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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Clean Out the Freezer for Two

We're trying to clean out the freezer so there's room for all the party food the first week of January. Gads, it's only a month away! Tonight I decided it was time to finish one of the last of the pork tenderloins. They'd been marinated in soy sauce, bourbon and brown sugar then grilled. I made the spicy cranberry sauce and warmed the tenderloins up in that. Then, made some couscous and tossed in a handful of dried cranberries as it was cooking. Alongside, I served broccoli with sesame seeds. That was fabulous. Absolutely a five! We gave the cranberry sauce and couscous a four. It was really good too, but could've used a bit more ginger flavor. Next time I'll try adding a bit of ground ginger.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

One can jellied cranberry sauce
1 T country Dijon mustard
2 t soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
2 T finely minced crystallized ginger

Melt the cranberry sauce in a saucepan and add the other ingredients.

Roasted Broccoli with Sesame Seeds
Preheat oven to 450. Separate broccoli into florets. Put them in a baking dish that’s large enough to accommodate them without being crowded. Drizzle broccoli with olive oil. Roast until browned – about 20 minutes. Toss with a drizzle of soy sauce, a small splash of lemon juice and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.

About a week ago I made some risotto. Trying to clean out the massive quantities of homemade chicken stock in the freezer... Since John Marvel doesn't get mushrooms at home and he was going to get to share the risotto, that was the flavoring. Now, risotto is one of those things I didn't even have until a few years ago. I loved it at first bite. It sounds pretty intimidating to make but is really quite easy. And, you can pretty much put in anything as long as you've got the wine, stock and onion.

Mushroom Risotto

Heat 5 cups of good quality chicken stock. Saute 8 oz of mixed mushrooms (button, cremini, shitake...) in 3T of unsalted butter. Set them aside. Saute one small onion, diced, in 2 T butter and 1T olive oil. Add 1 1/2 c Arborio rice and stir until slightly golden. Add 1/2 c dry white wine. Once it's absorbed, add the stock 1/2 c at a time, stirring frequently. Once the rice is creamy and the stock has been absorbed, add 1/2 c grated romano cheese, about 2t of white truffle oil (optional,) salt and pepper and the reserved mushrooms. Serve with more grated romano.

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