Welcome back to Cooking With Stanley. We're back to our regular schedule. Last week was kind of crazy with the whole switchover thing. Today's menu for Cooking With Stanley was actually our Mother's Day meal too. This was a hefty meal to put together and I was solo for most of it. Everything went together beautifully but man was it a bitch to prepare. There were a lot of components and towards the end, everything kind of happened all at the same time and there are not enough of me for that to have been successful. Luckily, my mom took over the Potato Croquettes toward the end and Papa Coffee donated arms when I needed to transfer the juice and veggies from the pork.
MENU Appetizer: Mozzarella and Tomato Main: Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Rosemary Side: Potato Croquettes Side: Broccoli Rabe Tucci Style
My favorite thing about this meal was it didn't leave you feeling gross. It was filling but light enough for a warm day, not that we had one. The Mozzarella and Tomato salad was delicious. It was very simple and I threw it together at the end. You're supposed to drizzle olive oil and black pepper over the salad but in my rush I skipped that part. My aunt mentioned it would be really good with balsamic vinegar too. I have to agree. What's great about this salad is it's so versatile. If you have leftovers, slap it on two pieces of bread and put it into a panini press for lunch or chop it all up and throw it in an omelet for breakfast. Pretty easy right? And none of it will go to waste!
The Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Rosemary was a showstopper. I honestly thought we were going to have a ton of leftovers but there were only four pieces left! Even my eldest cousin who is the pickiest of eaters had three pieces. Consider me floored. This was a fantastic dish but let's talk for a second about the prep. Dicing a fennel bulb is a tedious and exhausting task. Even after all that dicing, it will still not be small enough to create a paste-like consistency when mixed with the other ingredients to coat the pork. My suggestion, roughly dice it as much as you can and throw it into a food processor with all the other ingredients. Chances are you will anyway. Also, if you're planning to stuff the pork with this mixture in a few incisions around the roast, you're crazy. If you have a trick for this, I'm all ears but it did not work in my favor.
As for the sides, they were both fantastic. The Potato Croquettes were delicious and I've been munching on them since. I won't lie, making them was really obnoxious. For someone who hates getting their hands messy, this forced me to do just that. My suggestion would be to add extra flour before you start creating the croquettes. The mixture is super sticky and that makes it really hard to form the potatoes. Frying them was pretty simple and to keep them warm until dinner, I just popped them in the oven on warm. The Tucci Style Broccoli Rabe I didn't actually get to for the meal but I did make it as the vegetable for dinner the following night. it's really easy to make and it tastes fantastic. Broccoli Rabe or Broccolini has a milder flavor from regular broccoli so if you have picky eaters, this might be a good alternative. They're smaller so you can call them baby trees and if you cook them well, they're nice and tender.
Dessert was pie from Baker's Square, as it is tradition. I still owe you those cookies but since I've put them off for so long, I have an idea that I think will be a hit. So just hang on a little longer. I think you'll like what I have planned.