Posts made in October, 2016

Pork Tenderloin–So Fancy

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Meat | 2 comments

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Photo source: Isabella Lunde

Maddy was not live chatting but instead home from college this past weekend and we oddly had a conversation about the flavor descriptor, umami over a bowl of poke; Luke and Maddy thought I made it up. Knowing it is an o’so tasty savory fifth note, we still queried a smartphone which defined umami (a word on loan from Japanese) as a strong certain taste sensation along with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty; like an exploding fist bump.

All this talk sent me into my recipe archives which have been on hold for a few decades; I was craving agrodolce, an Italian taste created by reducing ‘agro’ (sour) and ‘dolce’ (sweet) elements to create a sauce.

Mustard and Maple Pork Tenderloin had frequently been on our dinner table when the boys were young (and I was too, I see now).

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I revisited this fetching almost fancy autumnal combination for a friend’s birthday recently, serving it with crispy roasted baby potatoes. Surprisingly simple and easy to prepare,  Dijon, apple cider vinegar, and pure maple syrup finished with butter, create the restaurant quality sauce.

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You’ve got to try it! And you may as well double it!  Yes, of course, you may use chicken.

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The Grilled Fig with Burrata Toast –adapted from Michael Rossi, executive chef, The Ranch, Anaheim was legitimately remarkable too!

Photographs and text used on cococooks belong to me, Peggy Lunde unless linked otherwise.

Mustard Maple Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1/4 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 baking variety apple, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon good quality butter
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped herbs
  • (thyme, rosemary or sage)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon Dijon, salt and pepper in a small bowl; rub all over pork. You can refrigerate the pork for several hours or overnight; set it on the counter at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  3. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, 3-5 minutes. Set aside pork and sauté apple until browned but still slightly crisp. Set aside apple slices. Return pork to the skillet. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant read thermometer registers 140 degrees F., about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and cover with foil.
  4. Place the skillet over medium- high heat, add vinegar, and boil scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat. Whisk in remaining mustard, syrup, and herbs. Add reserved apple slices and stir in butter. Reduce heat and cook sauce until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Slice the pork and serve with the sauce.
  6. Serves 4
  7. © Copyright 2016 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  8. All Rights Reserved
  9. http://cococooks.net/
http://cococooks.net/pork-tenderloin-so-fancy/

 

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Ode to Autumn

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Pasta | 2 comments

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Fall is coming in Costa Mesa when the mammoth French Maple hovering over our patio drops its dinner plate sized leaves, now twisted brown and crunching on the concrete; no cool breeze nor whiffs of embers (unless there’s a brush fire stoked by Santa Ana Winds inland or south), only tumbling withered curled leafy notes shoved in corners, serenaded by pesky wild parrots, descendants from a couple of lost pet birds in the 70’s.

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The coconut oil solidifies in the jar; we place designer pumpkins and autumn-hued mums on our porches and maybe put a blanket on the bed. Oh my, palm to head, we fabricate.

I see myself in October Vermont (it’s a real place) wearing a cute sweater, splitting and stacking wood, tapping maple trees, and lollygagging with a pumpkin pie tweeting Christopher Kimball inside an old red-worn covered bridge.

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Summer does spoil me; cooking is merely roasting stone fruits and veggies, whisking together citrusy vinaigrette, then, assembling the caboodle with layers of fresh greens, grilled shishito peppers, maybe fresh fish and other farmers’ market or garden bounty on a clean white platter.

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So with the doors wide open,

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I counted eighteen ingredients for this Cooking Light Veggie-Packed Bolognese, including the water. Since bread, pasta, meat, and cheese are all shameful in some way—the sting was removed from the dish by allowing six ounces of 90% lean beef (not a half a pound), steered guilt-free by four ounces of whole wheat pasta, twelve ounces of spiralized squash, finally bolstered by two kinds of mushrooms and finished with a ton of vegetables and walnuts.

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A few notes before I eat crow parrot.  Take time to prep the vegetables in small dice; pulse the mushrooms and garlic in the food processor; size matters.

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The neck of the squash spiralized beautifully but was only half of the amount needed;

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So, either julienne the rest of the round bottom (where you’ve removed the seeds) or use two squash.

If you are opposed to beef (I used 8 ounces), ground turkey or chicken would work as well; or make it vegetarian by using a pound of mushrooms.  Don’t be tempted to skip the porcini; they add a rich woodsy umami.  I opted for fresh oregano and loved the floral note; it’s super strong so, scale it back to taste or go with dried oregano.

