Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Steak Italiano With Roasted Potatoes

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This is a dish that I came up with in my early years of motherhood. I was always playing around in the kitchen with different ingredients and flavors. Using everything I learned from my mother and grandmother, who helped me with having a grasp the importance of technique when your learning to cook. Having learned those basic methods, helped me to come into my own style of cooking.

This #recipe for my Steak Italiano With Roasted Potatoes combines the influences from both sides of my family. This recipe is so easy, flavorful, and really doesn’t take very long to make. Let me tell you how I did it.

Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Oregano

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) cast-iron skillet, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of canola oil (2 tablespoons for the Sofrito0
1 onion cut into chunks
2 large leafy-top carrots, 1-inch chunks
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Italian flat-leaf parsley
3/4 of a cup of chicken stock, unsalted

IngredientsFor Steaks:
2 tablespoons of Canola oil
3 (5-ounce) Top Sirloin fillets
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder

Ingredients For Potatoes:
1 (2 1/2 pound) bag of small-size multi-colored Yukon potatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

First, start with the *sofrito for the steaks. In a food processor add diced onion, whole garlic, carrots, a can of diced tomatoes, Italian flat-leaf parsley, fresh oregano leaves, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Pulse the ingredients, for the Sofrito, until it’s the consistency of a Cantina style salsa. Pour the sauce into a bowl and set it aside.

Place the halved potatoes on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, Kosher salt, and black pepper. With your hands toss the potatoes so they’re all coated with the oil and seasonings. Roast the potatoes for 35 to 40 minutes until golden on the outside, and fork-tender on the inside. After they come out of the oven, sprinkle fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley. Now while the potatoes are roasting in the oven start on the steaks.

Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Tip: Turn the overhead fan on.

Drizzle the steaks on both sides with Canola oil. Season both sides with Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder. Using a pair of tongs, place the steaks into the skillet. You’ll hear that sound when something hits a very hot skillet, and that’s what you want to hear.

You just want to sear the steaks on both sides to get a nice crust. This process only takes 2 to 3 minutes per side. When you see that deep brown color on both sides, turn the heat off, transfer to a plate. Set aside.

In the same skillet, over medium heat, add Canola oil, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, and tomato paste. Stir those around allowing those to bloom in the oil for a minute. This technique will bring out the essential oil in the herb and melt the tomato paste intensifying the flavors.

Next, add in unsalted chicken broth, using the back of a wooden spoon scrape, all the bits from the steak off the bottom of the skillet. Add the Sofrito, letting it come to a bubble up then reduce the heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally cook the sauce, giving all the ingredients a chance to soften and all the flavors marry around 5 to 7 minutes.

Using a pair of tongs, nestle the steaks in the sauce. Let simmer on medium-low heat turning the steaks every few minutes. For medium-rare, this takes around 15 to 20 minutes. If you like your steaks more done then leave them simmering in the sauce for maybe 30 to 35 minutes.

By the time the steaks are done, the potatoes will be just about ready to come out of the oven. This technique of braising of the steaks in the sauce keeps the steaks tender and moist. That’s all there is to it. I think that once you try having steak this way, you’ll definitely want to make this dish again.

To serve, slice the steak and place it onto the serving plate. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the steak. A helping of those delicious roasted potatoes, and a piece of crusty bread for dipping.

Sofrito: Sofrito is a sauce used as a base in Latin American, Spanish, Italian, and P Portuguese cooking. Preparations may vary, but it typically consists of aromatic ingredients cut into small pieces and sautéed or braised in cooking oil.

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Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin

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This dish comes to me from a recipe I saw on a cooking show, Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin. I do love pork of any kind, but this particular cut is perfect to stuff with a variety of ingredients any of which is up to you. Two reasons I say this, one, is because of the finished dish, and two, and even better is, it can be made ahead of time.

I’m making a few changes of my own and I’ll tell you about those in a minute. Let me start with the filling that’s going to go into the center of my pork loin.

Onions

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Onions (2)

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Olive Oil

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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thyme (2)

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If there is extra filling and you’re not sure how to prepare the fennel and onion mixture that’s leftover. Place the extra filling in a small oven-safe baking dish. Top with a little more of the Panko and grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese. Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and bake at 375-degrees F. for 20 minutes. Place the leftover filling in the oven during the final 20 minutes of cooking time for the stuffed pork loin.

