Mr. Bean on Marriage: Friend: How many women do you believe must a man marry?
Mr. Bean: 16
Mr. Bean: Because the priest says 4 richer, 4 poorer, 4 better and 4 worse
Italian Sunday Dinner
Sometimes the dreary, cloudy weather just screams comfort food Sunday dinner so I pulled out all of the ingredients for herb butter slathered and pancetta covered pork tenderloin and braised escarole with cannellini beans, both easy enough to prepare ahead and finish cooking just before serving. The tenderloin takes about 35 minutes to roast and if you have soaked your cannellini beans the braise is about a one and half hours of prep and cooking time.
For the tenderloin blend together 4 ounces butter, 1 small head of roasted garlic cloves, a tablespoon of herb or plain EVOO, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves, and freshly ground pepper. Smash and thoroughly blend with a fork. Trim the fat from one pork tenderloin, season with salt and pepper and slather butter blend all over, place in to oiled small baking pan and cover with pancetta slices and top with a bit more pepper, brush with EVOO. Roast for 30-35 minutes in a 375° oven, bacon should be crispy…allow to rest several minutes before slicing.
One tenderloin is enough for 4 or in my case plenty left for a fried rice dinner and ramen lunch.
Serve with braised escarole and cannellini beans and crusty bread. Note that escarole shrivels up a lot so I used two heads
For some reason I chose to try make pizza muffins for Michael and they actually came out pretty good, great dunked into pizza sauce. Cute and quick also, great for little or your big pizza loving kid. Many recipes for the pizza muffins on the internet and you can use store-bought pizza dough and a good use for that awful turkey pepperoni that I accidentally picked up…
The Beans Adapted from Molly Stevens All About Braising
1 cup (8 oz) dried cannellini beans, picked over and rinsed
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, homemade or store-bought
Water as needed
1 small onion peeled and quartered
1 small carrot peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt to taste
1 medium head escarole (about 1 pound)
¼ cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Coarsely ground black pepper ½ lemon
1. Soak beans: 8-10 hours in advance or use quick soak method according to the package.
2. Cooking beans: place soaked beans in a medium heavy-based sauce pan 2 ½ -3qt). Add stock and enough water to cover by 1 ½ inches. Then add onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, and olive oil. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender (about 1 ½ hours). Add extra broth or water if liquid drops below level of the beans. When beans are tender they should have absorbed enough of the cooking liquid so that the pot is moist with not too much liquid unless you want soup. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
3. Escarole: Tear leaves from head and soak in a cold water bath (10-15 min). Rinse and drain. Slice into 1 ½ inch wide strips and drain in colander.
***My head of escarole had a band around it and it helped to keep it together for slicing. I trimmed the heart end, removed ugly pieces and sliced the entire head into strips and placed in salad spinner. Rinsed and drained several times and then spun to almost completely dry before adding to hot pan.
4. Combine oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large lidded skillet. Do not brown garlic, just soften.
5. Add escarole a handful at a time. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Pull onion, garlic, carrot, and bay leaf from beans.
7. Spoon beans and liquid into escarole, put on low simmer and braise until greens are tender and liquid has thickened, about 20 minutes.
8. Season with lemon and olive oil; serve.