Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I spent most of yesterday cooking. Sadly, I was very happy about it! There were some recipes that I wanted to try so I put them together to make a meal. Let me just say that I got compliments from EVERYONE on last nights dinner so I guess they were all winning recipes! I had bought 2 packs of those 2" in diameter pork tenderloins thinking that was enough for 4 adults. I knew one wouldn't cut it with the boys appetites. I was surprised to see when I opened it that each pack actually had 2 tenderloins so now I had 4! What the heck. Maybe the leftovers would make good sandwiches. Boy was I wrong! There were NO leftovers, just happy faces!!! I'm beginning to think that people are right that soaking meat in a brine is the key to moist meat.
As for the Asparagus Salad... What can I say. I think I ate 1/2 of the asparagus BEFORE I even grilled it. The dressing was so addicting I couldn't stop myself. It must have been all of the garlic! PJ started picking at it as soon as he came home from work. He was very impressed!

The AuGratin Potatoes were very good except I had to bake them for an additional 45 minutes. But we took helpings from the sides of the pan. Those were cooked through. They were very tasty though.... a little different being that they had nutmeg in the mixture.

Asian-Glazed 'Melt-in-Your-Mouth' Pork Tenderloin

1 gallon water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
1/4 cup grated onion
1 lemon, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 (1 1/2 pound) pork tenderloin

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup sweet and sour sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

To make the brine, mix together the water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, 2 tablespoons ginger, onion, lemon, 5 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in a large container. Add the pork tenderloin, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.
For the glaze, whisk together 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce, sweet and sour sauce, hoisin sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons ginger, brown sugar, and orange juice.
Prepare an outdoor grill for high heat.
Cook the pork tenderloin on the preheated grill until no longer pink in the center, 7 to 12 minutes per side. Remove the tenderloin from the grill and cover with foil; allow to rest for 10 minutes. To serve, brush with glaze, and cut into thin slices.

Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad
Recipe courtesy Aaron McCargo

He won the Food Networks 's latest Star contest.
Big Daddy's House


2 bunches asparagus, stems trimmed and split lengthwise

2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary leaves

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped thyme leaves

1 (8-ounce) jar julienne sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, oil reserved

12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin ** SEE NOTE AT BOTTOM


Preheat grill on medium-high heat.
Add asparagus, chopped garlic, salt and pepper, rosemary and thyme to a large bowl. Mix together. Grill asparagus for 3 to 4 minutes. Place asparagus back into bowl. Add julienne-sliced sun-dried tomatoes. Mix together.
Remove 2 tablespoons oil from asparagus mixture, and place into saute pan. Add mushrooms; cook for 3 to 4 minutes until browned and crisp.
Remove mushrooms and mix into asparagus mixture. Serve at room temperature.

** I think any mushroom would be fine. The shiitake mushrooms are sturdier when cooked but are also quite expensive. I did a bad thing... I took the stems off of my mushrooms while in the store so I wasn't then paying for pieces that I would throw out! I do that with Portabello's also! SHHHHHHHH!


8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk 1/2 cup grated yellow Cheddar

1/4 cup grated American cheese

1/4 cup grated white cheddar

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 pounds russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed, peeled and sliced thin

Au Gratin:

1 stick butter, melted

2 cups panko bread crumbs

2 teaspoons smoky paprika


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, add butter. Stir in the flour until pasty. Add milk; stir to remove lumps and let cook for 6 minutes until it gets thick. (mine got too thick so I added more milk until it had a good creamy consistancy) Lower heat and add the cheese, bouillon, nutmeg and black pepper. Whisk until well combined and sauce thickens, approximately 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, combine butter, panko and smoky paprika. Stir well.
Place potatoes into a casserole dish. Pour cheese over potatoes and sprinkle au gratin on top. Wrap with foil and bake in oven for 35 to 45 minutes. ( I had to increase my baking time for an additional 45 minutes!) Remove foil and cook for 10 minutes uncovered. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

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