Monday, April 22, 2013

Three Recipes made an Excellent Dinner

Pork Tenderloin in Dukkah Seasoning
Continuing on with trying out foods and pairings, since I have so many wines fresh in my memory, last evening I recreated 2 recent recipes, but with an addition. I had made Pork Tenderloin in Dukkah Seasoning a couple of weeks back for some friends. An inspired pairing with the Rioja wine I served. Ever since that night, I have been thinking of making the pork again, since it was so very good, and I didn't get to taste much of it. I made aioli from scratch and served little medallions of the pork on thin slices of baguette with the aioli. 

This is a recipe made from scratch. You will need a strong arm and a whisk, or make this with an immersion blender or regular blender. The consistency is just beautiful and the flavor is just divine. Add the parsley or not, as desired. Parsley helps counteract "garlic breath", so you decide. The little bit of vinegar helps counteract the garlic effects also.


Aioli on Baguette Slices

Makes about 1 cup

2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoon white vinegar, optional
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, optional
1½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup olive oil

In a little bowl combine the teaspoon of vinegar with the garlic. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes (this takes the sharp bite from the garlic). In a blender, or container for immersion blender, place the egg yolks. Add the parsley and blend to combine. Add in the lemon juice and the garlic with the vinegar and the salt. Blend to combine. With the blender running, drizzle very slowly the olive oil. DO not allow the olive oil to pool, but keeping it always blended in. It may take some time to incorporate all the olive oil. Once incorporated, you should have a beautiful, silky green/gold aioli mixture, as seen above. The trick is incorporating the olive oil properly, which allows the emulsion to take place. Taste for salt; if it needs more, start with ¼ teaspoon. Add pepper if desired. 

Okay, that part was easy, because I had everything I needed. I thawed the pork and got it marinating in Hoisin sauce. In the meantime, I was thinking about biscuit recipes and I got an idea. I went ahead with it and mixed up the biscuits as I was thinking of it. The recipe was quite savory, and I thought these biscuits would go very well with the pork. Here is the recipe, which made 8 large biscuits:

Rosemary Parmesan Biscuits

¾ cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons shallot, finely minced (about 1 medium shallot)
½ cup Parmesan, finely grated
¼ cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 stick cold, unsalted butter
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Coarse salt, for sprinkling

In a small bowl, combine the evaporated milk and vinegar; stir and set aside to thicken. (Buttermilk may be substituted for this step). Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sift together the first 5 ingredients into a medium bowl. Alternatively, place ingredients into bowl and whisk to combine. Add in the next 5 ingredients and whisk together. Grate the stick of butter with a large holed grater, into the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter with the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add in the thickened milk and toss with a fork to combine. Once mixture begins to come together, gather the dough into a ball. If the dry ingredients are not coming together add up to 2 tablespoons more milk. Do not make the mixture too soft.

Turn out onto a floured surface and flatten the dough. Fold it over and flatten again, and repeat about 5 more times. This gives the finished biscuits beautiful layers. Pat out the dough to about ¾ inch thick and cut biscuits with a 3 inch cutter. Set onto a lightly greased baking sheet, well apart. Brush tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake the biscuits for 12 to 15 minutes, until risen and browned.
The Final Product
While roasting the pork tenderloin (about 25 minutes at 450 degrees), I made a new batch of Aioli. This time I didn't have any parsley on hand, so I made it without. I am also in the process of packing up the house to move soon, and had packed up my immersion blender. Since I made the aioli with that little blender last time, it was the first place I went. Alas, it was no longer in its place. So, for the first time, I made a mayonnaise by hand with a whisk. It went far faster than I had expected and was quite simple. Likely it was because the recipe is very small, but the results were as silky smooth and beautifully yellow as last time, minus the parsley. Once the biscuits were done, we sat down to eat, and that combination of the pork with the Dukkah seasonings, the Parmesan Rosemary Biscuits and Aioli was just like heaven.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.