Pharm Fresh

The foodie alter-ego of a pharmacy student

Turkey Tenderloins with Bacon Shallot Sauce November 17, 2009

Filed under: main dish,pork,turkey — pharmfresh @ 4:50 pm
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I’ve come a long way from when I first started cooking.  I used to be so afraid to deviate from a recipe because I didn’t want to mess it up.  I would check and double check my measurements, and not even change the amount of salt and pepper the recipe called for.  And don’t even get me started on what happened when the recipe didn’t give exact amounts of salt and pepper!  I’m proud to say now that unless I’m baking something very finicky, I pretty much throw caution to the wind and tweak almost every recipe I try to fit my tastes.  This recipe is by far my most successful tweak yet!

If you saw the original recipe that I based this off of, you probably would barely be able to tell that it’s the same thing.  The general method is still the same, but I changed quite a few steps and ingredients to fit my tastes better.  To begin with, the original recipe was supposed to have a thinner sauce with sage and pancetta, but I really think it tastes better with bacon and shallots.  But really, what doesn’t taste better with the addition of a little bacon?

This is a little more time-consuming than your average weeknight meal, but it’s definitely not impossible.  I actually make this quite often on weekdays – after you get the general method and steps down, it’ll probably take you about 30-40 minutes to prepare.  I like to cut the turkey tenderloins crosswise into about 1 inch thick medallions so that they cook faster, and are easier to cut and eat at the end.  The sauce for this is phenomenal – I love the combination of the salty bacon and chicken broth with the sweet and fruity white wine.  Reducing them all together creates a really deep and savory flavor combination.  The more you reduce the sauce, the saltier it gets, so I would recommend using reduced sodium chicken broth and unsalted butter, then adding a little salt at the very end if needed.

Turkey Tenderloins with Bacon Shallot Sauce

Adapted from: Cooking Light

Makes: 4 servings

1 pkg. (about 1 lb.) turkey tenderloins

2 tbsp. olive oil

8 slices bacon, sliced crosswise into medium-sized pieces

2 shallots, finely chopped

3/4 c. white wine

1/2 c. chicken broth

3 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces

Rice, for serving (if desired)

1) If desired, cut turkey tenderloins crosswise into 1 inch thick medallions.  Sprinkle with pepper only.  (Remember, the sauce itself is going to be really salty, so we don’t want to add any extra salt until the very end).

2) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Place the tenderloin medallions in the pan and let cook without touching for about 1 minute, or until nicely golden on that side.  Flip over and cook until completely cooked through, about 2-3 more minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside, covering with foil to keep warm.

3) In the same pan the turkey was cooked in and still over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, until crisp, but not burned.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.  Keep 2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan; discard the rest.

4) Reheat bacon grease over medium-low heat until hot (still in the same pan that we started with) and then add shallots.  Saute until softened, about 2 minutes.

5) Carefully add the wine to the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/4 cup.

6) Add the chicken broth to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/2 cup.

7) Take the pan off the heat and add the butter and most of the bacon (reserving a little bit for garnishing) and stir until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened slightly.  Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

8) Place the turkey medallions on a plate and spoon the sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with remaining bacon pieces.  Serve with rice, if desired.


Pot Stickers September 1, 2009

Filed under: main dish,pork — pharmfresh @ 4:26 pm
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Over the summer I worked as an intern at a Walmart pharmacy.  It was by and far one of the best jobs I’ve had, mainly because of my coworkers.  The two pharmacists I worked with were both super nice and supportive, and all the pharmacy techs were really fun.  We had a bunch of fun working together, and I miss them all!  I really liked that I was able to make friends with all of my coworkers – usually you just try to get by and stay away from the ones that you really don’t like, but I didn’t have to do that here.  On my last day working there, they even had a potluck for me!  Our pharmacy closes for 30 minutes every day so the pharmacist can eat lunch, so everyone brought a dish to pass and we had a mini party during the lunch break.  There was some amazing food at that potluck, and very diverse food too!  Both pharmacists, Anuya and Manisha, are from India so I got to try some real, authentic Indian food and one of the pharmacy techs, Tomoko, is from Japan and she brought these pot stickers.

