Category Archives: Apple and cranberry stuffed Pork Loin

Christmas Smorgasbord Health – Cook from Scratch with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cranberries – #bittersweet

Healthy and oh so delicious that little bright red berry packs a punch of health benefits and flavour when using in cooking.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Here is another of our posts where I share the nutritional benefits of an ingredient and Carol Taylor incorporates it in a delicious recipe. Next week Carol will be back to share some of her creations from her Thai kitchen offering you some alternative delicacies to eat over the festive season.

This week… ..Cranberries – a bitter berry which has a long history in medicinal terms and is still used today in certain over the counter preparations.

Cranberrieshave a documented medicinal history and were used by the Native American Indians as a nutritious addition to their diet normally sweetened with honey as of course the berries are very tart. The Indians also used the berries in poultices for wounds as they recognised the antibacterial and antibiotic effect of the fruit even if they could not scientifically prove these properties. Colonists, who had been introduced to the berry…

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Retired No One Told Me!..Weekly Roundup… It’s all about the Flavour…

Welcome to my weekly roundup …you know the procedure by now..comfy chair, a drink relax and enjoy!

lady relaxing kindle-1867751_1280

My first post week was one which bought back memories of a lovely holiday in Malta and their lovely National dish of rabbit stew which in turn made me remember my granddad and my uncle Ken…Both of who worked on the land and taught me much when growing up…The rabbits were mostly poached(shhh) and his ferret definitely not a pet but that is life and how it is…The rabbit stew, however, my mum and Nan used to make..I loved it!

Enjoy recipes and I think I will be making my first octopus dish as Jovina’s recipe sounds and looks glorious…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/cooking-the-mediterranean-island-countries/

Then it was my regular Tuesday No more Diets …Healthy Eating… I started keeping a food diary as I had decided no more biscuits with my morning cuppa…Day 6 and No biscuits I sent Lily home with the biscuits so as to avoid temptation…How did all this come about? I read the lovely Sally’s post and perused the chart she provided and was shocked that those two biscuits could have such an impact so I duly weighed myself and started my food diary…

The plan??? Keep the diary and weigh myself every Monday( no hopping on and off the scales)…Well…Today is Sunday and the lure of the scales just too much…4LBS… OFF!

 

You two are so dumped from my diet…

I will also be truthful and did dump the Haribos only little packets of jellies but nearly every night… 2 things and 4 LB in 6 days…

Thank you, Sally, for getting me refocused …Hugs! xxx

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/healthy-eatingno-more-dietseat-yourself-slim/

Wednesday is the day I can indulge my passion for cooking courtesy of Sally and this week it was my favourite recipes …The recipes I make the most instead of buying them…

Healthier, it saves me money…A no-brainer really and it takes less time to make them than it takes to get in the car, negotiate the traffic, find a car parking space and then queue at the till and you still have to drive home…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-fajita-spice-tahini-peanut-butter-hummus/

Following on from Fruity Friday and the red Bananas I discovered along with some things I didn’t know …That all red bananas are not naturally red…The ones on the bunch are but not the pretty looking red bananas in a dessert…They are red because they are cooked in Lime water?? A trip to the local market with my daughter in law and we found the red paste…Spoiler Alert!

Small cooking bananas

Today I will be cooking the green bananas and turning them into a red dessert and all will be revealed on Friday…..

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/what-is-lime-water-nam-pboon-sai/

It was then the turn of one of my archived posts about the tradition of charcoal making down on the farm which the lovely Sally once again showcased for me …Such a generous lady is our Sal xxx

charcoal-pit

The tradition of making charcoal here in rural Thailand.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-thailand-down-on-the-farm-making-charcoal-by-carol-taylor/

Date time…I should be so lucky as sung by Kylie… Stuffed with blue cheese they are a wonderous thing or wrapped in bacon… I love those beautiful patterned Tagines, don’t you???Fruity Friday Dates (1)

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/fruity-friday-dates/

Lastly …Are you still with me??? Do you need to take five, top up your cuppa ???

Lastly, I took you on a journey through the 5 tastes of  Thai cuisine the ingredients which make up those tastes of Spicy, Sour, Sweet, Salty and Bitter…

fresh cut limes-1239267_1280

How you don’t get a starter, main course and then a dessert here… Even in a restaurant that serves western food Thais don’t get the concept of individual courses as their food is about the whole meal and how the flavours compliment each other how if you have a hot curry you will get a mild but tasty soup and stir-fry…

Which is why a Thai recipe is a guide as chillies vary in heat, fish sauce can vary by brand, depending on the time of year the taste of limes vary which takes me back to what I always say to you TASTE and TASTE again build your flavours to suit your palate and then you may be able to say I can cook Thai Food …

It has taken me 10 years and I am still learning…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/thai-cooking-sweet-sour-spicy-salty-and-bitter/

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup if you have please share or pin to your favourite board or media…Thank you xxx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you so much for reading this I hope you have a lovely weekend …xxx

 

Fruity Friday… The Cranberry.

