Ideas, advice, and what to make now from the Chowhound community and CHOW editors.
Most dinner hosts want to keep it simple in the kitchen, but still wow guests with an elegant and delicious dish. The answer? Pork tenderloin.
mariacarmen simply salts and peppers a tenderloin, then rolls it in crushed toasted cumin seeds, sears it on all sides, places it in a shallow roasting pan filled with chicken stock or white wine to half the depth of the pork, and braises it for 20 to 30 minutes. It's "very tender and juicy," she says. sparkareno wraps pork tenderloins in pancetta, brushes with a mixture of apricot jam, orange juice, hot mustard, and garlic, and grills.
jmullen1251 stuffs pork tenderloin with spinach and goat cheese, or with sun-dried tomato pesto, Gruyère, and prosciutto. goodhealthgourmet recommends grilled pork tenderloin with mustard, rosemary, and apple marinade and pork tenderloin with roasted grape sauce. They're delicious, and very easy, she says.
CHOW's take: Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with apples.
Discuss: Easy yet elegant pork tenderloin ideas
Many hounds aren't wild about drinking wines on the sweeter side, but they use them to good effect in both savory and sweet cooking.
A lightly sweet wine is good for braising sauerkraut, according to Will Owen, either with bacon as a side dish, or as part of a full choucroute garni. buttertart steeps prunes in sweet wine and uses this as an accompaniment to pork chops or roasted pork. miss louella loves the results so much when she uses a sweet wine in risotto that she buys sweet wines solely for that purpose.
Vetter uses sweet wines for poaching pears or stone fruit, while Querencia pours sweet wine over cut-up fresh fruit. HillJ says sweet Rieslings are a good base for sorbets and granitas.
Discuss: Half a bottle of too-sweet Riesling
Roasted beets are perennially popular in salads or on their own, but there are other fine ways to cook the sugary root.
Grated beets are nice simply sautéed in butter or oil; add a bit of liquid, cover, and cook until tender. If you add onions, use vinegar as the liquid, and finish with a sprinkle of celery seed: "You get sort of a warm beet-pickle effect," says sfmiller. Grated beets are also a component of recipes such as fettucine with grated beets and cheese, cumin-scented beet latkes, and beet rosti with rosemary.
bizkat likes this beet tzatziki. "Very good," he says. "Beautiful color. Definitely snazzy." Cherylptw adds beets to risotto, and smile81 says beet ravioli with poppy seed butter is simple, but beautiful and "super-tasty."
Discuss: Beet recipes - other than roasted or in a salad?
Gilding dishes with truffle butter gives them rich, luxurious flavor. To play up the truffle flavor, keep the background simple.
Mashed potatoes are rainey's favorite vehicle for truffle butter. "It's a simple, hardy base that really lets the truffle flavor take center stage," she says. egging suggests making truffled french fries: Toss fries with a light coat of melted truffle butter and sprinkle with Parmesan.
SpareRib puts a pat on grilled steak, and uses it to finish pan sauces; Kelli2006 uses it to make hollandaise. AndrewK512 stirs it into a basic risotto, and several hounds like it in scrambled or shirred eggs.
maria lorraine puts it on popcorn, and recommends a suitable wine pairing: "Serve with bubbly."
Discuss: What to make with truffle butter?
If you buy Brussels sprouts on the stalk or grow them yourself, don't toss the long leaves that grow from the top of the stalk; they're delicious in their own right.
To remove the tough ribs from the greens, fold each leaf in half along the rib, and either pull the rib away from the greens with your hand or cut it out with a knife. If they are young and tender, add them raw to salads, suggests toodie jane. Otherwise, try steaming or braising them as you would other greens. katierose sautés the greens with onion, garlic, and Fuji apple, and serves them topped with crumbled nuts. scubadoo97 has used the leaves in place of grape leaves when making dolmas, and says they work really well.
Discuss: Brussel Sprout GREENS or LEAVES