Friday, May 29, 2015

Raspberry Habenero, Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Today, I am bringing you another recipe from PRiMO Specialty Foods featuring one of their signature preserves- raspberry habenero. In my previous post, I talked a bit about PRiMO's spicy sweet preserves and olive tapenades for cooks, entertainers and food lovers and how amazing they are!  The preserves I received are fantastic and I would love to try the other flavors such as, blueberry jalapeno, blackberry serrano and spiced cherry.  

My previous recipe was a tall Triple Stacked Spicy Club with Bacon, Avocado and Raspberry Habenero Aoli and it was out of this world tasty! For my second recipe, I wanted to try something a bit more savory and hearty. It is no secret that my family loves pork tenderloin, and I thought the preserves would be a perfect partner with a blue cheese and fresh chive stuffing. I decided that the final flavor to my stuffed tenderloin was bacon. Like I have said before, I love raspberry with bacon, but blue cheese might take the cake for me when joined with bacon! The slightly sharp flavor from the chives is perfect to cut the salt from the bacon and cheese while complimenting the sweetness from the preserves. Stuffing a pork tenderloin can seem intimidating but, trust me, it is so easy! My go-to method is a cut lengthwise down the center of the tenderloin to within 1/2- 1 inch on the bottom. Next, I open the tenderloin like a book; cover with plastic wrap and flatten to 1/2 - 3/4 inch thickness. Add the ingredients and roll it up- easy as pie. 

The pork was so tender and flavorful from the fats from the cheese and sugar in the preserves! The bacon added a delicious crust and a little extra saltiness to the pork. My entire family, especially my two year old, gobbled this tenderloin up. My husband told me that he got a few comments on the delicious smells in the lunch room the following day at work. 

I want to give a big thank you to PRiMO for sharing your delicious product with me, my family and my readers! I love getting to try different products (especially products that I love!) and getting creative with dinner! Head over to PRiMO's website and check out they amazing product line. 


Ingredients

4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbl PRiMO Signature Raspberry Habenero Preserves
1 1/2 Tbl fresh chopped chives
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 -1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
Salt and Pepper
4 slices of bacon 
Kitchen twine 


Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, preserves, chives and blue cheese together. Set aside. 

Pat the pork tenderloin dry. cut lengthwise down the center of the tenderloin to within 1/2- 1 inch on the bottom. Next, open the tenderloin like a book; cover with plastic wrap and flatten to 1/2 - 3/4 inch thickness.  Sprinkle tenderloin with salt and pepper (approximately 1/2 tsp each). 

Spread cheese mixture evenly over the pork tenderloin. Roll the pork tenderloin starting on one of the long sides. Secure with kitchen twine in three location, two towards opposite ends and one in the middle. Wrap the tenderloin in bacon and place in an oven safe skillet or baking dish. 

Roast the pork 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155-160 degrees. Remove from oven and allow pork to rest for 5 minutes. Remove the twine with a scissors, slice and serve immediately.  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Triple Stacked Spicy Club with Bacon, Avocado and Raspberry Habenero Aoli

Today, I am joining with PRiMO Specialty Foods to bring you a recipe featuring one of their delectable and unique signature preserves. PRiMO makes spicy sweet preserves and olive tapenades for cooks, entertainers and food lovers!  PRiMO asked me to try their product and create a few recipes, and I was thrilled because I love preserves and their versatility. PRiMO has a delicious array of flavor combinations like, blueberry jalapeno, blackberry serrano, raspberry habanero and spiced cherry. Sounds pretty delicious right!?  I received a jar of raspberry habanero preserves, and I already had ideas buzzing in my brain. Besides amazing flavor combos, the preserves are natural, gluten-free, trans-fat free, dairy-free and vegan. 

I love the retro inspired packaging!


The raspberry habanero has a mild heat, but do not let that fool you because the heat creeps up on your palate slowly! I loved that I could taste the flavors of the peppers and the fruit without one overpowering the other and I was left with a sweet lick of burn on my tongue.  

