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Category Archives: Entree

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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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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Pulled pork on fried polenta squares

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Last night I went to an appetizer party, and thought I’d create a new dish to take along. I wanted to feature my bbq sauce (recipe coming on Tuesday), but thought ribs would be a bit messy, so decided on pulled pork. I don’t cook with polenta much, and want to, so I decided to search up a good recipe. The one I settled on was from food blog Running to the Kitchen, and it’s a fantastic one. People raved about it. Sadly, I can’t claim credit, though I did add extra butter and cheese. Mmmm butter and cheese. I did a double batch of the polenta recipe I’m putting here, because the party was for 50, and the pulled pork makes so much. Feel free to save the pork for other uses (pulled pork panini with smoked cheddar, anyone?), or make a double batch of the polenta like I did. Anyway, let’s get started cooking!

Start by taking a pork butt (boston butt, pork shoulder), preferably large (6 lb) and bone in, and season it with your favorite bbq rub. Let sit an hour to form a crust, then cook for 10 hours in a crock pot on low.

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Drain off all the fat, shred pork in a bowl (discarding any remaining fatty bits and the bone), and mix with 1 quart bbq sauce (or less, if you have a smaller piece of meat, or like less sauce).

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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Appetizer/Snack, Entree

 

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Chicken Pot Pies

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My friend Denise makes amazing pot pies. I occasionally pull them out as emergency I-don’t-want-to-cook food, and have had a number of requests for the recipes. So with Denise’s help, here it is. Also, the filling makes quite a bit. We did a double batch when I took these photos, and had to do multiple batches of crust to make all the pies. So I’m afraid that the dough and the filling amounts don’t match, but trust me, you’ll WANT extra of these pies. Speaking of which, I think I need to go get one myself for lunch…

First, we’ll make the crust dough. In a large bowl, combine butter, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Cut together with a pastry blender until the butter is in small crumbs.

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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Entree

 

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Turkey Taco Casserole

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I always try to keep a balance, in my life and on this blog, of healthy and indulgent. I’ll post apple cranberry crisps one day and chocolate gingersnap tarts the next, or rich and creamy macaroni and cheese but balance it with a winter ribollita soup. So since I just posted incredibly chocolaty PMS Cookies a few days ago, today I’m giving you all a healthy turkey casserole. Which, as it happens, is going to be my lunch today as well.

Start by browning turkey in a large skillet, draining off any excess fat when browned.

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Add a small can of spicy v-8 and some taco seasoning, then mix thoroughly and cook a bit longer.

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Posted by on March 10, 2013 in Entree, Healthy

 

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Pomegranate Roast Chicken

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This dish, and especially this sauce, has rapidly become a favorite of mine. I’ve cooked it twice now, and used a variation of the sauce for another dish as well. The chicken is tender and moist, the sauce has incredible flavor, and I love the vegetables cooked in the chicken drippings with butter and sage. I got this recipe from In Sock Monkey Slippers, and changed a few things, but the basic awesome recipe is from them. They also truss the chicken, which I’m too lazy to do.

To start, preheat your oven to 425 and cut up a bunch of root vegetables (potatoes, yams, carrots, squash, apples, and brussels sprouts all work well) and put them in the bottom of a roasting pan.

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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Entree, Healthy

 

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Chicken Cacciatore

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Here’s another favorite dish that many of my friends request I cook when I have them over for dinner. One of my favorite things about it is how healthy it is, while also being fancy enough to serve to company. Eat healthy, impress guests, and relax with a glass of wine (or three) for an hour and a half in the middle of cooking. What could be better?

Start by rinsing the chicken and seasoning it with salt and pepper. Then heat some oil in a large dutch oven and brown the chicken.

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Remove the chicken from the pot and add in the diced onions and bell peppers. Cook until they just start to soften, then add in the mushrooms and cook until those are soft too.

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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Entree, Healthy

 

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