Food & Drink – Beer Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Every three months another Food & Drink magazine is released and I rush to the LCBO to covertly grab a copy for myself and one for my mom. I pour over the pages filled with beautiful photographs and recipes for cocktails and other yummy things. Although this magazine is basically my porn, cialis I had never actually cooked anything from its pages until the other day. GC started a new job (yay!) and for his first day, buy I made him a congratulatory dinner: Beer-glazed pork tenderloin with cranberry gruyere risotto.

201306046This recipe immediately jumped off the page at me. It combines so many of my favourite ingredients (cheese, check beer, pork and risotto) into a truly unique dish. The flavours are seasonal and this meal would make a great dish for a holiday party. The fruity tastes of the cranberry cut the rich, nutty flavours from the cheesy risotto.

The pork is perfectly cooked because it is cooked to a specific internal temperature using a meat thermometer. I had never used a meat thermometer before and it is now my favourite kitchen utensil. The glaze is fruity and delicate, and works in tandem with the fruity risotto.

We absolutely loved this dish and I would suggest making it again and again. The recipe from Food & Drink is below the cut – happy munching!

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Meals in Minutes – Oozy Mushroom Risotto

IMG_3416Meals in Minutes – Oozy Mushroom Risotto

1. Risotto is one of those things I had resigned myself to only eating in restaurants. I was under the impression it was too complicated and time consuming for the average cook to make at home. When I saw it in this cookbook, I was overwhelmed and nervous but I thought to myself, “This is a new challenge and I should give it a shot. If It tastes terribly then I will never make it again.” Not even remotely the case.

2. Risotto, as it turns out, isn’t hard to make, it just takes patience and a lot of stirring. It is a fairly easy recipe to follow that will lead people to believe that you are more talented then you actually are! Sounds like the perfect recipe to me.

3. I love the rich, earthiness of this dish. From the various mushrooms, the broth and the thyme and rosemary it is extremely aromatic. The flavour is so deep and consuming, it just fills you with a warmth that spreads throughout your body. The mushrooms add a fleshy and meaty quality to the dish that replaces the need for actual meat.

4. This is the dish that caused GC’s grandmother, an 83 year old Italian woman to exclaim, “Fuck, where did you learn to cook like this?” If that’s not a good enough reason for you to try it, I won’t be able to find a reason for you.

Recipe is below the cut and happy munching!

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Valentine’s Day – O & B Café & Grill

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that I have always liked but not because I expect to be showered with flowers and chocolates. I like it because it’s a day to tell everyone I care about how much I love and appreciate them. Although it was over a month ago (what is wrong me lately – blogger angst) I just want to say I love you to all of those who are close to me and those who are reading this and I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day filled with love and smiles. If not, there is always next year!

IMG_3311Valentine’s Day found me and GC at O & B Café and Grill for dinner followed by a concert at the Air Canada Centre. The food was divine and the concert was The Arkells and The Tragically Hip – an amazing way to spend a Valentine’s Day. But you don’t read my blog to hear how I love everyone or to read what type of music I am into, you read it for the food!

Because of the overindulgence experienced on our anniversary, we decided to keep it simple for VD and just order mains and share dessert. GC ordered the Egg Fettuccine Carbonara.

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Egg Fettuccine Carbonara with smoked speck ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper. Romantic candlelight makes for poor conditions for taking pictures of food. GC loved this, it was rich but still light, smoky and nutty from the ham and the cheese. A simple pasta with classic toppings to round out the dish perfectly.

I ordered the Sea Scallops and Risotto.

IMG_3315Roasted Sea Scallops & Risotto with wild mushrooms, San Marzano tomato jam and wilted winter greens. This dish had far too much going on with it. The individual components were delicious but when put together it was overwhelming chaos. The scallops were tender, fleshy and had a crunchy sear on them. The risotto was creamy and earthy from the mushrooms. These two elements should have been separate and left simply like that – they are perfect and don’t need to be paired together.  The tomato jam, and wilted greens were completely unnecessary and made the plate messy and again, chaotic. Sorry O & B, this was a big miss for me but dessert more than made up for it.

For dessert we ordered the Fondue for Two.

IMG_3318Fondue for two with Mayan spiced chocolate, long stem strawberries, fruit kabob, sponge sugar and marshmallows served with 1 chocolate raspberry shot and 1 chocolate cherry shots. I cannot get behind the trend of spiced chocolate. It is an off putting flavour – hot from cayenne pepper and cinnamon but then rich? It is too much flavour to deal with. The fruit was perfectly ripe and I loved the sponge toffee. The marshmallows were easily the best part – homemade, fluffy, light and super sugary! I just wanted a giant bag of them to put in cups of hot chocolate. I want to make my own marshmallows but this seems unnecessarily labour intensive. The shots were great – I love the idea of having shots with dessert in a classy, adult way rather than dirty and frat boy-like. We both preferred the cherry shot, it tasted more like a cocktail than a strong kick of alcohol.

A romantic meal, a fun concert and all with my best friend and love of my life; a perfect Valentine’s Day in my books! I hope yours was just as good! Happy munching!