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Entries in Meat (17)

Saturday
Sep212013

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Pears

Pork Tenderloin with Apples  Pears

*tap, tap, tap* Is this thing on? Once again, it's fall, which means all of my time is spent between the 4 walls of a pool deck, leaving me with little-to-no time in the kitchen. And, those few days that I am in the kitchen, I either make something simple that we've had before, or I dial up our favorite pizza place. Tonight, however, required something different. After a random hot day, fall temperatures are here, and what's better than roasted pork with apples and pears on a cool, rainy night? The answer is nothing! This dish was simple, fragrant, and delicious; easy enough for a weeknight meal, yet elegant enough for entertaining on the weekend. I can see this easily (and regularly)  filling gaps in our weekly meal plans all fall and winter long!

1 Pork Tenderloin (1 pound)
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided 
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped
1/2 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Apple, cored and sliced
1 Pear, cored and sliced
1/4 Onion, sliced
1/4 cup Red Wine (we used Pinot Noir)
1/4 cup Vegetable Stock
1/2 tablespoon Butter 

Trim the pork tenderloin of any silver skin using a small, sharp knife, then pat the tenderloin dry with a paper towel. Using your hands, rub the tenderloin with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil and the salt, rubbing until the tenderloin is evenly coated. Heat the remaining oil in a large, oven-safe frying pan over medium heat. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until the tenderloin is browned all over, then transfer to a plate. Add the sliced apples, pears, and onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, using a pastry brush or your hands, rub the pork with the dijon mustard, and sprinkle with the black pepper, and half of the thyme and rosemary. Add the wine and the remaining thyme and rosemary to the apple mixture and stir. Place the pork on top of the apple mixture and place it in the oven. Roast the pork at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until an internal thermometer registers 145-150 degrees. Transfer the pork to a plate and cover with foil to rest for about 10 minutes. While the pork rests, place the apple mixture back over medium heat on the stove. Add the stock and butter, scraping the pan to remove any brown bits from the bottom. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by half. Slice the pork into 1-inch slices and serve over a bed of apples, pears, and onions.

SOURCE: Slightly adapted from Inspired Taste

Saturday
Jul132013

BBQ Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

Bbq chicken salad

Since I made a heavy dish Thursday night, and we ate the leftovers for lunch yesterday, we needed something on the lighter side for dinner last night. This salad fit the bill. I had leftover chicken and blue cheese in the fridge, and pecans in the freezer, so it took very little planning to get this on the table. The tang from the BBQ sauce gave the chicken great flavor, and the sweetness from the candied pecans gave this salad a delicious crunch. This hearty salad was not only delicious, but filling, yet light at the same time. *See those super cute giraffe salad tongs? My cousin brought them back from her trip to Africa. They were hand made, purchased by trade. While I'm sure that they can be used, I think that they are too cool to possibly mess up, so they are just for show and I hung them on the wall in my kitchen.

For the Salad:
1 Chicken Breast
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce (we used Dinosaur BBQ)
1 head Butter Lettuce
1/3 cup Candied Pecans (recipe below)
1/3 cup Dried Cherries 
1/3 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled 
Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe below) 

Coat the chicken with the BBQ sauce and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Cook the chicken over medium heat on the grill until cooked through. Allow the chicken to cool slightly, then slice. Gently rip the lettuce leaves and place into a large bowl. Place the sliced chicken over the top. Sprinkle on the nuts, cherries, and blue cheese. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and enjoy!

For the Candied Pecans:
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 tablepoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup Pecans

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine the syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt, stirring to blend well. Add the pecans and gently stir to coat. Transfer the pecans to the baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring the mixture half way through baking. When the nuts are still hot, separate them with a fork. Allow to cool and store any leftover nuts in an airtight container.

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Garlic Cloves, crushed or minced

In a bowl, whisk together the honey, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is fully emulsified. Store in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator. Makes about 13 ounces of dressing. 

SOURCE: salad from Bake at 350 Goes Savorycandied pecans and vinaigrette from Chinese Grandma

Monday
Jun172013

Crock Pot Beer Pulled Pork-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Pulled pork stuffed sweet potatoes

I've only made pulled pork twice before, and I used the same recipe both times. It was delicious, but I'm always up for trying something new. When I saw this recipe, I decided it would be a good idea to forego the rolls and stuff a sweet potato with the pork instead. When I suggested it to Joel, he thought that was strange, so he ate his as a regular sandwich..on bread, because we didn't go to the store to buy rolls. Of course, when we finished dinner, he commented that the bread was not the right choice and that stuffing the sweet potato wasn't such a bad idea after all! It wasn't; the potato served as the perfect vehicle for the pork, and I didn't even miss the bread!

