Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Red Onion Chili Marmalade

Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Red Onion Chili Marmalade

Buffalo sauce and blue cheese smothered faces. Big guys becoming kids again – so it seems. Chips are clinging to the children hands and everywhere on the carpet. The room is filled with laughter and occasional screams. Well, maybe more screams than laughter depending on who is winning. Sounds familiar?  Yes it’s Super Bowl time again. Even though the big game is upon us I didn’t feature chicken wings on my blog (this time).  Well, because everyone else does it, so I thought lets cook something out of the ordinary. Don’t get me wrong I love chicken wings, chips, rips and all the other goodies. To be honest I can’t wait for everyone to bring their share of food. Yes, everyone brings something for the party. It just makes it easy for all of us and my wife is happy too.

Grilled pork tenderloin, steaks,

To make it appetizing and appealing for the big guys to indulge I carved the pork tenderloin, rather than making little steaks. Served with red onion chili marmalade and it suddenly becomes popular with the female fans, too. I realized when I watch the Super Bowl my wife always joints us, even though she doesn’t watch football. That is the beauty of Super bowl. Everyone comes together, whether they are fans of football or not.

Grilled Pork tenderloin with red onion chili marmalade

I find pork tenderloin goes well with sweet – sour as well as sweet and spicy flavor combinations. That’s why I added the red onion chili marmalade to the pork. Well if you don’t like sweet or sour flavors, than you could serve it with a chipotle mayonnaise or a mild salsa.

Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Red Onion Chili Marmalade

Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • Salt
  • Red Onion Chili Marmalade
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 red onions, finely diced
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 slices fresh or canned pineapple, finely diced
  • 1 or 2 <a class=”zem_slink” title=”Chili pepper” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chili_pepper” target=”_blank” rel=”wikipedia” data-mce-href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chili_pepper”>chilies</a>, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
Instructions
Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin
  1. Season the whole pork tenderloin with salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper
  2. Grill pork tenderloin on <a class=”zem_slink” title=”Barbecue” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue” target=”_blank” rel=”wikipedia” data-mce-href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue”>BBQ</a> or grill pan.
  3. Once the pork has grill marks all around finish it in the oven for about 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius or until almost well done, yet slightly pink.
  4. Let it rest for a a few minutes and serve.
Caramelized Red Onion Chili Marmalade
  1. Melt butter in heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
  2. Add red onions and pineapple, saute until translucent.
  3. Now add honey and chilies, let all caramelize “lightly”
  4. De-glace with wine,
  5. Add rice vinegar and vegetable broth.
  6. Season with salt and rice vinegar.
  7. Cook until most liquid is evaporated and red onions resembles a marmalade.
Notes
For more flavors on the pork add aromatics like chopped rosemary, thyme and or sage. I don’t really enjoy spicy foods, but my friends do, so feel free to add more chilies to the marmalade. Just wash hands after you have cut and touched the chilies, otherwise you might be in for a painful surprise, once your hands touch your eyes. So please be careful when handling chilies. Cooking pork well done. Where I come from we cook our pork slightly pink, it sort of finish cooking on the plate. Once pork tenderloin is cooked well done it becomes boring and looses most flavors.

What are you cooking for Super Bowl Day?

Do you watch the Super Bowl for the game or do you enjoy the food and friendship more?

What is your favorite Super Bowl food?

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Rack of Lamb with Pinot Noir infused Honey Rosemary Sauce

Rack of Lamb with Pinot Noir infused Honey Rosemary Sauce

Try this easy to prepare Rack of Lamb in less than 60 minutes. It’s ideal for Valentine’s Day. I had this dish for New Year’s dinner. I know it’s a bit late, yet I didn’t plan to post it on my blog, either. I love the taste of a grilled rack of lamb.  It can can be cooked in so many ways,  the possibilities are endless.  Lamb never gets boring, that said if you like lamb. Well I guess you wouldn’t be reading this if you don’t like lamb for that matter.

marinated rack of lamb with rosemary,

 

Ideal for Valentine’s Day

If both of you are meat lovers than this dish is great for Valentine’s Day. It’s easy to cook and assemble and makes an even better presentation. So why not surprise your Valentine with a grilled rack of lamb. Serve it with a Pinot Noir, Rioja, Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon. Regardless of what wine you’ll be drinking, use that same wine in your sauce. Why? Because it will make your taste-buds dance in harmony, literally.  Like to learn more about wine? Check out my three wine pairing principles.

