Sharing a seriously fun love for food

Preserving Good Stock

Preserving Good Stock

Sharing a seriously fun love for food

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Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Tender strips of sirloin pan-seared then smothered in a rich, beefy sauce with sour cream and Madeira wine. Serve over a bed of hot buttered noodles to soak up the goodness and you’ve got a great dish worth remembering!

Beef stroganoff is truly a classic with history dating back to the 1800s, named for a Russian Count. It was quite a popular dish in the mid-century – that is the 1950s and 1960s – and served by my Grandmother for many a dinner party. Sadly it is seldom seen on menus these days. Over the years many iterations of the recipe often left the dish somewhat less desirable. But not this version – this version from the early 60s is made using tender cuts of prime sirloin.

The meat is key to this dish so don’t skimp on a cheap cut of meat. Look for sirloin with even marbling throughout the meat. The beef is sliced into thin strips then dusted with flour and quickly pan-seared. A sharp knife and partially freezing the meat before slicing makes this an easy task.

Then there’s that rich decadent sauce. Start with fresh cremini mushrooms, sweet onions and garlic. Sauté them in butter before simmering in a hearty beef stock deepened with thick, savory tomato paste.

Finish by stirring in tangy, luscious sour cream along with a generous splash of Madeira wine.

Then slide those delectable slices of sirloin back into the sauce. It’s not a complicated dish though the flavors will leave your guests thinking you’ve cooked for hours.

Spoon over buttered noodles and top with a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley. Easy and oh, so comforting!

Beef Stroganoff

1-1/2 to 2 pounds sirloin steak – go with 2 pounds if you have big appetites to feed

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ cup flour, divided

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

8 tablespoons butter, divided

1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

8-ounces fresh Cremini mushrooms, sliced – baby Portobello mushrooms

1 cup chopped sweet onion

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

2-1/2 cups of beef stock

½ teaspoon concentrated beef base, such as Better than Bouillon

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons Madeira wine

For serving: Hot buttered egg noodles, about one 16-ounce package and chopped fresh parsley

Slice the sirloin steaks into ¼” thick slices*.

Spread the meat out into a single layer and sprinkle with the kosher salt, seasoning both sides. Let the meat rest at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Place ¼ cup of the flour and the black pepper in a shallow dish and whisk to combine. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter along with the olive oil in a large sauté pan placed over medium heat. When the butter and oil are hot, dredge the slices of meat in the flour and pepper.

Cook just until brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Don’t crowd the pan or the meat will steam and not brown.

Transfer the cooked steak to a plate while you cook the mushrooms and onion.

Melt an additional 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add the onions along with the mushrooms, scraping up any brown bits left in the pan from the steak. Continue cooking over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Add the remaining butter and when melted sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of flour over the onions, mushrooms and garlic.

Stir, blending the flour into the vegetables and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the stock along with the concentrated beef base and blend into the vegetables until the sauce is smooth.

Add the tomato paste, stirring into the sauce.

Reduce the heat to low and add the sour cream and the Madeira wine.

Return the sirloin steak to the sauce and cook until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Serve over hot buttered noodles and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

*Partially freezing the steak will make slicing the meat into strips much easier. Wrap the meat in parchment paper and freeze for about 2 to 3 hours.

Serves 4.

Beef Stroganoff, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 20, 2019
: Serves 4.

Tender strips of sirloin, pan-seared then smothered in a rich, beefy gravy with sour cream and Madeira wine. Serve over a bed of hot buttered noodles and you’ve got a classic dish worth remembering!

By:

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds sirloin steak - go with 2 pounds if you have big appetites to feed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-ounces fresh Cremini mushrooms, sliced – baby Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onions
  • ½ teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2-1/2 cups of beef stock
  • ½ teaspoon concentrated beef base, such as Better than Bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira wine
  • Hot buttered egg noodles, one 16-ounce package and chopped fresh parsley
Directions
  • Step 1 Slice the sirloin steaks into ¼” thick slices*. Spread the meat out into a single layer and sprinkle with the kosher salt, seasoning both sides. Let the meat rest at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Step 2 Place ¼ cup of the flour and the black pepper in a shallow dish and whisk to combine.
  • Step 3 Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter along with the olive oil in a large sauté pan placed over medium heat.
  • Step 4 When the butter and oil are hot, dredge the slices of meat in the flour and pepper and cook just until brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Don’t crowd the pan or the meat will steam and not brown. Transfer the cooked steak to a plate while you cook the mushrooms and onion.
  • Step 5 Melt an additional 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add the onions along with the mushrooms, scraping up any brown bits left in the pan from the steak. Continue cooking over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Step 6 Add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Step 7 Add the remaining butter and when melted sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of flour over the onions, mushrooms and garlic.
  • Step 8 Stir, blending the flour into the vegetables and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Step 9 Pour in the stock along with the concentrated beef base and blend into the vegetables until the sauce is smooth.
  • Step 10 Add the tomato paste, stirring into the sauce.
  • Step 11 Reduce the heat to low and add the sour cream and the Madeira wine.
  • Step 12 Return the sirloin steak to the sauce and cook until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
  • Step 13 Serve over hot buttered noodles and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Step 14 *Partially freezing the steak will make slicing the meat into strips much easier. Wrap the meat in parchment paper and freeze for about 2 to 3 hours.

