Baked Garlic Honey Pork Chops

 

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I won’t lie, pork chops scare me. You walk a fine line between nice tender meat or a dry jerky like patty. Every once in a while Perry will ask for something other than beef or chicken. He will suggest I try my hand at pork. Since he doesn’t ask for it too often I oblige. This is only one of two pork chop recipes on this blog right now. I hope to diversify my catalogue of recipes, and this is a delightfully delicious start! These chops are tangy, sweet and savory. The combination of flavors is fabulous and I’m willing to bet that you’ll be lapping up the sauce with with whatever side you pair these chops up with. I have to give credit to the blog who inspired me to try this recipe. If you like these chops check out other tasty recipes on Mama Hen’s Kitchen.

Serves: 4      Time: 40-50 minutes       Calories: 186/pork chop

Ingredients:

  • (4) 1 inch thick boneless pork chops (size matters here, friends. Otherwise you may end up with dry chops)
  • Salt and pepper to season the chops
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (I used canola)
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • (Optional) If you like spice throw in some red chili flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Season the pork with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Brown the pork chops (about 3 minutes per side).
  4. Set the pork chops in a baking dish.
  5. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Be sure that the honey is well combined.
  6. Brush this mixture over the pork chops on both sides. Pour the remaining sauce all over the pork.
  7. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the internal temperature reaches your favored tenderness. This is approximately 30-40 minutes. For your reference Medium-Rare (145F-150F), Medium (150F-155F), Medium-Well (155F-160F), Well (160F).
  8. Bathe these babies with sauce before serving, and plate with your favorite sides!
  9. Enjoy 🙂

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

*Recipe is adapted from Mama Hen’s Kitchen

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Pork Potstickers

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I don’t always need a big dinner to satisfy my cravings. Actually I am quite happy with substituting a bit of “finger foods” for a whole meal. That is what we did with these. I made a large batch and froze what we did not immediately use. This worked out great because not only did we get more dinners out of it but it also hit the spot when we wanted a late night snack. Just fry up a few of these and you’re good to go! This recipe offers a blast of flavor. It is sweet, salty and spicy. The pork is tender with crispy bits of cabbage an onions all wrapped in a crunchy pan fried shell. I’ve always find these as a treat when we go out to eat but I am happy that now I am able to have a stock in my freezer to enjoy whenever I want.

Serves: approximately 36 potstickers     Calories: 65/potsticker     Time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1.5 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more if you like it hot
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 36 circular wonton wrappers,
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine pork, cabbage, garlic, green onions, hoisin sauce, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and white pepper.
  2. Place a wrapper on a clean and dry work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of each wrapper. Gently rub the edges of the wrapper with a little bit of water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal. Continue this process with wrappers until you run out of mixture.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potstickers in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Serve immediately with soy sauce, additional sriracha sauce or any sauce you like and Enjoy!
  5. If you want to freeze your overstock of potstickers line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and lay the potstickers in a single layer. Freeze for an hour or two before transferring to a Ziploc bag. We do this to keep the potstickers from sticking together and breaking apart when you reheat them.
  6. When reheating the frozen potstickers defrost them and cook according to step 3.

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://damndelicious.net

Rosemary Dijon Pork Chops

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When I say I am terrified of cooking pork chops I mean “I’ve been married to a man who loves pork chops for 5 years and this is only the second time I’ve ever made them for him” terrified. I over cook meat. Ask Perry and he will gladly tell you how many times I’ve ruined a recipe because I just cannot stomach the thought of eating possibly undercooked meat. For real you guys I could survive an apocalypse off jerky and be happy as a clam. Perry kept dropping hints that he was craving the comforts of a home-cooked pork chop so I turned to my trusty sidekick, pintrest. I found the original recipe at http://www.kitchen-concoctions.com but adapted my own little recipe from theirs. The only reason I adapted my own for this one is because with a cross-country move and 2 kids (one of which is only 3 months old) it’s not very feasible to buy a 6 pack of nice brown beer to dump only one in a sauce. We’ve been sipping on coors light for the past few months, if the mood strikes, so thats what I had in sorts for beer. That being said, the sauce was still amazing with the cheap-nowhere-near-brown-hued-or-robust and I would suggest using any beer you can get your hands on so long as it isn’t banana bread or chocolate pretzel infused etc. The recipe was simple enough that even I was able to pull it off (with coors light nonetheless) and the flavor was fantastic!

Serves: 4-5     Calories: approximately 334 calories per chop with nice ladling of sauce    Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops, I used boneless about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup of beer, brown ale is recommended but coors works too.
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (+ more for garnish)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Season both sides of pork chops with salt and black pepper. Place on a greased 9×13 baking dish
  3. Whisk together beer, Dijon, honey, butter, rosemary and garlic. Pour this mixture over the pork chops.
  4. Bake pork chops for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Remove pork chops from sauce and roasting pan
  6. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and the add juices from roasting pan. Stir in the whipping cream and boil until reduced consistently stirring.
  7. Serve the chops with cream sauce drizzled overtop.
  8. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.kitchen-concoctions.com 

Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa

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Growing up Pierogies were sort of a staple in our diet. We had then for dinner at least one a month so I have always loved these pasta/potato pockets. I guess the pierogie movement never made it out west because Perry claims that in his 52 years of life he’s never had one. I was appalled upon hearing this and insisted we make pierogies straight away. I will never eat perogies any other way again. This recipe is absolutely perfect and I challenge you to try and top it 🙂 I did have a little grilling trouble (as per usual) so my recipe differs from the original which tells you to grill the pierogies. My grill was literally on fire… Like I turned off the gas and the whole grill was still in flames. Needless to say I did not grill everything that was to be grilled. I only “grilled” (and by grilled I mean “smoked”) the kielbasa.

