Pinchos Morunos: Spanish Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Bites

My non-pork tenderloin-eating son gobbled up these bites of meat! The sauce and seasoning were absolutely delicious.

This recipe was adapted from Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball. I doubled the recipe to use two pork tenderloin. We ate it with Basmati rice and green salad. Fabulous.

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 one-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 T lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 2 T honey
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2-3 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1-2 T chopped fresh oregano
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Add the pork and toss to coat evenly, massaging the spices into the meat until no dry rub remains.
  3. Let the meat sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Set aside.
  5. In a large skillet (I used a 14-inch skillet) over medium-high, heat 2 T of the oil until just smoking. Add the meat in a single layer and cook without moving until deeply browned on one side, about 3 minutes.
  6. Using tongs, flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and browned all over, another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 140 degrees.
  7. Off the heat, pour the lemon juice-garlic mixture over the meat and toss to evenly coat, then transfer to a serving dish. (I tossed the sauce with the meat in my serving dish.)
  8. Sprinkle the oregano over the pork and drizzle with the remaining 1 T of oil, if desired. (I omitted the additional oil.)
  9. Serve with lemon wedges.
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Easter Challah

Happy Belated Easter!

I was so proud of myself because I learned how to make a four-strand braid to make this special loaf. 🙂 The challenge in the original recipe was to learn how to make a six-strand braid, but a four-strand seemed like enough of a challenge at the time. 😉 I loved how it looked too.

This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour. I modified the braid and used a proofing oven. I learned the four-strand braiding technique from Tori Avey.com. This link actually has very useful steps for several challah braiding techniques.

Challah is best eaten the day it is made. Because I made the challah the day before Easter, we ate it toasted with butter and jam. I thought it was a perfect holiday breakfast along with our colored Easter eggs. Lovely!

For the Dough:

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 6 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 17 ounces (4 cups) unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 T instant yeast
  • cooking oil spray, for coating the bowl

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T water

To Prepare the Dough:

  1. Weigh out 17 ounces of flour; or measure 4 cups of flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. The more accurately you measure your flour, the better your bread will be; too much flour will yield a dry, heavy loaf.
  2. Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cooking oil spray, and mix to make a rough dough.
  3. Knead the dough — by hand, using a stand mixer, or in a bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough. It’ll still have a slightly rough surface; that’s fine. (I kneaded the dough in a stand mixer using a dough hook for about 5 minutes.)
  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  5. Allow the dough to rise for about 2 hours. (I placed the bowl in a proofing oven.) It won’t necessarily double in bulk, but should become noticeably (if not dramatically) puffy.
  6. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
  7. You may braid the challah the traditional way, into a three-strand braid. I chose a four-strand braid. (Instructions for these and a six-strand are in the link above.)
  8. Divide the dough into four pieces, or into equal pieces for desired braiding techniques. A scale is a big help in dividing the dough evenly.
  9. Shape each piece into a rough log.
  10. Cover the logs with plastic wrap, and let them rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  11. Roll each piece into a long rope. Your goal is ropes about 20″ long; if the dough starts to shrink back as you roll, cover it and let it rest again for about 10 minutes, then resume rolling. The short rest gives the gluten a chance to relax.

To Make a Four-Strand Braid:

  1. Pinch together the ends of the strands so that all six strands are joined at one end.
  2. Take the strand furthest to the right and weave it towards the left through the other strands using this pattern: over, under, over.
  3. Take the strand furthest to the right and repeat the weaving pattern again: over, under, over. Repeat this pattern, always starting with the strand furthest to the right, until the whole loaf is braided.
  4. Pinch the ends of the loose strands together and tuck them under on both ends of the challah loaf to create a nice shape.
  5. Gently pick up the braided loaf, and place it on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

To Finish:

  1. Cover the braided loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until it’s very puffy, 90 minutes to 2 hours at room temperature or in a proofing oven.
  2. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F, preferably on convection.
  3. Whisk together the large egg and 1 tablespoon water to create the egg wash. Brush this glaze over the risen loaf.
  4. Nest the challah on its baking sheet into another baking sheet, if you have one. This double layering of pans will help prevent the challah’s bottom crust from browning too quickly.
  5. Put the challah into the lower third of the oven, and bake it for 20 minutes. If it’s a deep golden brown, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. If it’s not as brown as you like, check it again at 30 minutes.
  6. Once you’ve tented the challah, bake it for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the loaf looks and feels set and its interior registers at least 190°F on a digital thermometer.
  7. Remove the bread from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool.

