Uncharted

Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderlion July 2, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:49 pm
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A few weeks ago I wanted to make a special dinner for Matt’s belated birthday. Knowing that he wouldn’t mind grilling, I went straight to the latest edition of Cooking Light. The July edition has a great meal plan for camping and one meal imparticular stood out. It was pancetta-wrapped pork tenderloin with cantaloupe-red pepper salsa. Sounds pretty tasty right? Well it totally was!

My first step was the salsa. I wanted to make it ahead of time so the flavors could meld together. About one hour before we started grilling I was dicing up the cantaloupe and red pepper. Once the salsa was done it was time to prep the tenderloin. Our only recommendation was to sear the pancetta on the pork for a minute on each side before fully cooking the tenderloin. The meal was amazing. The pork stayed so tender and the pancetta crunched up nicely for a great mix of textures. The salsa was a fun twist on the normal pico de gallo and I loved the fresh fruit. Plus it looks so pretty.

If you’re looking for an easy summer grilling recipe, look no further. Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious dish adapted from the July 2014 issue of Cooking Light Magazine. For the meat:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin trimmed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6-8 thin slices of pancetta

Steps – Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Make sure pork is dry by patting it with paper towels. season pork tenderloin lightly with salt and generously with pepper (or to your taste). Then wrap the pancetta tightly, overlapping slightly.

Pancetta wrapped pork tenderlion

Ready to Grill!

Sear all sides for about a minute first and then for about 18 minutes total turning occasionally. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing. For the salsa:

  • 1 cup chopped cantaloupe
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion (we just used white onion b/c I forgot to pick up a red one)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeno pepper OR ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (I might have forgotten the jalapeno too….)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Steps – chop all fruits and vegetables accordingly and mix in a medium bowl. Be sure to mix well and the cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.

The Finished Product

The Finished Product

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Mastering the Trifle May 28, 2014

Yay for warmer temperatures! Boy, did we just get spoiled with the lovely weather over Memorial Day Weekend. Matt and I had a great time grilling out and making s’mores with friends and family practically every day this past weekend!

Now that Chicago is embracing warmer temperatures I’ve been looking for easy/cool desserts to make. One dish that I’ve been wanting to try making is a trifle. I hunted around pinterest and found a few options that could work. However, I made a game-time decision while grocery shopping to modify a recipe I found on the back of a Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake mix.

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The dessert is very easy to make, you can even buy the angel food cake premade to save even more time and plus you won’t heat up your house or apartment!

 

Here is the original recipe:

1 pkg Betty Crocker white angel food cake mix

1 ¼ cup cold water

2 cups boiling water

1 pkg (8-serving size raspberry gelatin)

2 pkg (10 oz each frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed)

2-3 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait Original raspberry yogurt

 

Here is what I ended up using:

1 pkg Betty Crocker white angel food cake mix

1 ¼ cup cold water

2 cups boiling water

1 pkg 8-serving size raspberry gelatin sugar free

2 packages fresh strawberries

2 packages fresh raspberries

1 quart vanilla Greek yogurt (I just bought the generic house brand)

 

The steps are super easy to follow. First you start by baking the angel food cake. Grab an angle food baking dish like the one below, or if you have 9″ round pans, those will work too!

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Next get your mix a mixing. Be sure not to over mix the batter. It should be light and fluffy just after 1-2 minutes of beating. IMG_1405[1]

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When the cake is out of the oven and cooling, go ahead and make the Jello. I added ½ package of cut strawberries and one full package of raspberries to the jello as well. Put the Jello in the fridge for about 30 minutes until it is thick but not solidified.

Once your Jello is ready and your cake is cooled it’s time to layer! First start by tearing the cake into  ¾” pieces and drop them into the trifle bowl. Then add dollops of yogurt followed by spoonfuls of the Jello evenly around the bottom. Repeat this layering process until you get near the top of the bowl. I tried to leave about an inch of room between the last layer and very top.

The first layer

The first layer

 

Lastly I added the remaining strawberries (cut into small pieces) and raspberries as a garnish.

The final product!

The final product!

All in all the trifle turned out great! We took it over to my parents house for a BBQ on Monday and almost everyone went back for seconds! If you’re looking for a light, healthy alternative for a summer dessert I would definitely recommend making a trifle similar to the one I made.

 

Let the Grilling Begin! May 23, 2013

There are many things I love about summer: longer days of sunshine, warm weather, poolside drinks, eating outside…which leads me to grilling!  Summer is hot, which means I don’t often want to turn on my oven and heat up our apartment more.  More importantly, nothing can beat the taste of a grill.  You know what I mean?  It gives your food this unique flavor that screams summer time!

We love making burgers and kabobs in summer, but this summer I am determined to expand our grilling repertoire.  Here is a recipe we had for dinner tonight that turned out fantastic!  I loosely based it on a blog I found through Pinterest, but made many of my own adjustments based on what I thought might make it taste best.

Bruschetta Chicken

You will need:

  • 5 cloves fresh garlic
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/3 c. olive oil, plus a drizzle more
  • 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella
  • salt and pepper

First, make a marinade of the olive oil, balsamic, 4 cloves minced garlic, and about 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper.

ImageNow, separate a small amount (I filled a ramekin dish about 1/3 of the way) of your marinade for later use.  Put the rest of your marinade and the chicken breasts in a freezer bag, making sure your chicken is well-coated in marinade.  Marinade for at least 30 minutes for ideal flavor.

ImageWhile your chicken is marinating, make a bruschetta mixture of your chopped tomatoes, chopped basil, a drizzle of olive oil, your remaining clove of garlic (minced), plus salt and pepper to taste.  Mix this well and let it sit for awhile while your chicken marinates and you start your grilling.  This way that yummy garlic flavor will really saturate the bruschetta.

ImageGrill your chicken on medium-high grill heat about 4-5 minutes on each side, brushing the additional ramekin of marinade over it as it grills.  With about 2 minutes left, add a slice of fresh mozzarella to each chicken breast so it melts on top.

ImageOnce your chicken has been removed from the grill and is cool enough to eat, lay it on top of a bed of brown rice and spoon your bruschetta on top.

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Honestly, this turned out to be one of the best non-traditional (as in non-burgers or chicken sandwiches) grill meals we’ve had.  I would highly recommend it.  My one tip would be to throw down on some decent balsamic not just off the shelf from your grocery store (we used the traditional 18-year aged balsamic from EVOO’s shop in Denver).  This will really enhance your cooking flavor!

 

 
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