Small Recipes...Small Roast Pork Tenderloin


Bottom left; ready for the oven, right; after baking and resting.   
In ThePleasures of Cooking for One, the author prepares pork tenderloin with the intention of using the pork that isn’t eaten for the first meal in other dishes.  I prepared one today, using my favorite Willy’s Rub, and some bacon scattered on top.  I put the remaining roast, wrapped tightly in foil, in the refrigerator.  I’ll cut some slices for a couple more meals, and some chunks to use in soup or casseroles, and package them for the freezer.  The slices make good panini or warm sandwiches in buns too.
DON’T OVERCOOK your tenderloin, no matter what the package says!  And using a meat thermometer is the way to get a perfect, juicy roast.  The resting step helps distribute those juices throughout the meat.
My roast package called this a "pork loin filet".
My husband raved about this meat…it was juicy and tender! Next time I plan to try the author’s Garlic Mustard Rub.                

                       Small Roast Pork Tenderloin
  2          pounds  pork tenderloin, R-T-C
  2          slices uncooked bacon -- cut up (Optional)
                        Willy's Rub
  1         tablespoon  sweet paprika -- preferably Spanish
  1           teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  1           teaspoon  coarse salt -- either kosher or sea salt
     1/4      teaspoon  sugar
     1/4      teaspoon  chili powder
     1/4      teaspoon  granulated garlic or garlic powder
     1/4      teaspoon  onion powder
    1/16      teaspoon  ground cayenne -- (1/4 to 1/2)
                        Garlic Mustard Rub
  1           teaspoon  Dijon mustard
  1           teaspoon  ginger paste
  1           teaspoon  minced garlic
  1           teaspoon  salt
Rub the roast with your favorite rub, or use one of the choices above.  Let set, lightly covered, a least one hour in the refrigerator.
Let come to room temperature in your roasting pan with a rack while you preheat the oven to 375°. 
I use a 13 x 9" baking pan with a rack sprayed with cooking spray.
Before roasting, I sprinkle the bacon over the fat side of the roast and push it down into the rub.  If you don't do that, place it in the oven with the fat side up.  The purpose is to let the fat keep the roast from drying out.
Roast for 40-45 minutes or until instant read or oven probe thermometer reads 145°.
Remove from oven, let rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before slicing.

Sunday in Iowa...


We're thinking Spring today  
Even if we had freezing rain Friday evening

Saturday Bread Baking...


Saturday was baking day, I needed three loaves of bread this week.  I made my husband’s absolute favorite, two loaves of Honey Whole Wheat Bread and a loaf of one of my favorites, Grape nuts Quick Bread.  It's nice to know I don't have to worry about empty shelves in the bread aisle.  
The recipes bake at the same oven temperature, so after I got my wheat bread in the oven, I started making the Grape nuts bread.  It’s very simple to make, but the milk is scalded and the Grape nuts soak in the milk until the milk gets cool enough to finish the rest of the recipe.  That gave me time to prepare my loaf pan, sift my dry ingredients, and beat the egg.  By the time the wheat bread was baked, I was ready to quickly stir my ingredients together, spread the batter in the pan and bake the quick bread right after the yeast bread.  Saves time and electricity by not preheating the oven twice.    
I keep the ingredients for both of these recipes on hand all the time, as we eat Grape nuts on top of our oatmeal most days for breakfast, and I always have flour, baking powder, salt, yeast, lard and butter, sugar and honey, etc. in the pantry or freezer.  
We slice our bread on our electric slicer…so easy and perfect slices.
Here are the links to the recipes and slicer review:

Baking with Cornmeal and Oatmeal



Oatmeal and cornmeal; cheap, readily available and in any serious cook’s kitchen, are great for baking.  Besides the obvious corn breads, you can bake both cornmeal and oatmeal into everything from muffins and quick breads like scones, loaves and biscuits to pancakes, waffles, cookies, desserts and cakes.  Some of my favorite yeast bread recipes have either cornmeal or oatmeal for nutritional value, appearance and interest.
Medium- and fine-grain cornmeals are most often used in baking, because they produce a lighter texture.  I use either old-fashioned rolled oats or quick rolled oats depending on the recipe.
I’m not particular about brands; I buy mine in bulk from the Dutchman’s Store in Cantril, Iowa.  They are usually H&R or hotel and restaurant brands there.  Quaker, of course, is a commonly available brand name.  Martha White, Aunt Jemima, Bob's Red Mill, Shawnee Best are also available depending on where you live.
Here are the downloadable free cookbooks pictured above to help you use these cereals in your baking!

*PDF's are courtesy of Michigan State University Library's Little Cookbook Collection

Small Recipes...Cream Sauce for the Freezer

Clockwise: top right, Creamed Potatoes, Creamed Chicken, Sausage Gravy Skillet, Sausage Gravy on Biscuits     
Here’s the best idea I found in the cookbook by Judith Jones, The Pleasures of Cooking for One" and its one I'm actually finding myself using frequently.  This recipe makes cream sauce for the freezer; nice to have on hand to use as a sauce in casseroles, to cream vegetables, or  hard cooked eggs or cooked chicken or crumbled sausage to serve over biscuits or toast!  You can combine several cooked-ahead items and make a new dish.
I'm finding that I can use it anywhere the recipe starts with white sauce.  One other big advantage, is it's a way to freeze a little extra milk in a product that is very usable.
We used some to make creamed potatoes first; I steamed my diced potatoes about 16 minutes after the water came to a boil.
In the next week or two I used the rest to make two more meals; creamed chicken on biscuits and sausage gravy on biscuits.  In both cases, the recipe was much quicker because I already had the cream sauce made.  I am trying it for the sauce in a casserole or two and in cream sauce based soups, it's just as convenient as purchased condensed soup.
Both Myrna and I expected the sauce to separate in the freezer, instead, it was perfect!  I did use real butter and whole milk for the rich flavor.

