Friday, October 30, 2009

Chorizo Rice

I was checking our pantry the other day and found some old canned goods. I saw a Pure Foods' Chorizo de Bilbao which was like a year old already. It says that it will expire by November 2009 and thinking that it will expire sooner than later. I decided to do something about it. So often than not, I use this chorizo for making paella, however; I didn't have my oven that time and my paella pan was nowhere to be found. So, I thought of just making this simple chorizo rice dish.

Here are the ingredients.

First, make the tomato sauce. Oh yes friends, we are gonna make a tomato sauce from scratch here. It's flavor is more robust and vibrant. Moreover, it taste's more tomato than the sharp sour taste of commercial packed tomatoes. Anyhow, first, melt some butter.

Then, add some olive oil to give more flavor into it.

Mince some garlic and onions and give them a quick saute here, just sweat them.

Then, deglaze it with some white wine.

Then add some canned tomatoes. I use canned tomatoes because the local tomatoes have different taste. It is actually more refreshing that's why we usually eat it with something salty. The canned ones are different since it came from a tomato producing country and the good thing about their product is that they canned their tomatoes during its peak season and when they are fully riped.

Add some chicken stock into the mixture *mine was a frozen block of chicken stock*. I also added some bay leaf and some thyme. Let it simmer for around 10-20mins to cook out the acidity of the wine and tomatoes plus, to intensify the flavor.

When that is done, put it in a blender and puree it.

Use a chinois and strain the sauce to have a smoother consistency.

Then put it into a saucepan and let it simmer for some more, this time season it.

If you haven't used the Chorizo de Bilbao of Pure Foods, here is a sneak peak.

Yes friends, it is packed in lard! It would be a sin to not use those high cholesterol flavoring into your dish :D That said, get some of its lard and throw it in the pan. When that has heated, put in some chopped chorizo and some chopped bacon.

When they are almost done, remove it from the pan and put in the chicken. Saute and season.

Then, add some cold rice. I use 'dinorado' rice. It is stickier than normal white rice but not that likes of 'malagkit'.

Add in the bacon and chorizo.

Add in the tomato sauce.



Strong bold flavors. This dish will really make you feel Spanishy. What I didn't like about this dish was that I overseasoned it. I think you just have to season the sauce and that would be enough. Moreover, I think the bacon should have been cooked to almost crisped to give it a better texture. Lastly, presentation could have been better. Adding some parsley and lemon wedge as a side could have nailed this dish.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Broiled Pork Tenderloin in Barbecue Sauce with Pan Roasted Potatoes

I have always wanted to try real barbecue. Smoking whole cuts of meat at low and slow was something I really wanted to do; however, it was not possible for me at a time since I need some wood chips that will go along the cooking process. It took me around 4 months before I was able to get my hands on some hickory wood chips! For starters, I need small cuts of meat and thought that tenderloin would be a good start. Then, an obstacle happened. Our outdoor griller has already been in the cemetery since last week! I have clearly forgotten about that! So, instead of smoking the tenderloin, I came up with this: Broild Pork Tenderloin in Barbecue Sauce with Pan Roasted Potatoes.

There's the preparation *sugar and worcestershire were not included in the photo, forgot about them in the line-up*

First, quarter the potatoes. I used the small potatoes because the large potatoes were like overpriced at this moment due to the typhoons. Then, throw them in a pot with salt in it and boil them. Why add salt? Well, Heston Blumenthal said that adding salt when boiling potatoes will give your potatoes better texture when roasted. And if Heston Blumenthal said it, it must be done.

While the potatoes cook, mince some garlic.

And also mince some onions.

By this time, drain the potatoes from the boiling pot and set it aside. Make sure they have been cooked halfway.

Now, let's start making the sauce. Get a sauce pan and put some olive oil. Give the garlic and onions some quick saute.

Then, add some red wine vinegar. Let it cook until the acidity goes out.

Add some whole peppercorn and a bay leaf.

Then add some water.

Add a little bit of worcestershire.

Then bring in the ketchup. I prefer Heinz cause for me, it is the best :D It the best mouth feel among the rest of the ketchup I have tried.

Lastly, add some sugar. Brown sugar for color.

Give the whole sauce a quick stir and let it simmer so that flavors infused.

Now, let's start with the pork. Grab your whole tenderloin and put it on your cutting board. But the ends of the tenderloin so that the volume of tenderloin looks even for even cooking. You don't want to have some part overcooked and some part undercooked.

Melt some butter on your pan.

Sear the tenderloin.

Sear them on both sides. Season them as this happens ofcourse.

When all sides are seared, put them on your cutting board again.

Slather it with some mustard and pierce a meat thermometer through the thickest part of the meat. Then throw it in a broiler.

Lastly, let's finish the potatoes. Melt some butter on the pan again.

Put some minced garlic and onions and give it a quick saute.

Then add the drained potatoes.

If possible, throw in some fresh herbs. I used tarragon in my case.

Potatoes are done. Remember our sauce? Drain them.

