Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
For brining pork
8 cups water
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup (Grade B or amber)
1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh sage
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 (4- to 4 1/2-lb) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed
For roasting pork
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
3 tablespoons maple syrup (optional ) (can use sugar free)
16 bacon slices (about 1 lb)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
Combine all brining ingredients except pork loin in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan and heat over high heat, stirring, until salt is dissolved. Pour brine into a deep 4- to 5-quart pot; cool to room temperature.
Add pork to brine, making sure it is completely covered by brine, and marinate, covered and chilled, 8 to 24 hours is best, but less time is okay if you're in a hurry.
Step 1: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 2: Prep Ingredients: chop garlic and sage, measure maple syrup, cider vinegar, cornstarch and water.
Step 3: Pat pork dry (discard brine) and remove any strings, then transfer to a roasting pan. Stir together garlic, sage, and 1 tablespoon syrup in a small bowl and rub all over pork.
Step 4: Make a basket-weave of bacon slices on a sheet of plastic wrap or a silicone pad. Next, lay your pork loin on the bacon and pull up the sides of the plastic wrap so your basket weave stays in place while you flip the pork loin over. Remove the plastic wrap and tuck the ends of your bacon underneath loin.
Step 5: Roast pork until thermometer registers 140°F, about 1 1/4 hours.
Step 6: Stir together 1 tablespoon syrup and vinegar until combined. Brush vinegar mixture over bacon slices and continue to roast pork until thermometer registers 150°F, about 10 minutes more.
Step 7: Remove from oven and let stand in pan 15 minutes before transferring to your cutting board with a lip to collect the juices. Slice into 2 inch slices while keeping bacon intact around each piece. Pour some of the juices over the sliced roast (or you can use it to make a simple pan sauce). Enjoy!
Fool Proof 2 minute Hollandaise
Servings: ~ 1 cup
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
Pinch cayenne pepper or hot sauce (optional)
1. Combine egg yolk, water, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in the bottom of a cup that barely fits the head of an immersion blender.
2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over high heat, swirling constantly, until foaming subsides. Transfer butter to a 1 cup liquid measuring cup.
3. Place head of immersion blender into the bottom of the cup and turn it on. With the blender constantly running, slowly pour hot butter into cup. It should emulsify with the egg yolk and lemon juice. Continue pouring until all butter is added. Sauce should be thick and creamy.
4. Season to taste with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce. Serve immediately, or transfer to a small lidded pot and keep in a warm place for up to 1 hour before serving.
NOTE: Hollandaise cannot be cooled and reheated.
Servings: 6 cups
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 medium carrot, finely shredded
1/2 cup celery with leaves, minced
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup red wine
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
3 cups canned Italian tomatoes. Crushed by hand or passed through a food mill
3 bay leaves
Black pepper to taste
1. Bring 4 cups water to a simmer in a small saucepan, and keep hot. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes.
2. Crumble in the ground beef and pork, and continue cooking, stirring to break up the meat, until all the liquid the meat has given off has evaporated and the meat is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
3. Pour in the wine, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the wine is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the tomato paste into a bare spot in the pan and cook a few minutes, then pour in the tomatoes, toss in the bay leaves, and season with the salt and some pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is dense but juicy and a rich dark red color. This will take about 2 to 3 hours-the longer you cook it, the better it will become.
4. While the sauce is cooking, add hot water as necessary to keep the meats and vegetables covered. (Most likely, a noticeable layer of oil will float to the top toward the end of cooking. When you are done, the oil can be removed with a spoon or reincorporated in the sauce, which is what is traditionally done.)
This is a very versatile sauce. It can it dress all shapes and sizes pasta, like fresh tagliatelle, dried spaghetti, or rigatoni.
This recipe makes enough sauce to dress 1½ pounds of dried pasta or one-and-a-half recipes tagliatelle—good for feeding a hungry crowd.
Chocolate Soufflé with Orange Sauce
For the Chocolate Soufflés:
1 ounce unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup sugar, divided
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 percent), cut into ½-inch pieces
¾ cup heavy cream
4 egg whites
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
For the Orange Sauce:
½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
1. Make the soufflés: Preheat the oven to 400º. Grease four 6-ounce ramekins with the butter and coat with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, rotating to coat the entire ramekin. In a double boiler, add the chocolate and cream, and heat until completely melted, stirring until smooth.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites and beat until soft peaks have formed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and whisk until stiff peaks have formed. Working in 3 batches, carefully fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites using a rubber spatula.
3. Divide the soufflé among the prepared ramekins. Place the soufflés on a baking sheet and bake until set in the center, 13 to 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the orange sauce: In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients until smooth.
5. Remove the soufflés from the oven. Dust with confectioners' sugar and spoon over the orange sauce, then serve warm.
Source: adapted from 'Heart & Soul in the Kitchen,' by Jacques Pépin (HMH)
Fresh Fruit Tart
Servings: 1 tarte
For the tart shell: (one 9 inch crust)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
For the pastry cream
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 baked tart shell
1 recipe of pastry cream
1 ½ pints of berries and fresh fruit cut as desired
1/2 cup clear apple jelly, melted
For the tart shell:
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and stir until evenly incorporated. Add the measured flour and stir until just combined and a soft dough forms.
Sprinkle the dough over the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Using a measuring cup or your fingers, evenly press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan (flour the cup occasionally to prevent sticking).
Cover the tart shell with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Once chilled, prick it all over with a fork and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before filling and removing from the pan.
For the pastry cream:
In a medium saucepan, combine milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot-milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until it has been incorporated. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard vanilla bean.
Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter, and beat on medium speed until the butter melts and the mixture cools, about 5 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low speed until smooth (you can also whisk by hand).
For the assembly:
Spread cooled pastry cream in cooled tart shell or tartlet shells. Arrange fruit over pastry cream in concentric circles in an attractive pattern. With a small brush, brush apple jelly over fruit to glaze.
Notes: Crisp, lightly sweet, and buttery, this classic pastry crust is an elegant base on which to build an entire repertoire of tarts. It’s easier to make than flaky pie pastry, too—just stir melted butter with sugar and a bit of salt, then blend in all-purpose flour to form the dough. With your fingers, press it into a tart pan and put it in the fridge for half an hour before pricking the bottom and baking.