We were supposed to have the rogan josh from last week for lunches for a couple of days this past week. We either made less than I thought the recipe was going to make or we ate an inordinate amount of curry last Monday night. Either way, there wasn’t much in the way of Indian leftovers. So, I decided to make the same rogan josh recipe, but with garbanzo beans and carrots instead of lamb- the veggie version!
I made sure to double the recipe so it lasted the entire week. While the lamb rogan josh was so good and juicy, this veggie version still packs a nice, hearty punch. I want to try it with chicken and maybe another vegetarian protein version too- it’s too easy and too scrumptious not to use it regularly.
I like to have more than one meal made in the fridge at a time, especially so Alfonso can eat something with minimal prep when he gets home after a busy dinner service. What started out as a “clean out the cabinet and fridge” orzo salad ended up being quite elegant.
We like to focus on veggies during the week because our Sunday dinner or big weekend meal usually involves meat (This week it was pork!); and both the veggie rogan josh and the orzo salad worked perfectly. The salad is also a great dish to take to barbeques or potlucks. Have it on the side or as a main dish with some corn bread and you won’t be disappointed!
(Also, I promise we don’t serve food directly on the table (see above photo). That is a square plate that just happens to blend with the platter next to it!)
Pea, Corn, and Roasted Red Pepper Orzo Salad
3 cups cooked orzo, still warm
3/4 cup cooked peas
corn from 2 roasted cobs
1 red pepper, roasted and diced
1/2 cup black olive, sliced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
For the dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 T champagne vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t salt
3/4 t pepper
1 T minced parsley
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl until evenly mixed, making sure to place the warm orzo on top of the spinach at first to wilt. Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake until emulsified. Pour half of the dressing on the salad and mix well. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.
Then it was Sunday, the start of our weekend.
Before we started dinner making in the afternoon we made sure to get our daily dose of sunshine. And vodka. A little afternoon Bloody Mary never hurt anybody.
Make sure to take time to stop and breathe in the good life. Even if the good life is as simple as sunshine and cocktails.
Let talk about meat. Specifically pork tenderloin from Costco. PSA of the week: Start shopping at Costco and never stop. We got the tenderloin there and it had a beautiful color and little excess fat to be trimmed. And because it is Costco, we bought a 4 pack (froze three of them) at only $16-$17! Fun fact: I read somewhere that Costco sells more organic food than Whole Foods.
We marinated this tenderloin for about 24 hours and cooked it to 145°F internally, let it rest, and sliced it up. Perfectly pink and juicy with lots of drippings from the sear for delicious brown gravy. We served the pork on a small bed of parmesan polenta with the sauce drizzled on top.
Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Brown Gravy
1 pork medium tenderloin, fat trimmed
For the marinade
3/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
5 garlic clove, diced
2 T fresh thyme, minced
2 T fresh rosemary, minced
1 T pepper
For the gravy
1 T butter
3 T flour
2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
Put marinade ingredients and raw pork in a gallon sized zip lock and massage until the marinade is thoroughly combined and evenly covers the tenderloin. Marinade 4-36 hours.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Sear the tenderloin for 1-2 minutes on all sides. Transfer to oven for 10-15 min. until pork reaches 145°F on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven an let rest 5-10 min. Slice and serve.
Return the cast iron pan to the stove top over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Whisk in the flour to make a paste. Slowly whisk in broth until combined and reduce until thick. Stir in the heavy cream, salt, and pepper and heat through for about 1 min. Serve along side the pork.
It wasn’t quite a meat fest on Sunday- we did eat our Brussels sprouts, and they were delicious! Simply roasted and finished with parmesan, they made the perfect pairing (along with an Argentinian Malbec, also from Costco) for the tender pork and the creamy polenta. Make sure the veggie gets a little crispy in oven- it is divine.
Garlicky Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
1 T salt
1/2 cup parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix the Brussels sprouts, garlic, salt, and 1/8 cup of olive oil in a large bowl. If not entirely coated with the olive oil, add up to 1/8 cup more. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, until tender and somewhat crispy, turning once. Serve on a platter topped with the parmesan.
This week we hope to be able to start posting twice per week. It’s been difficult with work projects and Alfonso’s culinary school schedule, but it looks like we can come up for air for the next few weeks. What makes it hard for you to do your hobbies or even just get a homemade dinner on the table? Do you have any time saving, get-it-done tricks? Talk to y’all soon.