Birthday Dinner
  Re: (...)
So doing a new thread for this as I didn't it want it to get lost I know I was late to my own party and I am so sorry, but darn it been so busy camping and doing so many other things I didn't have time. I knew the minute I posted the ingredients what I wanted to do. So, without further ado -

So my dinner was -

Appetizer - Stuffed Jalapeños with Cotija Cheese infused with toasted cumin. Serves 4.

Side Note - My poppers are listed on photobuckets for a bbq contest! Granted they were smoked, but that is the original definition of bbq If you feel so inclined you can vote here

The darn photo itself just will not upload. I really do not like the changes photobucket has made. Seems they’ve made it much more difficult to share pictures :|

Preheat oven to 375 or prep smoker by soaking wood chips for 30 minutes prior and getting temp up to 375. If you have a water bath in your smoker add hot water and 6 cloves of peeled garlic cloves that have been crushed.

6 Jalapeños cut in half length wise, seeds removed and deveined.
1/2 cup cotija cheese
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 slices of bacon cut in half width wise

Crumble cheese into bowl. While it is coming to room temperature, toast cumin till fragrant. (about 1 minute) Add to cheese along with salt and pepper. Mix well. Fill each jalapeño with cheese mixture and press into cavity. Wrap each pepper with 1/2 slice of bacon. Cook in smoker (or oven) for about 30 minutes or until bacon is crispy and peppers are soft.

For the main dish I did a smoked pork tenderloin (actually 2 tied together) and fried tomatillos with a sauce of creme de Mexicana.

[Image: Pork_zpsdef2cfac.jpg]

1 Pkg of pork tenderloin (usually 2 tenderloins about a 1 or so each)
1 Batch Denise’s Freaky Chocolate Rub (recipe follows)
Smoker set up with hickory wood

For tenderloin make a batch of the rub -

1/4 cup mexican chocolate grated
2 Tbs Chili Power (I used 2 pasilla chilis that I toasted and put into my spice grinder and ground to a powder)
2 Tbs dark brown sugar
2 Tbs kosher salt
1 Tbs black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix well. I then liberally rubbed the mixture all over the 2 tenderloins and then tied them together before smoking. They were smoked at 225 for about 1 hour and 30 min. I turned them over and smoked for about another 40 minutes then they rested for 15 minutes while I did the tomatillos.

I do recommend making the sauce for the tomatillos in the morning to let the flavors set up. Also when you do this later, do use cilantro instead of the celery leaf I used.

1/2 cup creme de Mexicana
1/2 Mayo
1 lime cut in half (I used 1 1/2 plus 1 Tbs water)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground pasilla peppers (save a tad from the rub and you’re set)
1 jalapeno
1 Tbs cilantro

In a small bowl mix creme and mayo till well blended, add lime juice (and water if needed) and mix well. It should be a pourable mixture. Add all the spices and cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the tomatillos -

4 large tomatillos
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne (optional)
1 egg
1 cup cornmeal
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
Coarse salt for sprinkling (optional)

Cut tomatillos into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne, if using. In a second bowl, whisk the egg with 1/4 cup of water. Put the cornmeal in a third bowl. Put the bowls in that order: flour, egg, cornmeal.
Bread each tomatillo slice by putting it in the flour, shake off any excess flour, then dip in the egg wash to coat, let any excess drip off, and then put in the bread crumbs or cornmeal. Set on a tray or large plate and repeat with remaining tomatillo slices.
Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a wide, heavy pan over medium high heat. Cast iron is great for this.

When oil is hot, add tomatillo slices but don’t crowd. Fry until golden brown on one side, gently turn over using tongs, and fry until golden brown on the second side. Transfer to a cooling rack placed over paper towels or a baking sheet to drain. Top each with a tsp of sauce.

We opted on no dessert because I have been working so hard going to the gym 5 days a weeks I didn't want to ruin my hard work. That and all the fried goodies at the fair

So again sorry I was late, but better late than never!
  Re: Birthday Dinner by DFen911 (So doing a new threa...)
Very nice, Denise! I popped over to Photobucket to vote for your poppers. Very creative take! I'm going to try your rub, I love the idea of using chocolate.

Thanks for posting this!

  Re: Re: Birthday Dinner by pjcooks (Very nice, Denise! ...)
Sounds great, Denise - worth the wait!! Off to check out photobucket. (btw - have not had problems posting pictures from photobucket AND I hope I have not just jinxed myself!)

Are yours the ones wrapped in bacon in 9th place?? If not, how do I find yours??? sorry for having to ask.

Shoot, I should have entered my wings......
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Birthday Dinner by cjs (Sounds great, Denise...)
Nicely done, Denise, everything looks delicious. All are recipes that I would love to try. (If I ever find the Mexican chocolate) For some reason all I can get is the powder which is really annoying especially since we do have a large Hispanic community here.

Your poppers look great and I voted for them.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: Birthday Dinner by Mare749 (Nicely done, Denise,...)
Great job Denise, that looks delicious. You got my vote also.
  Re: Re: Birthday Dinner by losblanos1 (Great job Denise, th...)
me too!!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Birthday Dinner by cjs (me too!! [img]/ubbth...)
Thank you all very much!

Maryann does your market have an international section? The mexican chocolate is usually over there not with the baking items or other hot chocolates. And for another odd reason in my 2 stores it's always on the bottom shelf. No clue why.

Also I did not marinate my pork in a brine. Being as it's a very tender piece of meat to start with.
  Re: Re: Birthday Dinner by DFen911 (Thank you all very m...)
Apparently I can't get it because I'm on the iPad. I'll check later when I can get on the laptop. Your dinner sounds and looks awesome!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Birthday Dinner by Gourmet_Mom (Apparently I can't g...)
Sometimes, tho Denise, pork tenderloins can be very dry. You're lucky with yours. I normally do brine mine.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Birthday Dinner by cjs (Sometimes, tho Denis...)
Thank you Denise! Actually, our Giant Eagle stores have an entire aisle devoted to international foods, so next time I will look there for sure.

Jean, I have never had to brine a pork tenderloin, although I do usually marinate them with something, so that must be why they are always moist and tender.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."

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