Posted by goodcookbecky on December 11, 2012
I recently watched America’s Test Kitchen’s episode of crock-pot recipes. Their slow cooked pork tenderloin really caught my eye. I made it and it is quite delicious. The classic tastes of pork and cranberry really work together. It is an easy recipe too, sometimes the recipes that America’s Test Kitchen’s put out are a little fussy- this one is not! I doubled the recipe because I wanted to share some with a friend.
My pork tenderloin looked like it was one large piece, but it was two smaller pieces, I tied them together, but this is optional, I think it would be fine with a few smaller ones. The meat falls apart in this preparation. I will be making it again.
Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Orange Sauce
Serves 10-12 Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- 2 packages pork tenderloin (unseasoned)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce
- 1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 6 strips of orange peel (peeled with vegetable peeler avoiding the white pith)
- 4 Tbsp cold water
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Pat the pork tenderloin and season with salt and pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. Brown the seasoned pork tenderloin on all sides for about 10-15 minutes total.
In the crock-pot, add the cranberry sauce, dried cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon and orange peel. Stir to combine. Add the browned pork to the crock-pot. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 4 hours. Remove the pork tenderloin to a platter and cover with foil. Pour the cranberry-orange sauce into a skillet and add a slurry of water and cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
Serve with rice and carrots or other vegetable to round out the meal.
Posted in American Test Kitchen Recipe, Main Dish - Pork, Method: Crock-pot | Tagged: ATK, crockpot, pork tenderloin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on October 4, 2012
My husband LOVES Swedish Meatballs almost as much as he loves me! I saw an appetizing looking recipe for them in Cook’s Country Best Potluck Recipes - I have used it in the past to make the Baked Ziti that was also quite delicious. This recipe was made for the crock pot, but I did not have the 5 hours it required so I adapted it for the stove top cooking. It will appear on our menu rotation again, I am sure! The recipe is found on page 165 of Cook’s Country Best Potluck Recipes. It is for appetizer meatballs, but I made them slightly larger, and served them with pasta and green beans. I would have added Lingonberry Jam, but neither I or my husband could wrestle the lid from the container, and we were hungry!
Swedish Cocktail Meatballs
adapted from Cook’s Country Best Potluck Recipes p 165
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided use
- 1 onion, finely minced (originally 2)
- 3 1/2 cups beef broth, divided use
- 1 cup sour cream, divided use
- 4 slices caraway-rye bread, crusts removed, torn into bits
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 lbs lean ground beef (or 1 lb beef, 1 lb pork)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp fresh dill, minced
Place the oven rack to the middle position in your oven and preheat the oven to 425F.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in it and saute the minced onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onions to a large bowl. To the onions, add 1/4 cup of the beef broth, 1/4 cup of the sour cream, bread, egg yolks, allspice, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mash the mixture with a fork until it is paste like in consistency. Add in the meat, breaking it up into smaller pieces and combine the mixture until well mixed. Use a medium sized ice cream scoop to form the meatballs.
Spray a baking rack with cooking spray and place over a cookie sheet of the same size. Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes until lightly browned, rotating the baking sheet half way through baking. Set the meatballs aside until ready to use.
Wipe out the large skillet with a paper towel, and add the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter, heating over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, when the flour mixture begins to brown. Slowly add the 3 1/4 cups beef broth, whisking as you add it and bring it to a boil. Add the meatballs into the gravy, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the meatballs, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes to an hour.
In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup sour cream, soy sauce, and dill. Add in a few ladles of the gravy and stir to combine and then add the sour cream mixture to the large skillet. Stir to combine and heat through. Serve with cooked egg noodles, and a vegetable to round out the meal (or serve them as cocktail meatballs at a party).
Posted in American Test Kitchen Recipe, Appetizers, Main Dish, Main Dish - Beef | Tagged: Swedish Meatballs | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on August 16, 2012
I think the last time we had Ziti, my husband cooked it! At that time, I was in bed recovering from a very painful spill down the stairs of my house – I do not care to repeat that – the falling down stairs on my back part – not the hubby cooking part – he did a fine job- he just prefers to program computers – and THAT is something I can’t do! I love to cook! It has been 2 years since my fall and I am doing much better now, though I still have not learned to walk – that is.. I fell again this summer, but did not injure myself nearly as badly this time! I am a klutz!
