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Thai Pork and Papaya with Whole-Wheat
Couscous

Monday, February 6th, 2012

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup whole-wheat couscous
  • 1 medium onion; chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper; chopped
  • 1 tspn. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tspn. soy sauce
  • 1 tspn. ginger; finely grated
  • 1 tspn. garam masala
  • 3 garlic cloves; minced
  • ½ lb. pork tenderloin; sliced into ½-inch – 2-inch strips
  • Juice & zest of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup cilantro; minced
  • 1 lb. papaya; peeled, seeded & cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ tspn. black sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, bring 1½ cups of water to a boil. Add the couscous, cover with a lid and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork. Set aside. In a medium dutch oven over medium heat, add the extra virgin olive oil. Sauté the onion and bell peppers until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Add soy sauce, ginger and strips of pork, and let cook for 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Place 1 cup couscous onto each of 4 plates. Top each with 2 oz. of the pork mixture, ½ cup papaya, and 1 Tbs. skillet juices. Garnish with reserved papaya seeds if desired.

A Valentine’s Day Dinner For Two: Sea Scallops with Meyer Lemon Butter Sauce and Seared Sirloin Steak with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Valentine’s Day is upon us! If you forget to call for a dinner reservation, or just want to avoid the busy restaurant scene this year, you’re going to want to do something or else you’re going to get some heat. Don’t fear! We have you covered. I created this dinner specifically for you. The recipes are not too difficult and the combination of the sea scallops and sirloin work very well. The couscous gives the plate a sophisticated feel without being “over the top.” Go ahead and give it a try!

You will be making and serving sea scallops with Meyer lemon butter sauce coupled with seared sirloin steak with mushrooms and blue cheese. Both are served with asparagus, grape tomatoes, and couscous with olive oil and Parmesan. The key to cooking and serving any dinner like this is preparation. You are going to have almost everything done ahead of time.

For dessert, I recommend you serve Dr. Loetker’s Lava Cake. It is a wonderful chocolate dessert that is on sale this week for only $2.69 a box. You will find it in our Natural and Organic section.

( Chef’s hat denotes sale item)
— One Day or Several Hours in Advance of Dinner —
Scallops

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 to 6 sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of one half Meyer lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

METHOD

Pat scallops dry with a paper towel. Lightly season with salt and pepper, then set aside. Heat a metal or cast iron skillet over high heat for about 3 minutes. Add oil to pan, then scallops. Cook scallops 2 minutes or until they are browned nicely. Do not turn, cook one side only! This will keep them from over cooking later. While scallops are browning, melt butter in microwave; mix in lemon juice, set aside. After scallops are browned nicely, remove from pan and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, browned side up. Pour butter mixture over scallops and refrigerate. This can (and should) be done one or two days in advance.

Petite Sirloin

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 oz. petite sirloin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup mushroom, sliced
  • ¼ cup Rosenberg blue cheese
  • ¼ cup hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
  • Preheat the oven’s broiler

METHOD

Lightly season steaks with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat a metal or cast iron skillet over high heat for about 3 minutes. Add oil to pan, then add steaks. Cook two minutes per side. Remove from pan (don’t wash pan), place on a cookie sheet or Pyrex and refrigerate.

Place pan with steak drippings back on stove over high heat and add mushrooms. Sauté for a minute or two then add beef broth. Bring to a boil and scrape up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add blue cheese and toss or stir until all ingredients are mixed well. Pour sauce into a microwavable container and refrigerate.

Asparagus with Grape Tomato

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 2 quarts ice water in large bowl
  • 10 stalks asparagus
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper mix

METHOD

Cut ends off asparagus and place in boiling water. Cook for about 90 seconds. Immediately plunge in ice water. Drain well. Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss asparagus and tomatoes with olive oil, and about ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place in Pyrex or baking dish. This can be done up to 3 days in advance. 15 minutes before serving, place mixture in a °350 oven for 10 to 15 minutes until warmed through.

Couscous with Olive Oil & Parmesan

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cooked Texmati Tri-Color Couscous (follow package directions)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper

METHOD

After cooking couscous, run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Allow it to drain, then toss with olive oil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Place in a microwave safe container. This can be done up to two days in advance.

—— 1 Hour Before Dinner ——
  1. Preheat oven to °400.
  2. Set the table. Remember: forks on left, knives on right with blade side pointing in towards plate.
  3. Put steak in oven; set timer for 5 minutes.
  4. After timer goes off, put scallops and asparagus in oven with steaks. Set timer for 4 minutes.
  5. Put sauce and couscous in microwave. Set for 1½ minutes on high. When done, stir and cook for another minute or until couscous and sauce both are heated throughout. Leave in microwave until ready to plate.
  6. When oven timer goes off, pull steaks and set aside to rest, leaving asparagus and scallops in oven for another three minutes.
  7. Remove scallops and asparagus from oven.
  8. Slice steak into 6 or 8¼-inch pieces and divide onto two plates. Place scallops on plate; with a spoon, pour sauce from scallop pan over scallops.
  9. Spoon mushroom sauce over steaks.
  10. Divide the couscous between the two plates.
  11. Place asparagus and grape tomatoes on plate as shown.
  12. Prepare to be a hero!
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