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Pork Chops with Bourbon-Peach Mostarda Pan Sauce

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Today’s post has been on my mind since I first made the Peach Mostarda last year. The first thing I thought when I tried it was that it would be fabulous on pork chops… but it’s taken me until now to actually do so. The point of today’s post is actually pan sauces, which is a wonderful but basic technique. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I LOVE sauce. I often order extra sauce anywhere from bbq places to chinese, and this recipe is all about the sauce.

First, a little about pan sauces. The basic technique is to take a pan where you cooked meat, and use all the browned bits left (called ‘fond’), sautee some aromatics (garlic, shallots, ginger, onion, etc), then add a liquid (stock, wine, hard liquor, vinegar) and simmer it down for a few minutes while scraping all the fond off of the pan (called ‘deglazing), and finally finish with an accent flavor (such as mustard, jam, herbs, or capers) and some cold butter to enrich and thicken the sauce. You can leave the butter out if you’re trying to be healthier, but a little goes a long way here. The possibilities here are endless. It only takes a few minutes, done while your meat is resting from cooking (an essential step), and really adds an extra layer of flavor to your meal. Plus, sauce! Yum!

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Cooking Basics, Entree

 

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Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob

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Today’s post is pretty simple… with bbq season coming up, we’ll all be wanting lots of corn on the cob. Personally, my favorite way to cook it is to coat it in butter and good chili spices and throw it on the bbq, but a good quick way in the house is to rub it in olive oil, sprinkle some salt and chili powder on it, and bake it. Another good option is to use a lime cilantro butter, with a stick of softened butter mixed with a half of a zested and juiced lime, a quarter cup diced cilantro, a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of cayenne.

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Posted by on April 14, 2013 in Healthy, Vegetable

 

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Roasted Broccoli, Brussels Sprout, and Lentil Salad

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In in interest of being healthy, I’ve decided to leave this salad mostly as I found it and share it with everyone. I didn’t have any arugula handy, so tried it as a roasted vegetable side, and it worked fantastic. If you’d like a little more greenery in it, feel free to follow the link below in the actual recipe to the original post I got it from. If you want a little less healthy of an option, I bet this would be amazing with some crumbled bacon. Mmmm bacon. Sorry.Got distracted there for a moment. Anyway, on to the recipe.

Start out by preheating an oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Have you noticed yet how much I love my silpat? Cut the broccoli into bite sized chunks and cut the brussels sprouts in half through the stem. Toss everything in olive oil. Bake 10 minutes, stir, bake another 10, and if the vegetables are crisp-tender and well browned, pull them out. If not, toss them again and bake until they are.

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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Healthy, Salad, Vegetable

 

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Challah

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Another Tuesday, and another essential cooking technique. Today’s post is done with help from my friend Melissa, who bakes amazing bread. So, with her help, we’re going to learn how to make a yeast bread.

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Posted by on April 9, 2013 in Baking, Cooking Basics

 

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Frito Pie

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After the healthy vegetable panini and feta cheese spread posts that I’ve done lately, it’s time to post something indulgent: a classic Frito pie. I guess the difference between a Frito pie and boat is that boats are in the small bags of Fritos? I don’t know. Anyway, this is a simple chili with some Dubliner cheese (cheddar is fine, or pepper jack) over Fritos.

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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Appetizer/Snack

 

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Roasted Vegetable Panini

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Today marks the start of a new series of posts on this blog, which I’m calling Technique Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I’ll post a new dish which features a basic cooking technique, and go over that technique in greater than usual detail. Hopefully this will help everyone learn a bit more about the nuts and bolts of cooking.

Today we’re going to be broiling vegetables. Broiling is wonderful for browning, melting crumbs, and cooking thin foods. For example, it’s great for fish, thin vegetables, and garlic bread. It’s not good for thicker foods, such as potatoes, large cuts of meat, or actually baking bread. Generally broiling is done 4-5″ from the heating element of your oven (measured to the top of the food, not the rack), so I usually use the second rack down in my oven. If I’m broiling something very burn-sensitive like a quick brown on a breadcrumb topping, though, the third down might be better for more even browning and less chance of burning. You want to watch the food closely when broiling, since the difference between browned and burnt is less than a minute.

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Feta Cheese Spread

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This is going to be a short post… first, I’m not entirely awake yet, and second, this is a pretty simple recipe. It’s also kind of a pre-post for a roasted vegetable panini that I’ll post in a few days, but I wanted separate recipes since this is a really tasty spread.

Anyway, start with feta cheese, sour cream, fresh dill, kosher salt (I’m using a roasted tomato salt, hence the red, but kosher is fine), a diced garlic clove, and a bit of lemon juice.
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