I found this particular recipe in Cook’s Country: Best Potluck Recipes (pages 114-116) link
I adapted the recipe a little, because it was meatless, and my husband loves meat in his Ziti. The other change I made was I used Ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese (it is a texture thing for me). The recipe was easy to follow , though it had a lot of steps, but the results were very good.
adapted from Cook’s Country Best Potluck Recipes (p 114-116)
- 1 (15 oz) container Ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided use
- 1 lb ziti, or other tube pasta
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped, divided use
- 1 tsp sugar
- pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 tsp cornstarch
- 8 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch dice (not pre-shredded)
Preheat the oven to 350F and adjust the oven rack to about the center position.
In a medium bowl, stir together the Ricotta cheese, eggs, and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions, until it is just underdone. Drain and set aside (in the colander).
In a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the garlic for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant but not browned. Stir it the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add the oregano and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes over medium low. Turn off the heat and add 1/2 cup basil and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In another skillet cook the ground beef seasoned with 1 tsp of salt. Cook until done and drain off any fat. Set aside.
With heat off, stir the cream and cornstarch in the stockpot you used to boil the pasta (so you don’t have to dirty any other dishes). Turn the heat on to medium and stir constantly for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the heat source. Add in the cheese mixture and 1 cup of the sauce, half of the mozzarella dices and drained ground beef. Add the pasta to coat it thoroughly. Pour the Ziti into a 13×9″ baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the casserole. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Spray a piece of tinfoil with cooking spray (to prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil during baking), and cover the casserole tightly. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 for 30 minutes and then remove the foil, return to oven to bake another 30 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Let sit for 10 minutes after baking. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp of chopped basil. Serve with fresh French Bread or garlic bread and salad.
Posted in American Test Kitchen Recipe, Ethnic, Ethnic - Italian, Main Dish, Main Dish - Pasta | Tagged: baked ziti, Cook's Country Baked Ziti | 2 Comments »
Posted by goodcookbecky on July 19, 2011
I love orzo pasta. It seems that any time I make something that contains orzo it instantly is transformed into a comfort dish that will be a repeat. My son was convinced that I was making pizza as dinner approached – and he didn’t believe me when I told him I was making chicken. It did smell like pizza. The scent of oregano, and tomatoes wafted through the air.
I found this recipe in Cook’s Country Magazine April/May 2010 issue (30 Minute Supper card). I increased the amounts to accommodate my family of 5. In the end I had a large amount left over because the chicken breasts that I used were twice the size of the usual. It was yummy with just a little kick of spice. The orzo is dry roasted until slightly browned. Then the chicken breasts are browned and then finished in a simmer with the Orzo and tomatoes. You do not need to heat up your oven – if you skillet with fit everything. My skillet only had room for 3 of the giant chicken breasts, so I transferred them to a baking dish and did cook them in the oven, but only because the chicken pieces were so large. I should have split them and used just three. So if you are cooking this for a larger group you can bake them in the oven covered with foil (I had the temperature at 350 and baked them for 25-30 minutes).
Skillet Italian Chicken with Orzo
adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine April/May 2010 (Recipe card)
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (try to get small ones)
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 /2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp (each) salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups orzo (I like Barilla brand)
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
shredded Parmesan cheese for serving
Dry the chicken breast halves with paper towels.
Combine the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle each chicken breast half with the mixture on both sides. (Use less red pepper flakes if you don’t like it with much kick).
Toast the orzo pasta in a large non stick skillet about 3-5 minutes shaking the pan from time to time until the orzo is golden brown. Remove the orzo and set aside for later use.
Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in the pan and heat over high heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook the chicken breast halves for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Pour remaining oil in the skillet and add the garlic, stirring for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices), chicken broth, and toasted orzo pasta and bring the mixture to a boil. Top the pasta with the chicken breasts and any juices from the plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook over medium-low for about 10 to 15 minutes until the pasta is tender and the chicken is cooked through. Top each serving with basil and shredded Parmesan cheese.
