Mustard-Maple Pork Tenderloin

Mustard-Maple Pork Tenderloin

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar or Cognac, brandy or sherry
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine 1 tablespoon mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl; rub all over pork. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 145°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Place the skillet over medium-high heat (take care, the handle will still be hot), add vinegar, and boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, about 30 seconds. Whisk in maple syrup and the remaining 2 tablespoons mustard; bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Tonight, I’m plating up with, barley, Green bean with Bavarian Spätzle side salad and fruit compote.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed With Pimiento Cheese

Chicken Breasts Stuffed With Pimiento Cheese

1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese, preferably smoked
2 tablespoons chopped scallion
1 tablespoon sliced pimientos, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika, divided
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds total)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Combine Gouda, scallion, pimientos and 1/2 teaspoon paprika in a small bowl.

Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of each chicken breast, nearly through to the opposite side, and open like a book. Sprinkle the breasts with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Divide the cheese filling among the breasts, placing it in the center of each. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Sprinkle the breasts with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken over and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 15 minutes.

Tonight, I’m serving with grilled Zucchini & Squash and barley cooked in chicken broth, side salad and fruit compote.

Steak au Poivre

Steak au Poivre

4 beef loin steaks, cut 1-inch thick
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1⁄3 cup shallot, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces (1/2 stick)
1⁄2 cup cognac or 1⁄2 cup other brandy
3⁄4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 200º.

Pat steaks dry and season both sides with kosher salt.

Coarsely crush peppercorns in a sealed plastic bag with a meat pounder or bottom of a heavy skillet, then press pepper evenly onto both sides of steaks.

Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium high heat until hot, about 3 min, then add oil. Swirl skillet to lightly coat the entire skillet.

Saute steaks in batches (2 at a time). DO NOT TOUCH – this lets them brown nicely and makes all the difference. Cook for 6 min and flip and cook for another 6 minute for medium rare steaks. Repeat with remaining 2 steaks.

Transfer cooked steaks to a heatproof platter and keep warm in the oven.
After all 4 steaks are cooked pour off fat from skillet if any, then add shallots and half of the butter.
Cook over medium low heat, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of the pan until the shallots are well browned all over, 3-5 minute.

Remove skillet from heat and add Cognac. (If you add while on the burner it may ignite – see note below.) Boil, stirring until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 2-3 minute.

Add cream and any meat juices that have accumulated on the platter in the oven.
Boil sauce, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 3-5 minute. Add the other half of the butter and cook over low heat swirling the skillet to melt and incorporate the butter.
Serve sauce with steaks.

I recommend that when igniting alcohol, use extreme caution. Remove the pan from the heat source before adding the alcohol. Pour the alcohol into the pan and ignite with a match or click lighter. Return the pan to the stove top and gently swirl to reduce the flames

Tonight, I’m serving these steaks with buttered flat pasta, fresh Chili & Garlic Broccolini garden salad and fresh fruit compote.