Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Tale Of Two Cities

Cannellini Bean Tapenade With Grape Tomatoes

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The last meal I posted where I made so many of those Cannellini beans, as a bed for the pork tenderloin, well I set some aside. I knew that I could turn them into a tapenade into a quick lunch, for Steve and me. All I needed was a few added ingredients and I would be able to make it happen.

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This is really easy to do and is so delicious.

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So I have here 1 lemon, 1 cup of sun dried tomatoes, and a block of Pecorino cheese. I’m only going to use have of the cheese for this recipe.

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So as you can see I ground up half the block of Pecorino cheese, and processed the cup of sun dried tomatoes. I had quite a bit of Cannellini beans so I did this in two batches, using half the cheese, half the juice of the lemon, and half the sun dried tomatoes. I wanted to make sure not to overfill the food processor with all these ingredients at one time. There was no reason to add any more salt because the beans were already seasoned, and the cheese has a salty bite. I did add some black pepper to each batch, and a sprinkling of Italian parsley for some freshness.

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So this is what the tapenade looks like when it’s finished. I drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top for some more flavor, and to keep it moist until I’m ready to serve it. In the second bowl are just some sweet grape tomatoes that I halved and added a pinch of sugar,  1 tablespoons of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/4 cup of E.V.O.O. I stirred that all together, threw in some fresh chopped basil leaves, and that was it. While the tomatoes were marinating, I toasted off some Ciabatta bread, spread some of the Cannellini bean tapenade on the bread and topped that with those beautiful tomatoes. Try this recipe it is so good, you can’t eat just one.

Cannellini Bean Tapenade With Grape Tomatoes

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Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans

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This recipe is elegant and yet so easy to pull together for entertaining. The picture on the right is the very first time I made this recipe, and it was so delicious, I thought I’d test the recipe out on some guests. I blogged about this promising I would post the recipe once I tested it out, well here it is. I did however make one change and that was to use the pan drippings to make this wonderful sauce to drizzle over the top. Let’s get started.

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So I have 2 beautiful pork tenderloins and I’m going to make the marinate for them. First I start by mincing 5 cloves of garlic. Second I have a 3 inch piece of fresh ginger that I have peeled with a spoon and chopped into a small dice. Now with a large zip lock plastic bag I place the 2 pork tenderloins along with the minced garlic and chopped ginger. To that I add 1 cup of apricot jam, 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce, 1/2 a cup of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. No need to add any salt because of the soy sauce  is taking the place of the salt. Let all the air out of the plastic bag then massage the marinate all over the pork.

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Place the pork into the frig for a minimum of 2 hours, longer if possible is even better. Now to get started on the Cannellini beans. I love to use these beans with this dish because they have a real creamy feel to them and they absorb any flavors you pair with them. So the pan gravy that I’m making for this recipe, that’s drizzled over the pork will seep down onto the beans and just make them heavenly.

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To give the beans some great flavor, I’m using leeks. They have a mild onion flavor so they won’t overpower the beans but compliment them.  All I did was drain and rinse the Cannellini beans to get all the salt off them from being packed in the cans. When your using leeks you just want to cut the top and bottom off, like you see in the top pictures, and because they have so many layers to them, you want to rinse them really good. To get any sand or dirt that may be trapped in them. Once that’s done you just cut them in half lengthwise and slice them up. I’m also going to mince some garlic around 3 cloves, just for some more flavor.

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On med high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil in the pot I add in the leeks. Sprinkle some salt and pepper in the pot and give the leeks a stir. I wait a minute or two just until the leeks start to soften before I add in the garlic.

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Now that the leeks and garlic have softened, I add in 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth. I let that reduce and then turn down the heat to med low and add in the Cannellini beans. I add a little more salt and pepper, then I stir everything together, let them cook for another couple of minutes. That’s it, move them off the heat and put a lid on them so they stay warm while you saute your spinach and roast your pork tenderloin.

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In an  earlier blog I talked about “Everything Sides” and sauteed spinach was one of them. If you want that recipe, which is one I’m going to make with this dish, just take a minute to get that recipe.

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Garlic Sauteed Spinach with a Hint of Spice

Garlic Sauteed Spinach with a Hint of Spice 

I’m preheating the oven to 450 degrees, and I’ve finished sauteing the spinach and have set that aside. It’s time to sear off the pork.

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In the first picture you can see that I have a saute pan on high heat and I have seared off one side of the pork. The second picture shows that I’ve seared off all the sides. Then I place the pan into the 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.

