Demented Ramblings life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar

13Jun/070

Not just once, but twice

Twice this week (and it's only Wednesday!) I've cooked and it's turned out well. Even better than that, I even remembered to take pictures. I might turn into a foodblogger yet!

There was nothing terribly groundbreaking about Monday night's dinner. These were rehashed recipes, but thrown together in a new combination.

Here we have grilled tuna steak which was marinated in lime juice, olive oil, and Old Bay. Corn on the cob done in my new favorite way - grilled with lime, salt, and cayenne. And a quick bean salad consisting of canned (rinsed) beans, minced onion, jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, olive oil and cilantro.

Tonight I got a bit more adventurous.

Mustard crusted grilled pork tenderloin with mustard dill sauce, honey glazed sweet potato, and grilled asparagus. I found the recipe for the pork online somewhere and really liked it for its simplicity. Coat a pork tenderloin with a jar of stone ground mustard and 2-3 tsps of kosher salt. I only used half a jar of mustard since I only used one of the tenderloins in the package. Place the tenderloin on the grill (lowest setting) for 20 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until it reaches 165 F.

The asparagus has become a standby around here. We love it! If you've never grilled asparagus, I recommend getting to it. Toss trimmed asparagus spears with olive oil and kosher salt and place on the grill. I leave them there until they get a little blackened in spots.

Finally, the sweet potatoes. I had no recipe for these, just pulled something out of my head. It was mildly based on the fried sweet potatoes that my gran used to make for Pop. I peeled a sweet potato and sliced it into large slabs. These were placed on the grill for 10 or so minutes, until they looked ready to flip. After flipping them, I brushed warmed honey onto the top side. Once I thought the other side was about done, I flipped them again and brushed honey on the other side, giving it a few more minutes on the grill for the honey to sort of carmelize.

While everything else was cooking (believe me when I say I was running back and forth like crazy) I made a mustard dill sauce in the kitchen. I got the recipe from Get Saucy, a cookbook I have on hand. I had feared that the pork would be dry, as I tend to cook the daylights out of either pork or chicked because I seem to have some deep seated fear of undercooked meat (except beef, which I prefer medium). However, by cooking the pork slowly over very low heat, it was quite moist. The sauce was a great complement for it though.

6Jun/070

Blast my impatient ways!

I made the prettiest dessert the other night when the cute boyfriend was coming over. And, as always, dived into it without thinking to grab the camera! *rolls eyes*

It was quite simple and could have even been healthy if I'd wanted it to. However, the cute boyfriend refuses to touch sugar free stuff as it gives him digestive discomfort. So, feel free to recreate this in a sugar free version.

To start off, I mixed up a package of Jello french vanilla instant pudding according to the package directions and then put it in the fridge to set up. In an hour or so I started assembly.

For each dessert, you need one 100 calorie pack of shortbread cookies and a martini glass. I had enough pudding that I could have easily made 4 of them.

In each martini glass, I spooned a tablespoon or so of sliced strawberries, then smoothed vanilla pudding over it. I arranged the shortbread cookies around the rim of the glass, sticking down into the pudding and then slightly up over the edge of the glass. Spooned in more strawberries and topped it off with more pudding. After arranging the cookies around each glass, there were a couple left in each packet, so I smashed them up and sprinkled them on top. Then I put the glasses in the fridge for a bit to let the pudding soak into the cookies.

Just before serving, I topped each one with a dollop of cool whip and a strawberry slice. Yumtastic!

3Jun/070

Southern Fried Indian Feast

My urge to cook came back hardcore. However, the effort that I threw into it yesterday may have served to completely kill that urge once more. I completely slaved on this dinner and it didn't turn out all that great. It was all ok, but mostly just ok.

I had decided that I wanted to make my tandoori marinated chicken breasts and set out to find some Indian inspired side dishes. I flipped through cookbooks late on friday night and had mostly decided on fiery lime corn and yogurt mashed potatoes. I decided to go all out and attempt naan as well as a couple of chutneys.

When I got to the farmer's market yesterday, I found that peas were in season. Joy! Rapture! Glee! I love fresh peas. And I'd seen a recipe in the book for peas with homemade cheese. Hrm, I wasn't quite feeling up to making and frying cheese, so I found some farmers cheese there at the market. Frying farmers cheese does not work, by the way. I brought my oil to 300F just like for the homemade cheese, and dropped in a couple of cubes and....

melt. burn. stick. YUK!

Instead I opted to drop half of the cheese cubes into the peas while still warm and the other half once it was nice and cool. This dish contained onion, ginger, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, peas, and the cheese. Decent but not really a keeper.

Instead of red onion chutney, I opted for using vidalia onions. That was a pretty tasty experiment.

Sadly, my naan was a failure. I don't know if it wasn't a good recipe or if my baking powder was old and had lost its oomph. It tasted ok, but didn't poof up like it should have. I'll give it another try some other time.

The big keeper recipe of the meal was the fiery lime corn. I grilled corn until it was all done and scrumptious. Then, quarter a lime and dip the wedges into a mixture of sea salt and cayenne pepper. Instead of slathering the corn in butter, you rub/squeeze a lime wedge over each ear. The taste was so terrific that I didn't even miss the butter at all.