Charlie waits patiently for a morsel of food to fall at his feet. He has an oral fixation. When I am cooking what I call “weekend food”, which means a bit more labor intensive than weekday meals, he cannot be driven out of the kitchen. Years ago I developed what I call the “puppy shuffle”, which involves sliding your feet around the dog who cannot seem to keep out of your way. Most of the other dogs we have had got the idea pretty quickly and stayed out of the kitchen, but a JRT is like no other dog; they seem to be resistant to human body language.
We missed out on a bite of the new Trader Joe’s mini coissants because I forgot to read the directions: let rise overnight. They had received a grand review in the paper, so I bought them as a treat I didn’t have to make. Now I’ll make them for tomorrow’s breakfast. I believe in giving these new things a try. Some are good, some not so good. Just like people or dogs.
My birthday was last week, and I made these pork medallions with a side of rice pilaf and grilled asparagus. Cook them quickly while still slightly pink inside and they are meltingly tender.
Silver In The Barn asked for a carrot cake recipe, so here is one I like a lot.
Disaster struck the other day, and for some unknown reason, I suddenly lost over 4,000 photos. That computer is now having a vacation in the repair shop to see if anything can be retrieved. I decided not to make a big deal out of it even though it tore my heart out. If the house had burned down, we would start all over, so that’s what I’m doing.
Meanwhile, get busy on the pork medallions:
PORK MEDALLIONS WITH GRAPES IN POMEGRANATE SAUCE
1 large pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
3/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 pomegranate juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs. ketchup
1 cup seedless grapes
3 Tbs. dried cranberries
Trim pork of most of the fat and silverskin and cut crosswise into 1 inch thick medallions.
Heat butter and oil in large heavy skillet. Salt and pepper meat and arrange in skillet and cook over high heat about 2 1/2 min. on each side. Transfer to plate and keep warm in oven.
Add pomegranate juice and broth to skillet, bring to boil, reduce heat to low cover and cook 4-5 min. Add ketchup, grapes and cranberries. Boil for about 1 min. or until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened.
Arrange medallions on 4 warm plates, coat with sauce and grapes and breathe a happy sigh.
Remember that cooking is like life: you have to make do with what’s in the fridge! Make sure it’s something you will like.
TROPICAL CARROT CAKE WITH COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 1/3 cups flour (260 g + 1/3 cup)
1 cup flaked coconut
1 c dry roasted macadamia nuts
3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
3 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp.baking soda
2 cups sugar (400 g or 14 oz)
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated peeled carrots
2 8 oz. cans crushed pineapple in its own juice, well drained
3 8-oz packages cream cheese
3/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such a Coco Lopez, find it in a liquor store)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp coconut extract
(Grind coconut, nuts and ginger in processor and add with dry ingredients)
Bake at 350 in 3 9-inch cake pans or 3 8 x 2″ for about 45 min.