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Artichokes with mayo
Artichokes / Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce

bbq pork tenderloin
Barbecued Pork Tenderloin

New potatoes dijon
Roasted New Potatoes
Dijon

asparagus
Roasted Asparagus

 

Menu Plan for the week of April 19, 2013:  Saturday's Recipes

Artichokes with Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce
Barbecued Pork Tenderloin
Roasted New Potatoes Dijon
Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Herbs

Cooking time:  60 minutes for menu     Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       Artichokes are another sign of spring.  They are plentiful for about 6 weeks.... The price starts at 1 artichoke for 5 euros and is 3 artichokes for 2 euros at the height of the season.  I often cook extra and just have on hand in the fridge for snacking. New potatoes are highly perishable, but, if you can find them, they're wonderful.

Artichokes with Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce     Preparation and cooking time: 60 minutes
            Globe artichokes can be stuffed, or cooked and served as a vegetable.  Or simply eaten our favorite way: steamed, dipping the leaves in something slightly decadent.  The artichokes take about 45 minutes to steam. This can be done anytime and served warm or cold.  They are done when an inner leaf pulls out easily.

2 globe artichokes
lemon juice
Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce
2 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs salad olive oil
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Cut off bottoms of artichokes and remove any tough lower leaves.  Dip in water to which 1 tbs of lemon juice has been added (to prevent discoloration).  For a nicer presentation cut off the tips of the bottom half of the leaves - using a scissors.  Cut the top 1/4th of the artichoke off and discard.  Don't worry about the choke (fuzzy hairs inside)  Put in a steamer and steam 35 - 45 minutes, depending on size.
Serve artichokes with a small bowl of dipping sauce, pulling the leaves off and dipping.  (You scrape the flesh off each leaf with your teeth.) Have a small, sharp knife handy so that when you get all of the leaves off and are at the fuzzy choke you can cut it off and enjoy the bottom.  Put an extra bowl on the table for the 'used' leaves.
Mayonnaise Dipping Sauce
Whisk everything together well.  It should keep the consistency of the mayonnaise, maybe a bit less stiff.  Divide into 2 small bowels to serve.

Barbecued Pork Tenderloin                                Preparation and cooking time:  35 minutes
  This sauce would also be great on ribs, but a pork tenderloin is a moist, tender cut that cooks quickly.  Put half the sauce in a separate bowl to use for basting and serve the rest at the table.

1 pork tenderloin, (14oz, 400gr)
1 tbs paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
Barbecue sauce
1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) ketchup
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) tomato sauce
2 tbs cider vinegar
2 tbs molasses
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix paprika and garlic powder.  Rub over pork.  Put pork on barbecue grill or in 400F oven for 25 - 30 minutes.  Turn occasionally to brown on all sides.  Baste pork with barbecue sauce after 15 minutes. Baste 2 - 3 times. 
When you think pork is done slice into middle to check.  Slightly pink is acceptable now, and that is how we like it.  It stays nice and moist when not overcooked. When done to your taste, slice and serve.
Barbecue sauce: Mix all ingredients in small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring frequently. Simmer 10 - 15 minutes, remove from heat and use when needed.  Sauce will keep for a week or 2 in the refrigerator.

Roasted New Potatoes Dijon                       Preparation and cooking time:  45 minutes
     New potatoes are another spring delicacy.  They are very tiny, usually covered in dirt and only keep a few days.  If you can't find them at a farmer's market, use small fingerlings. 

10 - 15 small new potatoes depending on size, 12oz (350gr)
2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Herbes de Provence or 1/2 tsp each basil and thyme

If potatoes are golf ball size or larger, cut in half.  If smaller leave whole.  Put mustard, olive oil, garlic and herbes in a medium bowl, and whisk well; it will be very thick.  Add potatoes and toss well to coat.  Put them on a baking sheet with a lip (trusty round pizza pan) and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.  Remove and serve.  These stay very creamy inside.

Roasted Asparagus          Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes for green, 25 for white  
    Roasting vegetables is so easy, a bit of olive oil, pop them in the oven and forget about them.  They come out crisp tender, ready to be eaten as is or enhanced with a sprinkling of fresh herbs.

10oz (300gr) asparagus 
olive oil
1 tbs fresh chives
1 tbs fresh marjoram
sea salt
good olive oil for finishing

Snip chives, pull marjoram leaves off stems, snip the large ones.  Snap off ends of asparagus.  If white use vegetable peeler and peel bottom half of stalk, laying it flat so as not to break it.  Put a drizzle of oil on a baking sheet - one with a lip all around.  I use a pizza pan.  Roll the asparagus in oil (use your fingers!)  Put in the oven at 400F (200C), tips facing the oven door.  Roast for 15 - 25 minutes, depending on size. When done, put on serving dish and drizzle with a bit of good olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, herbs and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 60 minutes for menu
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, large pot with steamer basket and lid, 2 small
bowls, large bowl, whisk, 2 baking sheets, small
saucepan, barbecue grill with tools

Turn oven on, 400F (200C), arrange 2 shelves
Trim artichokes, steam
Turn on / light barbecue grill
Scrub potatoes, cut if large
Mix mustard, oil, herbs, garlic
Add potatoes, stir to coat well
Arrange potatoes on baking sheet, set aside
Mix rub, rub on pork, set aside
Snip chives, marjoram, set aside
Trim / peel asparagus
Put oil on other baking sheet, add asparagus, set aside
Put potatoes in oven

Make barbecue sauce for pork
Make dipping sauce for artichokes
Start to cook pork
      Pause while everything cooks
Artichokes done?
Remove artichokes, put on plates
Put dipping sauce in small bowls
Baste pork
Put asparagus in oven
Serve artichokes
Interrupt yourself once to baste pork
Finish artichokes
Done?
Baste pork, check, remove if done
Remove potatoes
Remove asparagus, finish
Slice pork
Serve.