                       Cream Sauce for the Freezer
  4        tablespoons  butter
  4        tablespoons  flour, all-purpose
  2 1/4  cups  milk
            salt and freshly ground pepper
            Other seasonings depending on the end use (add when reheating)
 Melt the butter in a small, heavy pot.  Add the flour and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for about 3 minutes.  Do not let the butter begin to brown.  This is to eliminate the uncooked flour taste.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the bubbling die down.  Pour all of the milk in, start whisking furiously, and return to a low heat.  Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens.
When it does, let it gently simmer another 3-4 minutes, stirring.  Season with salt (starting with a half teaspoon then taste), plus several grinds with a pepper mill.
SECOND ROUND:  Pour what you don't use into 1/2 cup or 1 cup containers (leave head room for expansion) and freeze.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then pour into a small pan and heat slowly, whisking until smooth.
 Yield:    "2 1/2 cups"  This made 3 meals for the two of us…a little over ¾ cup for each meal.   Below are some recipes of mine that I tried it in with good success.

  RECIPES FOR FREEZER CREAM SAUCE
Creamed Potatoes
Add ¾ cup thawed cream sauce to 8 ounces cooked diced or sliced potatoes; heat through. Myrna likes this sprinkled with a little nutmeg.  Serves two as a side dish. 
Creamed Chicken
Heat ¾ cup thawed cream sauce with a little chicken base; add 4 ounces cooked diced chicken and serve over biscuits, toast, rice, mashed potatoes or pasta.  Serves 2
Sausage Gravy
Brown 4 ounces sausage or sausage patties, along with a little chopped onion, drain off excess fat.  Add 3/4 cup thawed cream sauce to skillet and heat through.  Serve over hot split biscuits.  Serves 2

Sunday in Iowa...


No one explained about "Social Distancing"   
Horses pastured at the end of our small town street a couple blocks from our homes

Saturday Thoughts...Thrifty Cookbooks


Looking at not being able to replenish our pantries as easily as we have been able to, Myrna and I were looking at our best thrifty cookbooks for ideas not just to stretch our food dollars, but to extend our food supplies.  We are grateful that we both keep pantries like our parents and grandparents; as Myrna commented, she hopes people will start thinking about the same thing.  As she said, you don’t have to buy a lot at a time; an extra staple item or two each time you shop will help you get started.  You never know when you may suddenly be out of work, or the supply chain has broken down, or you are too busy caring for your family to get to the store as usual.
These are our best cookbooks for when times are tough.  Making your own mixes when you perhaps can’t or don’t want to go out to buy one can be useful too.  Some of these are geared to younger cooks as well.  All of them can be purchased online used.  One treasure I haven’t reviewed, but is very interesting is “Your Share” from Betty Crocker circa 1943…this leaflet shows how to cook when food is rationed.  (Click on the title to go to a link to view the leaflet...thanks to Becka!)
Reviews of the other cookbooks are linked below.

Bread and Rye Flours... Pumpernickel Big Buns



I couldn’t believe the photo in the "Home Baking with Robin Hood Flour" book – Pumpernickel buns that looked light and high?  I had to make them.  I did use bread flour for the extra gluten with the coarse pumpernickel flour, and I kneaded the dough by hand a few minutes after kneading it in the mixer to get a texture I liked.  I used the entire 3 cups of white flour.  They baked up looking just like their photo!  I had never used cottage cheese in bread before, but these buns are delicious.
These are ideal for ham or corned beef with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese sandwiches, or any other kind of cold cuts and cheeses in sandwiches.  If you like caraway, I would add some to this dough. 
 Pumpernickel Big Buns
  2 ½ - 3    Cups  Flour, All-purpose
  2        Cups  Pumpernickel Flour -- (rye graham)
  4        Teaspoons  Instant Yeast
  2        Teaspoons  Salt
     ½    Teaspoon  Baking Soda
  1 ½    Cups  Cottage Cheese -- 12 ounce carton
     ½    Cup  Water
     ¼    Cup  Molasses
  2        Tablespoons  Butter -- softened
  1        Large  Egg
                        Topping
  1        Large  Egg
  1        Tablespoon  Water
In mixer bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, butter yeast, salt and soda. 
Heat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup water, and molasses until warm (120° to 130°); add to ingredients in bowl.  Add 1 egg.
Blend with mixer at low speed for 1 minute.  Beat at high speed for 3 minutes.
Add pumpernickel flour, mix in, then add remaining all-purpose flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.
Change to dough hook and knead 6 minutes or knead by hand up to 10 minutes.
Let rise 20 minutes, covered, in warm place.
Divide into 12 pieces.  Shape into balls and  place on greased baking sheets, 2 inches apart.  Flatten into 4" circles.
Cover pans and let rise 20-25 minutes while preheating oven to 375°.
Brush dough with 1 egg mixed with water, carefully, just before baking.  Bake 18-20 minutes on lower rack.
Cool on rack.
Shape dough into 18 pan rolls in a 13 x 9" pan if desired.
12 Buns or 18 pan rolls