Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta

2020-08-18 18.44.04

2020-08-19 07.40.11-1

Orecchiette from the Italian orecchia, meaning ‘ear’ and -etta, meaning ‘small’ is a pasta typical of Apulia, a region of Southern Italy. their names comes from their shape which resembles a small ear.

“My Lemon Ricotta Pasta can be done and on the table in under 30 minutes. Perfect for weeknights or to serve when entertaining. Quick and easy using a few simple ingredients. Let’s get started.

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Olive Oil

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Starchy Pasta Cooking Liquid

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 1 (4-quart) sauce pot, hand-held juicer, Microplane, hand-held lemon zester, chef’s knife

Note: First, zest the lemons and use a lemon zester for the thin peels. Set aside.

Ingredients:
1 (16-ounce) box of Orecchiette
2 cups of good ricotta cheese, double cream (substitute whole milk)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 cup of starchy pasta cooking liquid
4 lemons, 1 juiced, 3 zested, plus the fine curly peels of 1 lemon for garnish
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Pecorino-Romano cheese, freshly grated

Note: I’m only using 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt in the lemon ricotta cream sauce because Pecorino-Romano cheese is a bit saltier than let’s say Parmesan, and you don’t want the dish to be too salty, plus I added salt to the pasta water so the pasta is already good and seasoned.

Directions:
In a large saucepot of boiling salted water, drop the pasta. Give a good stir and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 12 minutes. After 8 minutes test for doneness. The pasta should be al dente.

In another saucepot over medium-low heat add olive oil, grated garlic, lemon juice, the zest of 1 lemon, and red pepper flakes, stir to combine. Cook until the garlic is fragrant 1 to 2 minutes. Add ricotta cheese and 1/2 a cup (add another 1/2 cup if needed to achieve a smooth creamy consistency) of the hot starchy pasta cooking liquid. Add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley. Stir to combine.

Using a large slotted spoon, transfer pasta into the sauce. Add another 2 tablespoons of lemon zest, and the remaining Italian flat-leaf parsley. Stir to combine.

Ladle a good helping of the pasta into a porcelain serving bowl. Top with freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese. Garnish with a few thin ribbons of lemon peel and lemon slices. Serve immediately. There you have it my Lemon Ricotta Pasta.

 

 

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Pork Souvlaki With Tzatziki Sauce

2019-06-09 09.04.58

2019-06-09 08.57.57

The word Souvlaki simply means, “meat on skewers”. Greeks also use it to describe an actual meal, loaded with perfectly grilled meat, and topped with Tzatziki sauce. Souvlaki is street-food and is super delicious. Usually made with chicken, today I’m doing it using pork, pork tenderloin to be specific. This is my Pork Souvlaki With Tzatziki Sauce.

I’m starting with the Tzatziki sauce. The most important trick to making Tzatziki Sauce is to thoroughly drain the gated cucumber before mixing it into the yogurt.

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mint

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Hot House Cucumber

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E.V.O.O.

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Marinating the pork for Souvlaki.

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Tzatziki Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: overnight (8 to 12 hours)
Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, medium-size bowl with a tight-fitting lid, box grater, vegetable peeler, mesh sieve, cheesecloth, chef’s knife, hand-held juicer, Microplane

Pork Souvlaki
Prep Time: 30 minutes (time includes skewering the pork)
Inactive Prep Time: overnight (8 to 12 hours)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 40 minutes
Yields: 10 to 12 skewers
Equipment: indoor grill pan, large bowl with a tight-fitting lid, whisk, wooden skewers, metal tongs, chef’s knife, hand-held juicer, 2 sheets of cheesecloth

Tip: Drain the yogurt the night before.