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Now this is what it looks like when it comes out of the oven after the 10 minutes, I take them out of the pan onto a dish that I cover tightly with foil, and let the pork rest for another 10 minutes. This gives me time to make the sauce that  I’m going to drizzle over the top of the tenderloins. You can see all those flavorful bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Well, that’s the good stuff that magically will turn into a yummy sauce. I place the pan over med high heat and add in 1-1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth. With a wooden spoon I scrape all those brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let that bubble for a minute, and in a small bowl I take 1 heaping tablespoon of corn starch with 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth, whisk that together and pour it right into the pan. Keep whisking until the sauce comes back up to a bubble. Turn the heat off, the sauce is done.

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To plate this dish, I lay out all the Cannellini beans on the bottom of a large serving platter. Then around one side I spoon on the sauteed spinach. I carve the pork into 1-1/2 inch thick slices and lay them on top of the beans. Finally I just drizzle that amazing sauce all over the top.

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There you have it. Pork Tenderloin, with an Apricot and Soy Glaze, over a bed of Cannellini Beans

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Let’s Dish, Everything Sides

Garlic Sauteed Spinach with a Hint of Spice

Curry and Ginger  Roasted Oraganic Baby Carrots

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with a Brown Sugar Glaze

Fennel and Tangelo Salad  with a Citrus Vinaigrette

Sides are one of those things that can really compliment the star of the dish your making. They can also echo the flavors you put so thoughtfully into your star ingredient of what you may be serving. I wanted to talk about a few really delicious sides that you can make, and are no trouble to put together, yet still have that wow factor.

Garlic Sauteed Spinach with a Hint of Spice

For my sauteed garlic spinach with a hint of spice, I started out with a large hot saute pan and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. To that I added 3 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes.

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I let that bloom into the oil for a minute, just long enough to where you smell the garlic. To that I added, 1/2 of a 16 ounce bag of one of those pre-washed bags of fresh baby spinach leaves. It may look as though there are too many leaves for the pan, but just add them in batches. They will wilt way down as they start to cook. Once you’ve added as much spinach that can fit, sprinkle some kosher salt and toss with your tongs so that the garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes coat the leaves before adding in more spinach and repeating the same process.

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In the picture above you can see how the first batch of leaves wilted way down. When your finished adding in all the spinach it will look like this. This spinach side dish is so delicious and so good for you.

Garlic Sauteed Spinach with a Hint of Spice

The second side is my Curry and Ginger Roasted Baby Carrots.

This side dish is another very easy one to make. i started out by trimming the tops of the carrots off, but not all the way. I love the rustic look they give to the dish. In a small bowl I mixed 1 tablespoon of a mild curry powder, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Those are the ingredients in the bowl on the right. The other bowl I’ll get to in just a minute.

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On two small baking sheets I lay out the carrots and drizzle some olive oil over all the carrots. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan or the carrots won’t roast properly.

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Then I sprinkle the curry, ginger spice mixture over each of the carrots on both sheet pans. Then I just toss the carrots all together so that they all get good and coated. I roast them off in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Check on them after 15 minutes or so to see if they are fork tender. If they are, then they are done and you can take them out.

Curry and Ginger  Roasted Oraganic Baby Carrots

I just sprinkle them with a little Kosher salt and some freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley. The carrots are naturally sweet, and the spice mixture gives them a unique warm flavor. It’s a roller coaster for you taste buds. This side has even been know to make a great soup.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with a Brown Sugar Glaze

Now this is another side that couldn’t be simpler to make. My Roasted Sweet Potatoes with a Brown Sugar Glaze.

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I just took 2 sweet potatoes, peeled them and cut them into large wedges.

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In the spice bowl on the left I have 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 2 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

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In a baking sheet again, I drizzled the sweet potatoes with olive oil and sprinkled the brown sugar mixture all over. Then again. I just toss them with my hands to get all the potatoes coated. Into a 450 degree oven for around 15-20 minutes. About halfway through the cooking, turn the potatoes over so they get nice and caramelized on the other side as well. Check after the 15 minutes to see if they are fork tender. If they are then they are done and you can take them out. They should be crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Yummy!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with a Brown Sugar Glaze

The last side I want to talk about is my Fennel and Tangelo Salad with a Citrus Vinaigrette. It’s light and the perfect pairing with any kind of fish.

Fennel and Tangelo Salad  with a Citrus Vinaigrette

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Using a mandolin, I shaved  2 fennel bulbs and half of a red onion, I just arranged them onto a plate and then segmented 2 tangelos for the top. I laid the tangelos segments all over the top. I took the juice from the tangelos and made a vinaigrette. In a small bowl I had the leftover juice which came to around 1/4 cup of juice. To that I added 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper. Then I added 1/2 a cup of E.V.O.O. and whisked that together to make the dressing and just spooned a few spoonfuls over the top of the Fennel and Tangelo Salad. Garnished with some chopped fresh parsley and there you have it. That’s it for “Everything Sides”, hope you will try one of these with one of the meals your serving.

