Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Birth Day Celebration!

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Yesterday was my sweet loving husband's birthday. From a previous post, you already know that I would be cooking one of his favorite meals as a birthday present.

When I asked my darling what he wanted to eat. He gave me his 2 choices and it was up to me to pick one.
  1. Quesadillas, home made.
  2. Pork medallions with garlic mashed potatoes and cauliflower in a cheese sauce.
Quesadillas for 2 to 4 people (depends on how hungry you are)

1 large red onion
1 medium cooking onion
1 large red pepper
300 grams of chicken breast sliced into thin strips
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/3 of envelope of fajita spice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup of chicken broth (low sodium)

8 large flour tortillas
2 cups of shredded very old cheddar cheese or any other sharp cheese.

If you have a mandolin, thinly slicing all the vegetables is easy. Otherwise, get yourself a good sharp knife and start slicing. Cut the onions in half and slice them thinly, same for the red pepper.

Put 2 tbsp olive oil in a non stick frying pan, add the onion and red pepper. Add a generous pinch of kosher salt and same for the black pepper. Stir often until the onions become translucent. If the vegetables start to look dry, add a bit of chicken broth.

Once the vegetables are done, push them to the side of the pan so the center is empty and add the sliced chicken, the fajitas spice and the balance of the chicken broth. Stir the chicken, breaking apart the pieces that stick together until chicken is cooked. Mix back into the center the vegetables you had pushed to the side. Once the chicken broth as cooked away, turn the heat off. With a spatula or a spoon split the cooked chicken and vegetables into 4 equal sections. Each one of those sections will go on a tortilla.

If you have an old frying pan use it for this part. Set the heat at medium high. When a drop of water sizzles in the pan, it's ready. Take 2 tortillas and put them in the pan. Check often to make sure the bottom tortilla isn't burning. When it has browned a bit, flip the 2 tortillas for the other side to cook. The top tortilla should now be the one that went in the pan first, flip that tortilla only and check to make sure the bottom tortilla isn't burning. When the bottom one is done, flip again, take the tortilla that is now on top off and set aside. You must move quickly now. The bottom tortilla is cooking. Take some cheese and scatter it on the tortilla in the pan, add some of the chicken mixture, add some more cheese and take the tortilla you set aside and put it cooked side down over the mix, press down with your hand to make sure it all sticks together. Now with your spatula, flip once more to cook the last tortilla. Hopefully you've done this fast enough that the bottom tortilla didn't burn. If you find the pan is too hot, turn the heat down a bit. You want to have it cook the tortilla just slow enough for you to put the filling in.

When the bottom is crisp and lightly brown, flip onto a large cutting board, cut into wedges and serve with sour cream. The hardest part of this recipe is the tortillas. With practice you will be able to manage the assembling and cooking of the tortillas.

Pork Medallions with Garlic Mash & Cauliflower in a Tangy Cheese Sauce
for 2 people

Warning! This recipe is for garlic lovers!

2 - 150 gram pork medallions trimmed of excess fat or gristle
1 head of garlic, peeled. Do not chop or mince or crush.
6 medium potatoes either yukon gold, russet or red, peeled & quartered
kosher salt
1 cup of shredded very old cheddar or any other tangy cheese
2 tbsp flour
5 tbsp butter
1.5 cup of skim milk
2 cups of cauliflower broken into florets
large pinch of fresh grated nutmeg

Peel, quarter & wash potatoes. Put in a pot along with all the garlic, add water to cover, a generous pinch of kosher salt and set to boil. Once potatoes come to a boil, lower heat to medium. They will be done in 15 to 20 minutes.

While potatoes are cooking. You will be steaming the cauliflower so prepare a pot and steamer. Get the water boiling while you prepare your cauliflower, grate 1 cup of cheese, measure out the 2 tbsp of flour, 3 tbsp of butter and 1,5 cups of milk.

When the steamer is ready, add a pinch of kosher salt and your cauliflower. Cover and cook until fork tender.

While the potatoes and cauliflower are cooking. Prepare your pork medallions, trim off excess fat and gristle. Sprinkle fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt on both sides of medallions.

Bechamel Cheese Sauce

Get a non stick saucepan and put it on high heat. Add 3 tbsp butter, stir until it melts, add 2 tbsp of flour, stir until flour soaks up butter. Slowly add milk while stirring constantly. Keep stirring until lumps disappear (use a fork to mash stubborn lumps) and sauce begins to thicken. Lower heat a bit and keep stirring for another 4 or 5 minutes. Sauce should be bubbling gently. Add shredded cheese and keep stirring until cheese is completely melted into the sauce. Add generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg & a pinch of grated black pepper. Taste the sauce to make sure it's salted enough. If not, add a bit more salt.

By now the cauliflower should be fork tender. Turn off the heat, remove the cauliflower from the steamer basket and add to cheese sauce. Keep cheese sauce on low heat and stir occasionally while you cook the pork medallions. The cauliflower will break apart and get coated by the cheese sauce.

In a skillet, add 1 tbsp butter, melt and add pork medallions. You want the pan to be hot to sear the meat. Cook until medium, flipping meat as needed. When done, quickly remove to a plate.

While meat is resting, drain the potatoes. Add 1 tbsp butter, a splash of skim milk and using a hand mixer, whip the potatoes until thoroughly blended.

Light some candles and Enjoy your evening!


Anonymous said...

Pork medallions? Lies! Chicken fingers tyvm ;)

MarieAnge said...

Oh well, you ended up picking quesadillas anyway! :D

Anonymous said...

hahahahahhaha argument between lovers on her post!!

ACTUALLY you ended up not having going out for the birthday ;) mmmmm I want that chicken finger/pork medallion meal!!!

Unknown said...

Both meals sounded amazingly good and left me wanting garlic LOL. I L O V E garlic : )
tonight is chicken thighs, Rice and veggies (good thing it's the kids favorites)
Hope hubby had a wonderful Birthday!