Monday, May 20, 2013

Pork and Quinoa Salad

12 ounces boneless pork chops, thinly-cut (1/4-inch thick), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup queso fresco, OR feta cheese
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces
To taste salt and pepper

Cooking Directions
Combine the quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and let the quinoa cook until all the water is evaporated.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add pork and sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, until browned and cooked to 145 degrees F., about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic 1 minute before it’s done. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.

On a large platter, arrange the lettuce.

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, queso fresco, red onion, lime zest and juice, cherry tomatoes and English cucumber. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the quinoa over the lettuce, followed by the sautéed pork.

4 servings as a main course, or 8 servings as a side salad
Serving Suggestions
Mix up this salad by adding different vegetables or varying the spices used to season the pork. Garlic salt and black pepper can replace the paprika, or you can jazz things up by adding a dash of cumin when sautéing the pork.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 360 calories
Protein: 27 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Sodium: 550 milligrams
Cholesterol: 80 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 39 grams
Fiber: 2 grams

Grilled Porterhouse (Bone-In Loin) Chops with Chipotle Cilantro Butter

4 porterhouse (bone-in loin) pork chops, about 1-inch thick
2 teaspoons paprika
To taste salt and pepper
olive oil, for brushing*

Corn on the Cob:

4 pieces corn, shucked
2 teaspoons olive oil

Chipotle-Herb Butter:

4 tablespoons butter, unsalted, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped*
1 teaspoons lime juice, fresh

Cooking Directions
Preheat grill over medium high heat and brush with olive oil.Sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper on both sides of the chops.

Grill the pork for 8-9 minutes, turning once halfway through, until cooked to 145 degrees F.Remove the pork from the grill, tent it with foil and let it rest for 3 minutes.

Brush the corn with olive oil and place on the grill. Grill the corn for a few minutes on each side, turning regularly until it is charred. Remove from grill and set aside.

In a food processor, combine softened butter, cilantro, chipotle pepper and freshly squeezed lime juice. Pulse for 1 minute until it’s fully combined.

Dish up 1 tablespoon of the compound butter on top of each piece of pork, and serve alongside a piece of corn on the cob.

*You can find chipotle pepper in adobo sauce canned in the ethnic or Latin section of most major supermarkets.

4 servings (1 serving: 1 chop, 1 piece of corn on the cob and 1 tablespoon of cilantro butter)

*Oil is not included in the nutritional value since it’s for brushing the grill, vs. the chops
Serving Suggestions
This is a fun recipe to play with. You can alter the compound butter for a completely different spin on the dish! Subbing in various types of herbs would be an easy flavor swap – try parsley instead of cilantro, or garlic instead of the chipotle peppers.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 330 calories
Protein: 25 grams
Fat: 19 grams
Sodium: 90 milligrams
Cholesterol: 100 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 9 grams
Carbohydrates: 18 grams
Fiber: 3 grams

The Ultimate Lady's Cheesy Mac and Cheese Recipe

2 cups dried elbow macaroni (4 cups cooked)
1/3 cup grated Cheddar
1/3 cup grated Swiss
1/3 cup grated Jack
1/3 cup grated colby
1/3 cup grated Muenster
1/3 cup grated Gouda
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
Nonstick spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Season water with salt and cook macaroni until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl and while pasta is still hot add all the cheese. In a separate medium bowl, using a whisk, combine the sour cream, butter, eggs, salt, pepper, and milk and add to the macaroni mixture. Spray casserole dish with nonstick and pour macaroni mixture into the dish. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Top with additional cheese, if desired.

From Food Network Kitchens; after further testing and to ensure the best results this recipe has been altered from what was in the actual episode.

Guacamole Recipe

3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Spicy Pop Pulled Pork Recipe

2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 whole pork butt (pork shoulder roast)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 11-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cans pop (I use Dr Pepper)
4 packed tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Start by placing the onion quarters in the bottom of a pot. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper, and then place on top of the onions. Pour the chipotle peppers over the top, and then crack open the cans of pop and pour them over the whole thing. Add the brown sugar to the liquid and stir.

Cover the pot, put in the oven and cook for at least 6 hours, flipping the roast 2 or 3 times during the cooking process. When it's done, the pork will be dark and weird and wonderful. It'll also be fork-tender. That's when you know it's done.

Remove the meat from the pot and shred completely. Then return the meat to the pot and keep in the juice until you need it. Divine!

Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners' sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting:

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.

Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

Supreme Pizza Dip

This hearty dip has the works: pepperoni, onions and bell peppers stirred into a thick tomato sauce, all topped with gooey melted cheese. Serve in a skillet and let your guests pile their baguette slices high with toppings, deep-dish style.

4 ounces pepperoni
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced plus 1 whole clove
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup pitted black olives, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 baguette, ends trimmed, sliced diagonally into twenty-four 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces mozzarella, diced
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Dice 3 ounces of the pepperoni. Thinly slice the remaining 1 ounce and set it aside to garnish the dip.

Heat a medium cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the diced pepperoni and cook, stirring, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, bell pepper, minced garlic, oregano, 3/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Continue to cook, stirring, until the onions are very tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it coats the vegetables and smells lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice from the can. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the olives and Parmesan and remove from the heat. Season with additional salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, toss the baguette slices with the oil and spread in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted and crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Rub the slices with the whole garlic clove and set aside to cool.

Preheat the broiler. Scatter the mozzarella and reserved sliced pepperoni over the dip in the skillet. Place the skillet under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the dip warm with the garlic toasts on the side.