Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chive Buds and Shrimp

Woah, it's been one crazy month. Not much time has been spent in the kitchen... other than attempting to pack up all of my baking utensils and staple baking ingredients for the big move on JUNE 30th!!! AAAHHH I still can't believe that I'm moving to my own place by the end of this month!! In a way I'm super excited, but in other ways I'm completely stressing about how I'm going to adjust to living on my stoney-lonesome :( I'm gonna miss the random noises that my silly sisters make, the crazy daily conversations with my mom and dad and especially the yappy barking of my little doggie.

It's not like I'm moving too far away, in fact my condo is only about 15 minutes from my parents house if you take the highway. I suppose that sooner or later moving out was an inevitability but who knew that it would be the former. Anyways, amongst the chaos of cleaning up my pantry and re-arranging the cupboards of their crazy clutter I managed to whip up a simple and tasty lunch for myself. I had bought some "reduced-to-clear" chive buds from the local asian supermarket the day before today, and decided that I'd better use up the buds before they go completely limp and lifeless. So I chopped and pan-fried the chive buds, tossed in some seared shrimp and allowed the entire mixture to heat through. Mmmm, delicious and healthy... just the way I like it.

Spicy Chive Buds with Shrimp
(Yields enough for 2 servings)

- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup frozen shrimp, thawed
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp spicy hot-pot paste
- 4 cups chive buds, chopped into 3-inch long sticks
- 1 tbsp soy sauce

1. Heat the oil in a deep-sided, non-stick frying pan and fry up the garlic until fragrant
2. When pan is sizzling on medium-high heat, add the shrimp and sear on one side for a full minute. When cooked on one side, flip shrimp over to alternate side
3. Add in the chicken stock to help deglaze the pan, and add in the spicy hot-pot paste.
4. Continue cooking mixture over medium heat and add the chive buds. Fry up the mixture until buds are heated through, but not limp. Add soy sauce to taste and serve.

This recipe was really simple to create. I simply used the random ingredients that were inside my fridge. I wasn't quite sure how it was going to turn out, but I actually quite enjoyed the spicy, garlicy flavor. This dish will definitely be made again, especially when I have little time to cook up anything too fancy.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Mushroom, Spinach and Gouda Pork Loin Roulade

The other day I decided to make dinner instead of bake! Don't ask me why I had that crazy idea, but to tell you the truth it was probably all those endless summer-nights watching the food network that got me going. Anyways, I was rummaging through the deep freezer and came across this interesting hunk of meat, and unsure of what it was I read the label... pork tenderloin! Hmm... just looking at the piece of pork I already knew that I wanted to try out a recipe that I'd been keeping my eye on. I'd always wanted to make a roulade out of some sort of meat... be it chicken, fish or pork. And now was my chance!

Mushroom, Wild-rice, Spinach and Gouda Pork Roulade
(Yields 1 Roulade, 6-8 servings)

1 large piece of pork tenderloin
1 cup fresh button mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup cooked wild rice+brown rice mix
8 slices of smoked gouda
Additional 2 tbsp canola oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
A mixture of root vegetables (yams, carrots, potatoes, zucchini) sliced

1. To prepare the filling, heat oil in frying pan and fry garlic and onions until fragrant. Add in the mushrooms, chopped spinach and continue to heat mixture until vegetables become tender. Remove mixture from heat, place in a medium-sized bowl and mix in the wild rice and parmesan cheese. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
2. Prepare the meat by butterflying the fillet and using a meat-tenderizer to flatten out the pork
3. Leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the pork, place the 8 slices of smoked gouda down (overlapping is okay).
4. On top of the gouda, spread on the mushroom, spinach, wild-rice mixture.
5. Roll the pork "jelly-roll" style and secure the meat with butcher's twine. Rub the outside of the roulade with oiled hands, and season with salt and pepper.
6. Heat the additional 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan (large enough to hold the roulade). Once hot, place the roulade, seam-side down into the pan. Sear the seam and then rotate the roulade to sear the entire outside of the pork roll.
7. Well-grease a large, tall-sided baking pan and place enough sliced root vegetables to cover the bottom of the pan. Reserve the remaining vegetables to add later. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, and any herb you enjoy. Place the seared roulade on top of the vegetables and bake at 375degrees for 45 minutes. Once the roulade has only 30minutes more to cook, add in the remaining vegetables.8. Once cooked, remove roulade from oven and allow to cool for 10minutes minimum before slicing. Once cooled, slice the roulade and serve with the vegetables and enjoy!

My parents were very impressed with the presentation of the meal. Really, a roulade is so easy to make and provides an amazing wow-factor for any occasion. Try making one tonight and your family will be very impressed by both the look and the taste!