market tomatoes, when it’s hot and something quick off the stove is ideal.  There’s a time and place….

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If you want to join in, stop by our website, Eating with Ellie, and start cooking!  You’ll find the cooking schedule in the margin on the page.





Eating with Ellie: Shotgun Wedding Soup

28 01 2015

This post will prove beyond all doubt…I am not a photographer!  I don’t have the right setting to try to make my pictures perfect, and I really don’t have the time to get crazy about that.  It’s cook and take some snapshots, or well…nevermind.  I’ll cook and we’ll leave it at that!  Having said that….trying to get a decent shot was the hardest aspect of this dish!!Featured image

I made the full recipe of Ellie Krieger’s Shotgun Wedding Soup…I wish I knew why!  It was way too much for just the two of us.  I thought maybe that there was only 8 cups of broth would make the batch on the smallish side…but I neglected to take into consideration 1/2 pound of meat and eggs…and some cheese…and a lot of baby spinach.  I’d been warned a half batch as a lot…silly me.  That’s okay…. I love this kind of dish for lunch.  Or a small serving with something else for dinner…there’s an idea!!

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Again…this Weeknight Wonder recipe went together super fast.  It had a nice flavor and a wonderful aroma.  I just couldn’t get a good picture without the flash dancing off the little bit of oil that came to the top of the bowl.  So…you don’t really get to see just how pretty it was…the delicate yellow against the emerald green of the spinach.  I’m sorry.  It really was pretty.  You’ll have to trust me on that part.  Margaret made a great selection!

I followed the recipe almost to the letter…I wasn’t absolutely strict about measurements.  I decided my eggs weren’t quite large enough…or I was a little heavy handed with the parsley…or maybe the parmesan…so I added a small egg and then it looked fluid enough.  I found my mouth wanted some kind of Italian seasoning though.  I’m not sure if I wanted a bit of oregano in the broth or in the meat.  But…messing with the meat might change the delicate texture.  I’ll have to play with a much smaller batch to see what I think in the end!  We had the soup with a big side salad, but a side of pasta would be pretty yummy too.

Next week we have Peggy’s choice… Penne with Grape Tomatoes, Spinach, and Toasted Garlic.   And I have the whole week with only one job.  Time for catch-up cooking!!





Eating with Ellie: Shrimp with Spinach, Garlic and Smoked Paprika

20 01 2015

This week’s recipe is Kayte’s choice….Shrimp with Spinach, Garlic and Smoked Paprika from Ellie Krieger’s Weeknight Wonders.  Reading the recipe, it sounded Spanish, and tapa-ish to me, so I hunted through recipes until I found a side dish to go with.  You see, this is actually a salad, and the recipe serves 4…usually.  With the addition of Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes, the Spanish thing took a backseat, but these Mediterranean flavors blended really well.  We were decidedly pleased, and would love to find this as a restaurant offering.

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With only a few ingredients, this recipe goes together fast!  This is a recipe where you want to make sure you have everything together before you heat your pan.  You must prepare your mise en place….(in my best Julia Child voice)!  Especially the seasonings.  You’ll appreciate it so very much when you get rolling.  If you’re going to take pictures while you’re cooking, make sure the camera is at the ready when you finish cooking the garlic.  I almost blew it!

I made one minor change to the recipe.  Rather than using cayenne with the smoked paprika, I used a sprinkling of chipotle chili powder.  That let me continue the smoky theme, but added a tiny bit of warmth to the dish.  I elected to use a stove-top wok as my cooking vessel.  It gave me a great puddle of oil that made it easy to remove the garlic slices.

DSCN3951This recipe disappeared from our plates almost as fast as it came together.  It was seriously tasty.  The shrimp were sweet and succulent, having cooked only a few minutes.  The spinach was nice along side…just a little tiny bit of mild bitterness to foil the sweetness of the shrimp (and the potatoes were the perfect lemony tang to play along).

DSCN3957Next week, Margaret has selected Shotgun Wedding Soup as our recipe.  It looks interesting and it’s another quick fix recipe.  I can hardly wait until my copy of Weeknight Wonders arrives!  I’ve missed cooking like this…and having recipes that are good, reasonably healthy and FAST are right in line with what I can manage right now.  These recipes remind me of cooking through Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta.  I still grab that cookbook frequently!





It’s Been a Long, Long Time….

18 01 2015

I don’t want to confess that I remember that song…  *giggle*

Oh my GOSH it’s been a long time since I’ve posted!!  Which is not to say I haven’ t been having food adventures, but I haven’t posted about them.  Another day we’ll talk about fermented foods….particularly the world’s best dill pickles and an incredible blueberry-cabbage kraut that has amazing immunity powers…  No…those are for another day.

I’ve recently caught up with a cooking buddy from back in the days of Whisk Wednesdays….Kayte… She has two little groups going and I’m in need of cooking inspiration and discipline!  Eating with Ellie is a cousin of Craving Ellie in my Belly from the same span of time in history.  I didn’t get involved with that group…but always enjoyed Kayte’s blog posts.  Ellie Krieger’s most recent cookbook, Weeknight Wonders, is right up my alley: healthy dishes that literally go together in minutes.   The second group is Wednesdays with Donna Hay.  Her recipes look fun and a bit more challenging.  We’ll see how the time parameters go….  There are some of her recipes that are already calling my name loudly and clearly!!

I’ve cooked my first Eating with Ellie dish, and we’re beyond pleased.  Her Shrimp with Spinach, Garlic and Smoked Paprika is simply wonderful.  I served it with Greek Style Lemon Potatoes.  Add a glass of a dry white wine (Chardonnay, in my case) and you’ve got a wonderful little dinner for two.  *sigh*  That’s what I was looking for!!

More later when the camera is charged and the photos edited!!