 

Coffee Caramel Sauce

Coffee Caramel Sauce

The deep golden amber color just hints at the flavors tucked inside – a thick and creamy caramel sauce with gorgeous notes of coffee! An absolutely luscious dessert topping!

This is another recipe I found in my Mom’s collection dating back to the early 1960s. It differs from more traditional caramel sauce recipes. Not only does it include the addition of coffee but it also uses both white and brown sugars plus light corn syrup. But it doesn’t skip that creamy factor from butter and heavy cream!

The subtle and undeniable flavor of coffee comes together in duplicate forms – fresh brewed espresso and a tad of pure coffee extract. Stir in pure vanilla extract to deepen those flavors and you’ve got one scrumptious sauce.

A few tools and tips come in handy when you’re making a caramel sauce. A reliable candy thermometer is key to the right consistency of caramel sauce and candies. You also want a heavy saucepan and one that is deep enough to restrain any bubbling up or spatters while the sauce cooks.

Resist the urge to stir frequently. Only a few stirs to mix the ingredients together then leave it alone and let it do its thing. Too much stirring will cause the sugar to crystalize. And once the sugars have dissolved you can swirl the pan but do not stir – not even once!

As soon as the sauce hits the right temperature pour in the cold cream to stop the sauce from cooking. Having everything measured, ready to add and within arms’ reach makes this an easier task.

Making caramel sauce can be temperamental. It doesn’t take much of your time but it will want your undivided attention! You will be greatly rewarded!

Coffee Caramel Sauce

2/3 cup light corn syrup

¼ cup butter

¾ cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon pure coffee extract*

2 tablespoons espresso or strong coffee

Pour the corn syrup into a small deep saucepan. Add the both of the sugars and the butter.

Using a spatula, pull the sugar into the center of the pan mixing into the corn syrup. You want to avoid the sugars cooking and crystalizing against the side of the pan.

Place the pan over medium heat and allow the sugar to melt into the syrup and butter, stirring only a few times, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the sugar has completely dissolved do not stir but allow the caramel sauce to cook to a soft-ball stage, 236-degrees, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and pour in the heavy cream, stirring to mix into the caramel sauce.

Blend in the vanilla and coffee extracts along with the espresso.

Serve warm over ice cream, pound cake, angel food cake, cream puffs…. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.

Nielsen-Massey makes beautiful extracts, including a coffee extract. In a pinch you can use an equal amount of espresso powder, which can be found in the coffee aisle of most food markets. Makes about 2 cups of coffee caramel sauce.

Coffee Caramel Sauce, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 17, 2019
: Makes about 2 cups of coffee caramel sauce.

The deep golden amber color just hints at the flavors tucked inside - a thick and creamy caramel sauce with gorgeous notes of coffee! An absolutely luscious dessert topping!

By:

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure coffee extract*
  • 2 tablespoons espresso or strong coffee
Directions
  • Step 1 Pour the corn syrup into a small deep saucepan. Add the both of the sugars and the butter.
  • Step 2 Using a spatula, pull the sugar into the center of the pan mixing into the corn syrup. You want to avoid the sugars cooking and crystalizing against the side of the pan.
  • Step 3 Place the pan over medium heat and allow the sugar to melt into the syrup and butter, stirring only a few times, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Step 4 Once the sugar has completely dissolved do not stir but allow the caramel sauce to cook to a soft-ball stage, 236-degrees, about 10 minutes.
  • Step 5 Remove from the heat and pour in the heavy cream, stirring to mix into the caramel sauce.
  • Step 6 Blend in the vanilla and coffee extracts along with the espresso.
  • Step 7 Serve warm over ice cream, pound cake, angel food cake, cream puffs…. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.
  • Step 8 Nielsen-Massey makes beautiful extracts, including a coffee extract. In a pinch you can use an equal amount of espresso powder, which can be found in the coffee aisle of most food markets.
Spice Roasted Almonds

Spice Roasted Almonds

A touch of heat with a hint of sweet and spice plus a whole lot of crunch!

