Posts Tagged ‘pork’

Pork Chops with Country Gravy

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

As you can probably tell, I went on a Cooking Light recipe spree last week. I can’t help it; it’s one of my favorite places to get recipes, especially when I’m in the mood to really cook. The instructions are simple enough, but the recipes tend to be a little more involved than a lot of the other “light” recipe sources I’ve used. They also tend to focus on real ingredients, instead of canned soup or other pre-made products. I like that too. Finally, the website’s rankings, reviews, and comments all help me to determine which recipes are worth a try and what good updates might be. It’s all very helpful. (They have other kinds of recipes besides healthy; Cooking Light is just one of several magazines in the recipe index. Go to myrecipes.com).

This recipe is classic comfort food. It reminds me of the chicken fried steak I grew up with. Except for the nutritional information. This version substitutes lean pork chops for the fatty steak, skips the breading and deep frying, and uses a reasonable amount of butter with low-fat milk to form the gravy. You wouldn’t have noticed the “lightness” of this though, which makes it even better. Instead of the herbs listed below, I used a ¾ teaspoon of poultry seasoning, which worked great. I served this with mashed potatoes and reduced-fat biscuits (store-bought. Not everything can be made from scratch, especially on a Wednesday!).

Pork Chops with Country Gravy
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine, June 2006

  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried marjoram
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried thyme
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried rubbed sage
  • 4  (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2  cups  1% low-fat milk

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, salt, dried marjoram, dried thyme, and dried rubbed sage in a shallow dish. Dredge pork in flour mixture, turning to coat; shake off excess. Reserve remaining flour mixture.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Reduce heat, and cook for 10 minutes or until done, turning pork once. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

Combine reserved flour mixture and milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add milk mixture to pan; place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Serve with chops.

Hoisin and Bourbon Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Still grilling. 😀

Our next grilling adventure was this awesome pork tenderloin recipe. It couldn’t have been easier to prep or to cook, and the ingredients are things that we keep on hand. (You should keep most of these on hand too, they all have a lot of uses).

The pork cooked up juicy and tender, and the sauce was perfect–just enough sweetness to pick up that great charred grilled flavor.

Hoisin & Bourbon Glazed Pork Tenderloin

  • 1/3  cup  hoisin sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2  tablespoons  bourbon
  • 2  tablespoons  maple syrup
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper paste
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 2  (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Prepare grill.

Combine hoisin sauce and next 7 ingredients (hoisin through garlic) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying pork flat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.  Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes. Turn and baste pork with hoisin mixture; cook 5 minutes. Turn and baste pork with hoisin mixture; cook 5 minutes or until pork reaches 155° or desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes; cut pork into 1/2-inch slices.

Note: Hoisin sauce is one of my favorite go-to ingredients. The spiced Chinese sauce can be found in the Asian section of almost any supermarket. It’s a thick paste made with miso, soy sauce, garlic, and seasonings, and adds a really authentic flavor to a lot of chinese dishes. I add it to pepper steak, stir fry recipes, and all kinds of things.

Here’s another tip–keep a chunk of ginger in the freezer. Even though it’s cheap, it always annoyed me to buy a big chunk of fresh ginger root and hardly make a dent in it before it went bad. Instead, we keep the chunk in a ziploc back in the freezer. I just grate up what I need with a microplane grater and keep the rest. This lets us use fresh ginger all the time, without it ever going to waste.

This recipe, from May 2002’s Cooking Light, suggests the addition of hickory chips to your grill, to get the additional smoky flavor. Since the reviews on the wood chip portion of the recipe were mixed on their website, and and since we didn’t have any hickory chips on hand anyway, I decided to skip it. Maybe we’ll try it next time. I suppose if I haven’t tried it, I can’t know what I was missing, but the pork was tender and flavorful without it. It certainly isn’t required.

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

This very tasty dish from Cooking Light magazine turned out to be both simple and yummy–plus had a kind of fancy look to it as well. I think this could absolutely be served for entertaining.

The pork slices were tender, and the sauce was tangy and delicious. Our roommate Leah isn’t a fan of mustard, but she still enjoyed this sauce. It was so good, I was glad the noodles were there to soak up every last drop. It would also be good over mashed potatoes.

Pork Tenderlion with Mustard Sauce
Adapted from Cooking Light, October 2001

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked medium egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 (1-inch-thick) slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions:

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

While the noodles cook, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the pork with pepper and salt. Place pork in pan; cook 5 minutes, turning once.

