Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pumped Up Dad's Day

I've made it no secret in my posts that I adore my husband.  He amazes me every day with his kindness, his humor, his respect, and his love for me.  He is my best friend.  He is a wonderful father.  He is truly a great man.  He is kind, considerate, affectionate, always the life of the party, and my rock.  I feel that, since he treats me so wonderfully, I must treat him exactly the same way.

So, in honor of this amazing man, I thought I'd make him an amazing feast for Father's Day.  Full of some of his favorite things, it was a feast fit for a king, my king.  And what would this king like to eat, you ask?  Well, I'll surely tell you.  I made an amazingly tender pork tenderloin (yes, it was really tender) in the crockpot with a brown sugar and chipotle reduction.  He also got Cheese, Mustard & Beer Bread, a cheesy, mustardy, yeasty bread that was delicious.  For a starter, he got some out-of-this-world Clams Casino and a kicked up version of Chile con Queso con Carne, which is a crazy queso with sausage dip.  Nothing but the best.  And I know there's no salads, no veggies, no chick food here.  These are men we're cooking for, and they want man food.  And they should get it on their day.  Veggies can be mandatory the other 364 days of the year.

Happy Father's Day, John.

One 3-lb pork tenderloin
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
1 C brown sugar
1 T onion powder
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1 T dijon mustard
3/4 C ketchup
2 C water
1 T lime juice

1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C ketchup
Reserved cooking liquid
Salt & pepper to taste

Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of the crockpot.  Add in the onions, the garlic, the 1 C brown sugar, onion powder, chipotles, dijon, water, lime juice and 3/4 C ketchup.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the pork is tender.  Transfer the pork to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Pour the reserved cooking liquid into a pot.  Add in the 1/2 C brown sugar, 1/2 C ketchup and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.  Cook and whisk occasionally until the sauce has reduced by half.  Slice the tenderloin and serve the sauce over it.

One 16-ounce carton sour cream
One 8-ounce block Velveeta, cubed
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, cubed
1 C shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack, but use what you like)
Half a pound of breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled (like Jimmy Dean)
1/2 C green onions, chopped
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 T chipotle powder
2 poblanos
1 can Rotel

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  To roast the poblanos, place the peppers on a sheet pan.  Cook the peppers in the oven, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven.  When they are cool enough to handle, peel the skins off, cut off the stem, and scrape out the seeds.  Chop the poblanos.

You can mix all of the ingredients together and cook in a crockpot, stirring occasionally, until everything is melted and combined, which will take some time but is an easier process.  The second option is to microwave in a large bowl for 2-3 minutes at a time, stirring in between. Serve with tortilla chips.

This is great-tasting yeasty bread.  If you love mustard, cheese, and beer, this one's for you.  This is my version as adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

4 T butter
1/4 + 1/3 C dark beer
2 3/4 C flour
1 T sugar
1 packet highly active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

3 T butter
1 T spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce, to taste (I used Cholua)
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 C shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack, but use what you like)

To start the bread, place the yeast, flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Heat the 1/4 C beer and the 4 T butter in a small saucepan. Whisk until the butter has melted.  Let it cool slightly.  Whisk in the remaining beer.  Add the beer mixture to the mixer and combine.  Add in the eggs and knead until it forms into a ball.  Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover.  Let it rise for about an hour or until doubled.

Meanwhile, make the filling.  Melt the 3 T butter in a small pot.  Remove from heat and stir in the Worcestershire, brown mustard and hot sauce. In another bowl, combine the mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix the cheese around in the spice mixture.

Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.  After the bread has rested for an hour, turn the dough out onto a well-floured board.  Roll the dough out into roughly a 20 x 12 inch rectangle.  Spread the butter/mustard mixture all over the top of the dough, all the way to the edges.  Cut the dough carefully with a serrated knife into five even strips along the 12 inch side, meaning you should have five 12 x 4 inch strips.  Now cut each strip into 2 x 4 inch squares.  It's okay if it's not perfect.  You will be overlapping them and the next rise will hide imperfections.

To assemble the bread, set the loaf pan onto one short end.  Sprinkle a section of dough with the cheese mixture and lay it in the end of the pan touching the counter.  Repeat with dough sections and cheese, overlapping the sections in the pan, until the last pieces which should have no cheese on the outer edge.  Think of it as laying playing cards in the pan and stacking them.  If you don't seem to have enough dough to get to the end, turn the pan back right-side up and gently shake the pan to loosen the stacks up.  The next rise will fill in the gaps.  Cover and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes or until it grows over the top of the pan. (If this process isn't clear, click on the words "Smitten Kitchen" above.  She has detailed pictures of the process.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes or until it is puffed and browned.  Let it cool for about five minutes before turning it out.  Eat this bread while it is hot or warm so that the cheese is still soft.

A truly special occasion dish sure to please anyone who loves clams.  My favorite part?  The pancetta.  I love bacon.

1 lb littleneck clams
1/4 lb pancetta, diced
1/4 C Italian parsley, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 T lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 C white wine
1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
2 T butter
2 C rock salt
Olive oil

Soak the clams in cold water for about 30 minutes.  Discard any that don't close when gently tapped.  Put the clams in a pot and boil for about 5 minutes or until they are all opened.  Discard any that don't open.  Let them cool slightly.

Separate the clam shells in half and scoop out the clam meat.  Chop the clams.  Spread the rock salt out on a sheet pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, cook the pancetta until crispy. Remove from the pan and drain.  Add the butter to the same skillet and add the shallots and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent.  Add in the wine and deglaze the pan.  Cook until most of the liquid is gone.  Remove from the heat and stir in the pancetta, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon juice and clams.

Spoon the filling into the clam shells.  Drizzle them with olive oil.  Cook them for about 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt and the filling is hot.

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