Posted in American Test Kitchen Recipe, Main Dish, Main Dish - Chicken, Main Dish - Pasta | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on July 15, 2011
I recently was leafing through one of my many cooking magazines that litters my bookcase. Since peaches are at their peak, I wanted to make a quick dessert with them. In the July/August 2008 issue of Cook’s Illustrated I found a recipe for Peach Shortcakes (page 23). I did change the whipped cream to cool whip because I had it on hand and would not have to fuss with making my own whipped cream. Since my children were eating it I also changed the peach schnapps to orange juice as they recommended. My one complaint with the recipe was that the biscuits burned in the 15 minutes at 474 F. I would either reduce the heat to 425 or cook it for less time.
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated July/Aug 2008 p 23
- 2 lbs ripe peaches (6 peaches) peeled, pitted and cut into slices
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp sugar (I would increase that next time)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled some
- 1 Tbsp sugar for sprinkling the shortcakes just before baking (or use sugar in the raw for added texture)
- Cool whip, (for topping) defrosted
Toss 3/4 of your sliced peaches with 4 Tbsp of the sugar. Toss the remaining peaches with 2 Tbsp of peaches and 2 Tbsp of orange juice (or peach schnapps if you want to go that route). Microwave the smaller portion of the peaches with the orange juice in a microwave safe bowl for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Use a potato masher to mash the peaches and combine them with the larger amount of peaches. Allow to sit at least 30 minutes – or overnight.
Biscuits: Preheat oven to 425 (not 475 like originally instructed) with the rack in the middle position of your oven. Line a cookie sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet (Sil-pat). Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk together. In a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk and egg and whisk to combine. Add the melted, and somewhat cooled butter and combine with the whisk. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until they are combined. Spray a 1/3 cup measure with cooking spray so the dough will not stick. Scoop 6 -1/3 cup size biscuits on the prepared cookie sheet. Form them into biscuits with your hands, but do not press down. Bake for about 15 minutes (watching carefully) until they are golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes.
To serve: Slice the biscuit in half lengthwise. Top with a spoon full of defrosted cool whip. Top with sliced peaches and juices. Top with the biscuit top and dollop with more cool whip. Enjoy!
NOTES: I think next time I will make the biscuits with the Bisquick Mix and follow the directions for making the biscuits. I think they have better flavor. The kids loved the cool whip instead of homemade whipped cream. If you have whipping cream in the can, I am sure that will work as well.
Posted in American Test Kitchen Recipe, Baking, Baking - Desserts, Dessert - Fruit, Desserts | Tagged: Cook's Illustrated, Peach Shortcakes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on June 20, 2011
This recipe is from one of my favorite recipe books: The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001/2010. It is a great resource for seasoned cooks and new cooks alike. I had purchased some pork tenderloin (lemon garlic seasoned pork tenderloin) and wanted a speedy way to prepare it for dinner on Sunday evening.
I love the sweet of the Maple Syrup paired with the balsamic vinegar in the sauce. The mustard gives it a nice tangy flavor as well. Great with potatoes too.
Thick-Cut Pork Tenderloin Medallions
The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001/2010
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen (p 137) and served it with a Maple Mustard Sauce- to follow (also from America’s Test Kitchen p 138)
- 2 pork tenderloin, trimmed of the silver skin and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (I used a seasoned pork tenderloin and patted it dry)
- Kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Open the package of pork tenderloin, remove the silver skin along the edge with a sharp knife. Pat the tenderloin dry with paper towels and cut them into 1 1/2 inch medallions. Season each side with some Kosher salt and pepper.
Preheat a 12 inch heavy duty (not non stick) skillet with 2 Tbsp oil over medium high heat and until the oil is shimmering, but not smoking. Add the pork to the skillet cut side down and allow to brown for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the medallions with tongs to brown the opposite side for the same amount of time. Turn and brown the sides of the pork for about 2-3 minutes before rotating to another side. The internal temperature of the pork should be 140-145F.
Remove the pork medallions to a nice platter and cover with foil to keep warm and rest. Next prepare the pan sauce:
Maple Mustard Sauce
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced thinly
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp prepared mustard (whole grain if you have on hand)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pour off any remaining fat from the skillet (there will be browned bits from the pork – leave that it will add flavor to the sauce), add the vegetable oil and cook the onion slices over medium heat until slightly browned and softened. Add the chicken broth and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half. Reduce heat and add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Pour over the cooked pork medallions and serve immediately.
I served it with green beans and parsley potatoes.
