Archives for April 2011

Veal Chop Recipe

Although my husbands had many ‘favorite’ meals – this might be his very, very favorite.  It’s a very simple recipe, in fact, more technique than recipe.  Basically you start with a good veal loin chop, season it with salt and pepper, cook it in a bit of olive oil to medium doneness and voila!  Juicy, flavorful – simply wonderful.

However, I usually take one more step.  Once I remove the veal chop from the pan, I deglaze the pan with a bit of heavy cream (also known as ‘whipping cream’.  Typically just 3 Tbsp. or so for two chops.  I swirl the heavy cream in the hot pan and it picks up intensely flavored little brown bits from when the veal cooked (called ‘fond’*).  A bit of salt and freshly ground pepper and you have a simple yet decadent sauce for your veal chops.

Let’s talk about technique.  Basically you want a nice sear on both sides of the meat.  To accomplish this you need to start of with a dry piece of meat, otherwise the veal will steam when when it hits a hot pan, not sear.  When you remove the veal loin chops from their package simply pat dry both sides of each chop with paper towel.

When it comes to how long to cook the chop that really depends on thickness.  If your chop is 1″ thick or less, cooking each side 4 minutes or so over medium-high heat will provide you with medium done veal chop.  If you have a thicker chop, however, there are two ways to finish cooking it.  For the inexperienced cook I would finish it off in a 375 F oven for another 5 to 10 minutes depending just how thick your steak is.  If you are used to telling the level of doneness of a steak by ‘feeling it’ – after the first side is seared I would flip the chop over, cook on high for a few minutes, and then turn the range to medium-low and cook until its done to your likening.  Being able to judge a steak’s level of doneness by feeling its firmness takes a bit of practice  but once you get the hang of it you’ll love it.  Basically, if the steak is very soft to the touch it is rare.  As it firms the level of doneness increases.  When it feels like the firm part of your palm right below your thumb – well that’s well done.

One more thing.  You’ll want to make this in either an metal or caste iron pan; not a non-stick.  The latter are not meant for high-heat cooking unless there is liquid in the pan (doing so will ruin its non-stick surface)

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Pork Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

This easy pork tenderloin recipe includes a fabulous Gorgonzola Cream Sauce recipe that really makes the dish.  There’s nothing difficult about this dish, but let me give you a few tips for a truly special entree.

First, pork tenderloin is a very lean meat that should not be cooked until well done or it will have little to no taste.  You want to serve it when the interior still has some pink to it and the way to achieve that is to use  a food thermometer.  When the meat reaches a temperature of 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit, in the middle of the thickest part of the tenderloin, take it out of the oven and then let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.  It will be perfect!  (The USDA recommends cooking it to 160 degrees but that is going to give you some mighty well done meat.  Most cooking sites feel that 145 is safe.  And I must admit – we take out ours at 140.)

The recipe calls for first searing the meat before it goes into the oven and although the pork may look more appealing with a nice char around the edge, and it will cook a bit faster, after years of making this recipe I usually skip that part.   It is every bit as delicious, yet considerably easier to prepare, without it.

Finally, that scrumptious Gorgonzola cream sauce.  It is divine.  And when served it looks really lovely with some additional crumbled blue cheese on it.  You can make it ahead earlier in the day and reheat, making sure to stir until well blended.

Pork Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce (adapted from Bon Appetit, 2001)

Serves 4 to 6

Pork Tenderloin

  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 (3/4 lb.) pork tenderloins
  1. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Whisk Dijon mustard, olive oil and thyme in small bowl to blend.  Sprinkle pork tenderloins with salt and pepper.   Heat heavy large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add pork and sear until brown all over, turn occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Transfer seared pork to prepared baking sheet. Spread Dijon must mixture all over sides of pork.  (Can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead.  Refrigerate pork uncovered. )
  2. Preheat oven to 425F.  Roast pork until thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 145F, checking the first time after the meat is on the oven for 18 minutes.  Remove and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup Gorgonzola cheese (about 4 oz), crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • additional crumbled Gorgonzola cheese for plating, if desired
  1. Prepare sauce:  Melt the butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 T. flour and whisk 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in whipping cream, white wine and chicken broth.  Boil until mixture is thick enough to coat spoon, whisking frequently about 1 minute.  Add crumbled Gorgonzola and whisk until cheese is melted and smooth and sauce is reduced to desired consistency, about 5 minutes.

To Serve:

  1. Slice pork and transfer to plates.  Fan pork slices on plate.   Ladle some sauce over pork and, if desired, sprinkle a bit of crumbled blue cheese over sauce.  Serve, passing additional sauce separately.

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Orange Poppyseed Cake!

Diva Entertains Orange Poppyseed Cake

About two months ago I saw a recipe for an Orange Poppyseed Cake that sounded fabulous.  So much so that I craved it.  I made the cake and to say that it was less than hoped for was an understatement.  It was dry and the orange flavor was almost non-existent.  But I was hell-bent on making a delicious version of this cake and I must have made 10 cakes, each one a bit (or ‘a lot’) tweaked, until I came up with a recipe that everyone loved.

This cake is made with yogurt; I used the thick, rich Greek style yogurt for flavor and moistness.  Dannon has a great version of it that is far less expensive than some of the other brands.

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Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Just in time for Easter, I’m sure you’ll loved these delicious, homemade cinnamon rolls.  And they take only minutes to make (no making of the dough or rolling out).  The secret?  Using store bought, frozen puff pastry.  Which is a truly delicious alternative to the time-consuming, traditional cinnamon roll recipe.

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