Wednesday, May 16, 2007

From ordinary to extraordinary...

It was a meat and potatoes type of meal for dinner tonight, however this was nowhere near ordinary as each dish had a lot going for it.

We'll start off tonight with a non-fussy recipe for Roasted Potatoes with Herb Vinaigrette. Not too much to talk about here really - quartered red potatoes are tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted until they are tender. A fair amount of minced garlic is added to the hot potatoes and they are placed back in the oven to cook just a few more minutes so the flavor can distribute. During that time, a dressing made from olive oil, chives, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and tarragon is whisked together. Right as the potatoes are taken out and are still piping hot, the potatoes are gently tossed with the dressing so they immediately begin to drink it up. It's hard to go wrong with roasted potatoes, but between the minced garlic and the dressing, these tender babies are delicious with just a different twang to them to keep 'em interesting.

The meat half of tonight's dinner was a sweet, yet quite spicy recipe for Pork Medallions with Chili-Maple Sauce. A lean pork tenderloin is first divided into 6 pieces with each one being flattened until it is about 1/2" thick. Seasoned with salt and fresh ground pepper, the pork is also sprinkled with Chinese five-spice powder to tantalize the taste buds. Quickly cooked in a hot skillet, the pork is allowed to brown on each side, yet still keep a light pink hue in the center so each medallion stays tender and juicy. Now, the real sweet and spicy combo comes into play with a sauce created with chicken broth, pure maple syrup and chili-garlic sauce. Prepared in the same skillet as the pork, the sauce picks up any caramelized bits left behind and reduces to intensify its flavor. If you're serving the pork as-is, there is just enough of the sauce to coat the medallions - if you would like to serve this over rice, I would suggest doubling the sauce so there would be plenty to go around. The sweet maple syrup slightly offsets the heat, but feel free to adjust the chili-garlic sauce as with 1 tablespoon the sauce is still very spicy (just right for us though!).


4 comments:

  1. Sue (coffeepot)5/17/2007 05:58:00 AM

    Hey Joe!

    I loooove roasted potatoes and make them quite often. The dressing sounds like something I must try on mine.


    Nothing is any better than pork and potatoes.

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  2. I made pork medallions last night too! Great minds think alike.

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  3. As I scroll down your blog I'm struck by your food, and it's ALL food I'd like to cook and eat! Your household and mine must have similar tastes :)

    The pairing of the pork and the flavoured potaotes sounds so good. Maple chilli, mmmm.

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  4. Sue - I agree!

    TCJ - Woo! Pork free for all!

    Kelly-Jane - Thank you!

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