Sautéed Pork and Brussels Sprouts

Sautéed Pork and Brussels Sprouts

I know pork and cabbage are great companions, so it made sense to me that Brussels sprouts would love pork, too. To make this, I first chopped up 1/4 cup of yellow onion and minced about 1/2 inch of fresh ginger. I heated 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and sautéed the onions and ginger until tender. I added 2 of the pickled Serrano chilies I had made, diced up to add some heat along with some salt and pepper. Meanwhile, I took a 6 oz boneless pork loin chop and cut it into bite size pieces and added that to the onions and sautéed.

While the pork cooked, I cleaned and sliced up 2 cups of fresh brussels sprouts. When the pork was a few minutes shy of done, I added 2 tsp of soy sauce and a generous squirt of Sriracha, stirred and then added the brussels sprouts and some salt and pepper. I put a lid on it so that the steam would help cook the veggies quickly. After a couple minutes, I lifted the lid, stirred some more and then let cook until done.  I cooked until the brussels sprouts were tender, but still toothsome and not the least mushy.

There was plenty of heat and the blend of ginger, chilies, Sriracha and soy gave this a distinctive SE Asian flavor – with multi-layered spicy heat that was not overpowering. The brussels sprouts absorbed the rich flavors while still remaining fresh and earthy. It was simply delicious and very easy to make.

 

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Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

I made the rice ahead using 1 cup of rice and 1.5 cups of water with a dash of salt. I rinsed the rice, added it to the water and brought it to a rolling boil in a solid saucepan. As soon as it hit a rolling boil, I put a lid on it and removed it from the heat. 20 minutes later it was done to perfection.

I put some peanut oil in a saute pan (I don’t have a wok.) and set it on medium heat. I added 2 TBSP of yellow onion, 2 minced cloves of garlic and about 1.5 inches of fresh garlic, minced. Next I cleaned and minced 1 jalapeño pepper. While they sautéed, I cleaned and sliced 2 mushrooms, 1/2 stalk of celery and 1/4 of a red pepper. I tossed them in. I then chopped a 6 oz piece of boneless pork loin and added that in to cook. I put a lid on the pan for about 2 minutes.

I had a container with about 1 cup or so of fresh pineapple. I added 1/4 cup of white vinegar and let it blend with the pineapple juice. I added 1 tbsp of soy sauce and swirled it around. When the pork was nearly done. I added the pineapple and liquids to the pan and stirred it all together. It took about another minute to warm the pineapple.

I dished up a half cup of rice and put half the sauté pan full of sweet and sour pork on it. This made two large servings.

I don’t like breaded, battered sweet and sour pork and don’t care for the sweet and sour dressing that tastes sort of like ketchup and honey. This is a very light taste of sweetness from the pineapple more than balanced by the sour of the vinegar and soy. There’s plenty of heat from the jalapeño and ginger. The strong flavors balance each other perfectly without dominating.

 

Pork Loin Chop with Sauteed Vegetables

Pork Loin with Sautteed Veggies

I picked up lots of peppers at the grocery store, the yellow and orange peppers were on sale at the same price as the red peppers, making the idea colorful pepper dishes irresistible. There was also a great price on baby bok choy, which is always delicious with pork, so I decided to make a pork chop and veggie dish.

I began by marinating 2 loin chops in a marinade of 1 TBSP peanut oil, 2 tsp tamari sauce and 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger for about 4 hours. When it was time to cook I began chopping everything up since they all cook relatively quickly.

mise en place

I chopped up 1/4 of a yellow and a red pepper, 3 baby bok choy, about 1/4 of a red onion, 1 large garlic clove, 1 inch of fresh ginger and 1/4 of a jalapeño pepper. I also had a lemon cut in half and ready for squeezing.

I fried the pork loin chops in my cast iron skillet, about 5 minutes on one side and 3 on the other. I then removed the skillet from the heat and heated my saute pan with 1 TBSP of peanut oil. I added the ginger, garlic and jalapeño with some salt and pepper and stirred them together and let them cook about a minute before adding the red onions. When they began to soften slightly I added the peppers. I let them cook about 2 minutes before adding the bok choy.  I added some salt and pepper and a dash of sriracha sauce and let cook until tender. Then I squeezed the lemon on top and stirred it in.

This made 2 servings. The flavor blend was delicious, the dash of sriracha a nice bit of heat in a rather mild blend of veggies that served as a delicious backdrop to a tasty chop.

 

 

Pork Loin Bruschetta with Basil-Feta Farfalle

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This is super easy and about 15 minutes from start to finish. First I heated my iron skillet to medium with a TBSP of olive oil. I took a pork tenderloin and laid it in the skillet to cook. Then I sliced off a 1/4 inch or thinner slice off a medium yellow onion and chopped it fine. I also minced on large clove of garlic. I took half the garlic and all the onion and added it to the skillet, away from the pork loin chop and let is saute in the oil.