Note: Store any leftover bread, well wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage. While challah does tend to dry out after a day or so, it’s always good toasted or made into grilled sandwiches or French toast.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Babka and Easter Paska

Three Years Ago: Easter Babka

Four Years Ago: Low-Fat Oat & Whole Wheat Buttermilk Waffles

Five Years Ago:

Banana Honey Muffins

I loved these wholesome, naturally sweetened muffins more than everyone else in my house. The cookbook described them as “a great alternative to a heavier banana bread.” Agreed! 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads by Kathleen King, founder of Tate’s Bake Shop. I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour and wheat bran for the wheat germ.

Yield: 12 muffins

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ or wheat bran
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mashed, fully ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Grease 12 standard muffin cups with cooking oil spray.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flours, wheat germ/bran, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter. Add honey, vanilla, and mashed banana.
  5. Add butter mixture to flour mixture and mix lightly.
  6. Spoon mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one comes out clean.

One Year Ago: Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

Two Years Ago: No-Knead Bread from Sullivan Street Bakery

Three Years Ago: 

Four Years Ago:

Five Years Ago:

Grilled Glazed Salmon & Bacon Sandwiches

More… Salmon! Easy and delicious. Grilled too. 🙂

This post is really belated. We ate these yummy sandwiches on Memorial Day… Thank goodness it’s still fabulous grilling weather! They were such a great alternative to standard holiday grilling menu items.

I served these sandwiches with German Potato Salad with Dill and Pasta Salad with Peas and Summer Beans on the side. For dessert, we enjoyed a Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie (a family favorite!), Milk Bar Sugar Cookie-Cake Squares, and ice cream, of course! I almost forgot to mention our New York Soft Pretzel appetizer- yikes! It really was an All-American feast.

This recipe was adapted from a Food and Wine “staff-favorite” recipe, contributed by Marcia Kiesel. I served the sandwiches on brioche rolls but would opt for potato rolls next time. Too much bread for me! 😉

Yield: Serves 4

For the Glaze & Salmon:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • four 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • canola oil, for rubbing
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Light a grill.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the mustard, horseradish and honey.
  3. Rub the salmon with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the salmon over moderate heat, skinned side down, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  5. Turn and grill for 3 minutes longer, until the salmon is almost cooked through.
  6. Turn the salmon again and spread each fillet with 1 tablespoon of the horseradish glaze.
  7. Turn and grill until glazed, about 30 seconds.
  8. Serve the remaining glaze on the sandwiches, below.

Note: As with any sweet glaze, brush the honey-horseradish-mustard sauce on the salmon in the last minutes of grilling, or else the sugars in it might burn.

For the Sandwiches:

  • 4 kaiser, brioche, challah, or potato rolls—split, toasted and buttered
  • 4 red lettuce leaves
  • 8 thick bacon slices, cooked until crisp, as below
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, cut into 12 thin slices
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Place the bacon in a single layer, divided between 2- 9×13-inch pyrex dishes.
  3. Bake for 30 or 35 minutes, until crisp. Remove from pans and place on a paper towel-lined, rimmed baking sheet to drain.
  4. Spread the remaining horseradish glaze from the Grilled Glazed Salmon on the rolls.
  5. Place a lettuce leaf, 2 crispy bacon strips and 3 slices of Granny Smith apple on each buttered roll and set a salmon fillet on top.
  6. Close the sandwiches and serve.

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Oatmeal Bread

I had a few friends over for lunch the other day. Fun! One of them had just met with a nutritionist and was on a menu plan that didn’t include bread or fruit- or any sugar, actually. I thought… I need to do that. :/ But then, my husband suggested that I bake a loaf of bread. 🙂

My friend had to eat a deconstructed sandwich- and even had to remove the tomato! As I’m sure her suffering will be completely worth it, I might reconsider a dietary change when this delicious loaf is gone! 😉

This recipe was adapted from The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. I modified the recipe to incorporate bread flour and bake in a bread machine. It was very soft and moist. Amazing sandwich bread.