You need to drain them so that you can get a clean color of the sauce.



Pan roasted potatoes doesn't work! You really have to roast them in the oven to get the crisp texture that I was looking for, but, the texture of the potatoes were better than expected. It was pretty soft. It was starchy or crumbly.

The tenderloin was cooked really well. Mustard paired with the barbecue sauce it gave a great flavor profile. The sauce had a good mouth feel and I liked the taste of olive oil in the barbecue sauce, however; I think I should have thinned it a little more.

Points for improvements are flavor and color. I think adding more green and something vibrant could make this dish presentable. Furthermore, I think adding some paprika or roasted bell peppers would have helped a lot with the flavor profile. :D

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saturday Night at My Sister's Place

Another saturday night has made my sister summoned me to create some nice dishes at their house. Normally, I would bring all my stuff because I don't trust their pantry and their kitchen tools except cooking oil, stove and oven. I even brought my own pepper. Anyhow, I have this small cooler that has become my 'pantry on the go' carrier.

Anyhow, so let's start the fun! I told her that I was to make five dishes. Here are the list: French Fries, Steak, Salad, French Onion Soup, and Baked Chicken.

I could actually make individual post for those mentioned dishes but then again, it ruined the idea of reality for me *but hey, you are in the internet, there is its own reality right?* Anyhow, let's start with the fries.

The preparation for the fries is easy and you can do this a day in advance. Julienne them into uniform sizes and place them in a container and cover them with water. You need them to be uniform so that it cooks evenly when you deep fry them and you cover them in water so that it removes the excess starces that the potatoes have. If possible soak them overnight, which I did, or at least an hour.

I then cooked the french onion soup first since it can be heated easily later when service time comes. Slice some onions and butter a casserole. Place the onions there.

Caramelized the onions there. When it started caramelizing, add some leeks, and some balsamic vinegar. Don't forget to season them too.

Then, add some chicken stock and and bring it to a boil. Then simmer it. Covered. Then let it just stay there and turn it on again later when service time comes.

As the soup cooks, cut the vegetables for your salad, my vegetables consisted some iceberg lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. Tomatoes were diced. I also candied some walnuts during that time. You just roast them with some sugar. When you are done with these, I made my dressing. I reduced some balsamic with a little bit of brown sugar. Lastly, I used a vegetable peeler to slice some parmesan. When those are done, put the sauce aside and place the vegetables inside the fridge. Use them later when service time arrives.

While reducing the dressing, I made the steak sauce. It is technically a red wine reduction with demi-glace *cheat, I used some Knorr professional demi-glace, when you have a time constraint, you need to cheat*. At this point, I was using 3 stoves right now, one is for the soup, and two were for the sauce an dressing. During this time, I only have 2hours to go before service time so I started making the main courses.

I started blanching the fries in oil. The key to making good fries is to cook them first at around 320F. Then, when you are about to serve them, deep fry at 375F. Restaurants do this all the time. They blanch in advance then refrigerate or set it aside then give it a final cooking.

Drain them then set aside. *didn't have paper towels at that time boo!*

First, I seared the chicken drumsticks with butter and olive oil. Then, halfway during the searing of the meat, I placed some rosemary and whole cloves of garlic. I let them baked for 45 mins in the oven with some chicken stock.

While the chicken was cooking in the oven, I started pan roasting some steaks because it was 45 mins before service time. Sear, baste. *nice sear >:)*

It took me around 15-20 mins to do that. So I have 30 minutes to go, prepared the french onion soup and started heating up a pan for the fries at 375F.

I used L'artizan's baguette and some gruyere. Finished those in the oven.

This was a pretty intense cooking for me. While four stoves were running and the oven heating, I was still cutting more vegetables because I was told that there will be two additional guests arriving *relatives/neighbors*. Lolz, pretty pressured that time but I was also able to pull it off.

Then service time came. Everything was good and the execution of food were expected. I was actually 30mins late in terms of serving them, not yet trained in terms of time execution of cooking, oh well, I learned.

Bad presentation for the salad and dressing was overly reduced. Loved the walnuts though.

Loved the cooking of the steak. The only problem was, poor quality steaks, there were USDA choice grade rib eyes, the catch? they were already frozen for a year! lolz, but still, it was pretty well cooked I think. Sauce was great *thanks cheat demi*.

People liked the fries. Texture was good and seasoning was just right. Although I think it absorbed too much oil for my taste. Anyhow, as long as they are happy, that is good.

Chicken was pretty moist and it had a lot of flavor. Simple clean elegant dish.

Lastly, the soup was so-so. I think my stock that time was weak. It could have been better. Luckily, one of the extra people liked it *actually, he likes onions* so he finished all of the soup lolz!

The presentation was not really pleasant since I was really press for time :(

Whew! that was like a level-up for cooking execution for me. I felt like having a professional cooking simulation, pressure and heat. It was fun actually and I like the feeling to be able to pull off something like that.

We were happy eating :D