Fennel and Tangelo Salad  with a Citrus Vinaigrette

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Chorizo, Potato And Asparagus Quiche

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Quiche has to be one of my most favorite dishes to make. I love the fact you can make them in advance, freeze them and then, bake and serve them whenever you want. I’ll tell you about that a little later, but now I want to tell you how I made two different meals out of the groceries I bought. So I bought 1 package of fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, 1 bunch of fresh asparagus, 1 package of store bought ready diced potatoes, (in the refrigerated section), 8 green onions, and 8 ounces of Manchego cheese. As you read this, you’ll see that I’m cooking off more than I need for one Quiche. Tonight I’m making a chorizo and potato hash. At the same time, I’ll be making a quiche using the same ingredients, with a few extra things out of my frig. I’ll be showing you from the pictures, how much of what you will need to make the quiche.

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So what I’ve done here is just to blanch of the 1 bunch of asparagus in some salted boiling water for a couple of minutes. This is just so I can set the beautiful green color. Then I chopped them up into 1 inch pieces. I’m going to set aside 1 cup of the chopped asparagus for the quiche.

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Next, I just browned off 1 package of the Mexican chorizo on all sides. I add 1/4 cup of chicken broth to the hot pan and put a lid on it for about 10 minutes or so. This is make sure the inside of the sausage was cooked through before going into the quiche. Then I sliced all the sausages up for the chorizo hash and for the quiche. I’m setting aside 1/2 a cup of the slices, but then I’m going to cut them into quarters. The slices are fine for the hash, but they are a little to large for the quiche.

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Now for the potatoes. I put 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, into a large saute pan. Once that’s melted and hot I threw in the 8 green onions that I sliced, using some of the green parts as well. After the onions started to soften I add the 1 package of diced potatoes. I let them cook over med high heat for around 5-7 minutes. I want the potatoes to get nice and crispy on the outside, so you don’t want to fuss with them. Once you’ve stirred the potatoes with the onions and butter let them be so they get that nice brown crunchy exterior.  After the potatoes have cooked I set aside, 1/2 a cup for the quiche. Now for the Manchego cheese. On my box grater, using the large grate size I grated up all the cheese, but I’m only using 1-1/2 cups for the quiche. I also grated a little Pecorino cheese for the top.

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Moving on to the crust. In my earlier bog, “Conquering The Crust” I talked about how to make your own crust, but again, you could always buy a ready made crust, but I had some extra dough in the frig so I went ahead and rolled it out for this dish. I docked the bottom of the pie crust and blind baked the crust in a 400 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes. This way the crust on the bottom of the pie wouldn’t have that uncooked taste to it. I took the pie crust out of the oven and let it cool so there wouldn’t be any chance of scrambling the eggs that are in the custard filling. Now for what’s going to make this quiche all come together. The custard filling.

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So in a large bowl I added 1/4 teaspoon of dried mustard, 2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes, 1/2 a teaspoon of Kosher salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. To that I added 3 large eggs, 1 cup of whole milk, and 1/4 cup of farmer’s cheese ( this cheese is totally optional). I whisked all that together util smooth. Now I take 1-1/2 cups of the Manchego cheese and mix it with 4 teaspoons of all-purpose flour and then spread it out in the bottom of the pie shell. On top of the cheese I added the mixture of the choizo that I quartered, potatoes with the green onions, and the asparagus. To this, I  then poured the custard mixture. Be careful to do this slowly, you don’t want to overfill the pie. Just add enough of the custard to cover the filling mixture you already have in the pie shell. You want everything just reach, where the pie shell meets the rim of the pie crust edge begins. Am I making sense here. Let me show you.

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See here in this picture, I only added enough of the custard filling so it won’t spill over before it starts to set in the cooking process. Remember the pecorino cheese that I grated, well I sprinkled some of that on the top of the quiche. I also added a protector for the crust ( you can use foil to wrap around the crust to use as a protector), so there is no chance of it burning. This quiche will bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until filling has set. Keep your eye on it after 30 minutes and check to see if filling has set. If not let it go for another 10 minutes.

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After the quiche comes out of the oven, let it cool completely. Place a piece of plastic wrap large enough to overlap the sides over the top of the quiche. Then place a piece of foil, and seal well around the edges. The plastic will keep the foil from sticking to the quiche. Place the prepared quiche in the freezer until your ready to bake it off.  When your ready to bake the quiche, preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 60 minutes, and don’t forget to place a crust protector around the edges.

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