Sep. 28th mystery-box review
  Re: (...)
Well, it's not QUITE the 28th yet, where I am, so I won't post my recipes, reviews and photo until the morning, but here's a thread to get it all started.

Let's begin with a recap of what is being featured in this mystery box (just copying Jean's list):


Acid (vinegar/citrus/verjus/etc.)

Our ingredients:

1. Hearts of palm
2. Rice

1. Bacon
2. Black Beans

1. Ginger
2. Onion

1. Cheese
2. Tomatoes

1. Lettuce
2. Pork Loin

So, let's see what everyone has made. Let the feast begin!
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Sep. 28th mystery-box review by labradors (Well, it's not QUITE...)
Before he and Jane left on their cruise, Bill emailed me his review so he would be on time. So, here it is and his ideas certainly look tasty!!

Wrap#1 (Pacific Rim)
2 -- 1 lb pork tenderloins
1 C salt
3/4 C lite brown sugar
4 C water
Dissolve salt, sugar in water and brine tenderloins in fridge in a plastic bag for 3 hrs.

Preheat oven to 400

1 14 oz can chicken stock
2 inch peeled ginger cut into quarters
1 C long grain rice
2 T rice wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
1 can hearts of palm, sliced into 1/2 inch slices.
2 med tomatoes chopped
leaf lettuce leaves
Pepper the pork on all sides.
Grill the tenderloin until grill marks on all sides, then transfer to oven and cook until internal temp reaches 150-160. Rest 5 min and slice into thin slices.

Simmer the stock with the ginger for 20 min. Add water to bring liquid to 1 - 3/4 C-- Add rice and cook until done.
Mix the remaining 4 ingredients in a seperate bowl.
To serve place rice on leaf, cover with pork, cover with vegi mixture. (should make about 6-8)

WRAP #2 (Mexican)
8 slices applewood bacon
1 med onion diced
2 t cumin (ground)
2 t Mexican oregano(crumbled)
1 can black beans , drained
8 oz 4 cheese Mexican mixture
8 romaine lettuce leaves
Mexican creama or sour cream
salt & pepper to taste

Fry the bacon until crisp--set aside and crumble. Reserve bacon grease.
Saute onion in grease with cumin and oregano until translucent Add drained black beans. Heat thru--salt and pepper to taste--cover with cheese and remove from heat--let cheese melt.
Cover each romaine leaf with onion bean mixture--sprinkle crumbled bacon over.
Serve each leaf alongside a Pacific Rim wrap--A wrap of each on each plate.

I thought both were good- number 1 gets a 3 out of 5, Number 2 gets 4 out of 5.

This is Bill's review
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Sep. 28th mystery-box review by cjs (Before he and Jane l...)
And this is my review. I loved playing with these ingredients!!

Stuffed Pork Medallions on Wild Rice & Hearts of Palm
With Puree of Marrow Beans

Wild Rice & Hearts of Palm:
Cook a pkg. of wild rice according to pkg. directions; when cooked to the doneness preferred (45-60 minutes), drain any residual cooking liquid and add 1/4 cup minced onion and 2 hearts of palm , thinly sliced. Season with salt & pepper. Toss together over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Stuffed Pork Medallions:
Sauté 3 thick-cut slices of bacon , julienned until almost done. Add 3 T. seeded and chopped roma tomato , 1 tsp. minced ginger and 1/2 tsp. dried basil; cook together over low heat for 4-5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup shredded lettuce and remove from heat and allow to cool while prepping the pork.

Cut open an 8 oz. piece of pork loin book-style (not cutting all the way through) and pound to about 1/4" thickness.

Season with salt and pepper, spread the bacon mixture over the pork and roll up jelly-roll style. Hold together with picks as you close it up and then tie with string. Remove picks and roast in a 375°F. oven for 12-15 minutes or to a temperature of 145°F.

Remove from oven and allow to rest.

Puree of Marrow Bean:
Remove 6 spears of hearts of palm and cut diagonally in half cross-ways. With a small pick, clean the center of the palm and set aside.

Heat 1 can drained black beans with 2 T. minced cilantro, bay leaf, 1 large pinch of cayenne and 2 T. olive oil; cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes stirring often. Discard bay leaf. Allow beans to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Pour the bean mixture into a mini-food processor and process until smooth. With a rubber spatula, spoon this mixture into a piping bag with a small tip inserted. Pipe into the center of the hollowed out hearts of palm.