Combine the wine and mustard; pour into pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into pan; bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute or until thick. Serve pork with sauce and noodles.

Calories: 242, Fat: 8g, Fiber: 1 g

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

This was a nice, quick recipe that we enjoyed quite a bit. I butterflied or normal extra-thick pork chops, which cut down quite a bit on the cooking time, and made these a nice weeknight dinner. The recipe comes from Giada De Laurentis from the Food Network. This recipe was super-easy and will be a nice addition to our regular pork-chop rotation (There are only a handful of ways that we normally have pork chops, but I think this made the list). The lemon juice added a surprisingly delicious tang to the chops.

parmesan crusted pork chops

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops
Adapted from Giada De Laurentis’ Everyday Italian

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops (each about 10 to 12 ounces)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Virtual Kitchen Stadium with Stephanie Izard, Round 2

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Today’s blog post is already up…over at the Chicago Redeye blog.

I entered a contest to try and incorporate ground pork, camembert cheese, and haricots vert into the tastiest dish. I don’t know if I’ll win, but the dish I made sure was tasty. We ate it two days in a row and it even got David eating green beans! There’s a picture below, but be sure to check out the post on the Redeye blog, and feel free to leave your comments over there. Maybe you can sway Stephanie towards my dish. 😉

VK2 salad burger 2

Check the recipe out here.

Sweet Cornbread Stuffed Pork Chops

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Ahhh…pork week.

This is our “default” pork chop recipe. It starts with brining, which if you haven’t tried, you simply have to, right away. It’s a simple process, just requires a bit of extra time, mostly, but it makes all the difference. Brining takes plain, dry pork and turns it into the most juicy, flavorful chop you’ll ever taste. Just about every kind of pork we eat gets this same brining treatment. The sweet cornbread stuffing is just a bonus. 🙂

stuffed pork chop

Alton Brown’s Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops
Adapted from Good Eats

nocoupons

  • 4 double thick pork loin chops
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 2 cups cider vinegar, heated
  • 1 pound ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cornbread, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, halved
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. In a plastic container put the salt, sugar, peppercorns, and mustard powder. Add the hot vinegar and swirl to dissolve. Let mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes to develop flavor. Add ice cubes and shake to melt most of the ice. Add chops and cover with brine. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Remove chops from container and rinse. Cut horizontal pockets in each pork chop for stuffing. Combine rest of ingredients, and put into piping bag (or a ziploc bag with the corner cut off) that is not fitted with a tip. Pipe each chop full with cornbread mixture.

3. Grill the chops on medium high heat for 6 minutes on each side. Turn each chop 45 degrees after 3 minutes to mark.

Pork Wellington

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

And pork week continues…

The so-called “Pork Week” actually began on Sunday afternoon, watching an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats called Tender is the Pork. Part of the reason we bought the giant pork loin at Costco later that afternoon was that this recipe had caught my eye while watching the show. Pork Wellington is a new spin on Beef Wellington, which is made with rich beef tenderloin and mushroom paste wrapped in flaky puff pastry. I’ve never had Beef Wellington before, because anywhere that would serve it doesn’t care at all how “well done” I’d like my beef tenderloin–it’s always going to come out relatively rare. Pork tenderloin, however, is a whole different story.

This recipe incorporates apples and mustard, two classic pork companions, along with fresh herbs to create a whole new kind of “Wellington,” with tasty, juicy pork wrapped in delicate, flaky pastry.

IMG_2073

Alton Brown’s Pork Wellington
Adapted from Good Eats

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1-ounce dried apple rings
  • 1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound
  • 4 1/2 ounces thinly slice prosciutto ham
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed completely
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F.

2. Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl and set aside. Place the apple rings into the bowl of a mini food processor and process for 30 to 45 seconds or until they are the size of a medium dice. Set aside.

3. Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin. Slice the tenderloin down the middle lengthwise, creating 2 separate pieces. Lay the tenderloin pieces next to each other head to tail, so when laid back together they are the same size at the ends.

4. Lay out a 12 by 16-inch piece of parchment paper on the counter and arrange the pieces of prosciutto in the center, overlapping them enough to create solid layer that is as long as the tenderloin. Top with a second piece of parchment, and using a rolling pin, roll over the prosciutto to help adhere the pieces to each other. Remove the parchment paper and sprinkle the prosciutto with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Set the tenderloin down the middle of the prosciutto. Spread the dried apples in between the 2 pieces of tenderloin and push back together so the apples are held between them. Using the parchment paper to assist, wrap the prosciutto around the tenderloin to completely enclose in a package.