Ingredients For Tzatziki Sauce: 
1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt, full-fat
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 large (10-ounce) hothouse (English cucumber) peeled, grated using large holes on a box grater, and drained
2 tablespoons of *e.v.o.o.
2 tablespoons of fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, freshly grated
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 sprig of fresh mint for garnish
1 sprig of fresh dill for garnish

Directions For the Tzatziki Sauce:
Start by lining a mesh sieve with cheesecloth. Make sure the cheesecloth is large enough to cover the yogurt completely. Place over a large mixing bowl. Cover the yogurt completely with the cheesecloth. Place a heavy bowl on top to help the yogurt to drain. The next day unwrap the yogurt and transfer it to a medium-size mixing bowl with a tight-fitting lid and place back into the refrigerator.

Wash and dry the bowl and mesh sieve.

Using the same mesh sieve, lined with another piece of cheesecloth add the grated cucumber and 1/2 teaspoon of  Kosher salt. Tightly twist up in the cheesecloth and squeeze gently with your hands removing as much of the excess moisture as possible. Untwist the cheesecloth, set it carefully back into the mesh sieve. Place the mesh sieve over a bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes to continue draining.

Remove the yogurt from the refrigerator. Remove the lid. To the yogurt add ground cumin, olive oil, herbs, lemon juice, grated garlic, Kosher salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. At this point taste for seasoning if needed. Place the lid on, transfer back to the refrigerator to chill.  Spoon the Tzatziki to a serving nice serving bowl. Garnish with fresh dill and mint right before serving.

Tip: Soak skewers for 1 hour before using.

Ingredients For Pork Souvlaki:
1 (2-pound) pork tenderloin, silver skin removed, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt, full-fat
1 1/2 tablespoons of ground cumin
8 cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, juiced
2 fresh bay leaves (substitute dried)

Garnishes: 
3 lemons, halved and grilled
8 sprigs of fresh oregano
mixed organic greens (as a bed for the platter)
sweet and tangy pepper drops, optional

Side Options: Links for recipes are below.
Greek Village Salad with Grilled Ciabatta or grilled pita bread
Roasted Greek Potatoes
Blackberry Cornbread Cake

Directions For Pork Souvlaki:
Prepare the marinade. In a large mixing bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, grated garlic, Greek yogurt, ground cumin, dried oregano, dried rosemary,  sweet paprika, bay leaves, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine.

Add the pork to the marinade. Toss to combine making sure all the pork is well-coated with the marinade. Cover with lid (or tightly using plastic wrap) and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours and/or overnight.

When ready, thread marinated pork pieces through the prepared skewers.

Preheat the grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the flesh side of each lemon with a little oil. Place the lemon halves onto the grill. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes or until you get nice charred grill marks. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.

Once again, prepare the indoor grill pan. Brush with a little oil and heat over medium-high heat. Place pork skewers on the grill pan (in batches). Grill until well browned and internal temperature reads 150-degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer. Be sure to turn skewers evenly to cook on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Adjust the temperature of the grill pan if necessary.  Repeat this process for the second batch. Allow the pork skewers to rest for 5 minutes. Discard any leftover marinade.

Transfer and arrange the pork skewers to a large serving platter lined with organic mixed greens. Garnish with fresh sprigs of oregano, grilled lemons, and sweet and tangy pepper drops.

Serve Pork Souvlakia with aside of chilled Tzatziki Sauce.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

Blackberry Cornbread Cake With Maple Whipped Cream

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes (Lemoni Patatas)

Greek Village Salad

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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. To make it extra special and served family-style is my Garlic And Fennel Bone-In Pork Loin along with my Garlic Roasted Potatoes With Sautéed Peppers and Lemon Pepper Asparagus. 

I’ve posted links, for both, my other two recipes, they’re available at the end of this post.

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Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin (21)

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Cesar Dressing

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Cesar Dressing

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Olive Oil

Dijon Mustard

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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 gravy boat.

There you have it my Fennel And Garlic Bone-In Pork Loin.

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

Garlic Roasted Potatoes With Sauteed Peppers

Sautéed Asparagus With Lemon Pepper

 

 

 

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