Because I am the type of person who usually fails to read a recipe all the way through until it's too late, I feel like I have to include this clause in case any of you are the same way. Because of the use of the crock pot, this meal takes a bit of planning ahead. I had it on my menu for about 3 days before I actually made it because I didn't plan for the appropriate time and I didn't feel like eating at 10pm! However, this morning, I was able to prep everything as I was boiling my water for tea, and I had everything ready before I walked out the door for work. Let me tell you, walking into a house filled with the delicious aroma of barbecue is not a bad way to end a long day at work!

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
5 pounds Boneless Pork Loin Roast, trimmed (4 pounds after trimming)
12 ounces Beer
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
2 Shallots, minced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
4 Sweet Potatoes
3/4 cup BBQ Sauce (I used a local favorite, Dinosaur BBQ…I may have used a bit more!) 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; sear the roast on each side, 2-4 minutes or until slightly golden, then remove to the crock pot. Add the beer, soy sauce, liquid smoke, shallots, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and cumin to the crock pot. Rotate the meat to coat. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6 hours. (Ours cooked on low for 10 hours and was perfectly tender when I went to pull it.)

Before serving, scrub the sweet potatoes under cold water and pat dry. Wrap each potato in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 60-75 minutes, or until a fork poked into the potato can be easily removed without resistance. Drain all but 1/2-1 cup of liquid from the crock pot. Using 2 forks, shred the meat to desired consistency. Remove all but about 16 ounces of pork from the crock pot, add the BBQ sauce, stir, and cover to warm through for 5-10 minutes. Cut a large slit in the top of each potato and loosen the flesh to create an opening. Add 4 ounces of pulled pork to the top of each potato and serve. Freeze remaining pulled pork for another day!

SOURCE: Prevention RD

Monday
Apr082013

Cheddar Jalapeño Burgers

 

Cheddar jalapeno burger

Mother Nature finally got the message that it is spring and not winter because our temperatures have been on the rise these past few days! Even though we use our grill all year, even in the snow, there is something about the first warm spring day that makes the grill scream "use me!" So, today we did! Despite some rain, we had a craving for burgers. Being that we are always searching for new flavor combinations for our burgers, I decided to give these a try. They came together very quickly and were absolutely delicious! These were the perfect way to welcome spring. Now, I just hope that this weather sticks around for a while!

1 1/2 pounds Ground Chicken (I used ground turkey)
1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Jalapeño, chopped (I used 1/2 of a large jalapeño)
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/3 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix everything until well incorporated, taking care not to over mix. Form the mixture into four equal-sized patties. Cook the burgers on a grill over medium heat until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Serve each burger on a bun topped with sour cream and guacamole, if desired (I put a little bit of bbq sauce on mine and it was delicious).

SOURCE: What's Gabby Cooking

Friday
Mar222013

Spicy Italian Drunken Noodles with Sausage

Drunken italian pasta

Even though it's officially spring, you wouldn't know it by looking outside. The temperatures have been in the upper 20's and low 30's. One minute it's clear, the next minute snow is blowing sideways in an apparent blizzard! The weather is certainly bi-polar, at least where I live. So, since it doesn't feel much like spring, I will share a comforting pasta dish that is well suited for winter. This filling pasta dish is full of flavor; the sweetness from the peppers perfectly balances the spiciness from the sausage. The original recipe says that it serves 4, but we had enough for a few days worth of food, which would come in handy if we happened to get snowed in...

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 links Italian Sausage (we used hot), casings removed
1 Onion, quartered and thinly sliced
 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
 1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings (I used a mix of oregano and basil)
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 Orange Bell Pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, cored and thinly sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1 (28 ounce) can Diced Tomatoes, with juices
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Basil Leaves, julienned
8 ounces Pappardelle Noodles 

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Squeeze the sausage out of the casings and into the pan with the hot oil; break the sausage into chunks and allow it to brown on each side. Once the sausage has been cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside in a bowl. Add the onion to the pan with the sausage drippings and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion starts to become golden; add salt, Italian seasonings, and black pepper, stirring to combine. Add the bell peppers and allow them to sauté with the onion for about 2 minutes, until they become slightly golden and tender. Add the garlic and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine, allowing it to cook until the wine has almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and return the sausage to the pan. Gently stir the mixture to combine and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer for 3-4 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine. Turn off the heat and stir in about half of the parsley and basil. Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Drain the noodles well, then add them to the pan with the sausage mixture, gently tossing to coat the noodles with the sauce. Place portions of the pasta on plates or in bowls and top with remaining herbs and shaved parmesan, if desired. 

SOURCE: The Cozy Apron