05 March 2011

9 X 13 The Pan That Can


I know!!! If I don't start posting more, you are going to stop reading. What happened to me posting every day? Well, life gets in the way. I'm sorry. but I digress...

Harry Lowe read a review in Cook's Illustrated about the very best 9 X 13 baking dish.


He set out to order them for Christmas presents. Unfortunately, the pans were sold out and back ordered for quite some time. I received a lovely box with a note saying I would get my Christmas pan as soon as they were back in stock. Well it took some time but I finally received my pan this weekend while I was in D.C.



I stopped by a favorite used book store and there sitting on the shelf right before me was a copy of The Better Homes and Gardens 9 X 13 The Pan That Can. Clearly, it was an omen and clearly I bought the book. IF you read this blog or my other blog you will know that I need NO help in figuring out what to put in a 9 X 13 pan, but again, one cannot fight omens.

I must say, I find the recipes rather long and complicated for cooking in 9 X 13 pan. One would think that these recipes would require a whole compliment of dishes. Actually, many of them are adapted from other Better Homes and Gardens publications. For some the main difference in the recipe is changing the word "pan" to "9 X 13 pan." Still, there are over 300 recipes that you can make in that 9 X 13 pan or any other pan you might have. Here's one. Just a note, you will need another saucepan for the green beans and several containers to put everything in to refrigerate. Frankly, I would rather eat this hot that chilled for 24 hours.

Fennel Lime-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

1/2 cup lime-infused olive oil (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup fennel seeds
1/4 cup snipped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup finely shredded lime peel (need 5 to 6 limes)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3-pound center-cut beef tenderloin
1 pound peeled onions (such as cipollini onions, pearl onions, and/or yellow onions)
3 cups sliced fennel
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed


1. In a small bowl combine 6 tablespoons of the oil, the fennel seeds, tarragon, lime peel, pepper, and salt. Coat the tenderloin with seed mixture. Place meat on a non-reactive tray; cover loosely with foil. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place meat on a roasting rack in an ungreased 9 X 13 pan or baking dish. Return any coating left on tray to meat. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the thickest portion of meat. In a medium bowl, toss together onions and 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil. Place onions on half of the pan or dish alongside meat. Roast, uncovered for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toss together fennel and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Stir onions and add fennel to other half of roasting pan alongside meat. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes more or until thermometer registers 135 degrees F for medium-rare doneness.

4. Transfer meat to cutting board; cover with foil. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes. The temperature should register 145 degrees F for medium-rare doneness. Wrap roast tightly in plastic wrap; chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Transfer onions and fennel to separate bowls. Cover each bowl tightly; chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

5. For sauce, pour drippings from the baking pan or dish into a small saucepan, scraping out and including the crusty browned bits. Add red wine to the saucepan; cook until bubbly, stirring constantly to
dissolve browned bits. Transfer sauce to bowl. Cover; refrigerate until serving.

6. To serve, cook green beans in a small amount of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Rinse with cold water until chilled; drain again. Toss green beans with the sauce. Arrange on serving platter. Thinly slice tenderloin and arrange on top of beans. Serve your tenderloin platter with roasted onion and fennel.

OK, you can chill the whole thing. On second thougth it might just make an excellent picnic item!

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