SWASHBUCKLED! S2E1: Jessie Spano Special

Welcome Back!

We’re SO EXCITED! We’re SO EXCITED! And unlike Jessie Spano in Saved by the Bell, we are NOT scared to bring you SEASON TWO of SWASHBUCKLED!


“Never Enough Thyme” Burgers

Ingredients featured in this week’s episode include:

The reasons behind the choices? Marie chose ground beef because she just loves a good cheeseburger. The chèvre cheese, because, why not? In our Simpler Wines Facebook Live Event, our friend, Ryan, suggested we use “Palm of Heart” in one of our recipes. And last, she brought thyme as a way to pay homage to one of our favorite 90’s TV shows, Saved By The Bell.

20180511_075542_1526051659649Really wanting to impress Marie for the season premier, Amanda decided to go for the cheeseburger, even though there wasn’t any buns in the house. We made this awesome 40-minute Hamburger Bun Recipe from Taste of Home. It was quick and easy, and had a biscuit-like quality to it. We replaced 1 cup of the flour with White Wheat Flour for an earthier flavor and improved nutrition profile. Make sure you watch the episode for extra tips on making yeast bread from scratch.

However, if you don’t want to make your own bread and have an opportunity to go to the store, these Parm-Iago Rosemary Rolls (pictured to right) make excellent slider buns and would work well in this recipe.

We started out by “blooming” our thyme, which releases more flavor than just sprinkling into whatever you are preparing. Since some flavor compounds in some herbs and spices are fat soluble, you can extract more flavor when they are cooked (over low heat) with a fat source. We chose a mixture of oil and butter for this recipe, but you could easily just choose one or the other. Remove the herb before adding other ingredients.

(SPOILER ALER) We loved this meal and would definitely do it again. Highly recommended!

'Never Enough Thyme' Burgers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 85% lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 10 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Bag Hearts of Palm (or Palm of Hearts), sliced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • Chèvre with Honey
  • Glaze (Balsamic Glaze)
  • Your favorite bun (we love THIS RECIPE)

Directions

  1. Infuse thyme into oil and butter: over medium-low heat, melt butter and add olive oil and 8 sprigs of thyme. cook on low for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove thyme and discard. Turn heat up to medium or medium-high, and add sliced onion and sautée for a couple minutes, then add heart of palm. Cook for 5 minutes then add spinach, garlic, mustard and 2 additional thyme stems (chopped). Cook until spinach has cooked down. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Make burger patties: Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine ground beef, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper with hands. Mix well. Form into 6 balls and squash them into thin patties. Set aside (and don’t forget to wash your hands with warm soapy water!) Cook for about 4 minutes per side, until internal temperature of 165˚F is reached.
  4. To assemble, slice bread in half, butter each half and cook on griddle for a couple minutes, until golden brown. Place a tablespoon of goat cheese on top bun, burger patty on the bottom, topped with 1/4 cup mixture of onions, spinach and heart of palm. Top with “GLAZE” (balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze).

Goat Cheese and

“Never Enough Thyme” Burgers, featuring Balsamic Glaze, Chèvre with Honey, Hearts of Palm, and Spinach.

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French Onion Soup (with Italian Style Breadcrumbs)

French-Onion-Soup-FFK
My ultimate comfort food is French Onion soup. Nutritionally speaking, there isn’t much there aside from a lot of sodium and a whole bunch of cheese. I like to feel better about eating it by telling myself that my comfort food of choice could be a lot less healthy.

Ingredients for French Onion Soup (Fearless Flying Kitchen)It has been a dreary May (at least for this past week), so the first thing I wanted was French Onion Soup. I have not attempted to make this within the last, I don’t know, 10+ years? This usually only enters my diet at restaurants, when I purchase sub-par frozen versions, or get the BEST CUP OF F.O. SOUP EVER MADE at the House of France at Christmas on the Prado (or December NIghts for those of you new to San Diego). Seriously, best ever. I have decided this is mostly because it is not very heavy, the onions aren’t completely caramelized (they are still a light caramel color instead of a dark brown), and they have a few interesting flavors that seem a little more authentic (Herbs de Provence? No clue). I tried to emulate that in this recipe. It is getting pretty close! I am not sure what else I could add, aside from maybe a few more spices, let it cook for a longer period of time, or…I am not sure. But regardless if it tasted exactly like the soup from the House of France, it was good, and completely satisfied my “Dreary Weather Blues.”

French Onion Soup (With Italian Style Breadcrumbs)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup (half stick) of butter
  • 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 (Quart) Containers of Beef Broth
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Thyme, dried
  • 1 bag Italian Style Breadsticks
  • 1 Bag Shredded Swiss & Gruyere

Directions:

On medium-high heat, add butter to a large pan, and once melted, add the thinly sliced onions. Cook until they are a nice caramel color (about 15-20 minutes). Add minced garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper and beef broth. Let come to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes (or longer if you have the time, the longer it simmers, the more robust flavor).
In the meantime, while the onions are caramelizing and/or the soup simmers, make your croutons. Put your oven on to pre-heat at 375. Slice breadsticks into 1 inch thick pieces and put onto a baking sheet. Place in oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are just starting to get crunchy.
Once soup and croutons are done, remove bay leaves (if you can find them!), fill a bowl with soup, top with croutons and then shredded gruyere/swiss mix, and put in the broiler for a few minutes, until cheese is melted and gets the signature “french onion” bubbly look.

Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Agave-Maple Butter Sweet Potatoes and Zucchini

I have a friend. Let’s just call her Kellie. She has celiac disease, which means she cannot eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley). She consequently also has a hard time with dairy, so many of the meals we prepare together have to be both gluten-free and dairy-free. There always seems to be magic in the kitchen when we cook together. I am forced to come up with creative ways to prepare meals I normally make. We always end up with a delicious meal that is simple, lots of vegetables, interesting grains, and lean protein. It also ends up being fairly healthy too (except for that time we added bacon to our cauliflower and leek mashed potatoes…although that was pretty amazing)

photo 1 (8)

I love using pork because it is fairly inexpensive and you can purchase two tenderloins at Trader Joe’s for under $10. It is a perfect option for entertaining because it can feed quite a few people (you can feed probably 6 people with those two tenderloins). For some reason, I always have to pair pork with sweet potatoes, it just makes sense in my head. Lastly, I consulted Kellie for what veggie she would like, and she suggested Romanesco (those little fractal, lime green veggies that seem to be somewhere in between cauliflower and broccoli). My local TJ’s was fresh out of Fresh Romanesco, so we went with zucchini, one of my old stand-bys. Overall, the meal was a success. I tried something new for the baked sweet potatoes (Maple and Cinnamon Butter instead of just butter and brown sugar), which was a really nice treat. The bag of sweet potatoes is another great buy from TJ’s. There were 6 potatoes in there for less than $2, pretty great deal if you ask me!

Now, on to the process:

Pork Tenderloin and Glaze

You can make the glaze ahead of time , which is what I usually do when I make this. Refrigerate until ready to use. When you are ready to cook up the Pork Tenderloins, just give them a rub down with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  You can either combine the sea salt and pepper and oil and then rub it all together, or rub down with oil and then top with salt and pep. Either way, you’ll be fine. I use a large 9X12 pyrex dish for this. Another reason I love this meal is that you don’t have to marinate the meat for a long time prior to cooking. You don’t even need to prepare the glaze ahead of time either. The pork cooks for 10 minutes, and then you pour the glaze on top, so technically, you could prepare the glaze as the pork begins to cook. You’ll be done, start to finish in less than 30 minutes.

roasted zucchini

The zucchini was going to go in the over with the pork, so I prepared it very simply, with drizzles of Olive Oil, and fresh ground sea salt (or kosher salt) and pepper. I just periodically checked on the zucchini and tossed it as needed.

photo 3 (8)

I use to never make baked sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes) before I learned how easy it was in the microwave. Now, it is my go-to side dish. So quick and easy. Just rinse the potatoes well, poke them all over with a fork or knife, and cover with a damp paper towel.  Microwave the sweet potatoes (6 minutes for the first one, then add an additional 2 minutes for each additional potato) and use caution when removing, because they will be ridiculously hot.

Cinnamon Maple Butter

The Cinnamon maple butter was an experiment, and it was so incredibly successful, I feel like I need to make this by the vat full and swim in it. Just used 2 Tbsp Butter, 1 Tbsp Maple Agave Syrup (my personal favorite for taste and consistency, not because it is any more healthy than other syrup. They all are equally sugar-y. I am sure any maple syrup would be fine) and a few sprinkles of Cinnamon. Probably about 1/4 tsp. If I was making this in a larger portion, I probably would have used the stand mixer, but since my butter was soft already, it was easy to mix by hand.

Now is the part of my blog post that gets a little bit sad…

I was way too excited to eat this meal to remember to take a picture of the finished product.

But I assure you it looked colorful and beautiful and would make you salivate just by looking at it!

So, there you go. A super easy dinner that is perfect for entertaining on a budget and will be a breeze to prepare, even for a novice chef.

Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

2 Pork Tenderloins
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 Cup Apricot Preserves or Jam
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 Tbsp Chicken Broth
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, Chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425. Coat/rub pork tenderloins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place pork in the oven for 10 minutes.

In the mean time, prepare the glaze by combining apricot jam, dijon mustard, chicken broth, garlic and thyme. After the pork is in the oven for 10 minutes, remove and add glaze, then return pork to the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145.  Remove, slice into 1/2 inch-1 inch thick slices, and drizzle additional glaze on top.

Microwave Sweet Potatoes with Agave-Maple Butter

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: (super) easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Agave Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

Rinse potatoes well and poke with a fork or knife, about 6 times all over. Cover with a damp paper towel and place on microwave-safe dish.  Microwave the sweet potatoes (6 minutes for the first one, then add an additional 2 minutes for each additional potato) and use caution when removing.

While potatoes are cooking, combine last three ingredients until well mixed. Once potatoes are done cooking and ready to be served, slice down the middle with a knife to expose flesh and top with butter.

Simply Roasted Zucchini

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

Three large zucchini or yellow squash
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 425. Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch pieces. drizzle with olive oil and top with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for ~20 minutes, turning as needed.