Pork Tenderloin with Orange Compote

Pork tenderloin can be a tricky cut to cook. I find that sometimes I can have a well done outside and a rare inside or I can end up with a dry piece of meat, both of which are undesirable.

This recipe, I think, provides a foolproof way to cook pork tenderloin. Because it cooks in liquid, the meat stays succulent, even if you cook it past 145°. I didn’t have a dutch oven, so I cooked it in a large skillet. Also, don’t let the time deter you. It does take awhile, so this may not be a weeknight go-to, but the hands-on time is rather small. Continue reading

Sauté of Turkey with Spring Vegetables

I have never been to France, and to be honest, I don’t know much about French cuisine. But, I made this recipe and felt like I was traveling to the French countryside. You can add some pasta or a piece of bread, if you want, but I think Mrs. Mireille Guilino knows what she is doing- the dish is perfect on its own. Get ready for a full belly. Continue reading

Uncle Eric’s Dinner

As a relatively recent tradition, my family has started visiting California every summer- picking a new city to explore each time we go. My uncle joins us and we have a fun week of rude jokes and adventures. He makes a chicken and salad dish and eats it every night for the past 3 years. That’s right. Every day. I don’t blame him; it is wonderful in its simplicity and has a clean taste. I’ve already asked for it twice this week. To round it out, we added my Mom’s recipe for roasted potatoes.

Each part of the meal has its own ingredients and directions, so you can make individual parts, although I recommend making it all together. The portions depend on how much you can eat, but it is easily saved for leftovers the next day (or two). Also, the measurements are estimates, so you may need to play around with the recipe to suit your own tastes, oven, and altitude.

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White Bean, Sage, and Sausage Soup

It has been awhile since I have tried a new recipe (4 months and 8 days, to be exact) and I was very excited to get back into exploring the culinary world. I offered to make lunch for my grandma, and after some shuffling through the thousands – literally thousands – of collected recipes, I decided on White Bean, Sage, and Sausage soup and was so glad I did.

To be honest, I was a bit nervous about this. Leeks smell like black licorice, which is not a food I particularly enjoy. I pleasantly found out that the leek bulb does not make the dish taste like licorice, but gives a gentle flavor that complements everything else in the soup. This is a one-pot wonder that was super easy to make once you prepare all your ingredients. Make sure to have a few slices of crusty bread on hand to dip into the broth.

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Roasted Carrot and Beet Soup

I’ve been posting a lot of soup recipes lately, which shocks me. I’ve never been a big consumer or fan of soups and rarely made them on my own. But somehow, they have snuck up on me and here we are. Soups galore.

We made this recipe in my Food Systems class, testing it for a special event we have to put on. We got to use a robot coupe to chop all the vegetables, which was a wonderful experience, and it is now a machine that is going on my dream kitchen wish list. But back to the food; as we were tasting it, some people mentioned that the soup was very “beety.” I quite enjoyed the soup, so maybe beets are one of those foods you either love or hate. We had some trouble blending it past a puree, so more both may be necessary than what the recipe calls for. And like the Eggplant Romesco Rigatoni sauce, soups freeze equally as well and can be a lifesaver when you don’t feel like cooking or you have no time- they’re always there and ready to go.

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Chickpea Soup with Greens, Onions, and Pasta

We made this soup in my Food Systems lab class, and even though I was eating it at 10 in the morning, it was still really good! I enjoyed having the solid chickpeas and noodles contrast with the soft Swiss chard. Definitely add the cheese on top at the end; even if it isn’t a lot of cheese, it does provide extra flavor.

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Gingered Carrot Soup

My fantastic friend Jade shared this recipe with me and I am so thankful she did. I am not the biggest fan of ginger but this soup is so…calming? It was very comforting and it made my stomach feel so peaceful. My first go of it left the soup a little dry so it ended up as more of a puree. If you want a smoother consistency, add some more broth or water to the soup and blend again.

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Pumpkin and Apple Soup

On a whim, I bought a sugar pie pumpkin. It has been staring at me for the past two weeks and today I decided to use it in this soup. It was small enough to give me the perfect amount and a few seeds for an attempt at roasting pumpkin seeds (recipe to follow shortly, I’m sure).

Whenever I cook pumpkin, I have the hardest time cutting it open, until recently. A friend pointed out that we use flimsy saws to carve pumpkins all the time, and so I used a steak knife– the struggle is over. I carved out the top, as if I was making a Jack-o-lantern, scooped out all the guts, and then cut the pumpkin in half. Luckily my peeler was sharp enough to peel the skin off, which came rather speedily once I got the hang of it.

I didn’t have any vegetable broth so I used chicken instead and I don’t recommend it. The chicken broth gives the soup a richness that just isn’t right for the other ingredients. Still, I think this is a very rich soup no matter which broth you go with. As far as serving goes, I like to eat squash soups with some diced Haas avocados and a good sourdough toast.

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Braised Salmon or Halibut Steaks

I have made this recipe twice and both times I have absolutely loved it. I wanted to start eating salmon and I think this was the perfect recipe for it. Following the recipe to a T is great, but you can play around with it as well. There are a lot of options for the fish in the recipe itself, but you can also trade out bay leaves for rosemary or thyme. I added zucchini to the onion mixture and it still came out fine. Just add the zucchini halfway through the onion cooking time so they don’t cook down too much.

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Moroccan Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash

It’s fall and it’s squash season. I have recently discovered how much I enjoy squash and have been experimenting with different varieties of squash (there are so many!) and different methods of cooking them. This is my first time cooking with butternut squash and it was an experience. Cutting a butternut squash is like cutting a sweet potato, you need a sharp knife and some muscle to get through the flesh. Peeling it is tricky as well, the skin is waxy and my peeler just couldn’t get a grip on it. So if you aren’t opposed to it, I would recommend buying butternut squash pre-cubed. But first make sure to try working with a whole squash first; it will make you appreciate the cubed ones so much more.

Aside from preparing your own butternut squash, this recipe is very, very easy to do. It’s a quick weeknight meal that is very hearty and very satisfying. The only thing I would change for next time is increasing the amount of raisins. I love the flavor raisins can add and compared to the amount of other ingredients, there aren’t enough for my taste.

Saving the time it took for me to chop up the butternut squash, the entire process took 20 minutes. Trust me when I say that this dish is quick and easy.

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