Thank goodness for friends! I think it's become rather obvious to all of them that this kitchen renovation is taking a toll on me. Just in case you're wondering about the lack of posts; I've pretty much given up any attempt to cook and especially bake. In addition to the sawdust and plaster dust I'm constantly working to remove from my house, I've been painting windows, radiators and walls. I am just plain tired. We've been eating out, a lot. Dinner invitations are greatly appreciated by me and my family.
Last weekend we were invited for dinner with Jan and Mike. We enjoyed a beautiful evening dining al fresco.
Jan's kitchen is a great place to hang out!
Pork tenderloin and mango threaded onto wooden skewers and grilled; served with a cilantro couscous... delicious!
Ancho-Marinated Pork and Mango Skewers
recipe from Fine Cooking's GRILLING 2010
Serves 4 (2 skewers per person)
• 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 2 tablespoons canola oil; more for the grill
• 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons pure ancho chile powder
• 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
• Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
• Kosher salt
• 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
• 8 skewers, 10-inches or longer, soaked in water for 20 minutes if wooden
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
In a medium bowl, whisk the orange juice, lime juice, oil, sugar, ancho powder, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add the pork, toss to coat, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
Thread the pork and mango cubes onto the skewers, alternating them and beginning and ending with a piece of pork. Each skewer should have about 5 pieces of pork and 4 pieces of mango.
Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Scrub the grill grate with a wire brush and then wipe clean with a paper towel dipped in oil. Cook the skewers, turning once, until the meat is browned on the outside but still slightly pink in the center, about 8 minutes. Serve garnished with the cilantro.
I suppose this is the inaugural post of " Great Kitchens", recipes and photos I hope to share with you occasionally while my kitchen is dismantled. We were invited this past weekend for an al fresco dinner at Carol and Paul's. They are one-third of the group we call "gourmet". Approximately every 3 months we get together with Carol and Paul, and Debbie and Greg, either at our house or at one of their houses. So far this year Bill and I have been given a pass on hosting a dinner, all because of our kitchen remodel. I owe everyone Big Time this fall.
I am always excited about going to Carol and Paul's. The tables are set with beautiful French linens.
Pipi, who joined us that night, was made to feel very special with her own personal coverlet folded on the brick patio, along with a bowl of fresh water.
Upon arriving, we were greeted with glasses of Sangria.
Debbie and Greg's contribution to the meal was crostini with roasted radishes. If you have never been a radish fan, try eating them this way. It's my new favorite way to eat radishes. Greg was inspired to make them this way after reading an article in The New York Times. (For some reason I cannot copy the link, but if you put in a search for NYT's "A GOOD APPETITE; roasted radishes", it should come up.)
The copper saucepan is awaiting morel mushrooms...
Paul dried the morels he picked this spring by running a needle with thread through the mushrooms. He then hung them in the basement to dry. To rehydrate, the morels were mixed with heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat. Just try to imagine how good that tasted.
The morels were combined with asparagus. Is there anything that screams spring more than morel mushrooms and asparagus? And if that wasn't wonderful enough, we also had boned, breaded trout caught by.... yes, PAUL! I looked around at all of the plates as they were carried away. There were no leftovers what-so-ever. We savored every bite. I feel extremely lucky and very grateful to be included in this group... Great food... Great friends.
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