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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrette

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I used to think there was no way I could ever make my own dressing. I learned that’s so not true. Watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks taught me how easy to make your own vinaigrette. I thought I’d share my three favorites with you, Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrette.

I mix all the ingredients for the Balsamic and the Lemon, right in their own 8-ounce jelly jar. The Cilantro-Lime takes an additional step of first processing the cilantro leaves. It’s simpler, for this vinaigrette, to be made in the food processor and then transferred to a jelly jar.

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Agave nectar, honey, or granulated sugar are a few of the sweeteners you can use when making your own vinaigrettes.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields 8 to 10 ounces of vinaigrette
Equipment: Food processor, blender, or an immersion blender, four 8-ounce jelly jars, small bowl

Ingredients For Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Yields: 8 ounces
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard (substitute spicy mustard)
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar (substitute honey)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup of good balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
Yields:
10 ounces of vinaigrette
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon of garlic, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of shallots, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of Agave nectar (substitute granulated sugar)
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
1 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Ingredients For Lemon Vinaigrette:
Yields: 8 ounces of the vinaigrette
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice ( 3 juicy lemons)
2 tablespoons of shallot, minced ( optional)
1 tablespoon of garlic, freshly grated (optional)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.

Directions For Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette:
Start by placing cilantro leaves into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add 2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O. (the remaining olive oil will be added through the feeding tube) and pulse the leaves until they’re finely minced. Remove the processed cilantro and transfer to a small bowl. Back in the food processor add the ginger, garlic, shallots, fresh lime juice, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, Agave nectar, and low sodium soy sauce. Pulse all the ingredients just enough to combine everything.

Once combined, add the processed cilantro leaves back into the food processor. Place the lid and feeding tube on. Turn the processor to the ON position and slowly add the remaining *E.V.O.O. through the feeding tube until combined. Remove the lid, add the red wine vinegar and using a spatula, stir once. This recipe yields 10 ounces of vinaigrette so you’ll need 2 jars. Transfer the vinaigrette to the jars, place the lids on tight and give a good couple of shakes to combine everything.

Directions For The  Balsamic And Lemon Vinaigrette:
Add all the ingredients for both of the vinaigrettes into their 8-ounce jelly jars. Finish with the *E.V.O.O. Place the lids tightly on the jars and shake really well.

Notes:
1). I prefer my vinaigrette to be one part acid to two parts oil.
2). Place the dressing in the bottom of the bowl first. Right before serving the salad, add the lettuce/greens, toss to coat.
3). It’s important to wash and then dry the leaves really well so the dressing will adhere to the leaves.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach

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This recipe is elegant and yet so easy to pull together for entertaining. The above pictures are ones I took the very first time I made my Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin On A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach and boy it was delicious. I thought I’d test the recipe out on a few friends and get their opinion. It was definitely a winning dish. I did, however, make one change and that was to use the pan drippings to make this wonderful sauce to drizzle over the top.

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Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: minimum of 2 hours
Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 4- quart Dutch oven, 1 gallon-size zip-lock baggie, 12-inch sauté pan, Chef’s knife

Ingredients For Marinade:
2 pork tenderloins
1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, small dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Ingredients For Cannellini Beans:
3 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced into half-moons
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted chicken broth

Ingredients For Gravy.
1 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth, plus 2 tablespoons
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

Ingredients And Directions For Sautéed Spinach With Garlic:
Refer to the link below, doubling the recipe for this dish.

Directions:
Place the 2 pork tenderloins along with minced garlic and chopped ginger into the zip-lock bag. In a medium-size bowl add apricot jam, low sodium soy sauce, olive oil, and crushed red pepper flakes, whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the baggie. Let as much of the air out of the bag as possible, then zip it closed. Massage the marinade all over the pork. Place the pork into the frig for a minimum of 2 hours, longer is even better.

Now to get started on the Cannellini beans. I love to use Cannellini beans for this dish because they have a really creamy feel to them and they absorb flavors really well.