Meanwhile, I put on a kettle of water to boil on high.

I chopped one mushroom into small pieces and added that to the skillet. While it cooked, I chopped up one small tomato and added it. By now, the water was boiling so I added 1/2 of dried farfalle pasta.

While it boiled, I turned the tenderloin to cook on the other side, added salt and pepper and continued to watch and stir the onions/mushrooms/tomatoes mix.

I took two large leaves of basil and rolled them up like a cigarette and cut them in very thin strips (chiffonade). By now the loin chop was done, so I put it on the plate to rest.

The farfalle cooks quickly so I tested it for doneness a few times and removed as soon as it was tender. I added 1 tsp of olive oil, the half a clove of minced garlic I saved back from the skillet, stirred that in with and oz of crumbled feta and the chiffonade basil. I dished that up on the plate next to the pork and then put the bruschetta mix (which is usually put on bread and baked) and spread that on top of the loin chop.

The flavors all work beautifully together. The pasta with the basil and feta has a sharp, bright flavor. The pork loin with the bruschetta is hearty and full of umami savoriness. Mixing the bruschetta with the pasta is a delight.

Pork Chops with Nectarine/Fig Chutney and Salad

Pork Chop with Nectarines & Fig Chutney and Salad

I had company over and tossed this together quickly. She liked it so much that she went home and made it for her husband who loved it as well. It’s a very easy recipe.

I began by heating my skillet and adding just a touch of olive oil so that the pan was hot when I put the chops on. Cooking 6 minutes on one side, I turned it over to cook on the other.

In another pan, I added 1/4 cup of white wine and about half that of water and tossed in about half of a finely chopped onion to braise in the wine sauce. Meanwhile I cleaned and cut up two nectarines and 4 figs. I did not peel the figs. I cut the figs in half and cut the nectarines so they were in chunks the same size as the figs. I tossed the fruit into the wine and let it simmer. I added salt, pepper and 2 tbsp of dijon mustard. I occasionally added a dash of water to keep it from burning while the fruit broke down. When it was done, I squeezed the juice of one lemon in it.

Meanwhile, I chopped up a bit of lettuce, tossed on some red grapes and chevre cheese and dressed with a bit of balsamic vinegar and oil. When the pork chops were done, I put them on the plate and served with a some of the nectarine-fig sauce.

 

Center Cut Pork Chop with Savory Cherry Sauce, Fennel & Red Cabbage Slaw and Watermelon Salad

Center Cut Pork Chop with Savory Cherry Sauce, Red Cabbage and Fennel Slaw, Melon & Feta Salad

This was actually tossed together in minutes. I made the savory cherry sauce a few days earlier. The watermelon salad was all done ahead and I simply added the feta at the last minute. Likewise, the fennel-cabbage slaw was made ahead.

I heated a cast-iron skillet to medium high, tossed the pork chop on and let it cook undisturbed for about 4 minutes, then turned it and let if finish cooking, about another 4 minutes. The secret to good, juicy pork chops (or any meat, really) is to resist the temptation to press on it with the spatula and to let it just cook without a lot of flipping. My mom said meat lost 1/4 of its juiciness every time it was turned and I believe it.

 

Pork Roast with Cherry Balsamic Sauce and Patatas Aioli

Pork Roast with Cherry Balsamic Sauce

Pork shoulder was on sale for $1.99 a pound, so I picked up a two pound roast. I thought about making a cardamom or barbecue pulled pork, an easy option with pork shoulder, but decided I wanted a simple roast instead. I rubbed salt, pepper and garlic powder into the raw roast and put it a 325° oven to cook. Then I fed my cat and watched last night’s So You Think You Can Dance episode. I let it roast until it reached 145° on the meat thermometer. I always use a thermometer because I don’t like overcooked meat. If you cook to 145° and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing, you can get tender, juicy pork roast from cheap cuts.

Pork loves fruit and nothing makes a cheap cut of pork feel like a million dollar entree than a fruit sauce. I picked up some cherries at the grocery store and figured a cherry and balsamic sauce would be tasty. I put 1 TBSP of olive oil in a sauce pan and put it on medium heat. I took a small leek and cut it lengthwise about 1 inch twice so it was in quarters, but still on the leek – this makes for easy cutting. I then sliced it very narrowly so that I had tiny slices of leek and tossed them in the oil As they softened, I added 2 TBSP of balsamic vinegar and 2 TBSP of white wine and let them simmer. I added 1 tsp of dry mustard and 1 tsp of thyme. While they simmered I pitted a dozen fresh cherries. Note to Self: Pit cherries in advance. I really had to rush to get them pitted before the sauce cooked too much. I don’t like rushing! I finished them in time, though, and tossed them in and let them simmer a couple minutes.

