Moroccan Orange Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin is inexpensive, tender and perfect for two. I think this quick tenderloin is juicy and packed full of Moroccan seasonings along with complimentary orange and honey. Any leftovers are wonderful in a sandwich served cold and sliced thin. Make two tenderloins just so you have nice slices for lunches. I have served mine with a coconut rice and green beans. Ras El Hanout is a blend of spices from North Africa the name translates to “head of the shop” and implies it is the shopkeepers best blend. It is typically a blend of cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ground chilies, coriander, cumin, peppercorn, fenugreek and turmeric. If you cannot find this blend in your store it is easy to go on line to find a recipe for a blend to make yourself.

You will  need:

  • 1 pork tenderloin – cleaned of any fat and silver skin
  • 3 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – your best quality like Mandranova Nocellara
  • 1 heaped tsp Ras El Hanout – which is a Moroccan blend of spices
  • 1 tbsp orange zest – finely zested
  • salt and pepper
  • Juice from one large orange
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • coconut rice (see Note*)
  • your favourite vegetables

Note* Cook 1 cup rice in 2 cups liquid. In a 2 cup measuring cup add 160ml of coconut milk and fill the rest up to 2 cups with water and a pinch of salt. Add liquid to rice in a pot with a lid.  Bring to a boil and reduce to low and cover. Cook on low for 20 minutes until cooked. You can turn off and leave covered on stove until pork is ready.

Step 1: remove any fat and silver skin from the tenderloin.

Step 2: crush garlic with a garlic press and rub over the entire tenderloin. Pour over great olive oil and add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Leave to sit and make your coconut rice and chop your vegetables.

Step 3: sprinkle the Ras el Hanout over tenderloin and zest the orange over meat. Roast in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Juice orange and mix with honey reduce in a small pan for 5 minutes until thickened and concentrated.


Serve with a drizzle of honey orange glaze.

Brioche Buns

These are sweet and soft and make a nice loaf of bread roll or even hamburger buns.


You will need:


  • 3/4 cup (6oz.) warm water
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups bread or all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt




Step 1: let the warm water, warm milk, yeast and honey sit for 5 minutes to make sure the yeast is activated.



Step 2: in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment add flour, salt and butter.



Step 3: add the eggs and yeast mix and beat 5 minutes.



Step 4: remove the paddle and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 2 hours until doubled.



Step 5: remove the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead a few times until it comes together in a nice ball. Divide into balls for buns or rolls or roll up for a single loaf of bread and place in a buttered loaf pan.




Step 6: brush with melted butter and place on an oiled baking sheet or use parchment paper. Cover and let rise for a final 30-45 minutes.



Bake in 375 degree F oven until browned and baked through. 20-25 minutes



Let cool slightly before slicing or serve warm if you made small rolls. This is also an excellent bread to freeze any leftovers and use for a bread pudding or french toast.


















Stuffed Turkey Burgers

This is like a full turkey dinner in a burger. It is a burger made with ground turkey, filled with stuffing and topped with cranberry sauce. You could also top with gravy for the full deal!!!


A burger that tastes like Thanksgiving or Christmas any time you like.


You will need:


  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 2 cooked sausages- like mild or hot Italian grilled or cooked in a pan
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to your taste
  • 1-2 tbsp cranberry sauce – more to serve on top of burger
  • 1/2 pound of ground turkey (a mix of dark and white meat or all dark is best-ground breast is too dry.





Step 1: make the stuffing by adding onion, carrot, celery, fresh thyme leaves, fresh sage leaves, fresh parsley, fresh rosemary and cooked sausages into a food processor. Puree until finely minced.



Step 2: with a few tbsp of olive oil cook for 6-7 minutes until most of the water from the vegetables has cooked out. Add salt and pepper and taste. Adjust to your preference.



Step 3: add a few tbsp of cranberry sauce. I make my own however store bought is fine. If you don’t have any you can substitute some blackberry or currant jam. Let cool completely.