5. Sprinkle the counter with flour and roll out the pastry to 12 by 14 inches. Spread the mustard thinly in the center of pastry and lay the prosciutto wrapped tenderloin in the center of the pastry on the mustard. Fold the puff pastry up and over the top of the tenderloin, then roll to completely enclose, brushing the edges of the pastry with the egg wash in order to seal. Turn the tenderloin over so the side of the tenderloin with the double thickness of pastry is underneath. Pinch the ends of the pastry to seal.

6. Brush the entire pastry with the egg wash. Place the tenderloin on a parchment lined half sheet pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 140 degrees F.

7. Remove the tenderloin from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note: One of the greatest things about this recipe was how SIMPLE it was. It looks complicated. It looks fancy. In reality, it took 10-15 minutes to prep, and just 30 minutes in the oven. I’d recommend it for entertaining too, as it can be prepped ahead and just cooked quickly right before dinner. Of course, with such little fuss, it’s awesome for a weeknight dinner, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1-ounce dried apple rings
  • 1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound
  • 4 1/2 ounces thinly slice prosciutto ham
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed completely
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Directions

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F.

Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl and set aside. Place the apple rings into the bowl of a mini food processor and process for 30 to 45 seconds or until they are the size of a medium dice. Set aside.

Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin. Slice the tenderloin down the middle lengthwise, creating 2 separate pieces. Lay the tenderloin pieces next to each other head to tail, so when laid back together they are the same size at the ends.

Lay out a 12 by 16-inch piece of parchment paper on the counter and arrange the pieces of prosciutto in the center, overlapping them enough to create solid layer that is as long as the tenderloin. Top with a second piece of parchment, and using a rolling pin, roll over the prosciutto to help adhere the pieces to each other. Remove the parchment paper and sprinkle the prosciutto with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Set the tenderloin down the middle of the prosciutto. Spread the dried apples in between the 2 pieces of tenderloin and push back together so the apples are held between them. Using the parchment paper to assist, wrap the prosciutto around the tenderloin to completely enclose in a package.

Sprinkle the counter with flour and roll out the pastry to 12 by 14 inches. Spread the mustard thinly in the center of pastry and lay the prosciutto wrapped tenderloin in the center of the pastry on the mustard. Fold the puff pastry up and over the top of the tenderloin, then roll to completely enclose, brushing the edges of the pastry with the egg wash in order to seal. Turn the tenderloin over so the side of the tenderloin with the double thickness of pastry is underneath. Pinch the ends of the pastry to seal.

Brush the entire pastry with the egg wash. Place the tenderloin on a parchment lined half sheet pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 140 degrees F.

Remove the tenderloin from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

A

Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

You’re going to be seeing a few different pork recipes coming up. That’s because David and I bought a giant (over 6 pound) pork loin at Costco. It was very reasonably priced, and we bought it, intending to butcher it into loin chops and freeze them or something. Instead, we just ate pork for dinner for about a week straight.

You’d think that would’ve gotten old, but really, it was delicious. I ended up making Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, which you’ll see here, but also Roasted Pork, Pork Wellington, and Stuffed Pork Chops. I almost snuck pork into the risotto we had one night, but I decided to go with our more traditional grilled chicken at the last minute.

These pork tenderloin sandwiches are very tasty. If you’ve never had one, you’re definitely missing out. It’s pork, pounded thin, breaded and fried. You serve them on a bun, like burgers, and while some people top them with anything you might put on a burger for me, the only thing that belongs on a pork tenderloin sandwich is mustard and pickles.

IMG_2071

Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

  • 1 pound pork loin or pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into four thick slices.
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup bisquick
  • 1/2 cup coarsely-crushed saltine crackers
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • large sandwich buns for serving
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. Pound out each piece of pork with meat mallet until it is very thin. You want it to be about 1/4 inch thick. It will be larger around than the bun you eat it on–that’s how it should be.

2. Place flour in a shallow bowl, and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. In a second shallow dish, lightly beat the two eggs. In a third shallow dish, mix together the bisquick and cracker crumbs. The crackers should be broken up, but not completely turned to dust.

3. Bread each pork tenderloin piece on all sides by dredging in flour, dipping in egg, and then in the bisquick/cracker crumbs mixture. You may have to press to get some of the cracker crumbs to stick–that’s okay.

