Friday, February 25, 2011

Pasta with sausage and peas

I know I've had delicious pastas before that featured crumbled sausage and peas.  I had some chicken (uh, jalapeno chicken actually) sausages in the fridge, and my roommate had some cream and frozen peas that looked stealable.  This could've gone horribly wrong, but actually turned into a pretty tasty Scavenged Dinner.
I sliced up the sausage (it had no casing, and is pre cooked or something so I couldn't crumble it) and set it aside.
I heated two minced garlic cloves in some olive oil til fragrant, then added the sausage.  Once I felt like things were probably pretty close to heated through, I added the frozen peas, the last of my 1% milk, some cream, salt and pepper, and 1 tbsp or so of butter.  I wanted to add lots of romano or parmesan, but only had like, 2 tbsp, boo.  I let it thicken up and added a little bit of the pasta water to make it nice and saucy.  :)
It actually turned out really well - the sauce was super flavorful and I will totally make it again.

Here is a really close recipe, though I did not use anywhere NEAR the amount of cream or butter it calls for!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Onions

Pr0n tenderloin is more like it - this stuff  is disgustingly delicious.  Thanks Epicurious - for blowing my recent pork tenderloin with onion and apple relish right out of the water.

1 large pork tenderloin (about 14 ounces)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup dry white wine or apple cider

Preheat oven to 450°F. Season pork with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to plate. Cool slightly. Spread mustard over top and sides of pork. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onion slices and apples; sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Spread evenly in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork atop apple-onion mixture.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast until apple-onion mixture is soft and brown and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to platter and tent with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour apple cider over apple-onion mixture in skillet. Stir mixture over high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Cut pork on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon apple-onion mixture onto plates. Top with pork and serve.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Mini and regular sized baked donuts - oh boy!!  The chocolate ones are regular sized, the pastels are mini.  They turned out pretty freaking chewy (boo), but the taste was good.  The ones with chocolate glaze were AH-MAZING.  I can't wait to try other flavors and frostings and stuff.  You can pick up the pans (below) online or even at Mollie Stones, which is where I found my mini pan and saved myself the shipping (and waiting, which I hate).
See the difference between the top of the donut (pale) and the bottom (super bronzed)?  Also, you can see that the one mini guy over on the lower left looks a bit like a little bundt - that's him upside down, and that's his brother right side up, above him.
I followed the recipe that comes on the pan (though of course there are others, even by King Arthur!) - the one on the larger sized pan was perfect to make one batch of large (6) and two batches of tinys (24).  They're a bit tricky though.  The big ones looked great, but were BROWN on the bottom and white on top.  If I wasn't frosting with chocolate that may have looked odd.  And the little guys puff up like little round topped muffins with holes in the middle or get weird ridges around the side if you're not careful.
I used nonstick on one batch of my tiny guys, and I thought those ones actually turned out worse than when I didn't use the spray.  On the non-sprayed pans, I just used a couple of toothpicks to pluck the donuts out of the pans while they were still warm - worked perfectly for me.

2 cups of cake flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used vanilla sugar, but don't know that the flavor really showed up in the finished product)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3/4 c buttermilk (I was out and had to do the milk + lemon juice trick)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp melted butter

Preaheat oven to 425.  Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray (if you want).
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.  Add buttermilk, eggs and butter.  Beat until just combined.  Fill each large cup about 2/3 full.  Fill the minis about half full.
Bake the bigguns for 7-9 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.  Bake the littleuns for 4-6 minutes or til the same.
Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, or just go for it as I did.  If your donuts are sticking, let them cool a bit.

You can sub out the nutmeg for some grated lemon zest, and I imagine about a jillion other options to flavor the donuts as you like.  Once these were cooled, they did taste just like the good old cake donuts we know and love, if a bit chewy.

Variations and Frostings
Cinnamon Sugar:
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp melted butter
In a shallow bowl or plate, stir together cinnamon and sugar.  Dip the donuts in the melted butter and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mix to coat.

Chocolate Glaze:
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tbsp corn syrup (I only had honey and it worked a treat, though I'm guessing it didn't solidify quite as it would've had I used corn syrup)
1 tsp hot water
In a medium bowl, nuke the chips, butter & corn syrup on 50% power at 30 second increments, stirring in between until everything is completely melted.  Stir in 1 tsp hot water til the glaze is thick and smooth - add another tsp if it's too thick.  Use immediately.

Powdered Sugar:
Put 2/3 cup of powdered/confectioner's sugar in a resealable plastic bag.  Add a donut to the bag and shake the heck out of it to coat.  Don't breathe in or sneeze while eating.

Vanilla Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk (I needed to add more)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or whatever flavor you want - almond, rum, imitation banana. . . have at it)
In a small bowl, stir together sugar, milk & vanilla (or other flavor) until sugar is dissolved.  Use immediately.

And as if that wasn't all bad enough, you can make your own custom colored sprinkles!  I can see myself getting WAY too carried away with this. . . .