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Red Onion

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Now when I went to my grocery store and found this beautiful cut of pork loin, I spoke to the butcher at my local grocery store and had him/her butterfly this one for me. Of course, you can do this yourself but why? If the butcher will do it for you, I say go right ahead! 

I also made some cheesy, buttery French bread to go alongside. Everyone loves bread!

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Yields 4 servings:
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans aluminum foil, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, 1 (3-quart) sauce pot, mixing bowl, mini food processor, 1 instant-read thermometer

Ingredients For Filling:
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Pernod (substitute white wine)

Ingredients:
1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, butterflied
1 red onion, quartered
4 large red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, unsalted
butcher’s twine
3 tablespoons of Kosher salt (2 for the pork, 1 for potatoes)
3 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper (2 for the pork, 1 for potatoes)
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Ingredients For Gravy:
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
3 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
2 dashes of  Kitchen Bouquet browning seasoning sauce
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients For Bread:
1 loaf of French baguette bread
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted and room temperature
3 tablespoons of good mayonnaise
1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions For Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.

For the filling heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter in a large sautépan. Add the onions and fennel with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the onions and fennel are tender and lightly browned add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and thyme and cook for 1 minute more. Add the Pernod to deglaze the pan, by using the back of a wooden spoon to scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Once the fennel and onion mixture has cooled add the breadcrumbs, stir to combine.  Lay the pork on a board fat side down, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Spread the stuffing evenly on the pork and roll up lengthwise, ending with the fat on top of the roll. Tie the pork loin up using 5 pieces of kitchen twine, rub with olive oil and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper all over the outside of the pork loin.

Now at this point, you can put the stuffed pork loin into the frig wrapped really well in plastic wrap the night before or even 2 days before. You don’t want season the outside of the pork loin until it’s ready to go into the oven. The onions and potatoes are only to be prepped right before they’re ready for the oven.

On a rimmed baking sheet, lay out the quartered potatoes and onions in one even layer. Add the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspooon of fresh ground black pepper, toss to coat. Pour 1 1/2 cups chicken stock into the bottom of the sheet pan to prevent the potatoes from burning or sticking. This liquid will eventually evaporate during the cooking process.

Place the rolled pork loin on top of the potatoes. Roast for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 350-degrees F. roast for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 137-degrees F. Note: If the thermometer hits the stuffing it will read at a higher temperature, test the meat in a few different places. Remove from the oven, cover tightly with foil.

Turn the oven up to 450 degrees F. Once preheated, return the potatoes to the oven for another 20 minutes while the pork is resting. The onions will be sweet and tender, and potatoes will be golden brown on the outside and fork tender on the inside. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Allow the pork loin to rest for 20 minutes.

I like to serve this dish family style with the Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin and my roasted potatoes on a large platter then drizzled with light brown gravy.

Directions For Bread:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
In a mixing bowl add the butter, mayonnaise, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Kosher salt, and black pepper, mix to combine. Slice the French bread in half then again lengthwise. Slather the butter mixture on both halves of the bread. Place the tops on, wrap tightly in foil. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and slice. Serve hot.

Direction For Gravy:
In a saucepot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until the raw flour is cooked, paste-like, and golden blonde in color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, Kitchen Bouquet, dried thyme, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Switch to a wooden spoon, adjust the heat to medium-high, bring up to a boil stirring continuously, until gravy thickens. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes.

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Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes

Roasting intensifies the flavor of any vegetable. Tomatoes are no exception. My Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes will taste like candy as their natural sweetness bursts through, I promise. Low and slow is key.

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Olive Oil

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Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil

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Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, chef’s knife, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
8 to 10 Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
2 heaping tablespoons of garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped *chiffonade-style

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.

Start by slicing all the Roma tomatoes in half. Next, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Transfer the tomatoes into a large mixing bowl. Add Kosher salt, granulated sugar, fresh ground black pepper, and minced garlic, toss to combine.

Arrange the tomatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet pan in a single layer.

Set the pan on the center rack of the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes. Transfer the Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes to a large serving platter. Shower all the tomatoes with the *chiffonade-style chopped basil.

Serve room temperature.

*Chiffonade-style: is a slicing technique in which leafy green vegetables such as spinach, sorrel, or Swiss chard, or flat-leaved herbs like basil, ar cut into long thin strips.

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