January 30, 2012

Pork Medallion with Pepper, Onion & Pineapple

I recently saw a cooking demo with Chef Brian Duffy from Philadelphia making Pork Filet Medallions with a Pineapple Ginger Salsa. It was an easy dish that I could easily replicate and make for one.  With a few modifications I made a similar dish with ingredients I had in my kitchen. I have posted his recipe as well (Pork Filet Medallions with a Pineapple Ginger Salsa). 

I like using Schwans products because they often are individual servings or can be resealed and used as individual servings. Because items are frozen you may need to allow time to thaw.

1 Schwan's Boneless Pork Loin (#393), thawed
1 cup Roasted Peppers & Onions (#761), thawed
1/4 cup Pineapple
2 Tsp Ginger (Fresh or jar, I used jar)
1/2 Jalapeno Diced (add more depending on amount of spice you want)
2 Tsp oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

For Pork Loin
  1. Preheat skillet on Medium and add of oil.
  2. Remove chop from wrapper and season lightly with salt & pepper
  3. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes on each side
While cooking pork loin mix Roasted Peppers & Onion, Pineapple, Ginger, and Jalapeno in a bowl. When you are on the second side of cooking your pork loin add the mix to the pan, around the pork, with about 4 minutes left to heat. 
Remove pork from skillet and top with pepper mixture.

Pork Filet Medallions with a Pineapple Ginger Salsa

This recipe is from Chef Brian Duffy of Philadelphia.  I modified it to serve one under Pork Medallion with Pepper, Onion & Pineapple

Pork Medallions
2.25 Pounds or 12 Ea 3 - oz Pork Loin Sliced into Medallions
Salt & Pepper for Taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Sautéing

Pineapple Ginger Salsa
1 Pine apple Cored & small diced or 2 Cans Diced Pineapple
1 Red Onion Small Dice
1 Red Bell Pepper Small Dice
1 T Fresh Ginger, Peeled & Diced
3 T Cilantro, Chopped
1 Jalapeno, Small Diced
Salt & Pepper to Taste

PREHEAT oven to 350
PREHEAT an ALL-CLAD Pan to med high heat
SEAR Season Pork Medallions & Sear on both sides for 4 - 6 minutes each side
Remove Pork & Let rest for 1 - 2 minutes
ADD Remaining salsa ingredients & sauté briefly for 1 - 2 minutes
Place pork Filet on the plate & top with Salsa
** Chef’s Tip…..How to clean a Pork Tenderloin
         Remove Silver skin (connective tissue) with a sharp knife
         Remove 90% of Fat around pork 10% is left for flavor


January 24, 2012

Black Bean Burgers with Corn Salsa

I found this recipes years ago. It is a great alternative to a regular beef burger.  I like to make it on Fridays during Lent and in the summer because if its fresh tasting flavors.

Picture from original recipe
1/3 c coarsely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 t ground cumin
1 1/2 c canned black beans rinsed and drained
1/2 c coarse dried bread crumbs
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 c walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  - Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lg egg, beaten
Corn Salsa
1 c corn kernels, fresh or thawed
1/2 c seeded and diced tomato
1 - scallion, chopped
1 1/2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 t seeded and minced jalapeno chile pepper
2 t fresh lime juice

2 small Hass avocados
1 T fresh lime juice
2 T olive oil

4 - English muffins

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place onion, garlic, and cumin; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add beans, bread crumbs, and cilantro; pulse until just combined (don’t puree). Transfer mixture to a bowl; stir in walnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in egg and stir until combined. Form into four 3 1/2-inch patties. (If burgers seem very wet, add 1/4 cup bread crumbs.) Chill patties, covered, at least 1 hour, and up to 1 day.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together salsa ingredients. Add salt to taste. Set aside. Peel, pit, and mash avocados in a medium bowl with juice and salt to taste. Cover the surface of the avocado with plastic wrap to seal out air. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot; cook patties until light brown, 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Toast muffins. Place a spoonful of guacamole on muffin bottom; add a burger, some salsa, a muffin top, and serve.

