Friday, April 30, 2010

As Promised: Lombo di Maiale Coi Porri and Chicken Farfalle in a Basil Pesto Cream Sauce

Lombo di Maiale Coi Porri (Pan-Roasted Pork Loin with Leeks)
Two of my stand-up standbys. Both super tasty.
Mom's Famous Puffy Taco Shells to follow, with her permission, of course. They might be Mom's Secret Puffy Taco Shells!

Cooking with Leeks: Lombo di Maiale Coi Porri 
(Pan-Roasted Pork Loin with Leeks, Cooking Light Sept. 2007)
This is definitely lighter than Chicken in Reisling, but there are some unmistakeable parallels. Both are super-tasty. This dish takes about 30mins active cooking time, and 2.5 hrs total.

4 large leeks, using only white and pale green parts
1 c water
1 tbsp butter, divided
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp black pepper, divided
1 (2 lb) boneless pork loin, or tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 c dry white wine 
chopped fresh parsley

Trim and half leeks lengthwise. Chop crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces. Submerge in cold water to remove any sediment. 
Combine leeks, 1/2 c water, 1 tsp butter, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a large dutch oven or deep saute pan over med hi heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until leeks wilt. Pour the leek mixture into a bowl.
Heat remaining 2 tsp butter in pan over med hi heat. Add pork to pan. Cook 5 mins, turning to brown on all sides. Add remaining 1/4 tsp pepper and wine to pan; cook 15 seconds, scraping to loosen brown bits. Return leek mixture to pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 2 hrs or until pork is tender. Remove pork from pan. Increase heat to reduce leek sauce, if too watery. Cut pork into 1/4 inch thick slices. Serve with leeks. Garnish with parsley. Delicious with mashed potatoes. 

Chicken Farfalle So Good My Dog Will Bite a Hole In Your Shirt 
dedicated to our late doggie, Lazlo, and Carlos, adapted from The Brick Oven

1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb dried farfalle, linguine or other thick, hearty pasta
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 c white button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved, or roma tomatoes, quartered
1/4 c dry white wine
1/2 c basil pesto
3/4 c cream

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over med-hi heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add chicken and saute until cooked through (7-10minutes). Transfer to a plate.
Start water for pasta and cook according to package directions.
Add remaining tbsp oil to skillet and bell peppers. Saute until tender 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and tomatoes and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add wine and cook, scraping bottom of pan, 1 minute more. Return chicken, and any juices, to skillet with vegetables. Add basil pesto and toss to coat chicken and vegetables. Add cream and reduce heat to low. Simmer until sauce is thickened. Serve with crusty garlic bread and a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, red cabbage and green leaf lettuce. Add Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing to boot! 

Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing
Ranch Dressing Packet and listed ingredients
1/4 c parmesan, grated
1 tbsp coarsely-cracked peppercorns

Make dressing as directed on package. Blend in parmesan and peppercorns. Chill 1-2 hours before serving. 

My Favorite Crusty Garlic Bread
6 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 stick (4 tbsp)unsalted butter, softened
1 loaf french bread, halved lengthwise

PH oven to 400 with rack in upper third of oven. On cutting board, mince garlic. Add salt on top of garlic and smash with back of knife until it forms a paste. In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic paste. Melt garlic butter in microwave on high for 30 seconds. Brush bread halves with melted butter. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake 10 minutes or until brown and crispy.  

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