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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (23)

This was a special Easter for Steve and me, it was our 10th one together. I wanted to make it extra special so I made my Garlic And Fennel Bone-In Pork Loin. Served Family-style with my Garlic Roasted Potatoes With Sautéed Peppers and Lemon Pepper Asparagus. 

I’ve made links to my other two recipes available at the bottom of this post.

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (24)

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (21)

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (25)

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (1)

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (10)

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Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (15)

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (16)

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (24)

Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (1)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings (@ 2 chops per person)
Equipment: Roasting pan with a rack, food processor, plastic meat cutting board, Chef’s knife, whisk, large glass measuring cup

Ingredients:
1 5-pound bone-in pork loin, bones French cut
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup of rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons of lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons of Creamy Caesar dressing
1 heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients For Pan Gravy:
1/4 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of the pan drippings
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Note: Pork loin needs to be at room temperature. Allow the meat to sit out for 30 minutes before cooking.

Place the pork, fat side up, in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it comfortably. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the garlic, rosemary, and fennel seeds until roughly chopped. Add the Caesar dressing, olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper until it becomes a smooth paste. Transfer the mixture to a small mixing bowl, add the lemon zest, mix to combine.

Rub the mixture all over the top of the pork and roast for 1 to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is between 140 and 145-degrees F. Remove from the oven, transfer to a meat-safe cutting board and cover tightly with foil. Allow the pork to rest for 30 minutes. Slice between the bones and serve immediately.

While the pork is resting start the pan gravy.
Carefully pour the hot liquid from the roasting pan through a mesh sieve into a measuring cup. This will allow you to see how many pans dripping liquid you have.

Place the roasting pan on top of the stove on medium-high heat. Add the butter and allow to melt. Once the butter’s melted, add the flour, whisk to combine until a smooth paste (*roux) forms and is blond in color. Still whisking slowly add the pan drippings and chicken broth, bring to a simmer. Continue to whisk, the *roux will cause the gravy to thicken. Add the parsley, stir to combine. Transfer the gravy to a large glass measuring cup.

*Roux is a 1:2 ratio of fat to all-purpose flour.

 

Garlic Roasted Potatoes With Sauteed Peppers

 

Lemon Pepper Asparagus

 

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Provencal Style Grouper

Provencal Style Grouper (1)

Provencal Style Grouper (2)

A dish known for its flavors from Provence, France.  Lavender fields, and medieval hilltop villages, the southeastern region of Provence stretches from the Rhône in the west to the Italian border.

This sauce with its colorful and bright flavors enhances the succulent taste of the grouper. Grouper should not be overcooked. The fish should be tender and using a fork should flake apart easily.

I’m using asparagus in this recipe, so I need to blanch the asparagus stalks first. I want them to remain vibrant green in color.

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Provencal Style Grouper (1)

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes, including blanching asparagus
Total Cook Time: 1 hour
Equipment: 12″ saute pan, large casserole dish

Directions for blanching asparagus:
First, you want to rinse, under cold water, the stalks off to remove any dirt that may be attached. Take one of the stalks hold it towards the bottom third of the stalk , then bend the stalk.  This part of the asparagus is the woody end and very fibrous. The stalk will break naturally where the tender part ends and the tough part begins. Have a pot of 6 cups of boiling salted water and a large bowl filled with ice and water on stand-by. Place the stalks into the boiling water and let them cook for 2-3 minutes. Using a pair of tongs remove the asparagus from the hot water and place them immediately into the ice bath. Toss around in the ice water for a minute. This process is called “shocking”. You’re stopping the cooking process. Drain well and transfer to a plate. Next, cut, on the bias, the stalks into 2 inch pieces.

Ingredients For Fish:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4- 8 ounce center cut skinless grouper fillets, 2 pounds
3 tablespoons olive oil, to be used on fillets
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions For Searing Grouper:
Let fish rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes ( utilize this time for prep). Once fish reaches room temperature, prep the fish with olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper.
Note: A cast iron skillet or a large non-stick saute pan work best for searing fish.

