Hell’s Kitchen is still a guilty pleasure of mine. While it’s premise is stale and formulaic now, I’m still entertained by the ego-driven dishes these chefs create. I’d like to say I’ve learned something from the show but that would be a bit of a stretch. Beef Wellington was foreign to me until the show began and now I can say I’ve had it in a restaurant, once. While that’s not exactly a culinary lesson, I have been finding that the terminology used on the show is sticking with me. During most every dinner service the words “puree” and “reduction” are shouted as everyday vocabulary but they are certainly foreign words in my kitchen… until tonight.
I had defrosted a pork tenderloin so the protein was predetermined. I had the idea to slice the tenderloin in half and stuff it with couscous but my concern was it wouldn’t fully cook. I asked the Yahoo! Answers and they said it would work, though it would be dry and boring. Good enough for me. I sliced the now-defrosted tenderloin length-wise and sprinkled couscous, apples and onions before wrapping it in cooking twine. I seared each side in some oil olive over high-heat before placing in the oven for about 45 minutes. In the meantime I made a butternut squash puree by simply putting a whole squash in the oven and then blending it with some butter and milk. Finally I needed a reduction so I took some frozen peaches, olive oil, butter and some balsamic vinegar and boiled it until thick. I added some sliced portabella mushrooms to the reduction at the end. Here’s a complete list of ingredients.
1 Pork Tenderloin 1 Handful Couscous 1 Gathering Chopped Onions 1 Bit Chopped Fuji Apples 1 Package Portabella Mushrooms Butternut Squash Puree 1 Cooked Butternut Squash 1 Smackle Butter 1 Dump Milk Balsamic Peach Reduction 2 Handfuls Frozen Peaches 1 Tilt Olive Oil 2 Smackles Butter 2 Tilts Balsamic Vinegar
For presentation I sliced the tenderloin in 1-inch slices and laid them over a small mound of butternut puree. I then dribbled the reduction around the ends and added some mushroom wedges around the edges. I’m sure chef Ramsey would send me home rather quickly for this dish. The couscous was fully cooked though a bit boring. I would never make this again, but not because it wasn’t tasty. I wouldn’t make it again because it’s such a pain to clean the food processor.
The next day I got a bit over-condifent and stuffed a package of rice pilaf in a whole chicken before baking. I assumed that the chicken had enough water to fully cook the rice in the 2-hour bake time. I was very wrong and I produced a few servings of warm, crunchy rice. I guess chickens are more selective in what they can be successfully violated with.