Sunday, November 28, 2010

Prosciutto Topping

After seeing THIS recipe a few months ago, I decided I need to try it myself.
Nice, smoky and very crunchy, this so called prosciutto salt or topping is a must have for sprinkling on anything from soup to cheese dip.

And unlike any other recipe I have posted before, this one is a single ingredient recipe !!!
1 packet of 4 oz of prosciutto or as much as you have

Preheat the oven to 395 F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread the prosciutto,

cover with more parchment

and using a rolling pin, press the paper down

so that it sticks to the meat.

Bake for 10 minutes,

then remove the upper parchment paper and bake for 10 more minutes.
This is how the parchment looked after the first 10 minutes.

Some of the fat had baked off and it had seeped into the parchment.
I also flipped the prosciutto over when I uncovered it.
This is how it looks when done.

When done, let cool for 10 minutes, then place in a food processor

and pulse or mix in 5 seconds increments

until it reaches your desired consistency.
Place in a ziplock plastic bag and store in the fridge.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Orange Marmelade glazed Pork, Cheddar Quinoa and Mango Salsa - 2nd Wedding Anniversary Dinner

On November 15th of every year we celebrate our wedding anniversary and this year it was our 2nd.
Jeff did not request and specific dinner and so I thought I would make something out of the ordinary and something I have never made before.
Some time ago I saw somebody on TV glazing chicken breasts with orange marmelade and balsamic vinegar so that the sugars would caramelize and color the meat and so I just borrowed the idea from there and used pork instead.

 I had picked up a mango at the store to make a mango salsa which I had never previously tried and if you are curious, you need to try it as it is just delicious.
The recipe is really suitable for adapting to your personal taste as I just put it together based on what I had and what I personally like.

The mango at Whole Foods was $ 2.99. The yellow mangoes were 2 pieces for $ 2.99.

For the Salsa:
1 mango, rinsed, peeled, cubed
1/2 tomato, diced

1 small shallot or onion, diced

2 dashes chili pepper powder
2 TBSP olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 green bell pepper, diced

For the Quinoa:
1/3 cup dry red quinoa

1 and 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

For the Meat:
2 pieces of pork loin
1 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP orange marmelade

For the Salsa:
After you wash/rinse the mango, peel,

cut the fruit flesh

and discard the large seed.
Dice or cube the mango


and place it in a medium size bowl.

Add the diced 1/2 tomato, the diced bell pepper and the diced shallot or onion and then season and dress the ingredients.

Toss to combine, taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

For the Quinoa:

They say that quinoa sometimes needs to be rinsed so that bitterness is washed away from the surface of the grain.
I purchased my red quinoa at Whole Foods and even though I am pretty sure that the grain is pre-rinsed, I let it sit in cold water for 1 hour.

In a medium sized sauce pan I brought to boil 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth and added the drained quinoa.

I let it cook at medium heat in the liquid until all of it was absorbed,

which took 25 minutes.

At the end I added the cheese


and the 1/2 cup chicken broth that I had left.


You can either mold it

and freeze it for faster cooling or you can enjoy it warm.

For the Meat:
Coat the meat with oil, season with salt and pepper


and spread the orange marmelade on the surface.


Bake at 450 F for 20 minutes

or until the meat looks cooked and the glaze starts to caramelize.

This is how it looked at the 10 minute mark.

Plate and enjoy !!

For dessert we had Key Lime Pie with Strawberry Champagne.