Friday, November 2, 2007

Chicken, Take Two

I have to admit to being rather apprehensive about today’s dinner. After spending last evening in the throes of an asthma attack after my reintroduction to eating chicken, I am wondering if I am up to potentially suffering with the characteristic shortness of breath, a painful pressure in my chest and a hacking cough again tonight.

The innocent(?) culprit.

But on the other hand, it would be best to see if I also need to steer clear of chicken stock. With that thought in mind, I am making Balsamic-Honey Marinated Pork Loin, romaine salad with some of the leftover Tomato, Cucumber and Onion salad from last evening’s dinner, and homemade stuffing with homemade chicken stock.

In the meantime, ignore the asthmatic woman and enjoy the recipes.

Balsamic-Honey Marinated Pork Loin

Burp the bag! Just burp it! Air in the bag defeats the entire purpose of marinating meat in a bag.

I dreamed up this recipe one afternoon when I was trying to come up with a new take on pork. The pork can be roasted, grilled or sauteed.

Balsamic-Honey Marinated Pork Loin

Pork loin
½ cup Balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Honey
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed

Place pork loin in large plastic zipper bag. Pour vinegar and honey into bag. Add garlic clove, dash of pepper and salt and seal bag. Turn bag to evenly coat the pork loin. Refrigerate and turn occasionally until ready to grill or bake. This can be marinated up to 8 hours before cooking. Discard remaining marinade. Cook the pork loin until the interior temperature is 145 degrees for medium doneness.

I have been puttering around in the kitchen today. I made a small batch of a certain famous Whiskey Sauce and while that was simmering away, I used the tomatoes from my garden that I had previously dried for a Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette for dinner tonight. After assembling the stuffing for tonight’s dinner, I made croutons for my daughter.

Speaking of the devil - I mean daughter – she just got home and proclaimed her eternal love for me because I made the croutons and the Whiskey Sauce. Disclaimer: eternal love may expire at any time without prior warning. Restrictions apply.

Homemade Croutons

This is an excellent way to use scrap bread that is leftover from other recipes. A firm bread works better than the usual white sandwich bread. I like to use Herbes de Provence (see recipe in the ‘Sauces, Marinades and Rubs’ section in this book. Herbes de Provence adds a light, fresh flavor to the croutons. Otherwise, any dried herb blend or your favorite dried herbs can also be used with great results. CAUTION: This is not a dish that can be put in the oven and forgotten. The browning will occur within minutes and there is a fine, but disgusting, line between brown croutons and burnt croutons. I never have any leftovers, since Kelley has decided this recipe is the best ever and eats them as a snack!

Bread, cut into a ¾ inch dice
Olive oil
Herb seasonings
Garlic powder, optional

Toss all ingredients together on a baking sheet or a toaster oven pan. Spread out evenly and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Watch carefully as this browns/burns quickly. A good tip is to toss the croutons once some begin browning and then turn off the oven before returning the croutons to the oven to finish drying/baking. Serve fresh croutons on your favorite salad and securely seal and freeze the remainder for another time.

The ingredients for the "Jack Daniel's" Sauce

Jack Daniels Sauce

Trying to find a suitable copy of a proprietary sauce can be difficult. I played around with a couple of different homemade versions of T.G.I. Friday’s Jack Daniels Sauce, until I was happy with the results.

½ tsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup red onion, finely minced
½ tsp. hot sauce
2 tbs. Red wine vinegar
¼ cups Jack Daniels whiskey
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup beef stock or broth
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and use as a sauce on any grilled meat or seafood. Refrigerate any remaining sauce.

Makes 1/2 cup.

The finished sauce

And the verdict is…. I am also allergic to chicken stock. Now I really need to rethink my menus. Please forgive me while I mourn (okay, cry my eyes out).


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Imonna try the pork recipe with maybe some cranberries and/or pomegranate seeds. Looking forward to it.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I'm loving Midnight. She's found where to sleep.