Salted and roasted almonds are a common snack for most of us. But turning up the flavor and roasting your own takes only a short amount of time and the results are worth the minor effort involved. Much like our Fried Walnuts and the Sweet and Spicy Cashews, you can also control the heat and sweet factor.

Start with whole raw almonds then add heat with cayenne pepper – just enough that it lingers on the back of your throat but not so much that it hides the distinct flavor of those gorgeous almonds. Whisk in spice with cinnamon and coriander along with a note of sweet from sugar. Toss in kosher salt to enhance the flavor of the almonds and the spices – plus it plays beautifully off that sweet factor.

Lightly coat in melted butter then roast until the almonds snap with crispiness!

There’s a two-step roasting process – one roasting just the almonds, then a second roast with the sugar and spices. You want to roast the almonds through and through. Raw nuts have a “chewy” texture inside and you want that roasted flavor and crunch to be part of the taste experience.

Perfect with a glass of chilled rosé on a warm spring day – enjoy!

Spice Roasted Almonds

1 pound raw whole almonds, about 3 cups

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 tablespoons sugar

2-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Spread the almonds out in a single layer onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 350-degrees for 15 minutes, stirring 2 to 3 times.

While the almonds are roasting whisk together the cayenne pepper, cinnamon, coriander, sugar and 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt.

Pour in the melted butter. Add the hot almonds and stir to coat with the spices, sugar and butter.

Place a Silpat liner or sheet of parchment paper on the rimmed baking sheet and spread the coated almonds back out onto the pan.

Continue roasting for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, stirring 3 to 4 times. Roast until the almonds are toasted and crunchy. Check after 20 minutes – the nuts will continue to crisp a bit while they cool.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and let the almonds cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally as they cool. Makes 3 cups of roasted almonds.

Spice Roasted Almonds, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 15, 2019
: Makes 3 cups of roasted almonds.

A touch of heat with a hint of sweet and spice plus a whole lot of crunch!

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 pound raw whole almonds, about 3 cups
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
Directions
  • Step 1 Spread the almonds out in a single layer onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 350-degrees for 15 minutes, stirring 2 to 3 times.
  • Step 2 While the almonds are roasting whisk together the cayenne pepper, cinnamon, coriander, sugar and 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt.
  • Step 3 Pour in the melted butter. Add the hot almonds and stir to coat with the spices, sugar and butter.
  • Step 4 Place a Silpat liner or sheet of parchment paper on the rimmed baking sheet and spread the coated almonds back out onto the pan.
  • Step 5 Continue roasting for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, stirring 3 to 4 times. Roast until the almonds are toasted and crunchy. Check after 20 minutes – the nuts will continue to crisp a bit while they cool.
  • Step 6 Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and let the almonds cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally as they cool.
Toasted Coconut Smoothie

Toasted Coconut Smoothie

Rich, thick and full of coconut flavor – this is one luscious way to sip an afternoon away!

Just imagine if you scooped the custard out of a coconut cream pie then blended it into a drink. This might be what it would taste like!

After recently making coconut waffles I just happened to have extra toasted coconut on hand. So I thought it might be fun to whip up a smoothie with this tropical flavor.

This drink deeply resembles a milkshake, but made without using any ice cream. Instead, very ripe, frozen bananas provide the creaminess of ice cream and the chill that ice normally provides. Don’t toss out overly ripe bananas – instead peel them and drop them into a freezer bag. They’re perfect for smoothies and for baking. The other key ingredients in this beverage are coconut milk and crème of coconut – typically on hand for a piña colada!

And with the popularity of non-dairy “milk” products, coconut milk is easy to find and can be kept on the shelf in your pantry.

It’s a simple drink to make, with a small number of ingredients but the result is oh, so delicious!

Toasted Coconut Smoothie

½ cup grated coconut, plus extra for garnish

2 cups coconut milk

½ cup crème of coconut

5 frozen bananas

Spread the grated coconut onto a rimmed sheet pan. Place the coconut in a 400-degree oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the coconut is toasted and golden in color. Stir every 4 minutes so the coconut is evenly toasted.

Pour the coconut milk and the crème of coconut into a blender then add the toasted coconut.

Add the frozen bananas and process, starting on low for about 10 to 20 seconds.

Raise the speed to high and process until the bananas are blended into the drink, about 30 to 45 seconds.

Pour the coconut smoothie into tall glasses and sprinkle with extra toasted coconut.

Makes four 8-ounce drinks.

Toasted Coconut Smoothie, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 13, 2019
: Makes four 8-ounces servings.

Just imagine if you scooped out the custard of a coconut cream pie and blended it into a drink. This might be what it would taste like!