I put a quarter of the Patatas Aioli I had in the fridge on a plate and reheated for 1.5 minutes in the microwave. I sliced some pork and poured some cherry balsamic sauce on the pork. I don’t like it when sauces run onto foods I don’t want sauce on, but the cherry sauce ran onto the patatas aioli and guess what, it was incredible. I have to think about how I can make a dish with potatoes, cherries, balsamic and aioli. Just putting some sauce on the patatas would look messy, so this will take some thinking.

I added the last of my cucumber salad.

Sauteed Mushrooms with Roast Pork, Curried Root Vegetables & Caramelized Pecans

This was another quick from start to finish meal, taking about 20 minutes total. When I made the pork roast yesterday, I reserved the liqueur enriched roast juices in a container. I put about 1/4 cup of those juices in a skillet with 6 mushrooms washed and quartered and 3 slices of pork roast cut into inch size bites (about 4 oz.) I brought it to a simmer and left my wooden spoon in the skillet to stir occasionally.

Turning my attention to the salad, I chopped 1 stalk of celery, 6 baby carrots, 1/4 cup of green onion bulbs and 4 radishes. I added 2 tablespoons of the curried yogurt from lunch and a teaspoon of soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

I put my small nonstick pan on the small burner on medium high. Melting 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar with a pinch of powdered cardamom, I stirred until the mix began to caramelize when I tossed in 1/2 cup of pecans and stirred until the pecans were covered and then turned it out onto parchment paper. It made 1/2 cup – enough for 4 desserts.

Now the mushrooms are done and all that was left was to plate with some fresh watermelon for something fresh and colorful.

BBQ Pork, Jamaica Jerk Yams with Curry Yogurt & Salad

I wish I could get my cat with a head cold to eat these Jamaica Jerk Yams. It would clear his head right out. This is a very easy meal to make and takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Start with the yams. Turn oven to 450°. Take one yam and peel it. Slice it into 1/8 inch chips. In a baggie, put 1 TBSP of peanut or vegetable oil. Put the chips in the bag and shake it. In another baggie, put a couple tablespoons of Jamaica Jerk seasoning blend. Toss the chips in there and shake.  Lay out on a cookie sheet so they don’t overlap. The oven should be hot enough now to put them in to cook.

Now, slice off some pork from that roast from last night and toss in a nonstick saute pan with 2 TBSP of barbecue sauce. Reheat on medium low, stirring occasionally.

Now, Put about 3 TBSP or so of plain yogurt in a bowl and add curry powder to suit your taste. Start with 1/2 tsp and stir and taste test. Add another 1/4 tsp and so on. You could make up one small package of plain yogurt and store it. It keeps well and is good on cold macaroni in a salad.

Clean and cut up 2 leaves of romaine, cut 5 olives in half and toss on top with a bit of Greek Feta dressing. Put the BBQ pork on the plate, add the curry yogurt and pull the hot and done sweet potatoes out of the oven. Serve while nice and hot.

Raspberry Liqueur Braised Roast Pork with Mushrooms Au Jus & Pesto Pearls

So I bought a pork shoulder blade roast yesterday. It was just $1.25 a pound for a 7 pound roast in the expiring bin, so I snared it and put a dry rub on it last night. How to do a dry rub, unwrap and wash the roast. Score the meat about 1/8 inch deep in a criss-cross of cuts about 1 inch apart. Rub the herb mix onto the meat and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp pepper

Put roast in roasting pan, add 1/2 cup of chopped onion and about 1 inch of water. Now to this you can add Worcestershire Sauce or Mustard or just about any old thing. However, I happened to have the remains of a bottle of Framboise Liqueur from St. George Spirits. That inch and half of liqueur has been looking at me disapprovingly for months, so I threw it in. It was a gamble, but I know pork loves fruit, so a good gamble. I can report that it was a winning gamble. It is absolutely luscious. I put it in a cold oven, turned it up to 250° and took a nap. Five hours later…

I put 1/2 cup of pearl barley in 2 cups of water and brought to a boil. I boiled it for 35 minutes and then added pesto mix. I am not above cheating and I have some Knorr’s Pesto Mix. Instead of making another pot to wash, I added it to the pearl barley about 5 minutes before done with a couple tbsp of olive oil.

Now, taking the roast out of the oven and setting it out to rest, I spooned a cup of the roast juices into a small saute pan and put in three mushrooms sliced thin. Saute for 10 minutes and it will be done when the roast is rested. Yummy!