Skip the pasta; the sauce is gluten- free (bulk up the veggie noodles).  Omit the pasta and cheese; it's Whole30 compliant ( check tomato product labels for sugar).

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In my opening, I poked fun at  the random sundry ingredients.  This sauce is rich and toothsome with a surprising depth without long simmering.  It teems with versatility; like a sauce for baked pasta or pooled over grilled polenta--- Bellissimo!

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I usually don’t apologize for lousy photos—but these were hard colors to shoot once tossed at twilight without ‘people’.  Trust the online photo that accompanies the recipe 🙂

Projected Path and Intensity

In addition, my tongue in cheek look at our weather is just that.  My prayers today lie in the eye of Matthew and those in harm's way...

Photographs and text used on cococooks belong to me, Peggy Lunde unless linked otherwise.

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September in France or Nine Hundred Photos

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Travel | 5 comments

 

The British author, Peter Mayle describes me best; I am not a scholar.  Rather, a dreamer, one who crowds a collage of perfectionistic photos and places them (complete with fragrance and aroma) percolating and illustrated 'on location' in my fixated fantasy land; recently, Provence.

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MP and I dove into the deep end; during September we settled in a small out-of-the-way village, Saint-Zacharie, nestled in the hills of Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur at the foot of Saint Baume Massif.

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Rooted in remote mind-boggling history, the sweet hamlet is located on the edge of the Huveaune River, flowing with life-giving water and mythical fairy lore.  (Although, the river was dry this year for the first time in twelve).

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Off the beaten track, without a monument, museum, or lavish fête in sight, its proximity to the sea, countryside, and terraced medieval towns makes a seamless dot from which to ‘slow travel’.

Facebook video here:

Without an agenda, we settled into a ‘guardian house’ attached to a massive 300-year-old home situated in a walled garden where notable trees, trailing vines, and hiding bushes--according to Arnaud who spent boyhood holidays in the garden-- speak to each other and applaud the towering Au Grand Cedre, who claps his hands and in a deep voice dominates over them all, I imagine.

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We slept well and took time to listen to cooing doves, French schoolchildren on the boulevard below, and the bells of St. Zac chiming on the hour ( if you forget to count, a re-chime occurs a moment later); a pure melodic heartbeat signaling a call to set aside unspoiled mealtime, worship, celebrate and to mourn.

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A zillion trails in fragrant forests, some steep strewn with rocks and steps, others with wide open red soil, earth and sheer cliffs leading us to Calanques de Cassis, carried us over 90 miles in 25 days.

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Slow days, simple pleasures of the daily baguette and a bright, juicy melon, fresh green markets, touring bigger cities, cathedrals, synagogues, rows of Brocante wonders, even an endless cheese trolley, allowed us to be present in the moment.

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Our senses were seduced, our bellies indulged, and we were cared for with only a few words of French in our quiver.  Unassuming ambassadors, guests of another culture to respect, we knew if we were polite, kind, unhurried, able to laugh at ourselves,  puff appropriately, shrug and hold an open palm of coins when the math eluded us, spontaneous bouts of infectious laughter ensued--buying mosquito repellant in the pharmacy comes to mind.

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Doors widened; new friendships tendered vulnerable conversations, and old-fashioned genteel correspondences came about.

Therefore, short of a novel, I posted an abridged summation of our treks, food foibles and triumphs on Facebook during #septinfrance with photos and comments. Many of you tagged along which presented a super highway moving picture postcard of inspiration.

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When we left St. Zac for Paris (another thunderous bolt for the oozing senses) at the end of the trip, I wrote this of our 20 days,

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Our last day in St. Zac meant pack... we lingered a little longer when our neighbors invited us to share a lunch of purplish green artichokes (with the biggest hearts), sliced beets, cheeses, and sourdough baguette below the grand cedar in the garden. Being o'so polite, I took a few pictures of our new friends. I dragged my bag, feet, and heart to the gate, looked up to lime green pomegranates and yet to flower wisteria vines; equally green. A source close to the garden said, "Stay until we bloom."

More reflections may indeed come forward!

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Brocante 6

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Brocante 8

Pinch me!

corey and Peggy

Photo source: Yann Rolland-Benis

Thank you, Corey and Yann for your generous spirits' and mischevious gifts-- ♥

If you have found my blog because you too know Corey Amaro and hers, Tongue in Cheek, message me for the details to glean what I learned to make your dream happen too!

Photographs and text used on cococooks belong to me, Peggy Lunde unless linked otherwise.

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