Friday, June 13, 2008

Top 100

This week's attempt at culinary greatness involved rhubarb. I've never cooked with rhubarb and the only way I've even had it is in a pie. When I picked it up at the grocery store I felt a small twinge of trepidation. What the heck do I do with something like this:




I mean, it hardly even looks like something edible. It could maybe be a baseball bat,





Or a squirting fountain of blood after a kitchen related incident,




Or even a peg leg.




I decided to start cooking it and just see how it turned out. Problem #1 with the recipe...no instructions on how to make the rhubarb compote. UGH. I searched around and found this recipe on epicurious.


Ingredients

4 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb (from about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Preparation

Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rhubarb is tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Transfer rhubarb mixture to bowl. Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)


With this recipe in hand, I cut up my rhubarb.




When I added the three ingredients to the saucepan I was a little nervous because there was a ton of sugar and not a lot of liquid. I was worried I read the recipe wrong, substituting "cups" for "tablespoons". (I do this a lot).




A few minutes later the heat melted it down to this, so don't worry.



At this point I sampled the juices and found them to be the bomb-diggity. In case you're wondering, "compote" is just a fancy word for freezer jam. The leftovers of this stuff are going to be out of this world good on toast.

I also decided to add some green beans to the meal for some color. Here's a shot of my using our very fancy over the stove water spigot.




Man, I love having this really expensive, top of the line, kitchen. After blanching the green beans (only way to go), I started making the rub for the pork. I even got to use our mocajete to grind up some fennel seeds.



BOOYAH. I'm totally hardcore about this cooking thing. After coating the meat in the rub I was a little nervous again because it looked REALLY gross.



I had to take a break with a little root beer to sooth my ragged nerves.




This is when the cooking got good. I threw the meat into my rad skillet and went to town. The smell in my kitchen at this point was AMAZING. I was a little worried about my tenderloin because he had a strange little dingleberry of a tail.




I didn't really plan ahead, as you can see, because I chose to cook this in my one pan without a matching lid. During the "cover and cook for 10 more minutes" I had to make do. Ghetto, I know.



At the end of cooking be careful turning it over because the delicious crust is really delicate and will crumble off if you handle it too roughly...as shown here.



Ta-da!




All in all, I really liked this recipe. What makes it better than the other pork tenderloin recipes I've tried? The crust. Man, oh man, was this crust D-to-the-liscious. The fennel seeds in the rub were the shining star for sure. Especially when combined with the compote.




Reminder: If you want to join the club or make a suggestion for next week, feel free! Click this link, pick a recipe, leave a comment. This afternoon I'll post the next recipe we'll try.

5 comments:

Anth said...

The peg leg basically made me fall off my chair laughing!!!!

Thanks for defining compote because truthfully I have wondered that for a while but was too lazy to find out for myself.

TRS said...

I love the peg leg too...
but the fact that you have a pirate hat with a plume... at the ready - is just hilarious.

you guys are nuts! absolutely nuts! can I come over and play?

TRS said...

Oh... and where did you get your apron. A pattern you're willing to divulge maybe?

Katie said...

The ear doctor bought me the apron from williams Sonoma a few years ago, but it's made by a company called Jessie Steele.

Kevin said...

Great post! I like the pics! rhubarb compote is really good. I just made some a while ago.