Rosemary the Perfect Match for Lamb

Rosemary reminds me of a tradition I used to do in my first years of working as a chef.  I would place a few bunches of rosemary on the hot grill. Guess what happened? The scent of the roasting rosemary permeated the entire kitchen, calming my senses for a busy upcoming lunch business.

Herb Marinated Rack of Lamb

With or Without Bone?

Don’t like the bone? Just ask your butcher for a lamb loin. Usually one loin is good for one person. When buying a rack of lamb – tell your butcher you want it  frenched. Which means that all fat around the bones (the rips) up to the loin is removed. It lends for a better presentation. ( the rack of lamb I used was not frenched )

Need a timesaver?  Leave the marinade out; brush a little oil over the meat, season it with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary. Grill or saute it over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Place it on a backing pan and cook in the preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for another 8-15 minutes, depending on your temperature preference. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. To learn more about cooking temperatures jump over to: How to cook the perfect steak.

I always finish cooking bigger cuts of meat ( more than 8 oz ) in the oven, after I give it some grill marks. The heat of the oven penetrates the meat more evenly yet indirectly, which results in a juicier steak. Almost all chefs of steakhouses and other fine restaurants take advantage of the oven when it comes to bigger cuts of meat.

Rack of Lamb with honey rosemary sauce

Culinary Traditions

I find it fascinating how every country has its own culinary cultures, not only with lamb but with any other meat.  Whether it’s Ireland and the famous mint jelly. Asia with soy or teriyaki sauce and the Caribbean and India where curries are prevalent.  Lamb is cooked more in Europe  and America  while goat is traditionally preferred in Asian and Caribbean countries. Why the latter countries choose goat over lamb I have no idea. Maybe you have the answer? Drop me a line if you care.  I can only tell from experiences while cooking in the Caribbean, that almost all locals eat goat.  That said lamb and goat are two different species.

Which Lamb Tastes Best

Well that’s up to your personal taste preference. The two biggest importer to the US are New Zealand and Australia. Both offer excellent meats.  I like to buy locally grown lamb, so I know where it comes from and what it was fed. For more info on lamb in the US check out the fact sheet of the usda.gov website.

 

marinated rack of lamb,

How to Cut a Rack of Lamb

It is actually pretty easy. Hold the rack upright with the curved rips pointing slightly towards you. Place a sharp knife next to the bone and cut straight down with a sawing motion. If you hit cartilage or bone you simply have to turn the rack around ( 180 ° ).  Important is that you keep the knife as close as possible to the bone. When done right your knife goes through the lamb very easy.  That’s it. Just let the lamb rest for a minute and serve.

 

How do you like your lamb prepared?

Where do you buy your lamb?

What herbs do you use with lamb?

What are you cooking for Valentines Day?

 

Rack of Lamb with Pinot Noir infused Honey Rosemary Sauce

Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: French
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 Rack of lamb
  • Some Vegetable oil for sauteing
  • Lamb Marinade
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leafs
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • The Sauce
  • 1 onion
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1-2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 cup of good Pinot Noir
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper
  • Keep some extra rosemary sprigs for decoration.
Instructions
Marinade
  1. In a food processor blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Smother the lamb with mustard marinade and let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator.
Roasting the [url:1]Lamb[/url]
  1. Before sauteing remove the marinade, but hold on to it for later.
  2. Heat up oil in heavy bottom pan over high heat. Don’t let it smoke. (It isn’t healthy)
  3. Place rack of lamb on its meaty side first. Do this with a pair of tongs so you don’t burn your self.
  4. Saute lamb until golden brown than turn onto the other side.
  5. Once lamb is golden brown place it on an oven pan and cook in the preheated oven at 375 Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for 8-15 minutes.
  6. For a rare lamb cook less and for well done cook more than 15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
The Sauce
  1. Use the same pan you just seared the lamb in.
  2. Over medium heat sautee onions until slightly caramelized.
  3. Add rosemary sprigs, honey and stir – enjoy the scent 🙂
  4. De-glace with red wine.
  5. Now incorporate the tomato paste and let it brown evenly.
  6. Add a tbsp of the marinade to the sauce.
  7. Fill up with vegetable broth reduce to half.
  8. Strain sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Notes
If you wish you could thicken the sauce with a little heavy cream (2 tbsp) at the end. Suggestion: Serve the lamb with sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes.