I think when people hear preserves they automatically think toast or breakfast. My mind tends to go into the opposite direction and think of savory dishes that will pack a bigger punch with the addition of the sweet heat from the preserves.  One flavor profile I really like with raspberry is bacon and avocado. I know it sounds a little different, but the flavors work so well together because bacon add great smoke and salt, and the avocado adds a bit or richness.... perfect combo in my book.  I decided that the best way to get these flavors together was to create a sandwich. However, when I make a sandwich I don't just make a run of the mill sandwich. I make a tricked-out, piled high, go big or go home sandwich because is there really another way to go? I think not.  I opted to use the preserves in the spread so that the flavor was in each bite of the sandwich. I used mayo as my carrier and a heavy handed amount of the preserves to make sure that the raspberry was bright and the heat was present. In addition to the raspberry habanero spread, I used bacon, avocado, pepper jack cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce, smoked ham and roasted turkey. 

My husband, son and I downed this sandwich and I know it is a good sign when there is a wave of silence at my dinner table.  I loved how all of the flavors melted together to give me sweet, spicy, salt, creamy, crispy and crunchy- does it get much better!?

Big thank you to PRiMO for sharing your delicious product with me and my readers! Head over to PRiMO's website and check out they amazing product line. Please check back tomorrow for another recipe featuring a PRiMO specialty preserve! 



Ingredients


1 1/2 Tbl mayonnaise
1 1/2  Tbl PRiMO Raspberry Habanero Specialty Preserves
3 slices sourdough bread, lightly toasted
1/2 a very ripe avocado, mashed
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp
2 ripe tomato slices
Romaine lettuce
1 slice pepper jack cheese
3 thin slices of roasted turkey
3 thin slices of smoked ham


Instructions

In a small dish, mix mayo and preserves till smooth

Spread preserves on the two outer pieces of bread. On one slice, add ham, tomatoes and 2 slices of bacon. On the other slice, add cheese, lettuce, turkey and bacon. Spread mashed avocado on both sides of the remaining third slice of bread. 

To assemble, place slice of bread with turkey on the bottom, followed by the bread with mashed avocado and topped with the slice with ham. Secure with toothpicks if desired. Slice in half and serve immediately. 

Makes 1 sandwich.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bacon Cheddar Shrimp Cakes with Kale Pesto Aoli

Do you love the show Chopped? I few months I go I posted a recipe for Grilled Pesto Chicken Bacon Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce for the Chopped at Home contest. The rules were simple and the same as last time- create a dish using the following basket ingredients: Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar, kale, oyster crackers  and bacon.  Being from Wisconsin, cheddar cheese is one of my absolute favorites and I was happy to see it listed along with Vermont, New York and California.  

When I initially saw the ingredients for the challenge I was excited about all the possibilities, but knew that the ingredients were calling for seafood. My first thought was crab, but it seemed to easy and I opted to make a shrimp cake to show off the challenge ingredients. I love the flavors of bacon and shrimp together and knew the cheddar cheese would give the cake a little additional salty tangy richness to the cake.  I know that many times seafood/fish and cheese get a bad rep, but it is worth your while to make an exception for this dish. I made this recipe adaptable and it can be shared as an appetizer with small cakes or larger cakes for an entree. If you are serving it as an entree it would make a delicious sandwich or topper for a salad with the kale pesto drizzled over the top.  

My family loved this dish when I served it as an appetizer and the plate was just about licked clean! 

If you want to enter, check out Food Networks page for Chopped At Home. The first round ends June 29th, and then voting for the semi-finalists of round three starts. I am sure it is another long shot, but I figure why not throw my hat (or shrimp cake) in the ring!

Tonight, I am prepping dinner for a small get together with our friend tomorrow evening, and doing a little baby shopping because they recently welcomed their little girl to their family!


Ingredeints

3/4 cup mayo
Juice from 1/2 a medium lemon
1 1/2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 egg
1 lb raw shrimp, finely chopped
4 strips crispy bacon, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
3/4 cup crushed oyster crackers

Vegetable Oil, for frying

for kale pesto dipping sauce:
3 cups chopped kale
2 tbl toasted pine nuts
3 clove garlic
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup mayo
salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together mayo, lemon juice, fresh parsley, Dijon, old bay and egg.  Gently stir in the finely chopped shrimp, bacon and cheese.  Finally, fold in the crushed crackers.