Fruity Friday, The Cranberry

Welcome to Fruity Fridays and today I am showcasing the Cranberry… Cranberries always remind me of Christmas I think it is the smell when I am making Cranberry sauce, the cinnamon, spices and the orange all together invoke those Christmas memories but of course, cranberry sauce can be eaten with any roast meats, cold meats, with cream cheese so many ways.

My mum always used to swear by Cranberry juice if anyone has a urinary tract infection, however, the latest research show that capsules are more effective as the cranberry juice you buy does not have the same concentration of antioxidant proanthocyanidins.

They are low in calories and high in Vitamin C, A and K so a little gem of a berry which packs a healthy punch.

In a homemade trail mix dried cranberries with unsalted nuts and seeds a nice quick to make little snack.

If you are making muffins or scones then a handful or two of cranberries adds that little extra zing and helps cut through the sweetness of cakes.

There are also two ways that cranberries are harvested.

Wet Harvesting:

Many people and that included me for a while think that cranberries grow underwater but they are not they grow on boggy ground which is flooded with up to 18 inches of water the night before the berries are to be harvested.  Then water reels, nicknamed “eggbeaters,” churn the water and loosen the cranberries from the vine. Each berry has a tiny pocket of air that allows it to float to the surface of the water. These are then collected and it is these cranberries which are used in the cranberry products we buy in the shops.

Dry Harvesting:

Fresh cranberries are harvested using the dry method and it is the method to pick those beautiful red berries we see fresh and beautiful in the stores or in the markets.

I have noticed the difference when I use fresh cranberries when making sauce or stuffing that the fresh berries do not have the deep red colour of the frozen ones when cooked… I do however prefer the taste of the fresh berries although I do keep a bag of frozen cranberries in my freezer as a backup or to use when fresh cranberries are out of season.

Cranberry Sauce:

  • 3  cups or 12 oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.

cranberry-sauce

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

 

Store in a sealed container.

These little puffs don’t take long to make so if I need a quick snack if visitors pop in around sundowner time then these don’t take long. I always keep a little box of already cut puff pastry squares which I can just pop in the oven and I always have a container of cranberry as we like it in a sandwich if we have cold chicken or pork and it is lovely with hot meat or pork schnitzels which I just top with some cream cheese and a spoonful of cranberry sauce.

Camembert Puffs:

camembert_puffs-1

Ingredients:   

I pack of frozen Puff Pastry, thawed.

125 gm(4 oz) of Camembert Cheese.

100gm Cranberry Sauce.

1 sprig of thyme…leaves picked.

1 large egg, beaten.

To Make:  

Line 2 baking tins with baking parchment.

Roll out puff pastry and cut into bite-sized squares ( 3cm)

Put onto baking trays making sure you space well apart. Brush top with beaten egg. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins.

Put into pre-heated oven 180 or gas mark 6. Cook for approx 10 minutes or until golden brown. Slice Camembert into equal sized pieces and put one in the centre of each pastry square. Top with a tsp of cranberry sauce. Put back into the oven until cheese has melted.

Garnish with Thyme.

Enjoy!

This next recipe is one I use if I am rolling and stuffing a piece of Pork and I have stuffed chicken breasts as well using the same stuffing.

Apple and Cranberry Pork.

Stuffed pork loin

Rub for the Pork Loin.

  • 4 lbs Pork Loin,
  • Bacon ( enough to cover Pork Loin)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste,
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil,
  • 2 finely chopped Garlic Cloves,
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Thyme,
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Rosemary…

Stuffing for Pork Loin:

  • Half cup Vinegar,
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt,
  • 2 small diced red onions,
  • Olive oil as required,
  • 1/2 bottle Lager Beer,
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar,
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon,
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger,
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries,
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seed,
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves,
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper,
  • 4 peeled and chopped Granny Smith Apples.

Let’s Cook!

Cut a pocket through one end of the tenderloin. Don’t slice through the other end. Season in and out properly with salt and pepper.

Mix together the ingredients for the rub and when mixed rub into the pork loin , cover and put in the fridge for an hour.

Uncooked pork loin

While the Pork is absorbing all those lovely flavours prepare the stuffing mix.

Finely chop the Red Onions and cook in Olive oil until soft. Add Apples and ginger, stir and cook for 5 mins.Add remainder of ingredients stir to combine and simmer gently until mixture thickens and reduces. Cool slightly before stuffing the loin.

Stuffing the Loin was quite messy the first time I made this. I tried a plastic sauce bottle which was ok..but now I use an icing bag which is much easier and quicker.

Stuff loin and then cover with bacon slices.Put tin foil on top as bacon cooks very quickly and remove foil about ten mins from end cooking to brown bacon. Rest loin for 10 mins before carving.

Stuffed pork cooking

Once rested, carve and serve we made the gravy from the meat juices and pork stock and it was lovely. Served with vegetables and crispy roast potatoes..mmmm.

This versatile little berry can be used to make lovely little potato pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • Peel and grate 2 russet potatoes; squeeze dry.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • 1/2 cup each chopped cranberries and breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt and a freshly ground pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Form into 2-inch pancakes and fry in 1/4 inch vegetable oil ( or oil ) of your choice (adding more as needed) in a large skillet over medium-high heat until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

N.B. The original recipe added sugar I didn’t we don’t like added sugar in our savoury food …I know cranberries are quite sour but mixed with everything else and eaten with meat or fish with vegetables we find them very nice and don’t think sugar is necessary.