4. In a large cast-iron skillet, preheat about an inch and a half of vegetable oil. It should be hot enough that if you put your hand close to the pan, you can feel the heat radiating off of the surface of the oil, and the surface will start to shimmer ever so slightly. When the oil is ready, place the tenderloin pieces in a single layer in the skillet, and fry until they are golden and crispy, turning once about halfway through. Because the pork is pounded out so thin, this only takes about 5 or 6 minutes. Remove to a platter lined with paper towels.

5. While the pork tenderloin pieces are cooking, spread a little bit of butter over each half of the sandwich buns. On a griddle or in a large flat-bottomed skillet, grill the sandwhich bun halves over medium high heat until they are warm and toasted.

6. Serve each pork tenderloin piece on a grilled sandwich bun, with whatever burger fixings you like. Personally, mustard and pickles works just fine for me, but some people go all out with ketchup-mustard-pickles-lettuce-tomato-onion-mayo…Do what you like!

Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

David doesn’t like to shop, but he enjoys finding a bargain, nonetheless. He really likes shopping at Costco for that reason–as long as you have space and can use the bulk products, there are some really good deals to be had.

As you might imagine then, coupons from Costco are even more fun for David.

Because of a $4-off coupon, we decided to try a marinated pork loin that we’ve been eyeing at Costco for a while now. For a very reasonable price, we bought a 4 pound pork loin roast marinated in a garlic & onion seasoning. 4 pounds is pretty big, of course, so I only used half of it for this recipe. I decided to make pulled pork sandwiches in the crockpot.

This couldn’t have been easier, but the sandwiches were very tasty.

Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • 2 pound pork loin roast
  • 2 tablespoons Alton Brown’s Dry Rub Seasoning (used here, previously)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • bread or sandwich rolls for serving

1. Sprinkle the pork loin on all sides with the dry rub seasoning. We always have leftovers of the AB version from making ribs, but any store-bought rib rub would probably work, or even just a quick blend of brown sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic, in a pinch.

2. Place in the bowl of a crockpot or slowcooker. Because of the sugar content of the rub and the barbecue sauce, I sprayed the inside of the bowl with non-stick cooking spray to help with cleanup.

3. Pour vinegar and barbecue sauce over top of pork loin. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 4-6 hours).

4. When you are ready to serve, strain the barbecue sauce mixture into a small mixing bowl or measuring cup. It will be much a much thinner liquid than you put in. Shred the pork loin with two forks to get the desired “pulled pork” texture. It will come apart very, very easily. Once the pork is shredded, return the barbecue sauce to the crockpot. You probably won’t need all of the liquid (I only used about half  to three-quarters of it) to get the barbecue pork to the right consistency.

5. Serve on toasted sandwich rolls, hamburger buns, or whatever you like!

Note: This was really good. The only thing missing from this crockpot method was smoke. Next time, I’ll make a point of using some liquid smoke or hickory smoke powder–we didn’t have any on hand this time, but I’ve been meaning to pick some up. I served this with cole slaw (which began as a store kit, but was doctored up with a little bit of miracle whip, some cider vinegar, and some salt and pepper) and a side of potatoes (You’ll be seeing the recipe for the potatoes soon ). I also set out that extra sauce for people to drizzle over their sandwiches, and then stirred the rest into the leftovers, which were excellent as well.

Ranch Crockpot Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Crockpot recipes really are fantastic. Even though I absolutely love to cook, and making dinner is one of my favorite parts of the day, there is something very satisfying about coming home from work to the smell of dinner simmering away. No exception here. When I opened the door and walked into the kitchen, I was met with the delicious scent of slow cooked pork chops.

The picture below doesn’t do this dish justice. It’s not pretty, or flashy, but it was one of the tastiest dishes I’ve made in the crockpot in a while. The recipe calls for a regular can of soup, but I substituted 98% fat free cream of chicken soup–I don’t find enough of  a taste difference to warrant the extra calories in the full fat version. I used a regular packet of ranch dressing, but I don’t think it would suffer if you wanted to lighten it further by using a fat free packet of dressing.

pork-chops

Ranch Crockpot Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from www.picky-palate.com.

  • 4 pork chops, 1 & 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
  • 10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 4 lbs peeled, cubed yukon gold potatoes (I leave the skin on for my mashed potatoes most times. I like the taste of them!)
  • 5 Tablespoons real butter
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic (leftover from a Chicken & 40 Cloves)
  • 1- 1 1/2 Cups warm milk
  • 1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste

1. Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

2. Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, garlic, milk, salt and pepper.

3. Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot.

Note: I ended up thickening this sauce with a corstarch slurry, because it was a little thin for my tastes. Otherwise, I’d call this perfect. We used thick cut pork loin chops that stood up well to the crockpot cooking.