Running with kitchen shears.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

A pastor walks into a taco. Badum-ch! June 24, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 7:44 pm
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I really should look up what al pastor means.

Tacos al Pastor

-1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks in juice
-2 dried guajillo or ancho chiles
-3 cloves garlic, peeled
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 tsp ground cumin
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 Tbs cider vinegar
-1 lb boneless center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed of any fat
– 1 Tbs vegetable oil
-2 tsp cornstarch blended with 1 Tbs water
-1 package corn tortillas, heated
-1 small red onion, diced
1/4 c loosely packed cilantro leaves – I had parsley on hand-I HATE HATE HATE cilantro and refuse to cook with/eat it
-1/2 c reduced-fat sour cream, thinned with 2 Tbs milk

1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Place juice in a small saucepan with 1/2 c water. Bring t oa boil; add chiles. Let soak 30 minutes.

2. Remove stems from softened chiles, then pour chilens and liquid into a blender or food processor. Add 3/4 c of the pineapple chunks, the garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and vinegar. Puree until smooth.

3. Slice pork in half horizontally, then chop into small pieces. At this point I really hope you got what the recipe says-boneless-because this step is an extra pain in the ass if you didn’t (like me). Place in a shallow glass dish or resealable bag and add chile-pineapple mixture. Cover with plastic wrap or seal bag and marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight. Meanwhile dice remaining pineapple pieces. Refrigerate for later.

4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Schoop pork pieces from the marinade with a slotted spoon and add to pan. Discard marinade. Cook pork for 3 minutes. Add reserved pineapple pieces and cornstarch-water mixture. Cook 1 minute, until pork is cooked through and sauce is thick. Serve mixture in warm tortillas, topped with onion, cilantro, and sour cream.

This recipe is adapted from a Family Circle recipe.

I was so upset the night I prepared these. I was making good time to have it ready when J got home, until I saw the “marinate for 1 hour or overnight”. I had him pick up dinner and I let it marinate. I felt so dumb. I miss stuff like that a lot.  I did let it marinate for 2 days and it ended up delicious. I made it on Saturday night so J was home to keep asking “Is it done yet? How about now?” and saying “Oh my God I want to eat that right now- it smells sooooo good.” This was a HUGE hit with him. Although it says it makes 6 servings, there was only enough left for 1 taco after we ate dinner.

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Three, three, three porks in one! June 19, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 5:50 pm
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I love the word pork. Pork pork pork.
During “Use what you’ve got”/”Crap we’re broke” week, I needed solutions. Easy, tasty solutions.
These 3 recipes use a large pork roast, divided up, that you cook all at one time to make it easier/maybe ever so slightly more economical.

MASTER RECIPE: Roast Pork & Pan-Roasted Potatoes

Pork and Potatoes:

-1 boneless pork roast, about 4.5 lbs
-2 Tbs olive oil-1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
-1/4 + 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1-2 Tbs dried rosemary (about a cupped palm full if you have smallish hands, or you may use 5 sprigs fresh-I had dried)
-1.5 lbs red-skin potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces

Gravy:

-1.5 c chicken broth
-2 Tbs all-purpose flour
-1/2 c white wine (I used leftover Pinot Grigio because again, it’s what I had)

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Roast pork: Rub pork roast with 1 Tbs of the olive oil. Season with 1/4 tsp each of the salt and pepper. Sprinkle 3/4 of the rosemary (or place 3 sprigs) on top. Place in roasting pan and roast for 1 hour, 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. I don’t mess around with pork and temperatures-I’ll let it dry out and get not as delicious as it could be if it means food safety. Remove from oven, tent with foild and allow to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. The temperature should continue to rise, reaching about 160 degrees F. Save drippings in pan for gravy.
3. Meanwhile, prepare potatoes: On a large baking sheet, toss potatoes with the remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil. Season with remaining 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining rosemary over potatoes.
4. After meat has been roasting for about 35 minutes, add potatoes to oven. Roast about 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove from oven; keep warm.
5. Make gravy: Whisk together broth and flour. Stir into roasting pan and scrape up any browned bits. Add wine and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened. Gravy hates me so this took a few more minutes and the addition of a little cornstarch to get it to work for me. Strain and keep warm.
6. Reserve have of roast for use in Cuban Sandwiches and Pork Fried Rice (recipes below). Slice remaining half of roast and serve with gravy and potatoes.