 

 

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3 Ways to Grill a Perfect Steak

3 Ways to Grill a Perfect Steak

 

Finally I got some time to post some delicious recipes in honor of Father’s Day as I have promised earlier in the week. The first one is about how to grill the perfect steak with three separate methods to choose from. I’ll explain in detail later.  To be honest I can’t wait to start grilling in my backyard. The smoky BBQ fumes lingering around the neighborhood is just fantastic. I know it’s driving everyone else crazy who is not barbecuing.

Strip Loin Steak

3 Ways to Grill a Perfect Steak

So let’s talk about grilling a perfect steak. It’s pretty simple and if you don’t believe me; challenge me on this.  Well of course with a little practice you’ll master every steak.  So let’s start with the easiest method:

 Get to know your Grill Marks!

First method:

Pay attention to your grill marks! Use them to your advantage. That’s it. A one inch thick steak will cook to a medium rare with one grill mark on each side, meaning the steak cooks for about 2-3 minutes on each side on a very hot grill. Give it one more grill mark on each side for about a minute and its medium. Just don’t forget to turn the steaks 45 degrees to make nice grill marks.

Pepper Steak

Grilled Pepper Steak

Tip: Keep in mind; that if you decide to choose a thicker steak-cut such as 1.5 or even 2 inches, the cooking time will almost double and your grill marks will disappear due to the intense heat. The thicker the steaks the lower the heat should be. That will prevent the steaks from drying out.
A very popular method is to finish the steaks in the oven for just a few minutes after you have applied your grill marks. Close the BBQ cover to archive the same results as you would have with the oven, however, move steaks away from intense heat.

Before we even start barbecuing what’s the most important item to have? An ice-cold beer of course! Just kidding… or wasn’t I at least for us dads! Happy Father’s Day! The Ladies get a margarita…

How to Grill a Perfect Steak
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Frank Kraemer
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 22 mins
Serves: 4
Have your butcher cut 8-10 oz strip loin steaks or 1 inch thick. Leave a little fat on the outside. The fat helps moisturize the meat. Look for steaks that are marbled evenly and plentiful. There are many different beef ratings to choose from, however the three most popular are USDA Select, Choice & Prime cuts. With Select grade the least favorite of the three. Most supermarkets don’t carry Prime because only a few percent of the entire beef market produces prime cuts. In general a choice strip loin has less marbling than a Prime strip loin. The difference between the two are: Prime cuts are very tender almost melt in your mouth, where as choice cuts have a more of a robust flavor and texture.
Ingredients
  • 4 x 8 oz Strip loin steaks (also called shell steak)
  • 1/2 cup of whole black peppercorns, cracked with a clever
  • 1 small bunch of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Season the steaks with peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for at least 2 hours.
  2. Before grilling add salt.
  3. Tap steak dry but don’t remove the seasonings nor the oil.
  4. Place steak on a very hot grill for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Turn steak over and grill for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. The steak is now medium rare.
  7. Let the steak rest for about a minute and serve

 

Second Method:

Use a meat thermometer:
This of course is the most exact method. The only drawback is that the thermometer creates a puncture or opening in the steak, that means some of the tasty juices will run out. I use thermometers only for large pieces of meat of 4 lb and up. Regardless, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak for about 15 seconds. Below is a chart of different meat temperatures.