Yield: One loaf

For the Oat Mixture:

  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup rolled or steel-cut oats
  • 4 T  plus 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 T coarse salt

For the Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 T bread machine yeast
  1. In the bread machine loaf pan: Combine the boiling water, oats, boiling water, honey, butter, and salt. Let cool slightly.
  2. Add the warm water.
  3. Add the flours; spread into the corners of the pan to create a level surface.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour; place the yeast in the well.
  5. Set the bread machine to Basic 1 1/2 pound loaf, medium crust color. Wait & Enjoy!

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If you like this you may also like:

Heirloom Tomato Crostata with Honey-Thyme Glaze

This crostata was worth every bit of effort. The crust was perfectly flaky. The sweetness of the tomatoes was enhanced by the honey-thyme-vinegar glaze. The garlic oil, gruyere, and thyme added layers of wonderful flavor. Delicious!

I made this pretty crostata to share with some special girlfriends whom I don’t get to see nearly often enough. We enjoyed a lovely lunch while all of our kids played together. One friend brought a yummy caesar salad to serve on the side. Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes from What Jessica Baked Next for dessert. It was a great time for all. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used a combination of my CSA and colorful heirloom tomatoes, used gruyere instead of cheddar, and reduced the baking time for a convection oven.

I am sharing this special dish with my friends at Fiesta Friday #84 this week hosted by Steffi @ Ginger and Bread and Effie @ Food Daydreaming. Enjoy!!

Yield: 6 servings

For the Crust:

  • 125 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup), more for rolling out dough
  • 75 grams fine cornmeal (about 1/2 cup)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons), cut into small cubes
  • 35 grams grated Gruyere or extra-sharp Cheddar (about 1/2 cup)

For the Filling:

  • 1 ½ pounds different-colored tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick (or halved if cherry or grape tomatoes), preferably heirloom
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt, plus a pinch
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 65 grams Gruyere or extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • flaky sea salt, like Maldon

To Make the Crust:

  1. In a food processor, briefly pulse together flour, cornmeal and salt.
  2. Add butter and cheese and pulse until mixture forms chickpea-size pieces (3 to 5 one-second pulses).
  3. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 6 tablespoons, pulsing occasionally until mixture is just moist enough to hold together.
  4. Form dough into a ball, wrap with plastic and flatten into a disk. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. (I refrigerated it overnight.)

To Make the Filling:

  1. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Spread out tomato slices in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and let sit for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, combine vinegar, honey and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer; let simmer 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Wipe out skillet, then add olive oil and garlic. Cook garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, or until garlic is golden and caramelized.
  4. Remove garlic and finely chop. Reserve garlic oil.

To Finish the Crostata:

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. (*Alternatively, roll out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper large enough to line a rimmed baking sheet.*) Gently roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, dusting with flour if dough is sticking. Transfer dough to baking sheet and return to fridge for another 20 minutes. (longer than 20 minutes is okay)
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pat tomatoes dry with paper towels. Brush tomatoes with honey mixture.
  3. Leaving a 3-inch border, distribute the garlic, then the cheese, followed by half the chopped thyme leaves on center of crust.
  4. Add black pepper to taste, then layer tomatoes in an overlapping pattern, maintaining the 3-inch border.
  5. Drizzle garlic oil over tomatoes, sprinkle with remaining thyme leaves.
  6. Gently fold crust up around tomatoes, making a 2-inch border.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk egg and 1 teaspoon water. Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash over crust and sprinkle top of crostata with flaky salt.
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes on convection, or up to 35 minutes in a standard oven, until pastry is deeply golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Buckwheat, Banana, & Zucchini Muffins

I have been receiving TONS of zucchini in my CSA share. These super moist, earthy, and healthy muffins were one of the best ways I used my zucchini so far. They were very hearty and flavorful- accompanied with fresh fruit they were a tasty and filling breakfast. Perfect for a snack as well!

This recipe was adapted from Bubby’s Brunch Cookbook: Recipes and Menus from New York’s Favorite Comfort Food Restaurant by Ron Silver with Rosemary Black.

Yield: 12 muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup mashed very ripe banana
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees on convection.
  2. Line a standard muffin pan with paper baking cups or grease the baking cups lightly with cooking oil spray or butter.
  3. Combine the flours, banana, zucchini, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Combine the buttermilk, honey, vegetable oil, and egg in a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously.
  5. Form a deep “well” in the center of the flour mixture with a large wooden spoon. Pour the buttermilk mixture and the nuts (if using) into the well.
  6. Immediately stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well blended.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them two-thirds full. Bake the muffins for 17 to 18 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed lightly or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

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