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Archive for the ‘Pork’ Category

With activities taking up several evenings during the week I am always on the look out for a quick, affordable and nutritious meal.  Pork Chops can be fried, grilled or broiled quickly and a lean protein our family enjoys.

Adapted from Atco Blue Flame

Maple Soy Pork Chops

2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oil
1-2 tsp ginger, freshly grated
3 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 boneless pork chops

Add all ingredients except pork chops into a ziplock style bag. Mush it up to combine. Add your pork chops, seal bag and squishy bag to ensure chops are coated evenly.

Marinate for a minimum 30 minutes. Longer is better.

Remove pork chops from bag and grill over low heat on BBQ until done, about 30 minutes for thicker chops.

In the photo I paired my pork chop with balsamic & basil grilled veggies. Will post that recipe soon.

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It was 1970’s Casserole night in our house tonight…or so it felt.  I went back to work when my oldest was 11 months old…until my youngest was 12 months old and then everything changed.  Confused yet?!  Me too.  Going back to work with a little one is hard, as any mom can relate and thinking about healthy meals is even harder.  I tried to get organized and meal plan.  I went to the Kraft website and scanned through a lot of their meals as they were quick, simple and my kind of cooking as I tried to figure out life with a toddler.

Pork Chops Casserole is one we tried and enjoyed.  Easy Peasy Ron Weasly…or something like that.  Husband really liked it so it went in the keep file.  In my quest to rid the paper pile clutter it resurfaced last week and went into rotation.

The first time I made it, the recipe told me to use rosemary as “the spice”.  That’s it.  It worked at the time but was rather bland.  Never being one to “follow the rules” I decided I needed more.  More flavour.  More Zing. More something.   So this time I searched through the pantry craving flavour and pulled out what called to me.  Epicure Fajita seasoning and Epicure Cheese, Chives & Bacon Dip.  It was a long shot but why not?  In the end it worked.  Flavour was mild yet noticeable.  Growns up loved it, kids ate the pork chops sans anything else.  That in my books works.  If you make it find the spices that work for you, BBQ, 5 spice blend, chili, paprika – try it, you never know unless you do.

Adapted from Kraft Canada

Pork Chop & Cauliflower Casserole

1 pkg Stove Top Stuffing (any variety will do)
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups shredded marble cheese
1 tsp oil (canola or olive oil)
4-5 boneless pork chops
3 cups fresh cut up cauliflower
1/4 tsp each seasoning salt & pepper
Spices – 1/2 tsp of your favourite spice

Heat 1 tsp oil in nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Season your pork chops with salt and pepper and add to hot pan. Quick sear/brown them on both sides, remove and put into baking dish.

Prepare stove top stuffing as directed on package, set aside.  Layer your cauliflower on top of your pork chops.

Whisk together milk and flour in glass (microwaveable) bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave on high an additional 2 minutes. Stir.  Mix in your shredded cheese and seasonings (salt, pepper, spices). Adjust as necessary – adding more if required. Pour your cheese sauce on top of cauliflower/pork chops.

Finally spread your stove top stuffing on top.

Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until heated through/bubbling.  Cauliflower should still be crunchy. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes to settle.

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Quick, healthy, home-made take out at it’s best. This was a first for me…a recipe presented itself, sounded yummy and I knew I had to work it into the rotation.  Much to my delight it was well received by the family and will stay in rotation.

Serve it with Hoisin sauce (chinese BBQ sauce) or Plum sauce.  Flour tortillas are the wrap of choice instead of the traditional pancakes or crepes.  I also served a side of basmati rice with the Pork allowing the kidlets to add rice to their wraps (which they did) and loved.
 
Adapted from Everyday Food

Much Ado About Moo Shu Pork

2-3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1-2 tbsp cornstarch
1 lb mushrooms (we used button, but any will work), sliced thin
2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled & minced
1/2 head napa cabbage, shredded
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup soya sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
olive oil or canola oil
salt & pepper
flour tortillas/wraps, small size
hoisin or plum sauce
cooked white rice, optional

In a nonstick pan on medium, heat a little oil. Add your eggs and without stirring cook until set. Transfer to cutting board, let cool off and then roll into log and slice into thin strips. Set aside.

Place your pork strips into a bowl, season with salt, pepper and add your cornstarch, mixing well. In a clean skillet add a little more oil. Add your pork and saute until lightly browned and just undercooked. Transfer to a plate.

If you need it add another drop of oil and pour in your mushrooms and ginger. Once the mushrooms have started to brown season with salt & pepper. Add your cabbage, green onions, soy sauce, vinegar and pork. Cook, stirring occasionally, a few more minutes or until your cabbage is wilted slightly and pork cooked through. Remove from heat and mix in your egg slices.

Warm your tortillas on a grill, in the oven or in the microwave. To assemble put some sauce on the tortilla, add some cooked rice if you have some and a good spoonful of the moo shu pork filling. Roll up and serve with additional sauce on the side.  Delish!

I thought I had taken a photo of this dish..but can not seem to find one (made it several weeks ago). It’s not exactly pretty to look at but trust me when I say it’s darn tasty!!

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I admittedly have never made a Bolognese Sauce.  How crazy is that?!   The family loves my basic beef spaghetti sauce and as so if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!

