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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

RSJ’s Christmas Eve Dinner

December 23, 2018

Pork Tenderloin with Muscadine Glaze

  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbl Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Pork Tenderloins (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 Tbl Shallot, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Riesling Wine, or Muscadine wine if you can find it
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3/4 cup Muscadine Jelly
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, minced
  • 2 Tbl Parsley, chopped

Season the pork with the salt and pepper.

In an ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the butter and the pork tenderloins. Sear each tenderloin on all sides and place the skillet and tenderloins in the oven.

Cook 8-10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and place the tenderloins on a plate and hold them in a warm place. Drain the excess oil from the skillet.

Place the skillet over low heat. Cook the shallots, garlic and salt for 2-3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, cook until the sugar is melted. Turn the heat to medium and add the wine and balsamic vinegar. Cook until the mixture has reduced by half. Add in the chicken broth and bay leaf, simmer until the mixture has reduced by 70 percent. Stir in the jelly, black pepper and red pepper and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking and burning. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh parsley

Slicing on a diagonal, cut each tenderloin into 6-8 pieces. Arrange the slices on a serving platter and pour the glaze over the pork, serve immediately.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Spinach Soufflé

  • 1/3 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup Shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Creole Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup Milk, heated
  • 2 tsp Hot Sauce
  • 4 large Eggs, separated
  • 2-10 packages Frozen Spinach, thaw and squeeze out as much water as possible
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 2 Tbl Unsalted Butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350

Heat butter in a two-quart sauce pot over medium heat. Cook shallots and garlic for three minutes. Blend in flour and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Add Creole Seasoning, salt, pepper and nutmeg, blend well. Gradually add in the heated milk, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Remove from the heat. Stir in the hot sauce.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until light and frothy, fold the yolks into the sauce mixture. Add the spinach to the sauce mixture.

Using the whip attachment on an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Stir one quarter of the stiff egg whites into the spinach mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Butter a two-quart round Pyrex baking dish. Pour the spinach mixture into prepared baking dish.

Place the Pyrex dish in a water bath with 2 inches of water. Bake for one hour and serve immediately.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Oyster Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2 ounces Andouille Sausage, very small dice
  • 3/4 cups Yellow Onion, small dice
  • 3/4 cups Celery, small dice
  • 2 Tbl Red Bell Pepper, fine dice
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp Dried Sage
  • 2 Tbl Parsley, chopped
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 cups Oysters, shucked,
  • 3 slices white bread, dried in a warm oven and crumbled 1 1/2 cups day old cornbread, crumbled 6 saltine crackers, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the sausage for 5-6 minutes. Add the onions and celery and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often to prevent browning. Add the red bell pepper, garlic, salt, poultry seasoning, black pepper and sage. Continue cooking for 3 more minutes.

Remove from the heat and place mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped parsley, chicken stock and eggs and beat with a wire whisk until well blended. Fold in the oysters, crumbled white bread, cornbread, and crackers. Pour into 3 quart Pyrex baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Sweet Potato Stuffed Oranges

  • 2 cups Sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed* (2-3 sweet potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Heavy cream
  • 1/4 Butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Orange Zest
  • 5 Large oranges, cut in half and scooped out
  • 1 Tbl Fresh chives, thinly sliced 1/2 cup Toasted Almond Slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine hot sweet potatoes, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, cream, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest in a bowl; mix thoroughly. Place the hollowed out orange halves on a lined baking sheet. Fill each half with the sweet potato mixture.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle each serving with the sliced chives and toasted almonds

Yield: 8-10 servings

* To cook the sweet potatoes; Preheat oven to 375. Place the whole potatoes on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes. Turn each potato over once midway through the cooking time. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly so that they are easier to handles when peeling. Simply place the peeled sweet potatoes into a stainless steel mixing bowl, and using a stiff wire whisk, or potato masher, mash the potatoes.

Grand Marnier Crème Brulee

  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 cups Half and Half
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup Sugar, divided
  • 10 Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 cup sugar to caramelize the tops of the Crème Brulees.

Preheat oven to 300.

In a heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepan, heat the cream, half and half, vanilla bean and half of the sugar (1/2 half cup) over medium heat. Allow mixture to cook for five minutes, being careful to make sure it does not boil over.

In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks on high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the remaining half a cup of sugar. Set the mixer to low speed, and slowly add in 2 cups of the hot cream mixture. Then, using a rubber spatula, slowly blend in the remaining hot cream mixture.

Allow the mixture to settle for five minutes, and using a small ladle or large serving spoon, skim the frothy bubbles from the top of the mixture. Divide the custard into 8 (8-9 ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Place the dishes into a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water in the roasting pan so that the water level is half of the height of the baking dishes.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the middle is set. The custard should jiggle slightly.

Remove the custard from the roasting pan and cool completely. They may be made a day in advance and refrigerated.

Twenty minutes before serving, remove the custards from the refrigerator. Divide the sugar in a thin layer over the top of each custard dish, covering it completely. To caramelize, light a propane torch and hold it so the flame just touches the surface. Start in the center, and moving the torch in a spiral pattern, cook the sugar until it becomes light brown in color. Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings

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