Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Superbowl Sunday

I always feel like Superbowl Sunday means eating lots of food, even when the beloved Patriots aren't playing (tear).  While I had no crazy party plans, I decided to cook up a feast fit for a family of seven me and my roommate with plenty of leftovers for the week.

Since we know I love my soups, I had to get something soupy in the mix.  I had a ton of mushrooms and some barley in my apartment, so I went in search of a mushroom barley recipe.  I found this recipe by Smitten Kitchen and decided to go with it.

This was delicious!  The barley made it hearty, the beef stock made it rich, and the different kinds of mushrooms added some interesting textures and flavors.  

1/3 cup dried mushrooms (I used porcini)
2 Tbs oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mushrooms (I used a mixture of shiitake, cremini, & white)
1/2 cup farro, barley, or spelt (I used barley)
6 cups low sodium or salt - free beef broth or stock* (vegetable, mushroom or chicken can be swapped)
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs sherry vinegar (I used red wine vinegar because it's what I had on hand)
Salt and pepper to taste

*Even though the recipe called for low sodium beef stock, this was still very salty.  I think next time I make it I'll use a cup or two of low sodium chicken stock to lighten it up a bit. 

Cover dried mushrooms with 1 cup boiling water, and set aside for 20 minutes, or while you prepare the rest of the soup.  Trim and slice mushrooms, then give them a rough chop to your desired texture.

Heat oil in heavy-bottomed deep pot.  Saute' onions and carrots over medium heat until onions begin to color,  about 10 minutes.  Add garlic, and saute' for 30 seconds.  Add fresh mushrooms, and cook until they begin to release liquid, about 10 minutes.  Raise heat and add barley, saute' until it begins to color.  Add broth, sherry and tomato paste.  Drain porcinis and finely chop.  Strain mushroom-soaking liquid to remove any grit (gross!) and add to pot along with the reconstituted mushrooms. 

Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 40 minutes, until barley is tender.  Stir in sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar); adjust seasonings and serve!

Next up on the agenda of gorging myself deliciousness is Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloins.  My friend Libby shared this recipe with me while I was in LA a few weeks ago, and I noticed that Pork Tenderloin was on sale at Roche' Bros while I was pickin' up some dried porcini's.  

This recipe is SO easy and so delicious.  It literally took 30 minutes (yep, you guessed it...it's a Rachel Ray special) from start to finish, including the cook time.  Also, most of the ingredients are things you will have in your house, so the only ingredient you'll need to purchase is the pork.

I cut the recipe in half because it called for 4 pork tenderloins, and I was only cooking for two.  But if you wanted to make the full recipe, just double everything.

2 1/2 pound pork tenderloin, should be 1 package with 2 tenderloins in it
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, cracked (aka, smashed...this is fun too!)
Steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and black pepper
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme leaves stripped and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Trim skin or connective tissue off tenderloins with a sharp knife.  Place tenderloins on a nonstick cookie shit (or roasting pan).

Coat tenderloins in a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, rubbing vinegar into meat.  Drizzle tenderloins with extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat.  Cut small slits into meat and disperse chunks of cracked garlic cloves into meat.  Combine steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and pepper with rosemary and thyme and rub meat with blend.

Roast in hot oven 20 minutes.

Let meat rest, transfer to a carving board, slice and serve.

I cooked up a quick batch of quinoa in some chicken broth and added some caramelized onions to eat with mah' pork.

Sweet plating skills right?! (riiiight)

This was so good! The balsamic vinegar, herbs, and steak rub make a spicy and crispy crust while the pork inside is perfectly juicy and tender.  I also added some flour and water to the pan and scraped up the leftover juices and bits to make a gravy.  



  1. OMG, this looks fabulous! I love pork tenderloin and I'm very intrigued by this soup. I've never worked with dried mushrooms before! Yum!

  2. Thanks Lizzy! The pork was so good and the soup was good too. Very rich, so I may tone down the beef broth a little next time, but still delicious!

  3. Looks delicious! I heart the dried mushrooms (I make Mama Salad buy them for me in bulk from Costco :)

  4. Yum, so good. This was my first experience with them. I can't wait to use them again.

  5. yummmo. come cook for me pleaseee :)

  6. Jill, I'll totally move to DK and be your personal chef!! :)