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.

 

Daddy-o’s Ham, Potato and White Bean Soup December 29, 2008

Filed under: soup — pharmfresh @ 11:08 pm
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Well, I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!  I definitely did!  My Christmas day was filled with fun, family and good food.  I got some pretty sweet presents – one of my favorites being a Canon Digital Rebel XS camera from my amazingly generous boyfriend, so this blog will definitely be updated much more frequently from now on!

Luckily for me, Christmas break means lots of opportunities to cook for and with my parents.  My dad (or daddy-o, as I call him) is a pretty fantastic cook.  A messy, crazy and imaginative cook.  I, at the very least, get the “messy” cooking gene from him.  My mom and I have a standing deal that in return for cooking her and my dad dinner while I’m home from school, she’ll go along behind me and clean up all the messes I make while cooking.  I think she definitely got the short end of that deal!

When my dad and I cook together, the old saying “too many cooks in the kitchen” definitely describes us.  We rarely agree on cooking methods – case in point: I like to caramelize onions for a soup, and then leave them in while I make the roux, while he likes to take the onions completely out and mix them back in right before serving.  So needless to say, there’s always lots of lighthearted bickering, and on bad days, some flour might even get thrown.  But it’s always a good time.

Dad is also really good at improvising and making things up on the spot.  I’m not quite up to his level on that yet – some of my improvised dishes come out pretty awesome, and some send me either to my car to go to Jimmy John’s (because my house happens to be about 3 feet over their delivery cutoff line — lame!) , or to my freezer for the standby Morningstar corn dog (they’re amazing!  You can’t even tell there’s fake meat in them!).  This is one soup that he threw together one day, and the recipe always changes slightly, depending on what we have on hand on any particular day and how we’re feeling.  So this recipe isn’t going to be very precise…but really, it’s pretty hard to mess this up.  Feel free to substitute ingredients as you see fit.  Don’t have enough milk?  Use whatever milk you have, and use chicken broth, or even water, for the rest.  Don’t like white beans?  Substitute some other bean, or leave them out completely.  Does the thought of four tablespoons of bacon grease send you into a calorie coma?  Use butter or vegetable oil (I wouldn’t use olive oil in this, though).

And before I forget, here’s a shameless plug for my dad:  He’s a lawyer (and a pretty fantastic one, at that!), so if you live in Michigan and are looking for legal representation, check out his website!

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Daddy-o’s Ham, Potato and White Bean Soup

6 strips bacon

1 tbsp. butter

1 c. onion, roughly chopped

4-6 small yellow potatoes

4 tbsp. bacon grease (from cooked bacon)

4 tbsp. flour

8 c. milk (we used a mixture of 2% and half-and-half, and a little bit of skim)

2 cans Great Northern beans (or any other canned white beans)

2 c. chopped ham (we used leftover ham from Christmas dinner)

1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

sliced green onions, crumbled bacon and extra cheese, for garnishing

1) Peel potatoes, if you are so inclined.  Slice each in half, then boil until fork tender, but not completely cooked through.  Once cooled, chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

2) Cook bacon slices until crispy, reserving 4 tbsp. of bacon grease.  Set bacon slices aside.

3) Melt butter in large stock pot.  Add onion, and saute about 10 minutes, or until nicely caramelized, but not burnt.  Remove from pot and set aside.

4) Add reserved bacon grease to the pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add the flour to form a roux.  (Note:  a roux is basically just a paste of some sort of fat and flour, which will thicken the soup once liquid is added)

5) Stir the roux for 1-2 minutes, then add the milk, stirring constantly until thickened and working out any clumps that may form.

6) Stir in the onions, ham, beans, potatoes and cheese until everything is incorporated and warmed through.

7) Turn the soup down to medium-low, and let it sit while you chop the bacon and green onions for topping.  Season soup to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!