Step 4: you can form 2 thin patties and add the filling to the middle by hand or I have used a small lid to use as a form. Place one thin patty as the bottom (it can’t be too thin or the dressing will not be covered) place a ball of stuffing/dressing in the center and top with another thin patty. Mould to enclose the stuffing. Repeat.




Step 5: you can grill these or simple place in a hot cast iron pan with a bit of olive oil. Cook on both sides to develop some browning. Then finish in a 375 degree F oven for another 7-8 minutes to cook through.



Top with more cranberry sauce, some gravy or just some lettuce and tomato.











Beef and Ricotta Cannelloni



This is a simple baked pasta that can be made with dry pasta shells that do not require cooking. You simply stuff, add sauce, cheese and bake. Add a beautiful salad and dinner for a crowd is served.


You will need:


  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic – peeled
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves-removed from stalks
  • 3 basil leaves (larger ones)
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp good extra virgin olive oil – like Mandranova Nocellara
  • salt and pepper to taste and add all along the cooking way!
  • 1/2 pound ground beef (or mix half beef and pork)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning mix
  • 250gram/1 cup ricotta cheese
  • more fresh basil leaves 2-3
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves removed from stalks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pkg no bake cannelloni shells
  • 796ml/28 oz. can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella or Parmesan (or both) to top
  • salt and pepper to taste in each step.





Step 1: to a food processor add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, thyme leaves, basil leaves and parsley. Puree until mix is a fine mince.



Step 2: in a large hot pan add good olive oil and minced vegetables. Sprinkle salt and pepper. People usually do not add enough salt and pepper to their cooking in an effort to reduce sodium however, this is why you taste all along the way so you can adjust when it tastes bland.



Step 3: add ground meat, dry Italian seasonings or even some chili flakes and cook until cooked through. Make sure you cook out all the water and then the meat will start to brown in the olive oil. Do not stop until all water has evaporated and it sizzles for a few minutes and starts to brown. Taste it and adjust salt and pepper. Set aside in a large bowl to cool slightly.



Step 4: add basil leaves, parsley, thyme, olive oil and garlic cloves to a food processor. Pulse until chopped. Add tomatoes and puree for 15 seconds until pureed. Add more salt and pepper. That is your sauce, set aside.




Step 5: once meat has cooled slightly add ricotta cheese and you may want to add a bit more chopped basil and parsley. This will add a bit of fresh uncooked flavour to the meat and cheese mix. Taste it and add salt and pepper if bland.


Note: it is not necessary but, I removed 2-3 tbsp of the meat before I added the ricotta so I could sprinkle it on top of my finished dish.



Step 6: fill your no bake shells (I use my clean hands because it is the easiest) Place on a large pan with a layer of sauce as a base. I use a pan that will accommodate 2 rows of shells. Because you are using no bake shells you must be generous with the sauce as the shells will absorb much of the liquid. If it looks like there is too much sauce don’t worry. I used 3/4 of the sauce and saved a bit for serving to add a fresh uncooked sauce to the finished cannelloni.



Step 7: cover the tops of your cannelloni with tomato sauce to cover, sprinkle with cheese and the reserved beef if you like. I think it tells people there is meat in the dish. Bake in a 350 degree F oven until browned and bubbly approximately 30-40 minutes.



Top with a bit more parsley and some extra sauce for those that want some.



















San Diego


San Diego California is one of my favourite U.S cities. It is glorious even in December when the rest of us lumber along in the cold snowy world. I am happy to be here anytime but, coming from the cold makes me extra grateful and even flying into the airport is a pretty view of the harbour.




Make sure to walk along the harbour and take a tour aboard the USS Midway Museum. Right next door is the always yummy Fish Market Seafood Market and Restaurant with a wonderful view of the water. We always have a lunch there and enjoy bowls of Clam Chowder and Ginger Lime Prawns and lots of other great things on the menu.