By:

Ingredients
  • ½ cup grated coconut, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup crème of coconut
  • 5 frozen bananas
Directions
  • Step 1 Spread the grated coconut onto a rimmed sheet pan. Place the coconut in a 400-degree oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the coconut is toasted and golden in color. Stir every 4 minutes so the coconut is evenly toasted.
  • Step 2 Pour the coconut milk and the crème of coconut into a blender then add the toasted coconut.
  • Step 3 Add the frozen bananas and process, starting on low for about 10 to 20 seconds. Raise the speed to high and process until the bananas are blended into the drink, about 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Step 4 Pour the coconut smoothie into tall glasses and sprinkle with extra toasted coconut.
Brisket Hash with Brown Shallot Gravy

Brisket Hash with Brown Shallot Gravy

Beef is not only what’s for dinner, it’s also what’s for breakfast. And what a hearty breakfast this is. Loaded with country potatoes, cheese, herbs and spices plus gorgeous chunks of beef brisket. Topped with a couple of eggs – served your favorite way – and a savory brown shallot gravy!

It was not uncommon to have beef for breakfast at the ranch. Often it was in the form of a pan-seared steak served with eggs and biscuits hot from the oven. A hearty breakfast was key to get through a day of working cattle.

My Grandad in the foreground, with two of his younger brothers at the Powell ranch.

This is a layering of unbelievable flavors and tastes. Country-style potatoes are tossed in olive oil and butter then in both garlic and chili powders. Then they’re sautéed with thyme until the potatoes are tender and lightly golden brown. Toss in a handful of shaved nutty Fontina and Parmesan cheese and chunks of that succulent beef brisket. Finally, slide the eggs on top and add a spoon or two of that rich gravy made with beef stock and shallots!

There are several steps in this dish but you can take some shortcuts. For the potatoes grab a bag of Simply Potatoes’ diced potatoes, found in the dairy case in most food markets. We frequently use both their diced potatoes and hash browns and always have great results.

And for the brisket, you can use leftover brisket you might have cooked and stashed in your fridge or head over to your favorite barbecue spot and have them slice some up for you.

I did the latter. We just happen to be dear friends with the family that owns one of the best spots for barbecue in North Texas, Feedstore BBQ and More. They use certified Hereford beef for their hickory smoked brisket and everything is meticulously prepared on site using their custom rubs and recipes. (And yes, they ship!)

For the gravy, shallots are sautéed in butter adding their subtle, savory note to a rich beef stock creating a luscious brown sauce.

Thickened with flour and finished with a touch of cream, it’s perfect for ladling over the brisket hash. If you want to do a bit of meal prep you can also make the gravy ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve simply reheat adding a little cream or beef stock if it needs to be thinned.

You might not be working cattle, but that’s no reason to skip an unbelievable breakfast. This is one delicious way to start the day!

Brisket Hash with Shallot Gravy

For the shallot gravy:

2 tablespoons butter

1 small shallot, sliced very thin – about 3 tablespoons

2 tablespoons flour

¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup water

1 tablespoons concentrated beef stock, such as Better Than Bouillon

½ cup cream

To make the shallot gravy:

Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook until very tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Whisk the flour into the butter and shallots until smooth. Add ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt – reserving the remainder only if needed – and black pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the water and the concentrated beef stock. Continue whisking and cooking over medium heat until the gravy has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the cream. Check for seasonings and add the additional kosher salt if needed.

To make the brisket hash:

1 package diced potatoes, about 20-ounces or 4 cups

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, or about 1 teaspoon dried

8 ounces cooked sliced beef brisket

½ cup shaved blend of Fontina and Parmesan, such as Sartori’s Reserve Cheese Tuscan Blend

4 to 8 eggs, cooked over easy or to your preference – 1 to 2 eggs per person

To make the hash:

Place the diced potatoes in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the melted butter. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder and garlic powder, stirring until well blended. Pour the seasoning mixture over the diced potatoes, stirring to coat well.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and the thyme. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once after about 8 minutes.

Add the brisket, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 5 minutes just until the brisket is warmed through, then add the cheese.

Top with eggs and the shallot gravy.

Serves 4.

Brisket Hash with Brown Shallot Gravy, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 8, 2019
: Serves 4.

Beef is not only what’s for dinner, it’s also what’s for breakfast! And what a hearty breakfast this is! Loaded with country potatoes, cheese, herbs and spices and chunks of beef brisket. Top with eggs served up over easy and a savory brown shallot gravy!

