I picked caramelized pork slices for my first recipe to follow. I found this one in my Taste of Home Cookbook. I was a little skeptical at first that it would be so delicious; orange juice, brown sugar and molasses sounded a little too simple of a combination to make a delicious feast.
Please forgive the quality of my pictures; I do not like my new camera! If you’ve been following me since my first post in 2011 I think you’ve seen some beautiful pictures of food (a few not so good but for the most part….). However my beloved camera has a fleck of something between the lenses so I decided to spring for a “cheap” camera; either I don’t know how to use it or it really sucks! I am leaning towards the latter as I don’t want to be the one at fault! If I’d realized the pictures were so bad I’d have gotten out the old camera but alas I have eaten dinner so there is nothing to show now.
Caramelized Pork Slices
1 pound pork tenderloin cut into one inch slices
2 teaspoons oil
2 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs orange juice
1 Tbs molasses
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Flatten pork slices to 1/2 inch thick. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium high; brown pork on both sides. Remove and set aside; keeping warm. In same skillet reduce heat slightly and saute garlic for one minute. Add brown sugar, orange juice, molasses, salt and pepper. Return pork to skillet and cook until pork is cooked through flipping occasionally.
A couple of amazing things happened as I cooked this. The “sauce” sort of candies as it cooks; hence the caramelized…. I used a really big skillet so my husband was in awe of watching the “searing hot flavor bubbles” dance in the pan. I flipped my pork a few times; I probably should have let it set on one side a bit longer to intensify the caramelization but I got antsy. I tried not to change anything about the recipe; I even measured my oil, salt and pepper; I did however squeeze my own orange juice for the tablespoon it needed. If I make it again I probably wouldn’t saute the garlic; I prefer a fresher taste to my garlic and sauteing at that intense of a temperature in such a large pan it lends to browning; which brings out a nutty flavor but can easily get bitter if taken too far. Taste of Home credits Elisa Lochridge with this recipe and I must say “way to go Elisa” a delicious recipe indeed.
I decided for the new year to make a simple resolution, or at least one that seems simple: Try a new recipe or item each week. So this could be buying a food I’ve never eaten or ordering something I wouldn’t normally eat from a menu and of course making a new recipe from one of my many cookbooks and magazines.
I thought this seemed simple until I went to fix lunch today! As I scanned through a couple of cookbooks I realized I am missing ingredients from every recipe!
No canned green chili peppers, no tomato sauce, no fresh mushrooms…. you get the idea.
I’ve got a jar of jalapeno in the fridge, spaghetti sauce, canned tomatoes, and a can of mushrooms so I could have easily changed any one of the recipes I came across but that sort of defeated my resolution to try a new recipe! So lunch became one of our favorites; black bean and beef soft tacos with no recipe of course.
With any luck I can find a fantastic recipe for tuna steaks for dinner since this week is almost over! Let the challenge begin.
I know it sounds crazy but I just couldn’t resist pairing two of my favorite foods. It was amazing!
If you haven’t read about this in my earlier posts the best way to prepare a spaghetti squash is to bake it whole. Pierce it a couple of times with a fork or knife and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour. Do this ahead of time; a day in advance, an hour in advance or whatever works for your time schedule. Once cool enough to handle cut in half, remove seeds and then using a fork fluff the “spaghetti” out of the shell.
So on to the recipe. In a large skillet heat up a bit of olive oil or butter. Saute squash about 5 minutes to heat through. Toss with your favorite homemade salsa. I used a simple tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice version but you can use something like the salsa fresco recipe, the tomatillo salsa recipe or my roasted jalapeno salsa recipe.
If you need some ideas ~ Just click on the kind of salsa you’d like to try for a quick link to the recipe.
I decided for breakfast a soft-cooked egg sounded delicious. I haven’t made one in years; well come to think of it I don’t think I have ever made one.
All the articles I read made it sound simple. Bring the water to a boil and submerge the egg; cook exactly 3 minutes, drain and cover with cool water to stop the cooking.
Some recipes said 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 minutes for soft; 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 for medium. Another suggestion I read was to bring the egg to room temperature first; but the practicality of warming up an egg first thing in the morning as you are getting ready for the day isn’t really feasible.
So, straight from the carton to the gently boiling water I went; I opted for 4 minutes to ensure the whites were cooked. I wish I’d taken pictures before throwing them away because not only were the whites still quite runny but the shells stuck like crazy! Would salt or vinegar in the water have helped? I will have to research this a bit further although poaching seems much more appealing to me right now!
I must say my fried eggs were quite tasty for breakfast; maybe not what I intended but if I don’t tell my husband he’ll still think I am an amazingly perfect cook! … let’s just hope he isn’t counting the eggs!
