Monday, September 29, 2014

Smothered Pork Chops

I made this recipe ages ago and now here I am looking longingly at the pictures.

Also, little known fact: I had no idea that gravy is delicious.

Now, for the recipe!

Smothered Pork Chops
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook

3 slice of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tbsp flour
1 3/4 cup beef broth
4 center cut pork chops
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 tbsp water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

1. Fry bacon in a small sauce pan over medium heat, until lightly browned. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat and whisk in flour.  Cook, whisking frequently, until mixture has browned. Whisk in broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cover.
2. Pat chops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Add onions, salt, and water.  Cook until onions are browned and softened.  Stir in garlic and thyme. Place chops in the skillet and cover with onions. Pour in the warmed sauce.  Reduce heat to low, cover, cook about 30 minutes, until pork is cooked through.
3. Transfer chops to a serving platter.  Increase heat to medium high and simmer sauce rapidly, stirring frequently, until thickened. Pour sauce over chops, garnish with bacon and parsley.

Check out those fresh herbs from my garden!

I served these smothered chops with some mashed potatoes on the side.

Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this recipe.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I got Corningware guys! There's like a real presentable kitchen in my house right now.  It's filled to the brim with everything I could possibly need thanks to my recent bridal shower. 

I have always wanted to make a real baked mac and cheese from a recipe because whenever I do it things turn out far too dry.

Just look at that pile of cheese guys!  This recipe was intense.

Check out my kitchen helper!  I can always count on him to be exactly in my way.

Classic Mac and Cheese
Adapted From America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook

1 cup bread crumbs
8 tbsp butter
1 lb macaroni
1 1/2 tsp mustard
1 tbsp hot sauce
5 cups milk
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1. In a small skillet, melt 3 tbsp butter.  Add bread crumbs and toast, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
3. Preheat broiler. In emptied pasta pot, melt 5 tbsp butter.  Add flour, mustard, and hot sauce.  Whisk constantly, until mixture has darkened in color, about 1 minute. Gradually mix in milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Off heat, slowly whisk in cheese until melted.  Add pasta and mix until coated.
4. Transfer mixture to a broiler safe 13x9 inch dish. Top with bread crumb and butter mixture. Broil until topping is browned, about 5 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.

I'm going to be completely honest with you guys here.  This was far too cheesy and saucy for me. I won't tell you not to make this because you might like your mac and cheese like this, ATK does state that it is a "classic." But I prefer my mac and cheese with about half the sauce. And maybe that's just what I'll do next time...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beef and Snap Pea Stir Fry

I hope you haven't minded terribly that the blog has slowed down a bit recently. My wedding is coming up in a few short weeks and free time seems to be few and far between. 

Anyway, here is a kickass recipe for beef and snap pea stir fry.  I know what you're thinking looking at this picture, "what the heck is fish sauce and why would I ever need it?"  Well, surprise! I have almost run out of fish sauce, who'd a thought I'd ever see the day that happened.

I purchased some stir fry beef at the supermarket for this dinner.  The beef is already thinly sliced, but you can buy some flank steak and thinly slice it at home as well.

Beef and Snap Pea Stir Fry
Adapted from How to Cook Everything

1lb thinly sliced steak
salt and pepper
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
8 oz sugar snap peas, fresh or frozen
cooked rice, for serving

1. Marinate the beef in salt, pepper, 1 tbsp oil, soy and fish sauce for 30 minutes.
2. Heat remaining tbsp of oil in a large skillet on high heat.  Add ginger, garlic, and red pepper, cook until fragrant.  Add beef, stirring every 20 seconds. Finally, add the snap peas and cook until beef is cooked through.  This is all come together quickly since the beef is thinly sliced.
3. Serve over rice.

I absolutely loved this recipe.  The cook time at the stove is minimal, making it a great weeknight meal. I look forward to making it again.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork

I have finally taken my slow cooker out of hiding.  I hadn't used it since I moved into my new house.  This balsamic pork recipe is ridiculously easy and delicious.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork
Adapted from Skinny Taste

1 pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2/3 cup beef broth
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp liquid smoke

1. Place tenderloin in the slow cooker.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes on all sides of the pork.  Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup, pour over pork.
2. Cook 4-5 hours on low.  After 3-4 hours pork should break down easily.  Break pork into large chunks with tongs so more surface area cooks in the sauce.  When ready to serve, shred pork into smaller pieces and place on serving plate.  Drizzle remaining sauce on top of pork.

I am super excited that I now have Pyrex measuring cups AND serving platters!

I served this pork with an Italian potato salad.  I bet it would also go great on top of some Texas toast.

Where did I put those leftovers.....

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cheesy Corn Dip

This corn dip is loaded up with cheese and bacon, and it looks damn good in my new chip and dip bowl too!

Cheesy Corn Dip
Adapted from Damn Delicious

1 1/2 cups frozen corn
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled into small pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
8 oz cream cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp chipotle pepper, minced
2 tbsp chives, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients, except for the chives, in a mixing bowl.  Place dip in an 8x8 pan and cook until bubbly, about 20 minutes.  Stir cooked dip, transfer to serving bowl, and garnish with chopped chives. Serve with chips.

You like that fresh chive garnish don't you? Totally in love with my herb garden.

Make this for your next party, it makes plenty for a crowd!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bacon-Herb Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is fancy enough that you could serve it for company, but simple enough that you can prepare it on a weeknight.  Have company coming over on a weeknight? Here ya go!

I am so happy with my herb garden this year.  I have been so excited to add fresh herbs to everything!

Bacon Herb Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Adapted from Bobby Flay

1 pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh thyme
12 fresh sage leaves
2 cloves garlic
6 slices bacon
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Place garlic cloves on cutting board and sprinkle salt on top.  Mince garlic and using the side of your knife, mush salt and garlic together to make a paste.  Mince herbs and mix together with garlic salt paste.  Rub herb mixture all over the pork tenderloin.
2. Drizzle olive oil onto a baking sheet.  Place pork on sheet and wrap bacon slices around it.  Cook 20-30 minutes until pork reaches 165 degrees.

Looks fancy doesn't it?

Yum!  Don't be shy about the herbs here guys, load it up!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spicy Zucchini Potato Salad

Barbecue season is coming to a close here, so I am here to deliver a final potato salad for you.  In case you have some garden zucchini still lying around, or one last bbq to attend...

Honey Dijon Zucchini Potato Salad
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

1 tbsp chipotle pepper, or less depending on how spicy you want it
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
8 oz potatoes, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 450. In a small bowl mix dressing ingredients: pepper, garlic, honey, mustard, sour cream, oil. On a baking sheet lined with foil, place zucchini halves.  Top zucchini with half of the dressing mixture.  Cook until tender, 10-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water, until cooked through.
3. Once zucchini is cooled slightly, coarsely chop.  In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, potatoes, and remaining dressing.

This was a tasty spin on the usual potato salad.  I loved the addition of the oven roasted zucchini and I don't doubt you will too!