I cooked all afternoon, more or less.
And it was good.
The pumpkin flan I made more or less the way misslake and megpye made theirs. I didn't buy the 10" springform pan at the grocery store (even though I kind of want one for making pumpkin cheesecakes). Instead, I got one of the premade Pillsbury rolled-up crusts that ana uses for fruit pies. For premade crusts, they're remarkably good -- light, fluffy, and flavorful.
Instead of making the entire recipe, though, I made more or less half of the recipe. I used all but about 1/4 of a small "New England Sugar Pumpkin" (or so the sign in the grocery store said). I toasted the seeds, too, and they were delicious. The perfect pre-meal snack.
I added garlic to the pumpkin mixture, too, and onion and garlic to the mushrooms. The grocery store had shitakes, so I got those, but I think I would've been happier with criminis, actually.
While the pumpkin was roasting, before I needed to combine everything to put it in the pie shell, I made the cornbread. I'd been kind of half-heartedly looking for a cornbread recipe that looked like what my grandmother made -- that is, no sugar in it. In the south, we don't eat sweet cornbread (that's what molasses and honey and jam are for). So when I saw baroo's recipe, I was very happy.
After the cornbread was done (so I could lower the oven temperature), I got the pumpkin mixture into the pie shell and all of it into the oven. By this point, the kitchen was warm and smelling wonderful.
For the main entree, I made a recipe I found on a card at the cheese aisle in the grocery store -- stilton and apple stuffed pork tenderloin. The recipe is as follow:
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons butter
1 large cooking apple, such as Braeburn, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup corn bread crumbs
3 ounces stilton cheese, crumbled, divided.
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Cut almost all the way through the tenderloin, lengthwise. Spread apart and flatten with hands. Set aside.
2. Melt butter in medium skillet. Add apple, onion and celery [[I added garlic as well, because, you know, garlic.]]; saute for approximately 3 minutes or until apple and vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Add pecans, breadcrumbs and half the cheese. Mix well.
3. Place tenderloin in shallow roasting pan, cut side up. Spoon stuffing mixture over the tenderloin. Press stuffing lightly to hold in place. Bake 25 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 160F. Sprinkle remaining cheese over stuffing. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
The whole meal came together about 7:30 tonight. It was utterly and completely delicious. The tenderloin was moist and falling-apart and, with the stilton stuffing, complemented the pumpkin flan perfectly. The flan was amazing. Sweet and savory at the same time, and the hot sauce I used left just a hint of heat. I'm thrilled that there's enough left for at least another couple of meals. The cornbread tasted like what my grandmother made, and contributed to my stuffing, a side dish, and my dessert (with molasses and butter).
"I just wanted to do something with my hands," I told ana. "And I'm a better cook than I am a plumber."
And it was good. +1 will cook again.
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