Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic Drizzle

For some reason I've been in a roasted garlic mood.  I think I just love the way it makes my house smell.  Most people Febreeze themselves silly, I'm silly and roast garlic.  That's just how I'm rolling these days!

If you're looking for a fantastic and easy dish to serve during the holidays, this is the ticket!

First, roast 2 heads of garlic  You'll need two heads of garlic, some olive oil, salt and pepper.  After you remove the garlic from the oven, allow it to cool long enough so you can handle it comfortably.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Pork Tenderloin:

1 boneless pork tenderloin
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Season the tenderloin evenly on all sides with salt and pepper.  Place the tenderloin in a a medium size roasting pan and roast in a pre-heated 450 degree F oven until a meat thermometer reads 140 to 145 degrees, approximately 35 to 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

Roasted Garlic Drizzle:

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water

Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves in a blender.  Add the parsley and balsamic vinegar and pulse until thoroughly combined. Drizzle the olive oil into the blender while it is running, then add the sugar, salt, pepper, and water and blend until blended.
Remove the foil and transfer the pork tenderloin to a serving platter and slice.  Drizzle some of  the garlic/balsamic drizzle over the pork and save some in a small bowl to pass around at the table for dipping.

Tip:  Garlic bread tastes divine dipped into the roasted garlic/balsamic drizzle.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Double-Dare You Chocolate Cheese Cake

Cheesecake just isn't rich and fattening enough, it just needed chocolate and lots of it!  It's Christmas time, so the richer the better, right?  That's what I thought. Now go get your drawstring roomy pants, I'll wait and then we'll make this ridiculously fantastic, chocolaty, chocolate cheesecake.
Look at it like this, this decadent dessert requires a few steps, so I'm thinking maybe, just maybe a few calories are burned in the process which negate the calories you may intake while munching.  Plus the smile and the eye rolling are good for burning a few calories too.  Just sayin'....
This recipe supposedly made one 9-inch cheesecake, but it actually made more.  Instead of using my 9-inch springform pan, I used my 6-inch and 8-inch springform pans and gave one to a neighbor who looked like she needed a lot of chocolate happiness.

Non-stick cooking spray
1 pack chocolate wafer cookies (regular Oreos)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9-inch-diameter (or one 8-inch and one 6-inch) springform pan with cooking spray.

Grind the cookies in the food processor until finely ground, then pulse in the sugar and salt. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until completely blended.  It will look like wet coffee grounds. Press the mixture evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan. Do not press the crust up the sides of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes to set the crust. Set aside and allow it to cool.


8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces of German chocolate, chopped
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 (8-ounce) packages of room temperature cream cheese
2 teaspoons espresso powder (1/2 tablespoon prepared coffee, cooled)
4 eggs

Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until melted, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 45 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

In another bowl, sift the sugar and cocoa powder together.

In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Lower the speed to lowest setting and carefully add the sugar/cocoa powder mixture. Add the espresso powder and beat over medium speed until fully incorporated.  Scrap down the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl as necessary.  Now add the eggs, one at a time.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the melted chocolate until completely incorporated.

Pour the filling over cooled crust, spread with a spatula to evenly distribute.  Tape the sides of the pan or tap it on the counter to make sure there are no air bubbles.

Bake on the center rack for approximately 70 minutes, rotating at 35 minutes, to just set the center.  The center will jiggle a little bit. 

Allow pan to cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, then run a butter knife around the side of the cheesecake but DO NOT remove the springform from the pan.

Allow cheese cake to cool for about an hour, then cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill overnight.


3/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared coffee

Ina medium saucepan over low heat, stir the heavy cream, chopped chocolate, honey and coffee until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Ladle the icing over the cheesecake working from the center, out to about 1/2-inch of the edge of the cake.  The icing will fill and cracks.  Place back in the refrigerator for about an hour to set the icing.
Transfer to a serving platter and release springform pan. Garnish with pecans or peppermints, serve cold or at room temperature.
Now aren't you glad I made you change into the comfy loose fitting pants?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

My two brothers and I took off the week before Thanksgiving to finish getting my mom packed and moved up here close to me.  I have found an adorable little three bedroom condo and she and I were very excited, shopping and making plans to decorate. 

Two days after we moved her into her new crib, I stopped by to pick her up to take her to our house for a steak dinner and to watch the LSU anialate another team. 

Instead I wound up taking her to the Emergency room and two weeks later, she's still in the hospital, but (fingers crossed) close to getting released. 

Hoping that my mom will be home for Christmas, I'm trying out some new appetizers for Christmas.  She loves shrimp so I thought grilling the shrimp would be a huge hit instead of boiling them for this version of a shrimp cocktail.   

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail couldn't be easier, quicker or tastier!  When the presents are being handed out, the last place I want to be is in the kitchen!  I want to be in the the middle of the paper and ribbon flying about the premises in shameless, give me, give me fashion!

The day or night before make the cocktail sauce, it takes about 7 minutes:

1-1/4 cups low-fat, plain Greek yogurt
 (If using plain regular yogurt, line a mesh strainer with a paper towel. Place the strainer over an         appropriate size bowl.  Spoon the yogurt into the lined strainer and allow to drain for about 30 minutes).
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Creole or spicy brow grain deli mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves

Mix the above ingredients in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Heat your indoor grill pan to medium high and coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil or alternately, heat your outdoor grill to medium high.

Peel 1 pound of jumbo shrimp (or the largest shrimp you can find), leaving the last section of shell near the tail and the tail in tact.  De-vein the shrimp.

Place the shrimp in a large bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Season with Kosher salt and black pepper.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of herbes de Provence.  Toss the shrimp with your hands to evenly coat with the oil and seasonings.  Place shrimp on grill and cook approximately two minutes per side.

So you tell me chips and salsa or Grilled Shrimp Cocktail...that's what I thought