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.  With your hands make 10 medium cakes for an appetizer or 4 large cakes for an entree. Place cakes on the baking sheet, and chill 30 minutes to an hour. 

While shrimp cakes chill, combine kale, lemon juice, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse till just combined and drizzle in olive oil as food processor runs. Remove from food processor and whisk in the mayo. Season with salt and pepper is desired. 

Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Fry the shrimp cakes, about a minute or two per side until golden brown and shrimp is pink. 

Serve shrimp cakes immediately with a side of kale pesto sauce for dipping. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Asparagus and Gruyere Tart

I look forward to asparagus season pretty much the entire year. My parents frequently bought fresh asparagus while I was growing up, and I absolutely love it. My in-laws grown their own asparagus and we are so spoiled to have them share it with us! I also like to grab a few bunches when I am in Door County from a local farmer because their asparagus is really thin and perfect for a tart like this one. 

I made this tart for my family when they joined us for dinner and it was fantastic. I love gruyere cheese and adding flaky pastry and fresh asparagus is a gigantic bonus!  This appetizer is so easy and can be easily doubled if you have more guests (or if you just want more for yourself!). I find that the cook time seems to be a little unpredictable and I like to start checking the bottom of the pastry around the 20 minute mark till it becomes golden brown and flaky. 

Tonight, I am headed to the gym and then home to do a bit of house work. I am also finishing up a few recipe for a blogging event and giveaway starting next week! Stay tuned! 


Ingreidents

1 puff pastry sheet
3/4 cup grated Gruyere
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp olive oil
20-30 asparagus spears (this will depend on thickness)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Drizzle Olive Oil


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

Allow the puff pastry to thaw for about 30 minutes or until it can be easily unfolded. Unfold the puff pastry and place it on the baking sheet. Mix the mustard and 1/4 olive oil. Brush the pastry with the mustard mixture. Evenly spread cheese over the pastry and arrange asparagus evenly over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until dough it light and flaky, and bottom of dough it golden brown. Remove and cut into 8 wedges. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 5/25 - 5/31

Happy *late* Monday!

Today was a good opportunity to reflect on the members of our military who gave their lives. Just over a year ago, Ron and I had the privilege to pay our respects at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France. With certainty I can say it is one of the most moving places that I have had the opportunity to visit. It is a very large place seated on top of a hill overlooking Omaha Beach. It is the final home to young men and women, and a place that comes to my mind frequently during days we recognize our fallen, our veterans and those currently serving. My family and I thank you for your service and ultimate sacrifice. 


This weekend we headed up to Door County to spend time at our cottage. The end of May always feels like the start of the summer and Door County quickly come to life. We spent most of our at The Farm and relaxing by the lake. Here are a few photos from Saturday, Sunday and Monday:


Checking out the grounds.


Meeting a new friend.


Riding the tractor (the favorite). 


Feeding a new friend.


A baby pony!


The goats were so little and cute!


Puzzle time (his Dad got into a puzzle till 3 am the same night)!


Rhubarb Honey Sangria at Parador in Egg Harbor (I must replicate this)!


Our view from the top of the stairs..... It never gets old! 

This week I am getting to the gym and getting stuff done around the house. I am also playing volleyball and we have friends coming for dinner with their little girl on Thursday. On Friday, my co-workers are having a fish fry and I am hoping to get outside with Kellen most of the weekend! 

I hope that everyone had a lovely and relaxing weekend!

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Cous Cous and Salad
Tuesday: Voodoo Chef Roasted Garlic Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops, Wild Rice and Asparagus
Wednesday: Guava Girl Grilled Bacon Wrapped Chicken, Red Smashed Potatoes and Asparagus
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Caprese, Pesto Risotto and Grilled Asparagus
Friday: Out for Fish
Saturday: Slow Cooker Roasted Tomato Caprese Chicken Sandwiches, Wedges and Salad
Sunday:  Brats, Beans and Grilled Veggies

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cilantro Lime Rice

Time for May's Improv Cooking Challenge!

