This coming weekend marks the Winter Solstice and the beginning of the winter season in the northern hemisphere. Winter is the last or end of all seasons. It is the season of storage and preservation. It is a time for reflection and introspection.
Wintertime also brings cooler weather and shorter days. It is the perfect time of year to curl up with a blanket and hot tea. Which teas do you reach for? Are you naturally drawn to robust, flavorful teas with ingredients like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, chicory, cardamom, or nutmeg? Do these flavors warm your belly and help you feel cozy? They do! These spices have different flavors and properties such as warm, sweet, spicy, bitter, salty, and etc. They help warm and nurture us from the inside; just what we need in the winter months.
Foods can do this too. Just as culinary spices and medicinal herbs have the ability to warm and comfort us, so do foods. There are foods we are naturally drawn to in the winter and for good reason. These can give us a sense of nourishment and comfort that you can only feel in the wintertime. Examples of winter foods are millet, barley, eggs, pork, cheese, many kinds of beans, onions and garlic, quinoa, anise, cinnamon, chicken, lamb, and nuts, especially walnuts. Any of these sound good? You’re in luck! Keep reading below for a recipe utilizing some of these foods.
We are pleased to announce that we have teamed up with an excellent, up and coming chef, James Hoffman, to help us give you recipes that you can make at home. He is the genius behind the in-demand cuisine of Cuvee 928 Winebar in Flagstaff, AZ. (http://cuvee928winebar.com/) He offered this recipe to us when we presented him a similar list of foods such as the one above. Check back here for more recipes from James in the future.
The first in our series is Hoisin glazed pork tenderloin with 5 Spice barley and citrus greens. This recipe is very nurturing and warming without being heavy. As you can see below it is a beautiful combination of winter tonic foods with a touch of summery lightness. I made it last night and it is tasty! Give it a try and tell us what you think and share it with your friends.
Btw – I couldn’t find any decent asparagus at the store so you won’t see it in the pic!
Serves 4. Allow an hour to prepare and cook. Start with the barley, then the pork, and make the dressing and salad last. Have fun!
2 pork tenderloins Hoisin sauce
bunch of Asparagus
2 cups dry barley
1 small onion fine chopped
2 cloves of garlic fine chopped
2 celery stalks fine chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp 5 Spice
zest of 2 oranges and 2 limes
juice of 2 oranges and 2 limes
2 tsp spicy mustard
drizzle of honey
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp @ of sesame oil and olive oil
winter salad greens of choice, add watercress
salt and pepper
For the pork: lightly rub salt and pepper onto pork and sear at high heat on both sides for one minute or less. Then, using a brush, coat with Hoisin sauce and bake at 350 to desired temp or about 30 minutes depending on the size of the tenderloins. Add asparagus and cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
For the barley: add onions, garlic and celery in olive oil to a large saucepan, sauté on medium low heat until you can just smell the onions and garlic. Add the barley and continue to sauté until the barley just starts to toast stirring frequently. Then add the black coffee to deglaze and stir. Add the 5 spice and 2 cups of chicken broth. Simmer until the fluid is absorbed and add another 2 cups of broth and repeat. Then add 4 cups of water and boil until barley is cooked al dente (about 40 minutes). Drain any excess water.
For the dressing: in a small bowl add orange and lime juice to mustard, honey and soy sauce and whisk together. Then continue to whisk while slowly adding sesame and olive oil. Toss with greens and watercress right before serving. Garnish with citrus zest.