Friday, August 8, 2014

"The Athlete's Palate" (by Runners World magazine) and "Sweet Corn Spectacular" - Orange Cumin-Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Corn Chowder

Date I made these recipes:  August 3, 2014

The Athlete's Palate Cookbook – Renowned chefs, delicious dishes, and the art of fueling up while eating well by Yishane Lee and the Editors of Runner's World®; foreword by Mark Bittman
Published by:  Rodale
ISBN:  978-1-60529-578-7
Purchased at Arc's Value Village Thrift Stores
Recipe:  Orange-Cumin Glazed Pork Tenderloin – p. 114

Sweet Corn Spectacular by Marie Porter
Published by:  Minnesota Historical Society Press
ISBN:  978-0-87351-892-5
Purchased at:  Half Priced Books Tent Sale
Recipe:  Roasted Corn Chowder – p. 66-67

So a couple of months back, my husband, a biking aficionado, got the bright idea that if riding a couple 200K bike rides was good, a 300K (185 miles) bike ride was better!

We are both here to tell you that this was not exactly a great idea.  In fact, it could have been disaster.  It wasn't, but we're both going to file that under "Don't do this again – ever" and leave it at that.

Because folks, here's the thing:  this 185 mile bike ride took 16 hours, 15 of which were in "the saddle" and maybe an hour or so was allotted to rest stops.  That's just cuckoo crazy!  Fifteen hours doing nothing but riding a bike – say what?  My butt hurts thinking about that.  The ride started at dawn-o-clock and he finished up around 11:30 p.m.  I was a tad nervous about him riding in the dark and so when he called me to say he was back at his car, I was relieved and so was he! 

Now, unlike Andy, I like to go for a walk rather than ride a bike but even then, I don't think I've ever logged 185 miles per year.  Not even half that.  So the effort is commendable to be sure.

So...what to feed an athlete about to do "battle" with his bike?  Well, for a wide variety of recipes, some geared for training, some geared for recovery, you should look to The Athlete's Palate Cookbook, published by Runner's World® magazine.  I earmarked several recipe selections to make for my crazy man and he decided that the pork with cumin glaze was the one he wanted.  I might have steered him in that direction by telling him that we already had leftover chipotles in adobo sauce but then again, he's a man who knows his own mind and his own palate so pork it was!   But you should know several other worthy recipes await.  

In addition to great-looking (and tasting) recipes, this book is filled with bios of all the renowned chefs, many of them athletes in their own right, who contributed to this book such as:  Mark Bittman; Patricia Wells; Cat Cora; Hubert Keller and Dan Barber.  Even local Minneapolis chef, Vincent Francoual, of Vincent A Restaurant, is featured –  But don't discount the other chefs in the book, some of whom are well-known at the restaurants in which they work, while others are on their way up, as every one of them submitted great-looking and sounding dishes.

Ivy Stark, the young chef who created today's Orange-Cumin Glazed Pork Tenderloin, is executive chef at New York City's Dos Caminos restaurant, "which is known for its inventive Mexican cuisine." (from her bio – p. 6)  Had I known about Ivy, I would have likely dined at her recent on a very recent trip to NYC but alas, we "missed it by that much." (Get Smart) Given that we loved the flavor profile of this dish, I think we'd enjoy her restaurant cuisine as well.  (By the way, Dos Caminos is owned by the BR Guest Hospitality Group which also owns and runs Isabella's, Ocean Grill and Ruby Foo's in NYC, restaurants we've frequented and enjoyed in the past.)

Then there's the accompanying Roasted Corn Chowder from Sweet Corn Spectacular, a book published by our very own Minnesota Historical Society Press.  Again – what to choose, what to choose?  After much hemming and hawing, we went with the Roasted Corn Chowder and the sweetness and creaminess were perfect offsets to the bit of heat found in the tenderloin.

But – true confession time – we sort of cheated.  And by "sort of," when we were shopping and I was reaching for fresh ears of corn,  Andy suggested that we eliminate all that potential mess with the corn silk and the husks and just buy frozen.  I'll admit that this surprised me as it was tantamount to culinary treason but he had a point.  Just so you know, short of having the real deal, frozen vegetables, vegetables that are picked fresh and frozen immediately to preserve flavor and vitamins, are recipe lifesavers and are way better for you than canned.  And so okay, we used it during the summer when the real deal was available—so sue us!  Absent the char marks from the grill, the oven-roasted frozen corn was just as delicious as the real deal and was far less trouble to prepare.