When you’re dealing with leeks you just want to use the white and light green parts of the leek. Cut the top (the dark green leaves) and bottom (the root), like you see in the top pictures. Leeks have so many layers to them, you want to rinse them really good and get any sand or dirt that may be trapped between the layers. Once that’s done, cut them in half lengthwise and slice into thin half-moons.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat add  1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, the sliced leeks, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Sauté the leeks for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Next, add the minced garlic, stir through, cooking for 1 minute more. Add unsalted chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low then add in the Cannellini beans. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, place the lid on to keep warm.

At this point, you’d want to start the spinach for this dish. For my recipe, Sautéed Spinach With Garlic, click the link at the bottom of this post.

Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Using a pair of tongs remove the marinated pork tenderloins from the baggie, (be sure to scrape off any ginger or garlic stuck on the pork, allowing as much of the excess marinade drip back into the baggie) placing them into the hot pan. Sear the pork for 3 minutes on each side. Place the pan into the oven and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Next, transfer the pork tenderloins to a large plate and cover tightly with foil. Place the pan over medium-high heat and add unsalted chicken broth. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let bubble for 1 to 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, add 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of unsalted chicken broth, whisk together until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and continue whisking until the sauce comes back up to a bubble and begins to thicken, around 2 minutes. Turn the heat off, the sauce is done.

To plate this dish, I lay out all those delicious Cannellini beans on the bottom of a large serving platter. Then around one side, I spoon on the Sautéed Spinach With Garlic. 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.

There you have it, my Apricot And Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin Over A Bed Of Cannellini Beans With Sautéed Spinach.

 

Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

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Asian-Style Sticky Wings

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Wings are my “go-to” for any type of getting together. There are so many different ways you can prepare them. These Asian-Style Sticky Wings are my favorite. Let’s start with the fresh produce I bought from the farmers’ market.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, whisk, three 1/2-size sheet pans with racks, aluminum foil, tongs, plastic wrap, 3-quart saucepot

Ingredients:
3 packages of chicken wings (approx. 2 1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons of Five-Spice powder
2 tablespoons of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of onions powder
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of soy sauce, low sodium
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
3/4 cup of light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons of honey, organic
1/2 cup of roasted salted peanuts,  roughly chopped (optional)
1/4 cup of green onions, thinly sliced on the bias

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
For the marinade, start with a large mixing bowl, add Five-Spice powder, ground cumin, sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and vegetable oil, whisk to combine.

Transfer all the wing into the mixing bowl and toss with the marinade making sure all the wings are well coated. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the sicky sauce, start by adding the low sodium soy sauce into a saucepot. Next, add the garlic, ginger, Fresno chili, light brown sugar, and honey, whisk to combine. Turn the heat to medium-high until the sauce comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium, stirring occasionally, simmer until it reduces by a little more than half about 20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering remove the marinaded wing from the frig. On a rimmed baking sheet pans covered in foil with a wire rack in place, using a pair of tongs, arrange all the wings onto the rack and allow all the excess marinade to drip off the wings.

After the excess wet rub has dripped off of the wings, arrange the wings on 2 similar sheet pans also covered in foil with racks spreading the wings out where they do not touch each other. This will allow the heat from the oven can flow all around the wings and they will cook evenly.

Tip: For this next step, keep the oven door slightly ajar during the broiling process. Keep a close eye on the wings so they don’t burn from the sugars in the marinade.

Bake the wings for 35 minutes turning the wings over halfway through. Switch the oven to the broil setting. Broil for 5 minutes getting a good caramelization on the outside. Flip them over and broil for another 5 minutes.

Once the wings come out of the oven,  transfer them into a large mixing bowl and pour that wonderful sweet and spicy sticky sauce all over the wings. Using a pair of tongs, toss until all the wings get completely coated.

Arrange all the Asian-Style Sticky Wings onto a large serving platter. Garnish with chopped peanuts and thinly sliced green onions. These wings are sweet from the brown sugar, slightly salty from the soy sauce, sticky from the honey, and spicy from the Fresno chili. I promise you won’t be able to each just one.

 

 

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