By:

Ingredients
  • For the shallot gravy:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small shallot, sliced very thin – about 3 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons concentrated beef stock, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • ½ cup cream
  • For the brisket hash:
  • 1 package diced potatoes, about 20-ounces or 4 cups
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, or about 1 teaspoon dried
  • 8 ounces cooked sliced beef brisket
  • ½ cup shaved blend of Fontina and Parmesan, such as Sartori’s Reserve Cheese Tuscan Blend
  • 4 to 8 eggs, cooked over easy or to your preference – 1 or 2 eggs per person
Directions
  • Step 1 To make the shallot gravy:
  • Step 2 Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook until very tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Step 3 Whisk the flour into the butter and shallots until smooth. Add ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt – reserve the remainder and use only if needed – and black pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Step 4 Stir in the water and the concentrated beef stock. Continue whisking and cooking over medium heat until the gravy has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cream. Check for seasonings and add the additional kosher salt if needed.
  • Step 5 To make the brisket hash:
  • Step 6 Place the diced potatoes in a large bowl.
  • Step 7 In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the melted butter. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder and garlic powder, stirring until well blended.
  • Step 8 Pour the seasoning mixture over the diced potatoes, stirring to coat well.
  • Step 9 Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and the thyme. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once after about 8 minutes.
  • Step 10 Add the brisket, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 5 minutes just until the brisket is warmed through, then add the cheese.
  • Step 11 Top with eggs and the shallot gravy.
Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

It only takes a medley of spices to bring out the best in this tender cut of pork. Dry rubbed and chilled to let those flavors sink into the meat then it’s pan-seared and roasted to perfection in less than 30 minutes. It’s a light and delicious option for an easy meal to start the week!

Whenever I’m looking for a fast meal I frequently grab pork tenderloins. I keep them in the freezer for “emergency meals”. They thaw quickly and are always a crowd pleaser. They’re normally packed two to a package giving you a generous portion for a group or enough for leftovers. You can find pre-seasoned and marinated tenderloins, but doing it yourself is so easy plus you can control what goes in and onto the meat.

The spices used in this dish are a twist on the Pork Island Tenderloin* that we love. Start with cumin, chili powder and cinnamon then toss in dry mustard along with Chinese five-spice. Finish with a bit of freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt.

Rub the spices on the pork tenderloins and let them chill for 2 to 3 hours or even overnight if you want to get a jump on meal prep.

Then a brief sear in a hot pan to add one more layer of flavor before you pop them in the oven.

Three important things to remember when cooking pork tenderloins. First, don’t overcook the meat or it will be dry. Gone are the days when you need to cook pork until it’s well done. Roast the tenderloins to an internal temperature of 140-degrees, about 20 minutes in the oven does it. Second, take the time to remove the silverskin – the membrane that runs lengthwise on the tenderloin. It can cause your meat to curl up when it’s cooking and it’s extremely tough. Just slide a sharp knife between the silverskin and the meat and trim it off.

Third – and this goes for any meat – after cooking cover it with foil and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before carving. The internal temperature will continue to rise and this rest time allows the natural juices to settle back into the meat, keeping it juicy and tender.

Let the pork tenderloin speak for itself served on top of a gorgeous bed of greens and fresh fruit – or top with our sweet and savory Apricot Sauce* for a tasty finish!

Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

2 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

2 pork tenderloins, about 2-1/2 pounds – silverskin removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the oven to 350-degrees.

For the spice rub:

In a small bowl whisk together the kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, dry mustard and Chinese five-spice.

Place the pork tenderloins in a dish and spread the spice rub over all sides of the pork. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight if you want to get a jump on meal prep. About 45 minutes before roasting, pull the tenderloins from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes to take the chill off.

Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the tenderloins and sear on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes total. Place the pan in a 350-degree oven and roast for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140-degrees.

Transfer the pork tenderloins to a cutting board, cover with foil and let them rest for 10 minutes before carving. The temperature will continue to rise as the meat rests.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

*Pork Island Tenderloin: https://preservinggoodstock.com/?p=8529

*Apricot Sauce: https://preservinggoodstock.com/?p=10405

Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 6, 2019
: Serves 6 to 8.

It only takes a medley of spices to bring out the best in this tender cut of pork. Then it’s pan-seared and roasted to perfection in less than 30 minutes. It’s a delicious option for an easy meal to start the week!