As I was preparing my menu for the week I found Jamie Oliver’s recipe for an easy Bolognese Sauce and decided it was time to try a new sauce.  This is an Italian Classic sauce made in different ways, using wines and herbs.  Jamie’s version is simple (no wine) and very tasty.   I made it.  The family loved it.  It’s a keeper.

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Bolognese Sauce

3 slices bacon, sliced thin
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped small
2 celery stalks, chopped small
2 tsp oregano, dried
1 tsp basil, dried
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 x 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

Add your bacon to a pan and cook over medium heat. After bacon has been cooking a few minutes add your oregano. Cook bacon until lightly browned. Add your onions, carrots, celery, garlic and stir to combine. Cook until vegetables have softened. Add your ground beef & pork, the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Fill half the empty tomato can with water and add to the pan. Stir in a good pinch of salt & pepper.

Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for approximately 1 hour stirring occasionally. Remove lid and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the sauce so it does not dry out (add water if you need to). Remove from heat and add your parmesan, stirring to combine. Tear and stir in your basil.

Serve with your favourite kind of pasta, extra parmesan cheese on top, additional fresh basil on top, a drizzle of olive oil and more salt & pepper as needed.  A glass of vino and/or a green salad goes nicely with this meal.  Enjoy.

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This one will surprise you and impress your guests!  It is delicious…but then everything is delicious when there is bacon involved.  This was my first time eating persimmons and the verdict was Double Yum.  An easy 3 ingredient appetizer if you do not count the salt and pepper for seasoning.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

Bacon Wrapped Persimmons
 
1 lb sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thirds
8 persimmons, cored and sliced into 6 wedges each (think delicate and bite sized)
1/4 cup Tarragon vinegar for glazing
Salt & Pepper
Toothpicks
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400F

Wrap a piece of bacon around each persimmon wedge. Secure with a toothpick and arrange on rimmed baking pans lined with parchment.

Place pans on top and bottom thirds of oven and roast for 20 minutes. Flip the wedges over, rotate pans and increase heat to 425F to crisp the bacon, cooking an additional 15-20 minutes.

Remove pans from oven, brush wedges with tarragon vinegar, season with salt & pepper and serve immediately.

Serves approximately 10

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I had a pork tenderloin sitting in the fridge for a couple of days taking up space.  Original plans were to stir fry it but it never happened.  Sometimes inspiration takes awhile.

With an activity night upon us and my pork about to be evicted I decided to mix together a maple syrup/mustard glaze and BBQ it instead.

Husband helped by making the seasoning rub (ok and doing the BBQing). He did not measure and so these are estimates only.

Seasoning Rub
1/8 tsp seasoning salt (we use the msg free salt)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp steak, pork or meat spice mix
1 tbsp oil

Mix seasonings and oil together in bowl and rub into your pork tenderloin. Set aside on counter.

The Glaze

1 tbsp dijon type mustard
1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup (I use the real stuff)
1 pork tenderloin

I had some garlic dijon mustard in the fridge that needed some adventure. If you don’t have this just use regular dijon mustard. Mix mustard(s) and maple syrup together in a bowl. Set aside with pastry type brush for glazing later.

Grill pork over low heat on natural gas BBQ for about 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 170F. At about 15 minutes start basting with your glaze. Continue to baste (and turn pork) every 5 minutes until pork is done. If you have leftover glaze disgard. When done put your pork on a platter and tent it for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

The flavour is lovely!

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I’m not sure why I haven’t posted this one before.  Made it for dinner guests in the past..making it for dinner guests this weekend.  It’s so simple and rustic.  Finishing this dish with a Balsamic Drizzle gives it an elegant appearance when you bring it to the table.

Balsamic Drizzle is not something many have heard of. I first heard about it from a cookbook by Robert Rainford (2006).  Rachael Ray uses it in this dish and it is fabulous and easy to make!

Adapted from Rachael Ray

Roasted Chicken & Sausages

4 pieces bone-in chicken thighs/legs attached
1 lb sausages (I love spolumbos with this dish)
3 tbsp oil
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, 2 of them finely chopped
8 sprigs fresh thyme, 4 of them finely chopped
12 baby potatoes
6-8 shallots, halfed and peeled (spanish onions would work as well)
1 lb bunch black seedless grapes snipped into small clusters (do not take them off stems)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Balsamic Drizzle

First Step make your Drizzle
2 cups of Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Brown Sugar

You can make this without the brown sugar…it’s your choice. Put the balsamic vinegar into a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to low and let simmer 20-30 minutes. It should become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. At this point you should have approx. 1/2 cup. Let cool. Pour into storage container and keep in fridge if not using right away. Otherwise set aside until ready to use.

Main Dish
Preheat oven to 425F. In a large roasting pan add your chicken, sausages and 1-2 tbsp of your oil. Toss to combine. Season with chopped rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.

In a bowl toss the shallots, potatoes, black grapes and remaining oil. Add another pinch of Salt & Pepper and place in roasting pan with the meat. You can either bundle your rosemary/thyme sprigs or just toss them into the pan.

Roast 45-60 minutes until meat juices run clear and meat is crispy on the outside.

To serve arrange everything nicely on a clean platter adding pan juices. Lightly pour on your balsamic drizzle and bring to the table. With this dish you could serve some steamed broccoli, asparagus or a green salad of sorts! Enjoy!

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