Yeah, I know; I’m right in the middle of sharing about our Spring trip to California, Arizona and Boise. But I hope you’ll allow me to diverge for a day to share about a couple of College of Idaho pals who are over for the weekend from Boise. They were going to come in November but a snow storm interrupted our plans. This weekend with the temps promising to be in the mid 70s is proving to be a much better weekend for visiting.
I was listening to a radio show the other day where a segment was sponsored by Shari’s – a local café chain that features pie. One of the radio guys was going on about “why did they bring lemon pie? Lemon pie isn’t any good.” Well phooey on Big Suke. I’ve made this lemon pie a few times now. I love it – a great combination of tart, sweet, and creamy. Granted this recipe doesn’t give me a chance to practice my “real” pie-with-crust skills that Dianne taught me last fall; nevertheless it is very tasty.
I went with all Meyer lemons this time. How can anything with two cans of sweetened condensed milk not be good? (That’s a rhetorical question – we know it will be fabulous!)
Grind the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter in the food processor for a bit and bake in the oven at 325° for 12-15 minutes (all the details are in the linked recipe above).
While the crust cools, whip the egg yolks, most of the sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice in a mixer.
This filling doesn’t get bright yellow like a lemon merengue pie from the store but it packs plenty of flavor. Bake the pie at 375° for another 12-15 minutes then cool for an hour on a rack, then in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
I don’t put on the topping until just before serving. I want the topping to go on a cold pie and not break down.
With that done, it was time to get started on the kabobs. Before we left on our road trip I saw Mike Vrobel’s DadCooksDinner recipe for grilled pork tenderloin skewers with sweet chili sauce. Here was the chance to try it out. My recipe short cut is here.
There isn’t much to the combination brine and marinade: soy sauce, peanut oil, coriander, a bit of cilantro – oh and six cloves of garlic! Like butter and sugar for dessert, garlic makes every main course better.
Spin up the “brinerade” (thank you Cook’s Illustrated and Mike Vrobel for the term) ingredients in a food processor, remove the silver skin from two pork loins, cut them into 1-inch chunks and throw it all into a zip top plastic bag flipping every 30 minutes or an hour for a total of around three hours.
I’m a gear-and-gadget guy – you know that about me, right? I took Mike Vrobel’s suggestion and bought the Weber Elevations systems for skewers. Go to his site to get a link if you are interested. It is awesome: the skewers are nice and flat so food doesn’t spin around and you can cook a little over the direct heat so things don’t burn as readily.
I have two tips to share. The recipe calls for cooking five minutes per side; not enough you think? It is – really. I went over a couple of minutes and they turned out almost, just almost too well done. Second tip: the skewers get rocket fire hot. I had to use my big leather gloves with a pot holder to turn them.
We had to hustle this afternoon to pull a few chairs out of the storage shed. While the kabobs were grilling we sat on the deck with a glass of wine.
We also had some of the lovely jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk I prepared a short time ago from the BevCooks blog. I used Chaokoh brand Coconut Milk which is “highly recommended” by Cook’s Illustrated. It made the rice quite a bit wetter than when I made it with Thai Kitchen brand; it didn’t look great but it was very tasty.
My plating isn’t very good here. A couple of skewers on the end of the grill needed a couple more minutes so I didn’t get a full plate. As we were eating, I was thinking “shouldn’t we have some sort of sauce?” Well duh. I forgot to put out some sweet chili sauce for the dippin’. All in all quite tasty. I’ve got my eye on a pork tenderloin skewer recipe featuring hoisin sauce and Chinese five-spice powder.
After dinner, I whipped the cream, a few tablespoons of reserved sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract and slathered it on the pie.
Kabobs: 4 stars ★★★★
Pie: 5 stars ★★★★★
A note on the pictures. I’m using my new Sony ILCA-77M2 camera fitted with an old-school Minolta 50mm film lens. I was delighted to discover that because Sony started their camera line based on Minolta’s products, many Minolta lenses fit Sony cameras. I got a fabulous lens for real cheap at Advance Camera on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in Beaverton. You can find plenty of lenses on-line as well. I got tips on good lenses from the Gary Friedman pages 99-106 of his A77 book found here.