After days and days of holiday and birthday treats, I was reluctant to make a Martha meal, but to (very, very loosely) paraphrase Winston Churchill, the only way through it is to cook it.
Meal No. 47: Watercress-Cauliflower Soup; Sage and Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin; Braised Fennel and White Beans; Pears with Maple Walnuts and Gorgonzola
The recipes are all on her site here. She recommends this as a buffet style dinner party. Soup on a buffet seems impractical and messy. The photo shows a giant brioche, but of course we will never know how to make that, as we will be making raw pears instead. Pity.
The funny thing about this recipe is that onions + cauliflower + watercress= thin broccoli soup! It was a bit slimy, from too much butter used to saute the onion, but was otherwise ok. It was shocking how much it tasted like broccoli. The Husband hated it at first, but when he added a huge amount of white pepper he liked it much better. He says it will make a good breakfast. Yes, I said breakfast. Ask him.
You may notice that is entry is not tagged under “boring pork” like all of her other pork recipes. That’s because it was, oddly enough, quite delicious! Even the husband, a pork tenderloin hater, said it was delicious! Yippee. The sage and garlic made a nice crust and it was perfectly cooked and moist. We were thinking about using the leftovers for Cuban sandwiches, but that would involve buying bread, pickles, ham, cheese……
Unfortunately, the beans I got were mealy and this didn’t have much flavor. It was a disappointment, but at least the fennel was cooked enough to not offend.
Normally, I am thrilled with the idea of a cheese plate; I prefer cheese to most desserts, in fact. But it seemed excessive to have it with this meal, as the menu included pork, beans, nuts and cheese. That is a lot of protein, yes?
I have my own salty/sweet nut recipe, and this one used maple syrup. Our maple syrup is remarkably un-mapley, so that is the only reason this passed muster. We substituted pecans for the walnuts, and they turned out very tasty.
This next part is pathetic–I couldn’t find the cheese in the frig as I think I left it at our friend’s house on Thanksgiving. So we were forced to pick the cheese crumbles off the leftover salad and eat it with the pear and the nuts. (It was 9:30 at night, so I wasn’t in the mood to go to the store!). It was fine, because I was actually so stuffed from the soup, pork and beans that I could only eat a tiny bite anyway.
Some items were better than others, but overall the flavors at least matched.
SOUP: C as written, B with the gob of black pepper
PORK: A+ Don’t faint!
BEANS & FENNEL: C