We also came back for fresh fish we bought for our Grilled Tuna Tacos. See my recipe to make it at home.



We enjoyed a delicious brunch at Peohe’s on Coronado Island  This is a great place for wonderful California cuisine and fresh favourites like this crab stack with layers of crab, mango and avocado. Don’t forget to order a split of champagne!



I enjoyed some coconut crunchy shrimp and a sensational bowl of coconut and chicken soup.



The seafood Cobb salad was fresh and absolutely huge.



Everything else we ordered from the cool gazpacho to the slushy cocktails like this Pomegranate Mojito was as perfect as the view and company!



You must make a special point to stop in at the Extraordinary Desserts – this is the little Italy location for a out of this world dessert and coffee.


how can you pick just one?


beauty and substance!



I always make a point to order a different spectacular cake when I come to town. This time it was the Truffle Framboise. It was worth every calorie!!!



And remember life is short celebrate good times and friends with good food and good champagne!













Grape and Fig Focaccia


This is a sweet and savoury combination that works surprisingly well. There is the sweet from the grapes and the figs and then you add lots of chopped fresh rosemary and big flakes of sea salt and the beautiful olive oil to make a delicious focaccia.


You will need:


  • 1 1/2 cups of red seedless grapes (sliced in half)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups of flour (bread flour or all purpose flour)
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1 tbsp cointreau (orange liqueur)
  • 2 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp course sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  •  1 tbsp large flaked sea salt (like Maldon)



Step 1: wash and slice grapes in half and pour good extra virgin olive oil over them, Mix and set aside.




Step 2: add yeast to warm water leave 5 minutes



Step 3: add 3 cups of flour to start, then add the last 1 1/4 cups. (clean off paddle and cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1-2 hours until doubled)



Step 4: chop figs and add cointreau, let soak while bread rises.



After the first rise



Step 5: add dough back to machine and add dough hook. Add figs, honey and salt. Mix well.





Step 6: place olive oil in pan and add dough in a large pan 10×13 or even a bit larger. Flip to coat both sides in oil. Make sure your pan is a good non-stick pan or it will stick. Let rise 30 minutes.





Step 7: add grapes and extra oil they were soaking in to bread, add loads of rosemary and lots of flaked sea salt. It can take more than you expect!! Push grapes down and let rise another 30-45 minutes.





Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until browned. Remove from pan right away.
















Freekeh Salad


Freekeh is a green wheat that has been dried, roasted and then thrashed or rubbed. It is an earthy, slightly smoky grain that is similar in taste to farro.



You will need:


  • 3/4 cup freekeh
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped English cucumber
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 spring onions – chopped finely
  • 1 large tomato – chopped into small dice
  • 1 small yellow pepper (sweet) chopped into small dice
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion – finely minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (good extra virgin oil)
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: add freekeh and water to a small pot. Get the water to boil then turn down to a simmer, cover and leave 25 minutes until water has evaporated just like cooking rice. Place on a plate or cookie sheet to cool and slightly air dry.



Step 2: chop all vegetables



Step 3: add cooled freekeh, vegetables, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss and taste to adjust seasoning if necessary.


My New Cookbook – I Want To Cook That Mediterranean Flavours


Very exciting news!! My cookbook is finally done and ready. If you are looking for a good idea for those foodies in your life, this could be it!


It is just out! Currently it is available in paperback from the publisher and they will be happy to ship one out to you or it will be available shortly on Amazon for kindle.


Since I am shamelessly promoting my book let me also tell you I have another book that was released earlier this year. It also includes some of my recipes that you may find interesting.


It is available through whatever Amazon site you frequent and also through the same publisher 





Thanks for all your support and for coming by the blog to see what is new everyday. I hope you all have a happy holiday season and let’s see what adventures we will go on in 2014…..I am pretty sure mine involve lots of gorgeous Olive oil and yummy food.