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 2-1/2 pounds – silverskin removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  • Step 1 Heat the oven to 350-degrees.
  • Step 2 For the spice rub:
  • Step 3 In a small bowl whisk together the kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, dry mustard and Chinese five-spice.
  • Step 4 Place the pork tenderloins in a dish and spread the spice rub over all sides of the pork. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight if you want to get a jump on meal prep. About 45 minutes before roasting, pull the tenderloins from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes to take the chill off.
  • Step 5 Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the tenderloins and sear on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes total.
  • Step 6 Place the pan in a 350-degree oven and roast for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140-degrees. Transfer the pork tenderloins to a cutting board, cover with foil and let them rest for 10 minutes before carving. The temperature will continue to rise as the meat rests.
Southern Ginger Mint Margaritas

Southern Ginger Mint Margaritas

Most food historians agree that the margarita most likely originated South of the Border, but this cocktail long ago became a Texas tradition. And with Cinco de Mayo on the calendar this weekend there’s sure to be a pitcher or two around town. So if you’re planning on mixing a batch, make it a good batch!

This is a twist on a recipe from Cointreau so you know it’s going to be good! Any decent margarita must have a quality tequila and Herradura Añejo is a favorite. It’s aged for 25 months in American White Oak barrels leaving it a gorgeous amber color with that oak flavor seeping from the barrels into the tequila along with tones of agave and fruit. And you can’t have a great margarita without Cointreau – and if you want to really turn up the volume – use Cointreau Noir. It’s a luscious blend of that beautiful orange liqueur and cognac. An amazing spirit for sipping or mixing!

Muddled into these fabulous elixirs are the spicy, peppery flavors of ginger and refreshing mint leaves.

Drizzle in the right amount of simple syrup to soften the edges. (If we’re calling it Southern we’ve got to have a little simple syrup!) And of course a big dose of freshly squeezed lime juice.

Ginger is available in many Farmer’s Markets and food markets that carry a wide range of produce. In a pinch you can use crystallized ginger, found in the spice aisle. The quickest and easiest way to clean ginger is with a spoon. Simply scrape the peel away and it’s ready to chop for your cocktail. And any leftover ginger can be frozen.

For muddling, invest in a sturdy muddler, one that is tall enough to reach into a shaker. In order to release the oils and essence from any herbs or spices it’s important to crush them and a muddler handles this task efficiently. This is key to getting their maximum flavor into your drinks.

Combine all these beautiful ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until the margaritas are well chilled. Then pour them up over a glass filled with more ice to keep those drinks nice and cold.

Slide a thin slice of lime into the glass and maybe top with a little more mint! Relaxation is served!

Southern Ginger Mint Margaritas

2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

10 fresh mint leaves

3 tablespoons simple syrup

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 2 limes

½ cup good tequila

¼ cup Cointreau or Cointreau Noir

1 cup ice for shaking plus more for serving

Thinly sliced limes and mint leaves for garnish

Toss the ginger and the mint into the bottom of a tall shaker and muddle them together until the leaves and ginger are crushed.

Add the simple syrup and the lime juice.

Pour in the tequila and the Cointreau. Top with the 1 cup of  ice.

Put the lid tightly on the shaker and mix, shaking vigorously until the margaritas are very cold.

Slide a thin slice of lime along the side of a glass filled with ice. Pour the margaritas through the strainer of the shaker into the glasses and top with a mint leaf if desired.

Makes 2 cocktails.

To make Simple Syrup:

2 cups water

3 cups sugar

Pour the water into a small saucepan, stir in the sugar. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved. Keep refrigerated.

Southern Ginger Mint Margaritas, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 3, 2019
: Makes 2 cocktails.

Muddled into two amazing spirits – Cointreau and tequila - are the spicy, peppery flavors of ginger and refreshing mint leaves. Drizzle in just the right amount of simple syrup to soften the edges. And of course a big dose of freshly squeezed lime juice.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons simple syrup
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 2 limes
  • ½ cup good tequila
  • ¼ cup Cointreau or Cointreau Noir
  • 1 cup ice for shaking plus more for serving
  • Thinly sliced limes and mint leaves for garnish
  • For the simple syrup:
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
Directions
  • Step 1 Toss the ginger and the mint into the bottom of a tall shaker and muddle them together until the leaves and ginger are crushed.
  • Step 2 Add the simple syrup and the lime juice.
  • Step 3 Pour in the tequila and the Cointreau. Top with 1 cup of ice.
  • Step 4 Put the lid tightly on the shaker and mix, shaking vigorously until the margaritas are very cold.
  • Step 5 Slide a thin slice of lime along the side of a glass filled with ice. Pour the margaritas through the strainer of the shaker into the glasses and top with a mint leaf if desired.
  • Step 6 To make simple syrup:
  • Step 7 Pour the water into a small saucepan, stir in the sugar. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved. Keep refrigerated.
Chewy Chocolate Cookie Bites

Chewy Chocolate Cookie Bites

We’re not sure if this is really a cookie or some type of praline or nougat. It’s a scrumptious little treat with dark chocolate notes in what seems to be a hybrid of a brownie, a cookie and candy. It certainly looks like a cookie but there’s a little fluff in the middle that you expect from a brownie. Plus there’s chewy bite like a soft praline or nougat. Who really knows what category this sweet falls into, but one thing is for sure they’re hard to resist!