January 21, 2012

The Lowry

(Note: Numbers indicate items on the 12 in '12 List on my blog) 
Tonight I ate a my first new restaurant of the new year (#8)- The Lowry in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. Parking was available in a private lot and also on the street.  Upon my arrival I was immediately greeted by the hostess staff and manager, Jeff Rogers.  Jeff was the reason for my visit to The Lowry this evening. He is one of the contributing bartenders in the book NorthStar Cocktail (#2)
Jeff Rogers & Me at The Lowry
Jeff signing my book

Knowing it was my first time visiting Jeff presented me with the drink menu. I asked for Jeff's recommendations on food as well.  He recommended for light foods (appetizers) the Tuna Poke, which is a raw tuna with soy, green onions, ginger, wasabi, and wonton crackers. The Tempura Green Beans with Plum Sauce Jeff said were a basically tempura green beans, but the plum sauce is what makes them delicious. The Jalapeno Cheese Curds served with Blueberry Ketchup was his final recommendation.

Cocktail by Jeff
The Lowery has an impressive list of tap beers ranging from local craft to imports.  Their wine list has a reasonably price list of wine varieties, many can be purchased by the glass or bottle. The cocktail list includes craft style cocktails, many created by Jeff.  My first drink was not on the menu, but a drink Jeff created for me called the Moon Bear. 

When seated my waiter, Lucas, asked it this was my first time dining at The Lowry - it was. He offered drinks (Jeff was already getting me one). I asked him for recommendations. His first question was "How hungry are you?" I told him I had had a salad earlier in the day. He made the same appetizer recommendations as Jeff (I knew they would be good).  Lucas then made recommendations from each section of the menu. Steak & Pierogies; Fish Tacos; Mac n Cheese under the entrees.  Under Breakfast he suggested the Spinach Frittata and Cakes, Eggs & Links if I wanted something more traditional.  Acknowledging that I had a salad earlier in the day, he also told me the Steak Salad was popular.

I took the advice of Jeff and Lucas and tried the Jalapeno Cheese Curds served with Blueberry Ketchup, but then I also chose the Deviled Eggs with bacon, arugula, garlic aioli for appetizers. Both appetizers exceeded my expectations. The Jalapeno Cheese were flavorful, not greasy; and the Blueberry Ketchup I wanted to take the rest home with me in my purse. Don't worry I didn't put it in my purse (that would have caused a mess), however I did keep it for the fries I had coming later. The Deviled Eggs had the smoky bacon flavor with a hit of pepper from the arugula.  The The Lowry also has oysters and burgers. I chose the Buffalo Burger Special that came with guacamole, pickled onions, and greens. It was served with a choice of fries or cole slaw; I went with the fries, no salt.  When the burger arrived I was excited to see it wasn't a mammoth burger; it was the perfect size. The greens were arugula which added the perfect peppery taste to the burger.  KUDOS for use of arugula.

With my dinner I tried a cocktail on the the menu that intrigued me from the first moment I saw it; Battle Cat. Named after the large green tiger, with yellow stripes that He-Man rode; the Battle Cat includes vodka, orange curacao, lemon juice, cranberry juice, simple syrup,and beer. If you leave the beer out it is called Cringer (Battle Cat's alter ego in the cartoons). In this drink you can tastes the layers of ingredients beginning with the vodka and orange, then ending with the beer.  It was unique, I would order it again.

To finish off the evening I had to try one of The Lowry's homemade desserts.  I chose the Strawberry Mousse Cheesecake. It was the perfect way to end the meal. I was light and fluffy strawberry mousse on a graham cracker crust. It would be a perfect dessert for one or two share at the end of a dinner date.

Overall I enjoyed every aspect of my visit to The Lowry. The food came out in a timely manner. The atmosphere is comfortable and the noise only came from the people around me. It was nice to not have loud blaring music so I could enjoy the conversation.   I was told they have a wonderful brunch on the weekends that is very popular so there may be a wait. I look forward to coming back for breakfast one morning (you can get breakfast items anytime). I think it would be a great place for date night.

The Lowry does not take reservations, however they do accept calling ahead to put your name on the waiting list.

Open Daily 6:30am until 2:30am

2112 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the building.

Twitter: twitter.com/TheLowryMN
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheLowryMN

Thank you to Jeff, Lucas & the Entire Staff at The Lowry!!!