The theme for this month is cilantro and lime- so many possibilities! I recently made a Creamy Tex Mex Slow Cooker Chicken and needed a delicious rice recipe to serve it over. I am a big fan of Chipotle and thought their cilantro lime rice was a perfect side, and perfect to share for this challenge! I opted to use Skinny Taste's recipe (with a few adaptations) for the rice and it was spot on to the Chipotle favorite!  Normally, for these challenges I like to create my own recipe, but this one was too good and too easy not to share with you. My favorite part of this side dish is the use of the fresh herbs, and I can't wait to make it again with a bunch of garden fresh cilantro.  Like I said, I used this to create a burrito bowl, but it would be equally delicious inside a burrito or as a side for a delicious grilled fresh fish. 

Speaking of gardens. I had a little incident last night/this morning. So, early Wednesday morning there was a frost advisory and, since I just planted my garden, I made a mental note to cover my plants and put the pots in the garage. However, the night got crazy and I FORGOT. I woke up this morning to dead peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and basil. Arrrrrrrggggghhhhh!  Thankfully, not everything was lost and I only need to replant a few of the more fragile vegetables. Darn you late May frost....... I guess my Friday night will be a little bit busier, and you better believe that I won't forget again!  

Tonight, I am heading to the gym for a quick workout, then home for dinner and off to my Thursday night volleyball game! 

If you want to join the fun of the Improv Cooking Challenge visit Lesa of Edesia's Notebook for details! 

Stay tuned for next month's recipe using fish and avocado! 

Ingredients

4 cups cooked basmati rice
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tsp vegetable oil


Instructions

Place cooked rice in a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice, salt and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

BBQ Chipotle Mango Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Time for May's Crazy Ingredient Challenge!


The ingredients for this month are chipotle and mango. I was really excited when Dawn unveiled the ingredients in the beginning of the month because I love all of the possibilities with sweet and heat. Considering that it has warmed up in Wisconsin my thoughts immediately went to my grill and a pork tenderloin. I have been hankering for barbecue and I knew that mango and chipotle would be perfect partners for my barbecued pork. I love grilled pork and with the char from the barbecue I am in heaven!  Besides being delicious, I loved how quick this recipe is for a easy weeknight meal. Many time I marinate my pork before I put it on the grill, but I opted for wet rub with a bit of seasoned olive oil followed by a heavy brushing of barbecue at the end of grilling, and finished it an extra drizzle of sauce. The result was a juicy, spicy, sweet and tangy pork tenderloin AND 3 happy full bellies! I served my pork tenderloin with a fresh arugula salad, but I can't wait for corn to be in season because it would have been perfect with a salty buttery grilled ear of corn. 

Today, I am finishing up a training for work (here is a link a local news station did on the training yesterday) and my friend Emily is coming for dinner and a little play time in the evening. I am also going to make a quick stop at the gym for a little weightlifting after my training wraps up. I was planning on enchiladas for dinner, but the idea of pizza is slowly creeping into my brain..... 

If you are interested in joining our challenge, stop over to Dawn of Spatulas on Parade to say hello and to get more information.  I am excited to see what everyone else made, and what next month will bring! 

**I also need to give a special birthday shout out to my Sister and belated birthday shout out to my Sister In-Law! Happy Birthday Rachel & Julie!!!**


Ingredients

1 (about 1 - 1 1/4 lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbl olive oil
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ripe diced mango
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce +1 tsp adobo sauce


Instructions

Whisk oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder in a small bowl. Rub into pork tenderloin and set aside. 

In a food processor or blender, add mango, bbq, peppers and adobo. Pulse till smooth and set aside. 

Heat grill to medium-low heat. Think of the tenderloin as having 4 sides. Cook the pork 4-5 minutes per "side" (you can test with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches desired temperature). During last 2 minutes of cooking brush all sides with sauce. Remove from grill and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes.  Slice and serve with extra sauce drizzled over the top.