Posted in American Test Kitchen Recipe, Main Dish, Main Dish - Pork | Tagged: America's Test Kitchen recipe, Pork Tenderloin Medallions | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on January 4, 2011
French fries come in the frozen section of the grocery store right? You put them in the oven and bake them, .. at least that has been the case for me, if I even make them at all. In an attempt to find something really cheap to make so I can blog about it, I tried the recipe that is in America’s Test Kitchen TV Cookbook (2001-2010) LINK. They recently showed on their program a method of frying french fries that starts with the potatoes in cold peanut oil. I was skeptical, that they fries would become really soggy. I have to say it was not a perfect first attempt, but they were yummy in the end. It took longer for my fries to get crisp than they said it would, and I had some stick to the bottom that did not want to budge, but it’s okay — they stayed at the bottom when I went to scoop them out with my spider and did not affect that lot. I did have to cook them longer than the recipe said, but they were good in the end.. so be patient if they don’t seem crisp to you. I drained the fries on a baking pan lined with paper towels, sprinkled the hot fries with salt for the family and garlic powder with some parsley for hubby and I because we LOVE garlic!
The recipe works this way: you use Yukon Gold Potatoes — mine were on the small side, so they were not very long, but they were good: crisp on the outside and soft and velvety in the inside. The recipe in the cookbook calls for 1/4 cup strained bacon fat in the oil to give it extra flavor, but I didn’t use any because for once I didn’t have any on hand! Shocker, I know! Cut the edges of the potato to give it a flat side on all four sides (and extra balance when you slice them) and slice them first in 1/4 slices and then 1/4 inch sticks.
Easier French Fries
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- 2 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 6 medium), scrubbed, dried, sides squared off and cut lengthwise in 1/4″ slices and then 1/4 inch sticks
- 6 cubs peanut oil
- Garlic powder, optional
Place the sliced potato batons and the peanut oil in a heavy duty dutch oven (I like to use my 6 1/2 quart Le Creuset- an enameled cast iron skillet).
Bring the oil and french fries to a full boil over high heat. Once the oil is boiling set the timer for 15 minutes. Do NOT disturb the fries those 15 minutes- keep the temperature at high during the boiling, but do monitor to make sure it does not spill out!
After 15 minutes use a long pair of tongs to gently stir the bottom of the pot to loosen any that get stuck to the bottom (I still had a few that did not want to un-stick, but it turned out okay)
Continue cooking over high heat for 10 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally with tongs, until they are golden brown and crisp. Remove them with a slotted spoon or a spider if you have one (a metal net like looking thing). Drain the french fries on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Immediately, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder if desired. Serve with Ketchup or a dipping sauce.
Posted in American Test Kitchen Recipe, Side Dish - Potatoes, Side Dishes | Tagged: America's Test Kitchen Fries, Easier French Fries, Homemade French Fries | 1 Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on January 2, 2011
For New Years Day, I made pan-seared steaks and served them with Shallot Butter Sauce. I found the recipe in The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001/2010 (link) on page 108. The sauce has a hint of lemon and marries quite well with the steak. Steak is blotted dry with paper towels, seasoned on both sides with Kosher salt, and pepper. Seared in a very hot pan with 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil for four minutes on the first side and then four (medium high heat) on the other for 4 more minutes for rare (5 for medium-rare; 6 minutes for medium). Remove the steaks to a platter and cover with tented foil to allow to rest for 5 minutes, during which time you then prepare the Shallot Butter Sauce in the same pan you made the steaks.
The magic I think is in the sauce. I doubled it. Shallot Butter Sauce (The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001/2010 page 109).
Shallot Butter Sauce
America’s Test Kitchen Recipe (doubled)
Serves 6-8 steaks
- 2 medium shallots, minced (2/3 cup)
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- juice of one lemon (2 tsp)
- 2 tsp minced fresh parsley leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Follow the directions for the steaks as above. After removing the steaks, add the shallots to the skillet over LOW heat (don’t use a non stick skillet- you want the browned bits to contribute to the flavor of the sauce). Cook the shallots until softened, about 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen some of the browned bits. Add the chunks of butter, continue stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan until most of the browned bits are loosened. As soon as the butter is melted, add the lemon juice, chopped parsley and stir to combine. Pour the sauce over the steaks and enjoy!
Posted in American Test Kitchen Recipe, Main Dish, Main Dish - Beef | Tagged: America's Test Kitchen recipe, Pan seared steaks and shallot butter sauce, Shallot Butter Sauce | 1 Comment »