I’ve been dying to blog again; it’s been so long but I keep getting distracted so I must get back at it! I love to cook and all these recipes and ideas are in my head; this is the best way to get them out!
Today I went with a simple tomatillo salsa. I’ve always cooked my tomatillos; I just discovered how tasty they are raw! So sweet and delicious.
1/3 cup tomatillo ~ husked – deseeded and chopped
1/3 cup tomato – diced
1 Tbs onion – minced
1 tsp jalapeno – minced
1/2 tsp fresh garlic – minced
juice of half a lime
pepper and cilantro if desired
This is so simple to make. Just dice / chop / mince the ingredients and toss together in a bowl a little while before serving. I added pepper and fresh cilantro to mine ~ I didn’t use any salt but that’s up to you; taste it first and go from there!
I decided to give a light version of Chicken Marsala a try. Over all it came out pretty well; not perhaps as rich as the versions with butter but still quite tasty indeed. I made enough for just the two of us and only counted for 4 1/2 points on my weight watchers program!
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tsp olive oil
8 o.z. chicken breast – cut into 2 ~ 4 o.z. portions flattened slightly
a sprinkle of thyme, salt and pepper
1/3 cup Marsala wine
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 Tbs cold water
2 tsp cornstarch
In medium skillet heat olive oil and saute mushrooms about 5 minutes. Push mushrooms to side and add chicken breasts, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes each side or until browned. Add Marsala and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook about 5 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Combine cold water and cornstarch in small bowl. Add to simmering broth; stir until thickened.
I decided to make a simple chicken and noodle soup today. I like mine hearty without an over abundance of broth and best of all I like it with a homemade chicken broth which I just happened to have made yesterday. I joined weight watchers so I am obsessing a little over what I eat and how many points it is.
It’s quite a change for me but I wanted to get a bit healthier without sacrificing my favorite foods so here is my first recipe on the new diet. I calculated it as 4 points a cup; I ate two cups for lunch. I think my point calculation is pretty accurate; I wasn’t sure on the broth / stock so I went with the calculations of value for the name brand canned type.
Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup
8 cups seasoned chicken broth; your favorite brand or homemade
3 cups sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
6 o.z. Amish style egg noodles
12 o.z. cooked chicken
salt and pepper or any other spices desired
Heat broth in large pot. Add carrots, celery, and noodles. Cooke for about 15 minutes or until noodles and veggies are tender. Add diced cooked chicken and a little salt and pepper; heat though. I ended up with about 10 cups of soup once finished. The leftovers thickened up so it’s almost a chicken and noodle entree now so adjust the broth amount if you like it a bit more soupy.
I had a craving for a Shrimp Primavera today. I went with a simple pepper, mushroom and onion combination. Super tasty; I perhaps could have seasoned it a bit more but the flavors of each ingredient came through nicely as I made it.
1/2 pound angel hair or desired pasta cooked according to package directions (reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water)
extra virgin olive oil
1 bell pepper
1/2 medium onion
8 o.z. mushrooms
12 o.z. shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh tomato – cut into wedges
3-4 cloves garlic
1 Tbs fresh basil
In skillet heat about 1 Tbs olive oil. Cut pepper, onion, jalapeno and mushrooms into chunks. Saute about 5 minutes until desired tenderness. Remove from skillet and set aside. In same skillet heat a little more olive oil. Add shrimp; season with salt and pepper and cook until shrimp is cooked though about 5 minutes depending on size of shrimp. Return veggies to pan and stir in tomato, garlic, basil and reserved pasta water. Toss with pasta and serve with parmesan cheese.
I haven’t posted in quite some time and I’ve promised a few of you I would get back to it. I’ve gotten in to several new projects that are taking so much of my time that I haven’t really taken time to create any new recipes lately. I have a tendency to throw things together without keeping track of what I am doing so I need to get back in the habit of keeping track of these things. So without further ado I will post a simple meatloaf recipe I made the other day. This is another from the family cookbook. My sister Pam gets the credit for this one!
3 slices soft bread
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup milk or tomato juice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients and shape into a loaf. Bake 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. If desired top with ketchup or bbq sauce the last 30 minutes of baking. I used a mix of ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar. When we were kids we always used open-pit bbq sauce so go with the flavor you like. Sometimes I will just use straight ketchup too.
We made some of those fantastic salmon patties tonight and decided to make a pasta salad to go along with. The addition of cannellini beans, olives, and green onions made this a delicious side dish. Cannellini beans are one of my favorites; also known as white kidney beans they have a firm texture of a kidney bean and the coloring of a great northern bean. Either can be substituted if desired just keep in mind that great northern beans are a bit softer so add them near the end.
1 cup uncooked pasta
1 can cannellini beans – rinsed and drained
1 small can sliced black olives – drained
2 green onions – sliced
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir together. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.