What I really liked about the recipe was that you pureed corn at several stages and I appreciated the texture of the dish as it was both smooth and chunky—just like peanut butter.  I also had some leftover peppers that I roasted then coarsely chopped and added to the chowder.   Delicioso! 

In conclusion, although you may not take on 185 mile bike ride (and please don't!), you don't have to miss out on delicious summertime food.  Enjoy.
Orange-Cumin Glazed Pork Tenderloin – makes 4 servings

Ann's Note:  You'll need to marinade the pork for at least an hour to overnight.

½ cup fresh orange juice
1-2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce
Peel from 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon) Ann's Note:  they say "peel" but think "grate" and you'll be better off!
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
¼ teaspoon salt
2 pork tenderloins (1 ½ pounds each)
2 oranges, segmented (about 2 cups)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped (about ½ - ¾ cup)
Salt to taste

Additional Ann's Notes:  We purchased one tenderloin instead of two and so cut the ingredients in half.  To toast the cumin seeds, put them in a fry pan (no oil!) and let toast over low to medium heat until lightly browned.  You should know that they didn't really pulverize all that well in the blender.

Also, when I made the marinade, I used orange peel which I then chopped but it was still too big.  And the sauce wasn't really smooth after I pureed it; instead, it was more like a paste.  So when the time came to cook the tenderloin, I left the marinade "paste" on it and then made a second, and much smoother sauce, for serving, this time using grated orange peel.  The result was a fantastic flavor bomb!  But if you are shy about an overabundance of flavor, then combine all ingredients and puree as directed but then add a little water so as to make a saucier marinade sauce and you should be fine.

At least one hour ahead or overnight:  Combine the orange juice, chipotles, orange peel, cumin seeds, and salt in a blender.  Puree until smooth.

Place the pork tenderloins in a shallow dish and pour the orange mixture over them.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate the tenderloins in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to overnight.

Take the tenderloins out of the marinade.  Reserve the marinade.

Put the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sauce is reduced by half, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Keep it warm.

Place the meat in shallow baking dish.  Brush it with a little of the reserved marinade after 15 minutes.  Bake for a total of 20 to 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160F when tested in center of the meat.

Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest in a warm place for 10 minutes; this seals in the juices before serving.

Toss the orange segments, red onion, and cilantro in a small bowl with a little salt.

Cut the pork into ½"-thick slices before serving.  Place the slices on a warm serving platter and drizzle them with the hot, reduced marinade.  Surround the meat with the orange and red onion mixture.

(For those who are interested, here's the per serving information:  313 calories, 49 G protein, 15 G carbohydrates, 6 G fat.)

Roasted Corn Chowder – Serves 4
6-7 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed (Ann's Note:  I used two, regular-size bags of frozen sweet corn and that may have been a bit too much as my chowder was really thick but it tasted great!)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4-5 red potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
Salt and pepper (Ann's Note:  I didn't use enough and as a result, the soup was almost overly sweet.  I adjust the seasonings when I reheat.)

Prepare grill.  Brush 3-4 corncobs with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and grill corn until as "done" as you like.  Set aside to cool.  (The author notes that she prefers some grill marks but not an overall char.)  Ann's Note:  If you use frozen corn, thaw it out first, then put on a baking sheet/baking pan and put in a 350 oven until it is roasted to your satisfaction.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off remaining ears of corn.  Add kernels to a food processor or blender with 1 cup of the water.  Puree until very smooth, about 2 minutes.  In a medium pot over medium heat, cook celery and onion in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, stirring occasionally, until veggies are translucent and tender.  Add corn puree, remaining cup of water, and potatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Carefully cut kernels off roasted cobs or corn.  Add kernels to a food processor or blender and puree with ½ cup heavy cream until somewhat smooth, about 30 seconds.  Add roasted corn puree and remaining heavy cream to the pot, and simmer until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Add some chopped roasted red peppers along with the roasted corn puree.  (Ann's choice)
  • Add some fresh basil and Parmesan cheese with the roasted corn puree.
  • Add a couple of grilled jalapenos, finely chopped, with the roasted corn puree.
  • Add about 2 cups shredded cheese along with the roasted corn puree.
  • Top with crumbled bacon.

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