Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Claudia's Pecan Pie

Well it was an action packed Thanksgiving Holiday here in Kentucky this year!  The final headcount at our Windy Hill Farm Thanksgiving feast was 44 people which  means the AS kitchen has been cooking up a storm.  (Hence the lack of posting activity.) We had family from all sides and all over the country in town and there was spectacular food, drink and merriment shared by all.  My mother-in-law and I contributed the majority of the desserts this year- the spread ranging from her unbeatable Pecan Pie to my Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake to my grandmother's Apple Strudel.  (and lots more in between)  As we merged the Lacys with the Cobetto/Cunningham clan for the first ever holiday celebration- I thought I'd share a Lacy recipe that got rave reviews from the rest of the family.
Pecan Pie Filling:  makes 1 pie

1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup dark Karo corn syrup
1/2 stick of butter, melted
3 eggs
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and fill an unbaked 9 inch pie crust.  Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and set.

Pastry for Pies:  also Claudia's recipe

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (she likes Lily brand)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
4-5 tablespoons of cold water

Mix salt with flour and cut in the shortening with a pastry blender.  Add the cold water one tablespoon at a time until dough forms a ball.  Roll out to fit pie pan. 

A few other great scenes from the day...

my parents' barn decked out for the party

carving one of six turkeys fried for the occaison

mid-feast with Johnboy, "the littles" and my cousins

a beautiful ending to the perfect Turkey Day

 photography courtesy of my extremely talented "boy little", Nate Lacy and my cousin Sarah

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Prosciutto wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Otherwise knows as Saltimbocca or "jump in the mouth" translated from Italian, the concept of wrapping veal or chicken in prosciutto with sage leaves is not a new one.  I happen to LOVE this flavor combination- especially for fall- and my experimental method of wrapping the whole tenderloin turned out very well if I do say so myself. 

This was a quick, relatively fuss free (and healthy) weeknight dinner but the presentation would certainly impress company too. 

Serves 2 with leftovers

1 pork tenderloin
6 thin slices of prosciutto
10-12 fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First rinse the pork and pat it dry with papertowels.  Trim off any big fat pieces or silver skin and season well with salt and pepper.  Next lay 4 slices of the prosciutto out on a large cutting board.  You want them to be at a slight diagonal and overlapping about half an inch.  (This should be the entire length of the pork.)

Lay the sage leaves down the middle of the prosciutto per the picture below.  You want the outer part of the leaf to be down on the prosciutto.  Depending on the size of the leaves, you might use two to be sure you get the sage flavor all the way around the pork. 

Lay the pork in the middle and starting on the end where you first layed the prosciutto, wrap it up around the pork.  My prosciutto wasn't long enough to get all the way around the pork  so I layed two more sage leaves and two slices of prosciutto (horizontally this time) to cover the seam.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sear the pork on all sides- rotating every 2 minutes until the prosciutto is golden brown.  If your skillet is oven proof you can throw the whole thing in the oven.  (I transferred the pork to a baking sheet lined with tin foil.)  Roast the pork in the oven for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature at the thickest part reaches 145/150 degrees for medium.

Let the pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing on an angle.  (Use a very sharp knife to cut 1.5 -2 inch slices so as to not pull all of the prosciutto off while you slice.)

As far as sides for this- I sauteed some fresh asparagus right in the same skillet while the pork was in the oven. I wanted to take advantage of the yummy salty flavor that the pork fat and prosciutto left behind.  (I tossed in one minced garlic clove too.)

I also had a balsamic fig jam in the fridge that I made from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc Cookbook.  (Book and jam both amazing- you'll see much more from that soon.)  I put a little spoonful next to the pork and the sweetness was a great accompaniment with the saltiness of the prosciutto.

 If you are entertaining, the pork would be amazing with a butternut squash risotto or ravioli on the side.  (Whole Foods has a great butternut squash ravioli in the freezer section.  I boil per the package instructions and then toss it with some butter browned slightly in a skillet with some sliced fresh sage.)