In one of each two bowls, put milk in one and flour in another. Dip the “bones” into the flour, then milk, then back in the flour. Shake well and brown the tops (diagonal cut) and sides in a moderately hot skillet in butter (preferably clarified butter) until golden brown. Remove and allow to drain on a paper towel.

To Plate:
Spoon a mound of wild rice to one side of a plate and top with slices of the pork which has been sliced into medallions on top. To the side of the rice and pork, pipe a large round bean mixture and place three of the ‘bones with marrow’ on the beans.

Sprinkle plate with grated Parmesan cheese .

And, neener, neener, Bill - I didn't even need marrow spoons!!

This was tasty. I'll probably never do all the components together again, but two I will do - the pork and stuffing, great combination!! and the black bean puree was a wonderful flavor, so will use it also again in some fashion. I'd give this dinner a 9 overall. And the stuffed hearts of palm really did resemble small shanks with marrow!!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Sep. 28th mystery-box review by cjs (And this is my revie...)
Sounds (and looks) great, Jean! Looks like we're off to a good start!

Mine turned out very well, too. This was the first time I had ever tried hearts of palm, so the recipe was total improvisation on my part, with no previous experience with cooking or eating them. Although I did like the final result, I would say that the hearts of palm were not something to send me into paroxysms of culinary bliss. As an afterthought, I have added a variation to the recipe which would suit me better, but would not have fit the original challenge. I would rate this 7 out of 10, based upon the flavour of the hearts of palm. I'm sure it would be a 9 or 10, for me, with the variation.

Turnovers of Pork, Bacon, Hearts of Palm and Camembert with Ginger-Cream Sauce
Makes six entrée turnovers

Ginger-Cream Sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 C Chicken stock
  • 1 C Heavy cream
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
Turnover Dough:
  • 4 C All-purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 C + 2 Tbsp Shortening
  • 4 Oz (1 Stick) Butter, cut into 1" pieces
  • 6 Tbsp (approx.) Ice water
Turnover Filling:
  • 4 Slices Bacon, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 Lb Pork loin, cut into small dice
  • 3 7/8 Oz (Half a drained, 14-oz can) Hearts of Palm, sliced
  • Ginger-cream sauce
  • 4.4 Oz Camembert, sliced into 18 slices (Slice in half, first, then slice each half into thirds, then each of those pieces into thirds again.)
Ginger-Cream Sauce:
  1. In a saucepan, heat the oil, then add the ginger and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the stock, simmer and reduce the volume by half.
  3. Add the cream and simmer until it coats the back of a spoon.
Turnover Dough:
  1. Sift together the flour and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Rub the shortening and butter into the flour with fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Stir in the ice water to form a soft dough, but not TOO wet.
  4. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a 6" oblong shape, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Turnover Filling:
  1. In a large sauté pan, sauté the bacon until cooked, but not crisp.
  2. Remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the rendered bacon fat in the pan.
  3. Add the pork loin and the hearts of palm.
  4. Sauté until the pork is almost cooked.
  5. Add the ginger-cream sauce and continue cooking another 5 minutes.
  1. Roll out each block of dough into an 18" x 6" rectangle.
  2. Cut each rectangle into three 6" x 6" squares.
  3. Along the diagonal of each square of dough, arrange some of the bacon.
  4. Add some of the pork mixture.
  5. Top off the filling with three slices of Camembert in each turnover.
  6. Fold the empty side of the dough over the filled side of the dough to form triangular turnovers, then seal the edges.
  7. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, or until brown.
  • Although I liked this and it used the required mystery-box ingredients, my personal tastes are prompting me to make this again, but with sage, instead of ginger, and leeks, instead of hearts of palm.
With the rest of the ingredients in the box, I made a side. In fact, the idea came to me from a couple other, unrelated messages I had posted at the time. Note that the idea to do this came AFTER I had already chosen my second ingredient (which I had originally thought of using in a different way). I would rate this as a 10, and I SHALL make this again!

Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Refried Black Beans and Rice

  • 6 Large Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Ground cumin
  • 2 Tsp Chipotle pepper powder (or to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Can (15.5 Oz) Black beans, undrained
  • 1 C Cooked rice
  • 6 Slices Pepper-Jack cheese
  • 6 Large, whole leaves of iceberg lettuce
  1. With a paring knife, cut around the stem of each tomato and remove the stems.
  2. Going through the stem hole, use the paring knife to cut up the insides of each tomato without cutting through to the outside.
  3. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the tomato, but leave some attached to the skin (i.e. don't completely empty out the tomatoes).
  4. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the onions until soft.
  5. Add the cilantro, cumin, chipotle powder and salt, then toss to coat the onions well.
  6. Add the black beans and their juice.
  7. Using a potato masher or a large spoon, mash the black beans against the bottom of the pan, then stir everything together well.
  8. Sauté the mixture, allowing it to get bubbly, and stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. If necessary, each time the mixture starts to get too dry, add a little more water.
  9. Add the rice and the reserved tomato flesh and cook for another 5 minutes.
  10. Spoon the mixture into each of the tomatoes and place the tomatoes onto a baking sheet.
  11. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
  12. Top each tomato with a slice of pepper-jack cheese and bake a little more, just to melt the cheese.
  13. Serve each tomato atop a large lettuce leaf.
One of the things I mentioned in earlier discussions about stuffed tomatoes was that the flavour of the stuffing often gets lost with all that tomato. The bolder, stronger flavours of these ingredients don't remain hidden, and with the pepper-jack cheese on top and the lettuce underneath, it's a great combination.

If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: Sep. 28th mystery-box review by labradors (Sounds (and looks) g...)
How fun, Labs!! The stuffed tomato sounds like something I need to try - love the combination.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Sep. 28th mystery-box review by cjs (How fun, Labs!! The ...)
Thanks, Jean. Loved your "marrow" presentation. Very creative.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: Sep. 28th mystery-box review by labradors (Thanks, Jean. Loved...)
You guys are so creative! Love all the ideas you've come up with.
  Re: Re: Sep. 28th mystery-box review by Trixxee (You guys are so crea...)
I've got my hearts of palm and most of the other ingredients...forgot the beans and lettuce. I had planned on making this tomorrow night (progress reports due tomorrow), but the employee will probably be here and I just don't want to deal with his "input" on something like I'm waiting until Wednesday. He'll get grilled buttermilk, garlic, and cumin brined chicken tomorrow night...LOL!

Sorry for the delay, you guys! Your ideas sound great and make my idea sound so BLAH...LOL! We'll see how it turns out.
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Sep. 28th mystery-box review by Gourmet_Mom (I've got my hearts o...)
"make my idea sound so BLAH..." oh horsepuckie!!! If it tastes great and of course it will, that's all that counts.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Sep. 28th mystery-box review by cjs ("make my idea sound ...)
Better late than never, I guess...LOL!

So, when I looked at the ingredients, I couldn't get the idea of a burrito out of my head.

I didn't use a recipe of any kind, so here's what I did:

I sauteed some onion and added the black beans. I cooked them until they started to "pop", then mashed it all up. I butterflied a pork tenderloin (I know, but I had six in the freezer and couldn't see buying a loin!) and stuffed it with the bean mixture, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese. I tied it up, seared it and put it in the oven to finish. (I meant to wrap in bacon, but totally forgot! OOPS! So I'm an ingredient short...sorry!)

I felt I needed some kind of taco sauce, so I cooked down some tomatoes and onion. I added a seasoning blend I've made with chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, oregano, basil,'s my Beer Can Chicken rub. Unfortunately, I had added salt before deciding to throw this in, so it was a little on the salty side. I also added some cayenne for heat since jalapenos were not on the list. I had meant to get some cilantro, but forgot...oh well, moving on!

After tasting the hearts of palm, the ginger made sense. So I sauteed some onion, added water and grated in some ginger. I added rice and cooked until done. When done, I added some beans, sliced hearts of palm, lime zest, and tomatoes. I served the stuffed pork over the rice with tomato sauce, more shredded lettuce, diced onion, and more cheese. Again, forgot the cilantro!

Doncha just love the "china"? I spent the day cleaning the kitchen and have now messed up MORE pots and pans. So.....

ANYWAY, it turned out pretty good! I may actually do the stuffed loin again some tasted so much like a burrito! I will also be adding hearts of palm to salads from time to time. William LOVED the flavor! Overall, I'd give it an 8...the salty sauce kept it from being a 9.
Keep your mind wide open.

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