 

Day 2: Cuban Sandwiches

-1 loaf crusty Italian bread
-4 dill pickles, thinly sliced
-1/2 lb roast pork, sliced (about 8 1/4″ slices from Master Recipe, above)
-4 slices Swiss cheese (about 1 oz each)
-8 tsp yellow mustard

1. Heat grill or grill pan (we used our George Foreman grill). cut bread in half lengthwise, then crosswise into four equal pieces. Layer each bottom piece with a sliced pickle, 2 slices of the pork and 1 slice of Swiss. Spread the cut side of each top piece with 2 tsp mustard.
2. Stack tops onto bottom pieces and flatted to 1/3 original thickness. Place sandwiches on heated grill and weight down with a heavy pot (I have no heavy pot so I used my hand on the top handle-not recommended on anything other than the George Foreman!). Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until nicely grilled and cheese melts. Cut in half on the diagonal and serve.

We only had about half the regular yellow mustard required for this recipe (I really don’t know how in the world I ran out), so I added in a bit of dijon and spicy brown mustard. Everyone loved this recipe-even J’s little sister who doesn’t like anything!

 

Day 3: Pork Fried Rice

-2 eggs, lightly beaten
-1 pkg Asian-flavored rice mix (I used Rice-a-Roni Fried Rice I believe)
-1 lb pork roast, cut into 3/4″ cubes (last bit of pork from Master Recipe, above)
-1 bag (16 oz) frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed
-1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
-2 Tbs light soy sauce
-1 Tbs hoisin sauce or ketchup (I had no hoisin, but I had the alternative-again, use what you’ve got!)
-2 tsp sesame oil
-2 scallions, chopped

1. Add eggs to large nonstick skillet. Cook until set and remove to a plate (similar to the first steps of making tamagoyaki). Cut into strips. Wipe out skillet (and scrape out if your cheapo nonstick skillet totally blows like mine); prepare rice mix in skillet following package directions.
2. During last 7 minutes, add pork, vegetables, water chestnuts, soy and hoisin (ketchup). Stir in egg strips and cook, covered, for remaining 7 minutes.
3 Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with scallions.

Don’t you just love easy, fake Asian food? This was the least appealing of the 3 but was also the easiest, while still being tasty.

All in all, I’d say this group of recipes is definately going to stay in my recipe box. It’s easy…and my stupid cat is pushing my keyboard off the desk to make himself comfortable for a nap, what a fattie…and most definately a time saver, which is great with the way the schedules of myself and dear husband fall. I am not a big fan of tons and tons of cooking late at night. I would love it if I still had his schedule though-I’m more of a night owl…or at least I used to be…than I am a morning person.

 

What are you doing in there? You’re not a recipe! April 24, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 6:46 pm
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Tasty 2-Step Pork Chops

-4 boneless pork chops
-1 can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup (any variation is good)
-1/2 c water

1. Brown pork chops in a skillet.

2. Add soup and water. Cover and simmer until done.
——–
Yeah-that’s getting kicked out of my recipe box. It tastes lovely (especially with cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup), but…I think I can remember it and I need room in there for more involved things.

 

My “high school sweetheart” frequently referred to “the deed” as “porking”. February 20, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 12:11 am
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Honey-Dijon Pork Tenderloin

-2 pork tenderloins (1 lb each)
-2/3 c. honey
-1/2 c. Dijon mustard
-1-2 tsps. chili powder (less if you like sweeter, more if you like spicy, which I do!)
-1/4 tsp. salt
-fresh ground black pepper

1. Place pork tenderloins in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container (I used my lasagna pan). In a bowl, whisk the honey, Dijon mustard, chili powder and salt to combine; set aside 2/3 cup. Pour remaining marinade over pork; turn to coat. Seal or cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably a few extra, turning occasionally.

2. Drain and discard marinade and sprinkle the freshly ground black pepper over the tenderloins. Grill pork, covered, over indirect medium heat for 8-9 minutes on each side or until meat juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 160-170 F. (I grilled mine at 350 F on the George Foreman for 6-7 minutes on each side, then sliced into about 1″ slices and grilled those flat)

3. In a saucepan, warm the reserved sauce; serve with the pork.

Makes 6 servings. 

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The sauce was yummy and really made the tenderloin something special. The chili powder didn’t overpower the honey mustard-ness at all, like I had feared-it just added a tiny kick. I promise one day I’ll get a real grill.