Preheat a large, cast iron skillet, or a non-stick saute pan on medium high heat. Carefully tilt pan off the heat to add the olive oil,  swish the oil around in the pan, then back onto the heat. You may see the pan start smoking, that’s what you want. Next, carefully place the grouper fillets into the pan, presentation side down. Jiggle the pan immediately so fish does not stick. Do not touch the fillets for about 3 minutes. The fillets will release from the pan easily, once they’ve browned on that side. If you believe they’re ready to flip, using a spatula, pick up one corner of the filet and see if it’s not sticking and looks golden brown. Turn the fillets over and sear the other side for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Transfer the fillets to a plate until sauce is ready to be transferred to the casserole dish.

Ingredients For Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped fennel, (1 bulb}
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic ( 3 cloves)
1-28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons good dry white wine
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)
1/4 cup fennel fronds for garnish
2 lemons sliced for garnish
4- 8 ounce (1 inch-thick) grouper fillets ( 2 pounds)

Directions For Sauce:
For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large (12 inch) saute pan. Add the onions, fennel, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft.

Place the tomatoes and their juices in a large bowl. Take a knife and slice through the tomatoes until they’re large bite-size pieces. Add the tomatoes to the sauce, then the chicken stock, white wine, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add the chopped basil and caper and cook for 1 minute.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the sauce to casserole dish. Lay the seared grouper fillets on top of the sauce and bake for about 15 minutes. To judge if your fish is fully cooked (because oven temperatures may vary and so might the thickness of the fillets), make a small cut with a paring knife to see if the flesh has turned from translucent to opaque. Finally, lay lemon slices, the reserved chopped basil, and fennel fronds over the top.

Place a puddle of the sauce onto a plate, place a filet on top, and garnish with basil, lemon, and fennel fronds.

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Fennel Slaw

Photo Mar 31, 11 03 20 AM (1)

Fennel slaw has to be one of our favorite side dishes. The key to a great salad is to have a lot of different colors and textures.

Food Mandoline Slicer

The Mandolin Food Slicer is one of the best kitchen gadgets ever! The Mandolin slices veggies and potatoes paper thin. It’s just wonderful.

Fennel bulb

This is a Fennel bulb. It’s so delicious! Slightly sweet, crunchy with an Anise or Liquorice flavor. It can be eaten raw, roasted, in soup, stews, or pureed. Adding Fennel to slaw add depth of flavor. I always save the green leafy fronds for garnish and added color.

Photo Mar 31, 11 03 20 AMPhoto Mar 31, 11 03 20 AM (2)

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
1 head green cabbage, cored and sliced (using Mandolin)
1 Fennel bulb, cored and sliced  (using Mandolin)
1/2 cup of store bought shredded carrots
1/2 a large red onion sliced (using Mandolin)
1/2 cup of raisins
2 tablespoons of finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
2 tablespoons of chopped Fennel fronds

Dressing For Slaw:
3/4 cup of good mayonnaise
1/4 cup of milk
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar ( if you like a slightly more tart flavor add more vinegar)
2 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of celery seed
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Directions:
Add sliced cabbage,  sliced fennel, sliced red onion, shredded carrots, fennel fronds, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, and raisins into a large bowl.

In a second bowl add the mayo, milk, apple cider vinegar, celery seed, agave nectar, granulated sugar, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Whisk all those ingredients together.

Everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to Cole Slaw.  You may like your slaw either on the vinegary side or a sweeter side. Taste to make any adjustments to the level of sweetness (sugar) or tartness (vinegar).

Pour the dressing over the fennel slaw mixture and toss through. Place in the frig and serve chilled.

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A Ladies Luncheon At Lynn’s Home

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My very good friend Lynn asked me if I would have a cooking class/ luncheon at her home. Without hesitation, I said yes! Her home is located in the Historic district of Orlando. This was the perfect place for Lynn and her friends, Marian, Jean, Diane, Gloria, and Sandy to spend some quality time together. I thought it would be a great idea to put a menu together. Show the girls some tips, and cooking techniques that they could take home and use when they’re cooking for their families.