For a nice change, this little salsa using cranberries is very moreish and of course, it has the requisite chillies…lol

 Cranberry and Jalapeno Salsa.

Finely chop 2 cups cranberries with 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor. Toss with 1/3 cup each chopped cucumber and cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped white onion, 1 minced jalapeno, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Did you know you can also get Cranberry Beans they are really pretty although they go brown when cooked?

cranberry beans-1353042_1280

Cranberry is an odd name for a lovely, versatile bean. Thought to originally come from Colombia, the bean is now grown around the world and has been known by many names such as  Madeira, Borlotti, Tongues of Fire and  Wren’s Eggs.

Cranberry beans are soft and dense with a velvety, rich texture. They are a thin-skinned bean which produces a rich bean broth and is the natural friend of Pasta e Fagioli which is a lovely bowl of pasta and beans with Italian sausage.

I hope you have enjoyed these cranberry recipes as it is a lovely fruit which can be eaten dried or used frozen or fresh when in season.

If you enjoyed this post then please reblog  or share on your social media x

If you still want to see even more from me???? Although I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Then I have added some links below xx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until  next time x

 

 

 

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ” I’m possible!………Audrey Hepburn.

That’s true, so chins up and onward we go! And my what I never thought I would do was?????? With the help of a Mojito or 2…… absolutely out of my comfort zone and…….

Amazing ! What Fun! went to Improv last night and it was brilliant..I recommend anyone to try it..amazing time ..still buzzing..and if you don’t know what it is, its short sketches e.g someone picks a page number in a book.You pick the part you are playing. One person says a sentence anything whatever they are thinking and you reply exactly what is written down( but they don’t know what your script is they are just doing their own impromptu of the top of your head ..get it? such fun…. wow what a night.

Anyways….

I have decided that I am going to do more cooking or more experimenting. In other words gonna try to make at least one new dish untried by us every week.

Also, I will have a guest blogger next time Clara Wiggins who has written an amazing book for expats with lots of hints and tips. So watch this space and you will meet Clara next time……

Curry Plant seedlings..yippee.. thanks to a very kind gentleman who just requested a picture of my curry when I make it. There are some nice people left in this world. They are growing well and making new little leaves..exciting cos green fingered I am not really…

Have been busy pickling away and have pickled cucumbers, beetroot, and shallots and although the recommended time to allow those flavours to develop is at least 3 weeks not in this house it’s not! I will need to pickle some more shallots very soon.

Anyway back to cooking:

Today it was stuffed Apple and Cranberry Pork and it was amazing..so here we go the recipe for you guys.

The recipe was featured on Ema Jones blog, Food 4 Your Mood and very tasty it was. Thank you, Ema for sharing it got the thumbs up in this house. My pics aren’t as good as Ema’s but I try.

SAM_6901

Rub for the Pork Loin.

4 lbs Pork Loin,

Bacon ( enough to cover Pork Loin)

Salt & Pepper to taste,

1 tablespoon Olive Oil,

2 finely chopped Garlic Cloves,

1 tablespoon chopped Thyme,

1 tablespoon chopped Rosemary…

Cut a pocket through one end of the tenderloin. Place the centrist downwards. Don’t slice through the other end. Season in and out properly with salt and pepper.

Mix together above ingredients and rub into pork loin , cover and put in the fridge for an hour.

SAM_6891

While the Pork is absorbing all those lovely flavours prepare the stuffing mix.

For stuffing Pork Loin.

Half cup Vinegar,

1/4 teaspoon salt,

2 small diced red onions,

Olive oil as required,

1/2 bottle Lager Beer,

3/4 cup Brown sugar,

1 teaspoon Cinnamon,

1 tbsp chopped ginger,

2/3 cup dried cranberries,

1 teaspoon Mustard Seed,

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves,

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper,

4 peeled and chopped Granny Smith Apples.

Method:

Finely chop Red Onions and cook in Olive oil until soft.

SAM_6892

Add Apples and ginger, stir and cook for 5 mins.

Add remainder of ingredients stir to combine and simmer gently until mixture thickens and reduces.

SAM_6895

Cool slightly before stuffing loin.

Stuffing the Loin was quite messy so I think next time I make this I will use one of the small round plastic refill sauce bottles the ones you buy to take on picnics. The top when unscrewed is quite wide so stuffing mix should go in,  do not replace lid and insert into the split and hopefully, it should squirt down without too much mess. Well, that’s what I am going to try.

Stuff loin and then cover with bacon slices.Put tin foil on top as bacon cooks very quickly and remove foil about ten mins from end cooking to brown bacon. Rest loin or 10 mins before carving.

SAM_6896Rest, carve and serve we made the gravy from the meat juices and pork stock and it was lovely. Served with vegetables and crispy roast potatoes..mmmm.

So next time it will be Beef Rendang which is an amazing Indonesian dish and Clara Wiggins as My first guest blogger yehhhh!!!!

Have a lovely day love you all xx