Thursday, December 31, 2009

Risotto Cakes

Well, I guess this will be my last recipe for 2009... happy new year, everyone! I really enjoyed making these risotto cakes during the last few months of '09. They're hearty enough to be served as a main dish, with a side salad or grilled vegetables. Enjoy!

2 c. Arborio Rice (risotto)
6-7 c. low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
2 T. butter

Keep the stock nearby and warm, over low heat.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the risotto and 1/2 t. black pepper (and salt, if you desire) and stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown!
Use a ladle to pour in hot stock 1/2 c. at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Keep the risotto at a gentle simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary. Continue to cook this way for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is al dente. It should absorb at least 6 cups of liquid. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese and 2 T. butter. Alternately, you can choose to serve the risotto as is for a traditional side dish. Leftovers may be used the for the following risotto cake recipe. The recipe above makes about 5 1/2 c. of risotto and you need about 4 c. for the recipe below.

4-6 slices bacon
2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
all-purpose flour
4 c. risotto (above)
1/2 c. vegetable oil

Crisp up 6 slices of low sodium bacon in a large skillet. Allow to drain over paper towels before crumbling or chopping. Incorporate the bacon into the risotto and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
Form the risotto into balls, about 1.5 x the size of a golf ball. Press a cube of the mozzarella into the ball, and flatten the risotto to form 1/2 inch thick patties. Dredge the patties in flour and set aside in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet and re-dredge the patties in flour (shake off any excess flour). Fry the risotto patties in 2 batches, until golden brown and warmed throughout, about 8 minutes per batch. Makes 8 cakes & serves 4 people.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Spiced Pork Tenderloin

This has become a new favorite in our household. It's relatively simple to make, considering I sort of just wing it every time and I haven't botched it yet.

3 T. olive oil
1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. chilli powder
feel free to add other spices of your liking
And of course you'll need 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 lb. Most people say to tie a tenderloin every inch or so, so it will cook evenly, but I always skip this part out of laziness and/or lack of proper string.

Preheat oven to 425 degress and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients, and add about 1 T. water. Slather the pork with this mixture and pop in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Brush more of the mixture on the pork every 15 minutes or so. The sugar mixture does do a number on the pan, which is why foil is a necessity. Just keep rubbing down the pork. An ideal internal temp is around 155, but I've gone to 170 and it's still super tender. Tent the foil around the pork and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle some of the juice from the pan onto the pork. I usually serve with mashed potatoes and corn, for a super starch fest. The pork should serve 4 normal people, or 2 starving shut-ins. Enjoy!

Check out my recipe on
Spiced Pork Tenderloin on Foodista
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