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Earlier in the week, Lynn and I met to iron out all the details. We came up with a plan and set it in motion. Gifts for the girls, a tablescape that would compliment the Italian theme, and then, of course, the menu. The day before the luncheon, I went shopping and found some great seasonal ingredients at the local farmers market in town. I wanted the centerpiece for the table to also echo a few of the ingredients I was using. A large rustic bowl filled with pink grapefruits, lemons, fennel fronds, and fresh bay leaves.

Menu:
Peach Bellinis
Cheese Board, Parmesan, Parmigiano- Reggiano, and Grana Padano
Fennel Salad With Grapefruit, Red Onion and Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese garnished with edible flowers
Kale And White Bean Soup
Homemade croutons
Eton Mess By Way Of Italy (menu category -desserts)
Peach And Fresh Mint Iced Tea

I set up a small cheese board filled with shards of different types of Parmesan cheeses. The saltiness of the cheeses paired really well with the cocktail I made. I chose to serve Peach Bellinis  Fresh peach puree mixed with Prosecco sparkling wine, garnished with a strawberry. A traditional cocktail that originated in Venice, Italy.

I went through the steps for each course step by step. The ladies were taking notes which made me feel pretty special. They asked great questions and I think they went away realizing that when you use fresh and seasonal ingredients, cooking can be fun as well as delicious. I want to say that these were some of the sweetest ladies and I hope that we’ll be able to get together again in the near future. Lynn, I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity to help you with this amazing luncheon.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 to 40 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 2 6-quart Dutch ovens with lids

Recipe For Kale And Cannellini Bean Soup:
Know as Beans And Greens Soup
All ingredients divided evenly into two 6 quart heavy bottom pots

2 bunches of fresh kale, stems and center rib removed coarsely chopped
4 15-ounce cans of white Cannellini beans -drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 stalks of celery diced halved and coarsely chopped
2 large onions coarsely chopped
8 carrots peeled and 1/2 inch diced
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 teaspoons of grated fresh nutmeg
2 Fresno chilis seeded and minced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 quarts of unsalted chicken stock
8 cups of water (amount of water may vary slightly)
2 2-inch pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt (1 tablespoon per pot)
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper (1/2 teaspoon per pot)
2 fresh bay leaves ( dried are fine)
2 teaspoons of freshly chopped rosemary leaves
grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
*E.V.O.O drizzle (drizzle on top as a finish to the soup)
Accompaniment: homemade croutons

Note: smoked sausage is an option to add to this soup (slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick pieces)

Directions:
Turn the burners to medium-high heat allowing the two heavy bottom pot to heat up. Remember that all the ingredients will be evenly divided into the two pots. Once the pots have come up to temperature, adjust the temperature to medium. Add in the olive oil, diced onions, minced Fresno chili, celery, diced carrots, and tomato paste. Stir all the ingredients together cook until vegetables start to soften, around 10 minutes. Make sure to season as you go by adding Kosher salt, black pepper to taste.

Add the minced garlic, bay leaves, and freshly chopped rosemary leaves continue to stir. About 3 to 5 minutes in, add in the unsalted chicken stock, cheese rinds. Slowly add in the half of the chopped kale leaves to each pot. Using a spoon, start to submerge the leaves into the liquid. Next, slowly add in the water and the rest of the chopped kale. This is the point is where you’ll be able to see if you have enough liquid, (refer to the pictures above) allowing 3 inches of space at the top of each pot.

The kale will wilt as it cooks, and most of the ingredients will also release their water. Not to worry, (cooking soup uncovered) as the soup comes up to a boil, water will also evaporate as the soup cooks. Now, the drained Cannellini beans. Next, it’s time to add the 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and the freshly grated nutmeg to each pot. Stir all the ingredients together. Bring the soup up to a boil, reduce the temperature and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until the kale and carrots are tender. Once finished, cover the soup pots until ready to serve.

Serve in porcelain bowls with grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, and a drizzle of good *E.V.O.O.

The dessert you see in the pictures above, “Eton Mess By Way Of Italy”  and “Homemade Croutons” recipes can be found by clicking on the links below.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

 

Eton Mess By Way Of Italy

 

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

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