Cook time: 30 min     Serves: 4     Calories: 580    Carbs: Approximately 11.3 per serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of Kielbasa, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 lb frozen potato-and-cheddar pierogies (or any flavor that takes your fancy) , do not thaw
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat a grill to medium. Grill the kielbasa, turning, until marked, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter (If you see smoke like I did turn off the gas immediately and have a water bottle handy…Hopefully you guys aren’t as bad at grilling as I am.)
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth
  3. Toss the onion and pierogies with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Slide into pan and cook on medium high, covered, until the pierogies thaw and the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the pierogies and onion and continue to cook, covered, until the pierogies are cooked through and the onion is tender, 4 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet or platter.
  4. Slice the kielbasa into pieces and add to the bowl with the mustard dressing. Roughly chop the onion and add to the bowl along with the pierogies and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss.
  5. Dish and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe belongs to http://www.foodnetwork.com

Slow Cooker Carnitas

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I experience much stress/anxiety when cooking pork and that is why it has taken me so long to try a pork recipe. I was extremely nervous and half expected this recipe to be a complete disaster (think zombie apocalypse in my crock pot). Long story short, this pork came out so good that we ate the whole thing in the matter of two days… 2 lbs. of pork GONE in 48 hours! We were able to make tacos, nachos and quesadillas with just this one recipe. Once you try it, this recipe is a lot of fun to experiment with. I’ve tried adding other citrus and many variations of hot peppers. Follow this recipe exactly once than refine it to your own tastes. I think that’s why I love cooking so much as it is quite a creative outlet.

Serves: 10+      Calories: 440/serving      Time:

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs boneless skinless pork shoulder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 6 because I love garlic)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and ribs removed, chopped
  • If you like heat also chop up a Serrano pepper and throw it in. HIGHLY RECOMMEND
  • 1 orange, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Directions: 

  1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper it liberally.
  2. Mix together the oregano, cumin, and olive oil. Rub the mixture all over the pork. Place pork in your slow cooker.
  3. Top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper. Squeeze the juice of the orange halves over the layers and add the two halves to the pot.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours (I cooked it on low and had amazing results).
  5. Once the meat is tender, remove it from the slow cooker and let it cool for a few minutes before pulling it apart with a fork (This is important because if you don’t let it rest you’ll loose the juices of the meat leaving you with dry nastiness)
  6. In a large pan heat the canola oil over high heat. Add the carnitas and cook until crisp on one side. Add back to the crockpot and stir it around to mix in the slow cooked onions and jalapeño.
  7. Make tacos, nachos, quesadillas or anything you crave!
  8. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe can be found at http://www.foodnetwork.com

Wonton Soup – Fake Out Takeout

ImageIf you have not noticed I’ve developed a love affair with wonton wrappers. They are just so versatile and my husband seems really impressed every time I make dinner using them. This soup was delicious and certainly compares to our local Chinese Takeout spot. It might even be a little better because we used a spicy sesame oil giving the broth a nice little kick. Also keep in mind when buying the ingredients that you can get two batches out of the pork and wonton wrappers. We made this twice in a week cutting down on the grocery bill and leaving us with lots of delicious left overs. Original recipe was adopted from Martha Stewart. I did change the recipe a bit so if you are interested in seeing the original you can find it at http://www.marthastewart.com 


Serves: 4    Calories: 283 per 6 wontons in 1.5 cups of broth

Ingredients for Filling:

-1/2 cup of finely chopped Napa or Savory Cabbage

-1/2 tsp. salt

-1 lb. ground pork

-3 Scallions, finely chopped

-2 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (if you want more crunch don’t chop too fine but keep in mind your wontons will taste more gingery)

-1 tbsp. soy sauce (reduced sodium if you can)

-1 tsp. toasted sesame oil (we used a spicy sesame oil. Also this will be a little pricey but keep in mind you can make many tasty dishes on this site with sesame oil so consider it an investment)

Ingredients for Soup:

-24 square wonton wrappers (usually found in the gourmet or refrigerated organic and vegetarian sections of your grocery store next to the tofu.)

-2-14.5oz. cans of reduced sodium chicken broth.

-1 tsp of salt

-3 scallions, thinly sliced

– 3 tsp rice vinegar (like the sesame oil this is an investment to your kitchen if you like the recipes on this site)

-1/2 tsp. sesame oil

Directions:

1.) In a mixing bowl toss the cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.

2.)Wrap cabbage in a double layer of paper towels; firmly squeeze out excess liquid.

3.)Return cabbage to bowl and add pork, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

4.)Mix together with a fork and refrigerate until ready to make wontons.

5.) In a large pot, combine broth, 4 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil.

6.)Work with one wonton wrapper at a time. It is also smart to have a small glass of water by your side because you need to fold the wontons with moist fingers.

7.)Spoon 1 tsp. of filling into the middle of the wrapper. Wet the 4 edges of the wrapper with moist fingers. Fold the wrapper in half to make a triangle making sure all the ends meet and edges are aligned. Press the edges firmly to seal. Moisten one point on the longer edge of the triangle press it onto the opposite dry end of the longer edge. Repeat for the rest of your wontons.

8.) When broth is boiled add wontons one at a time.

9.) Return to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.

10.) Simmer until wontons are just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in scallions, vinegar, and sesame oil. (trust me on the cook time… if you overcook it the wrappers will be slimy and gross… Lesson learned haha)

11.) Season with salt or a garlic chili sauce if you like and enjoy!

**Photo is an original taken by me

***Original recipe can be found at http://www.marthastewart.com