 

Strip Loin Steak

Grilled Strip Loin Steak over Caramelized Onions

 

Third method:

This method is used by all chefs, and with a good amount of practice anyone can master. I’m not saying it’s easy, but practice makes perfect. Use your index finger to lightly press on the steak to feel its resistance. See the chart below to become familiar with different temperatures.

135⁰ F – Rare steak feels very soft.

145⁰ F – Medium rare is still soft, with some firmness to it.

150⁰ F – Medium feels tender and almost firm, where the meat gives by only a little.

155⁰ F – Medium well feels firm. These steaks will cook well done very quickly even if taken off the grill.

160-170⁰ F – Well done is completely firm.

So now you know your 3 ways to grill a perfect steak.

So what’s your experience with grilling a perfect steak, which method do you prefer, or do you have a different way of doing it. Let me know. Leave a comment…

 

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Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burger

Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burger

Spicy Turkey Burger

Spicy Turkey Burger with Chipotle Avocado Mayonnaise

At the last minute I decided to feature this recipe on my blog. “Turkey Burger….so boring!” I said to
myself. You know the taste of a grilled juicy beef burger is unbeatable. However, ground turkey, red bell pepper and a few onions was the only food left in the house. I know – shame on me – how can I let the refrigerator go empty. Tomorrow is my day to shop at the supermarket. Regardless, I made a decision to cook a turkey burger; the only question was how I can spice it up. I came up with a variety of seasonings as you can see from my recipe below. And boy I can tell you my two boys loved the burger and they didn’t even realize it wasn’t beef.

Cheddar Burgers to be baked

Topping Turkey Burgers with Cheddar Cheese

Even though burgers are considered junk food, this spicy chipotle turkey burger is a light variety of his “cousin the beef burger”. It doesn’t stay in your stomach for hours due to its low-fat content. Well except for the cheddar cheese. I guess you realized that I used cumin, cardamom and coriander, which is already a part of a good curry powder. If you don’t have cardamom don’t sweat it. However, I just wanted to intensify that flavor and since the spices are not fried they won’t over power the burger.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burger
Recipe Type: Entree, Barbecue
Author: Frank Kraemer
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for Turkey Burger
  • 2 lb ground turkey
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 chopped jalapeno
  • 2-3 dashes Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • vegetable oil & or PAM® spray
  • Ingredients for Caramelized Onions
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 dashes soy sauce
  • Ingredients for Chipotle mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle peppers (from can, minced)
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • ————————–
  • 4 burger buns, toasted
  • 4 leaves of lettuce
  • 4-6 oz grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Incorporate all ingredients thoroughly and divide meat into 4 portions. Form each meat portion to a tennis ball size between your hands. Shaping it like a snowball. Then place the meat ball on a table and flatten it with your hand or a plate. If you have a burger press that’s even better, otherwise don’t worry. Round up the edges and ready is your burger. Repeat the same with the other meat.
  2. Heat grill pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot spray a little PAM® over it and immediately place the burgers on it. Give the burgers two grill marks from both sides, which should cook them well done. Should you have any thoughts the burger not being cooked enough, place it for another 5 minutes in the hot oven.
  3. While the burgers are cooking sauté onions in a separate pan in olive oil over medium heat. Once onions are translucent add garlic and bell peppers. Keep sautéing until onions start to caramelize. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper.
  4. Add chipotle peppers, avocados to mayonnaise, whisk until blended and spread over buns.
  5. Place burgers on baking sheet, add caramelized onions and top with cheddar cheese. Bake in hot oven until cheese melts. Remove from baking sheet and serve on burger buns with lettuce. Serve immediately.
Notes

As with all recipes, adjust the spiciness of your burger by giving more or less jalapeno or just substitute them with your choice of peppers.
The recipe of these spicy turkey burgers is something for hungry people. Each burger weighs 8 oz. So if you’re not a big eater cut the portions down to 4-5 oz.
If you want to increase the flavor of this burger marinate the meat for a few hours before grilling it.
Tip: To give this burger a surprise effect fill it with about 1 oz of pepper Jack cheese. Serve with baked potato filled with sour cream and chives or whatever side dish that makes you happy. Enjoy

 

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