This is a recipe from Mom’s collection with the addition of toasted pecans. These little cookies magically come together by pulling out some pantry staples, pulverizing one of them and then mixing them all together.

Start with melted bars of unsweetened chocolate stirred into sweetened condensed milk – that creamy nectar of goodness Mom always had on hand.

Stir in crushed vanilla wafers…

then toss in toasted pecans and pure vanilla extract.

It’s a quick mix then they’re off to the oven. In no time at all you’ve got delectable little goodies!

Who cares what they are, just enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Cookie Bites

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14-ounce can

1-1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers, about 3 cups wafers

1-1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans

2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish, using medium power and stirring after 30-second intervals. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t let the chocolate melt completely or it could scorch. Stir any pieces that are not completely melted into the warm melted chocolate until the chocolate is smooth.

Mix the melted chocolate with the sweetened condensed milk and the crushed vanilla wafers.

Toss the chopped pecans with the flour and add to the chocolate and wafer mixture. Stir in the kosher salt and the vanilla extract.

Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes.

Drop small rounds of cookie dough, about 1″ to 1-1/2″ onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 2” between cookies.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are just set.

Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the pan then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 4-dozen cookies.

Chewy Chocolate Cookie Bites, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

May 1, 2019
: Makes about 4 dozen small cookies.

We’re not really sure if this is really a cookie or some type of nougat. It’s full of dark chocolate notes and seems to be a cross between a brownie and a cookie with a chewy, candy like quality. Who really knows but one thing is for sure they’re hard to resist!

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14-ounce can
  • 1-1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers, about 3 cups wafers
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Directions
  • Step 1 Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish, using medium power and stirring after 30-second intervals. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t let the chocolate melt completely or it will scorch. Stir any pieces that are not completely melted into the warm melted chocolate until the chocolate is smooth.
  • Step 2 Mix the melted chocolate with the sweetened condensed milk and the crushed vanilla wafers.
  • Step 3 Toss the chopped pecans with the flour and add to the chocolate and wafer mixture.
  • Step 4 Stir in the kosher salt and the vanilla extract.
  • Step 5 Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Step 6 Drop 1” rounds of cookie dough onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 2” between cookies.
  • Step 7 Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are just set.
  • Step 8 Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the pan then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Ham and Potato Soup

Ham and Potato Soup

A rich and creamy soup, loaded with chunks of potatoes and ham plus bits of scallions. Simmered in a stock full of flavor from one of a cook’s favorite tools – the hambone!

After Easter I popped the remainder of the holiday ham along with the bone in the freezer. Growing up in a family where no decent cook would waste leftovers, I learned early in life the value of a hambone. So typically when I buy a ham I grab a bone-in ham. But on the occasion that I pick up a small ham – which are often boneless – I always ask for a hambone. Cooking with this “scrap” of meat is one of the first kitchen treasures I learned about from my Mom. Whether she was cooking a pot of beans or a pea soup, this was her secret weapon!

This soup transforms leftovers into a feast. It’s similar to a basic potato soup but elevated with simple ingredients. Sweet onions and Yukon gold potatoes are cooked in a savory chicken stock along with that fabulous hambone, followed with a generous handful of scallions and bits of ham.

As the soup cooks the essence of the hambone seeps into the stock and the tender potatoes. Then it’s finished with half and half and  just enough flour to lightly thicken the stock. The result is a soup that satisfies you to your core!

Ladle up and top with chopped scallions and fresh parsley. Leftovers easily and deliciously reinvented!

Ham and Potato Soup

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium sweet onion chopped, about 1-1/2 cups

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes – about 6 cups

4 cups chicken stock

1 hambone

2 cups chopped ham, about four to five slices, 1/4″ thick each

3 scallions, chopped, about ½ cup, plus extra for garnish

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 cups half and half

4 tablespoons flour

Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the potatoes, along with the kosher salt and pepper tossing into the onions, butter and olive oil. Sauté for about 5 minutes.

Pour the chicken stock into the stockpot and nestle the hambone down into the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Stir in the chopped ham and scallions, cover and continue simmering until the scallions are tender, about 10 minutes.

Mix the half and half with the flour until smooth. Remove the hambone and pour the half and half mixture into the soup.

Continue cooking over low heat, uncovered for another 15 minutes or until the soup has thickened slightly and the potatoes are very tender.

Garnish with additional chopped scallions and freshly chopped parsley.

Serves 6.

