Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stalking Cara....

I have become a chef stalker. My recent stalkee is Cara, from Cara's Cravings.

Cara, I have been told the best form of flattery is imitation. So, I hope my next few blog updates are flattering.

I came across this delicious vegetable dish & knew immediately that I had to make it. It had all my diet foods in it & would use fresh tomatoes & zucchini.

Grilled Zucchini & Rice Casserole
1.25 lb zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 onion, cut into chunks
1.5 cups cooked brown basmati rice
1 cup cottage cheese
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg white
handful of fresh herbs (oregano and thyme), chopped
3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Spray zucchini and onion with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill in a grill basket until slightly charred. Combine rice, cottage cheese, garlic, herbs, and egg white in a large bowl; stir to combine, Mix in grilled zucchini and onions. Spray an 8"x8" baking dish with nonstick spray and layer half of tomato slices evenly along bottom. Top with zucchini mixture, then remaining tomato slices and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400F until hot and bubbly and slightly browned.

**My Notes** I used brown rice as opposed to basmati rice. I also used oregano, sage & basil.

I had a slight catastrophe though. I was taking this out of the oven & the pan tipped over on the oven door. I was able to salvage some of it, but I lost the best part, the browned cheese.

I paired this with a pork tenderloin roast, as it was the only thing defrosted in the fridge. I don't have a recipe for this but basically here's how it goes. I seasoned the pork with Cavender's Greek Seasoning. In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork tenderloin, about 4-5 minutes each side, just enough to brown/sear the meat so it holds the juice in.
Transfer dutch oven to a pre-heated, 375F oven. Bake until about 130-140 degrees. (I have an electronic meat thermometer that tells me when my specific cut of meat is done). Now, 130-140 is NOT fully cooked pork! DON'T TAKE IT OUT!
I decided to baste the pork in Maple Horseradish BBQ Sauce.

When hubby & I went to Napa/Sonoma last October, we joined a few wine clubs. This one from Viansa, we opted for the wine & cucina option. So each month we get gourmet sauces, rubs, pestos, & of course, wine. I was a little worried about this sauce. Hubby doesn't like horseradish, I am not a big fan either, but hey, you have to try it right?
So at 130-140 degrees, baste pork in sauce. Cook until internal temperature is 160.
Some side notes, dinner was ready, but hubby was still filling in soil around the patio from the invasion of voles, so I had to keep it warm for about 30 minutes. I added more sauce to the pork & covered it up. Placed it in the oven at 325 until he was ready. Also, you need to let the pork sit for at least 10 mins after you take it out of the oven. If you cut it right away, you will lose all the juices on the cutting board instead of in the meat. It was really, really good!

Check back tomorrow as I am attempting Cara's Tandoori Chicken with Banana Raita!

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