Music: Thad Cockrell- Rosalyn
We got some great news a few weeks ago. Our good friends are moving back to New York! They have been living in Miami and we are so excited that they will be so close again. Dan and Brooke are very special friends and they deserved a very special meal.
We got a lot of great gifts for Christmas this year…and LOTS of very useful cookbooks. The one I was most excited about was Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home. (In fact, both my mother and mother-in-law bought it for us, that’s how much they knew we’d like it!). This book is beautiful and opens with a very special story about cooking for his father. The second best book was from my brother/sister-in-law; David Lebovitz’s Sweet Life in Paris. This book is filled with great tid-bits and anecdotes about living as an expat in Paris. I’ve gotten so many great ideas from these two books over the last few weeks (and both have managed to make me miss Paris and Northern California) and thought that Dan and Brooke would enjoy something from them.
Oh also, I realize people like lists…so I am going to list out the ingredients now. Hope that helps.
What we served:
Brown Sugar Bourbon Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Glaze, Creamed Baby Spinach and Potato Hash with Bacon and Melted Onions, Profiteroles with Brandy Chocolate Sauce (will post Sweet Thursday 1/14/10). It was a relatively complicated meal because it was so time consuming but totally worth it. In total time, it took about two days to prepare but that’s because I brined the pork for the day before preparing it. This will easily serve 6 people.
What you’ll need for the pork brine: (this was a combo of two different recipes, Thomas Keller’s and David Lebovitz’s). We used 2 ¼ lbs. of pork tenderloin.6 cups of water (3 cups should be ice water) ½ cup of salt ½ cup of brown sugar 2 whole cloves 5 all spice berries 6 bay leaves a bundle of fresh thyme 3 sprigs of rosemary 8 garlic cloves smashed with the skin left on 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
- Combine all ingredients and 3 cups of water.
- Boil for a couple minutes and stir to dissolve the salt/sugar.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl and cool for 10 minutes.
- When brine is cooled add 3 cups of ice water.
- Put in refrigerator.
- Remove silver skin and any fat from pork.
- Make sure brine is totally cooled before adding pork. You don’t want it to start cooking in a hot mixture.
- You can leave pork in brine overnight.
To make the pomegranate glaze: I got this idea from Gourmet’s (RIP) November 2006 issue. When I saw David’s Brown Sugar Bourbon Glaze, I wanted to combine the flavors. This is what I did.
What you’ll need for the Pomegranate Sauce:2 cups of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice 2 tsp. of cornstarch 2 tbsp. of water 4 tsp. of Sherry vinegar 2 tbsp. of unsalted butter
- Add pomegranate juice to a skillet and boil over high heat for 4-5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, stir together cornstarch and water and whisk into juice.
- Boil sauce until thickened, about 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add Sherry vinegar to taste.
- Swirl in butter until incorporated.
- Season with salt, if you’d like.
- Reserve ½ cup of sauce and put the rest in an airtight container until you are ready to serve. Then reheat in skillet before serving.
What you’ll need for the Brown Sugar Bourbon Glaze: (This is David Lebovitz with a twist).½ cup of Pomegranate sauce ¼ cup of Bourbon 3 tablespoons of brown sugar 1 tbsp of molasses
- Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to low boil for 2 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Remove pork from brine and rinse under cold water.
- Pat dry and place in large freezer bag.
- Add the marinade to the bag and seal the top.
- Toss around in bag to get glaze all over pork.
- Refrigerate for up to 4 hours and occasionally turn the bag to help distribute the marinade.
When you are ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put pork on roasting rack and lay some herbs and garlic in bottom of tray. While oven is heating up, place a large frying pan on stovetop. Place about 1 tbsp. of canola oil in pan and sear each side of pork over medium-high heat (around 4 minutes per side). Place pork in roasting pan and roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, until center of meat reaches 140 degrees. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Slice and serve.
What you’ll need for the Creamed Baby Spinach:4 tablespoons of unsalted butter ½ cup finely chopped shallots 5 bags of baby spinach salt and pepper ¼ cup of Comte ¼ cup of Emmentaler or (½ cup of Gruyere if you can’t find these two) Mornay Sauce: 2 tbsp. of unsalted butter ¼ cup of chopped sweet onion salt 2 tbsp. of flour 1 cup of whole milk ½ cup of heavy cream 1 bay leaf 2 black peppercorns 2 whole cloves ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg ½ tsp. of freshly ground pepper 3 tbsp. of Comte or Emmentaler cheese
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add shallots and cook until tender.
- Add spinach a little at a time and season with salt. It will wilt very fast.
- When finished, place spinach in strainer to remove liquids.
- Make Mornay sauce by melting 2 tbsp. of butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and salt and cook for 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
- Add milk and cream, whisking constantly until fully incorporated.
- Bring sauce to simmer and add bay, peppercorns and cloves.
- Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt and nutmeg to taste.
- Add the cheese and whisk to melt.
- Add Spinach to casserole.
- Add Mornay sauce to spinach and incorporate.
- Sprinkle cheese over the top and bake for 20 minutes until bubbling.
What you’ll need for the Potato Hash with Bacon and Melted Onions:12 ounces of smoked bacon Canola oil 3 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatos salt 2 sprigs of thyme Ground pepper 3 large sliced onions 1 stick of butter 1 sachet made of 1 bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs, 10 black peppercorns, 1 clove of smashed and peeled garlic wrapped in cheesecloth.
- Start by putting onions in large sauté pan over medium low heat.
- Sprinkle with generous amount of salt and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (you need to cook off liquid).
- Stir in butter and sachet.
- Cover (with tin foil) and cook slowly over medium low heat for 35 minutes.
- The onions will look creamy and season to taste with salt.
- Place onions in small bowl and reserve for later.
- Cut the bacons into lardons (1 inch long ½ inch thick) and cut potatoes into 1-inch squares.
- Pour 1 tbsp. of water into medium saucepan and heat over medium.
- Add the bacon and reduce the heat to medium low.
- Let bacon render its fat for 30 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels.
- Drain and reserve extra fat.
- Pour 1 ½ inches of canola oil in large sauce pan and heat over medium high heat.
- Add half the potatoes to hot oil and cook for 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Repeat these two steps with remaining potatoes.
- Add 1 tbsp of bacon fat to sauce pan and heat over medium heat.
- Add half the potatoes, sprinkle with salt, and add half the thyme.
- Cook for 5 minutes until potatoes are crispy.
- Add half the onions and bacon and cook for 2 additional minutes.
- Repeat with remaining potatoes.
- Transfer to baking sheet and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for 20 minutes or so until potatoes are extra crispy, yet tender on the inside.
- Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with chives.