Ham and Potato Soup, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

April 29, 2019
: Makes 6 servings.

A rich and creamy soup, loaded with chunks of potatoes and ham plus bits of scallions. Simmered in a stock full of flavor from one of a cook’s favorite tools – a hambone!

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped, about 1-1/2 cups
  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes - about 6 cups
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 hambone
  • 2 cups chopped ham, about 4 to 5 ¼” thick slices
  • 3 scallions, chopped, about ½ cup, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
Directions
  • Step 1 Melt butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté under tender and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Step 2 Add the potatoes, along with the kosher salt and pepper tossing into the onions, butter and olive oil. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  • Step 3 Pour the chicken stock into the stockpot and nestle the hambone down into the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Step 4 Stir in the chopped ham and scallions and simmer until the scallions are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Step 5 Mix the half and half with the flour until smooth. Remove the hambone and pour the half and half mixture into the soup.
  • Step 6 Continue cooking over low heat, uncovered for another 15 minutes or until the soup has thickened slightly and the potatoes are very tender.
  • Step 7 Garnish with additional chopped scallions and freshly chopped parsley.
Coconut Waffles

Coconut Waffles

It’s the weekend so what better way to start things off than with a delicious breakfast bread – with steam rising from the top, crispy on the outside yet tender and fluffy on the inside. These golden waffles are layered with flakes of toasted coconut and warm notes of pure vanilla with just a hint of almond. Morning meals just got a bit more interesting!

Every trip I take to Atlanta I come home inspired. There are so many wonderful places for brunch and with our love for good food, Emily always knows about great spots. On a recent visit we dined at a favorite spot and ordered coconut waffles for the table to share. And they did not disappoint. So once I was back home in Texas I was on a quest to recreate this dish.

Sweetened flaked coconut is the star attraction but amping up the coconut flavor seemed necessary. Many of the same basics for waffles are included in this recipe. Buttermilk always makes for a tender quick bread and is frequently used in pancakes and waffles. It’s often blended with regular milk so to boost that luscious coconut flavor I added a cup of coconut milk in place of the regular milk then substituted coconut oil in place of vegetable oil.

Start by toasting the sweetened coconut to a golden hue. Toasting brings out the depth of flavor from this tropical drupe – more commonly known as a fruit.

Blend cornstarch into the dry ingredients to balance out the gluten in all-purpose flour. This brings a cake flour quality to the batter creating a light, delicate waffle.

Finish by adding a depth of flavor from pure vanilla extract and a hint of almond extract that plays nicely off the coconut.

Top with a creamy pat of butter and serve with warm maple syrup and more toasted coconut – yum, just yum!

Coconut Waffles

1-1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 extra-large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

2/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1-1/2 cups flour

½ cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Butter and maple syrup for serving

Spread the shredded coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and golden in color. Stir every 5 minutes so that the coconut toasts evenly.

In a medium-size mixing bowl whisk the eggs along with the buttermilk, coconut milk, vanilla extract, almond extract and melted coconut oil.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour with the cornstarch, sugar, kosher salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Pour the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk just until blended. Add 1 cup of the toasted coconut and gently stir into the batter. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

Lightly spray the interior of a waffle iron with a cooking spray. Heat on the medium setting and when hot fill each well with batter. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the waffles are crisp and golden.

Serve hot with butter, warm maple syrup and top with additional toasted coconut.

To keep the waffles warm you can place them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven. Any leftover waffles can be frozen and reheated in a 350-degree oven or popped back in your waffle iron.

Makes 14 individual waffles.

Coconut Waffles, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

April 26, 2019
: Makes 14 individual waffles

These golden waffles are layered with flakes of toasted coconut and warm notes of pure vanilla with just a hint of almond. Morning meals just got a bit more interesting!

By:

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Butter and maple syrup for serving
Directions
  • Step 1 Spread the shredded coconut evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and golden in color. Stir every 5 minutes so that the coconut toasts evenly.
  • Step 2 In a medium-size mixing bowl whisk the eggs along with the buttermilk, coconut milk, vanilla extract, almond extract and melted coconut oil.
  • Step 3 In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour with the cornstarch, sugar, kosher salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Step 4 Pour the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk just until blended. Add 1 cup of the toasted coconut and gently stir into the batter. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Step 5 Lightly spray the interior of a waffle iron with a cooking spray. Heat on the medium setting and when hot fill each well with batter. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the waffles are crisp and golden.
  • Step 6 Serve hot with butter, warm maple syrup and top with additional toasted coconut.
  • Step 7 To keep the waffles warm you can place them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven.
  • Step 8 Any leftover waffles can be frozen and reheated in a 350-degree oven or popped back in your waffle iron.