Now….go and COOK SOMETHING for the people you LOVE!!!


Love Hilda















Honey Pumpkin Bread

Making fresh bread is such a rewarding thing to try and honestly worth the effort. I made this yummy sweet, nutty bread to serve with a big pot of chicken noodle soup. I will definitely make this one again soon.

You will need:

  • 1 cup warm water – heated in microwave 25 seconds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fibre – like ground flax or nutricleanse which is a mix of fibres
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups (might need a few tbsp more) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Step 1: heat water in a liquid measuring cup in a microwave for 25 seconds.

Step 2: add water, yeast and honey to a large bowl. Mix and leave 5-10 minutes to make sure yeast activates and is fresh.

Step 3: add olive oil, fibre, oats, pumpkin seeds flour and salt. Mix in bowl until it becomes too stiff to mix with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a clean counter and knead for 5 minutes until dough becomes a smooth ball. If you need an additional bit of flour at 1 tbsp at a time until the dough no longer absorbs flour and is not sticky. You can leave it slightly on the wetter side because of the oil in the dough. You can knead it and it will not stick to the counter.

Step 4: place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place for 2 hours to rise. I have a bread proof setting on my oven that works great but, a warm kitchen works fine.

Step 5: gently remove dough from bowl and it will deflate. I like to roll up to form a loaf and place in a well oiled (with olive oil) loaf pan. Rub some oil on the top of the loaf and also a bit on a piece of plastic wrap (or it will stick) and leave to rise a second time for 1 hour. I also sprinkle on a few pumpkin seeds and oats to decorate the bread.

Step 6: bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. Turn out bread onto a cooling rack as soon as you remove from the oven. Let cool until just barely warm (don’t cut into the bread when it is very hot or you will compress it) then add your favourite topping.

Apple Blackberry Pie


I prefer to use a few different varieties to make an apple pie. I always add some tart Granny Smith and either Ambrosia or Gala or Fuji. This pie has the added flavour of fresh blackberries. Let cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.




You will need:


  • 8 cups of apples – peeled and sliced thin. (or thick if you prefer it to be larger chunks)
  • finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 2 sticks of cold/frozen butter cut into small cubes – unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water plus a few more tbsps if necessary
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 tbsp cold butter cut into small chunks
  • bit of milk to brush on crust
  • sprinkle of sugar to top


Step 1: peel apples and core or just chop around the core then place into food processor to slice.





Step 2: in a large pan add apples, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook 10 minutes to cook out some of the water. Let cool.



Step 3: make crust in the food processor. Add flour, salt, vanilla sugar, and cubed butter. Pulse the food processor 7 times. The butter should be cut into the flour and be small pieces. You can wipe the pie pan with any residual butter than remains on the wrapper.


Step 4: Add ice water and pulse 7 times if you need to add a few more additional tbsps add and pulse 3 x more. As soon as you can squeeze dough together with your fingers turn out contents of food processor and gather together to form a ball. Touch as little as possible to keep dough cold and ultimately you will have a nice, flaky crust.



Step 5: wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge 20-30 minutes for butter to get hard again.



Step 6: place apples in a large bowl and add cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Mix well then gently toss in the blackberries. Try to avoid breaking them.



Step 7: divide dough into 2 balls, one should be slightly larger than the other. Roll out the smaller ball with a bit of flour. Place dough into the pie plate. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.



Step 8: roll out top crust until just slightly larger than the pan. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap and place in fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.


Step 9: place filling in pie plate and dot with the butter. Place top crust over and remove any large excess pieces of dough. I then fold the top crust under the bottom and then crimp edges. Cut out some slits or a hole in the crust to let out steam.




Step 10: brush with milk and sprinkle with vanilla sugar or some course sugar. Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour and 10 minutes in a 375 degree F oven. Let cool before cutting or the filling will be all runny. I like to serve with homemade vanilla ice cream.