I’ve always wanted to try branching out and cooking some more Chinese/Japanese food, but I feel like I just don’t know enough about the ingredients and the cooking methods to do it successfully.  There are so many different ingredients that I don’t use on an everyday basis or have never used at all, so when I see them in a recipe I have no idea how they will taste or work with everything else in the recipe.  So when I ate these at our potluck and realized how delicious they were, I knew I had to have the recipe!

This recipe makes a TON (probably over 100) pot stickers, so if you’re not sure if you’re going to love them, I’d definitely recommend halving the recipe and then deciding if you want to make more after you taste one. The good news is that the uncooked pot stickers freeze very well, and cook up without any change in the consistency.  Just make sure they’re completely thawed before you cook them.

These are a little bit time consuming, but the taste totally makes up for it.  Filling the pot stickers takes the most time, but as soon as you get used to the process it goes a little bit quicker.    Also, the recipe calls for round wonton wrappers, but I could only find square ones and then proceeded to cut each one into a circular shape.  Huge waste of time!  Next time, I’ll keep them square and just make rectangular shaped dumplings.

One last tip:  make sure and use a nonstick pan for this.  If you don’t, they will definitely live up to their name and completely cement themselves to the bottom of your pan.  Trust me, I know this from experience.

I was able to find the sesame oil and miso paste in the ethnic foods aisle in my grocery store, but I couldn’t find sake anywhere, so I just left it out.  I couldn’t really tell a difference in taste between the ones I made (without the sake) and the ones that Tomoko made (with the sake), so if you can’t find it, it won’t make much difference if you leave it out.  Tomoko did say that though the miso paste might be kind of hard to find, it makes a big difference in taste, so don’t leave it out unless you absolutely can’t find it.  The same goes for the sesame oil. And definitely don’t skip the dipping sauce – it only has two ingredients in it (both of which you’re very likely to already have on hand) and it makes a HUGE difference in the overall taste.


Potstickers (also known as Gyoza)

Source: Tomoko DeKilder

Makes: a lot! (Probably around 100)

2 pkgs. wonton or Gyoza wraps

1 lb. ground pork

1/2 green cabbage

2 bunches green onions or scallions, finely chopped

2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

2 tbsp. sake

1 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. sesame oil

2 tbsp. miso (soy) paste

salt and pepper, to taste

1-2 tsp. olive oil

1/4 – 1/2 c. water

Dipping Sauce

Equal parts soy sauce and white vinear

(for just me, I do 2 tbsp. of each – for a crowd, I’ll usually 1/4 cup of each)

1) Boil the cabbage whole for 3-5 minutes.  Drain and let sit until it is cool enough to handle.  Roughly chop.

2) Lay a clean, dry kitchen towel out on the counter.  Place half of the chopped cabbage in the middle of the towel, and pull up each side  and gather at the top to form a little bundle.  Squeeze and twist to extract as much water as possible.  Repeat with the remaining chopped cabbage.

3) Combine all pot sticker ingredients except the wonton wrappers, water and olive oil in a large bowl.

4) To form the dumplings, place one wonton wrapper on the counter.  Place about 1 teaspoon of filling into the middle of the wrapper.  Brush a little bit of water around the edges of half of the wrapper.  Bring the dry edges of the wrapper up to meet the wet edges and press to seal.  The dumplings should sit with the crimped edges at the top.  At this point, the pot stickers can be cooked or frozen for later use.

5) Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, place the pot stickers in the pan.  They should sit straight up with the sealed edges at the top.  Cook 1-2 minutes, until the bottoms are nicely browned.

6) Add the water to the pan and cover.  (The size of your pan will determine the amount of water you use – there should be about an inch of water in the pan)

7) Cook, covered, for 5-7 minutes until the wrappers become translucent and slightly wrinkly.  Remove the lid from the pan and cook until all of the water has evaporated and the bottoms have re-crisped a bit, about 3-5 minutes more.

8) For the dipping sauce, combine the soy sauce and vinegar and place in a small bowl.  Serve beside the pot stickers.