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Category Archives: Pork

An Elegant Meal at any Time – Oven Roasted Rack of Pork

An elegant meal for a weeknight is not something I typically consider. Like most families, we are just too busy to make something like that happen too often, but every once in a while our calendars all seem to mesh together, and we are all home at a reasonable time. This gives me the opportunity to make something a bit fancier during the week than what I might normally make. Of course, an elegant meal can be easy too if you take the right approach and have the right recipe. I had picked up a five bone rack of pork from the store the other day at a really great price and knew that this would be a great meal to make on a weeknight without much fuss. I found this recipe as I was searching online at Ask Chef Dennis for a simple oven roasted rack of pork that promised great flavor. In the recipe, he uses McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning spice (which I also use on occasion and have on hand), but he also provides you with a recipe for a spice blend that mimics the flavors so you can make your own if you cannot buy it near you.

Oven Roasted Rack of Pork

1 – 8 bone center cut rack of pork

Olive oil

Montreal Steak Seasoning (McCormick’s, or try the recipe that follows, or use your own favorite spice blend)

2 carrots, roughly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

6 garlic cloves, peeled

Copycat Montreal Steak Seasoning

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 tablespoon dill seeds

1 tablespoon granulated onion

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

To make your own spice blend, place the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, dill seeds, granulated onion, red pepper flakes, granulated garlic, salt, paprika and black peppercorns together in a spice grinder or food processor and blend the spices together for about 5 to 10 seconds.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a roasting pack, add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic to the bottom of the pan. Pat the rack of pork dry with paper towels and apply a liberal amount of olive oil all over the pork, rubbing it into the meat. Season the pork with the Montreal Steak Seasoning, your own spice blend, or salt and pepper. Season all of the rack to coat it well. Place the pork on top of the chopped vegetables and roast the pork in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue roasting the pork for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer or until the internal temperature of the outside racks of the pork reach 160 degrees. This will ensure that the outside of the pork is well done while the center cuts are not cooked as much. Remove the rack of pork from the oven and place it on a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing the meat. This will allow the juices to remain in the rack and keep the meat moist.

While the pork is resting, place 2 cups of water in the roasting pan with the cooked vegetables and place the roasting pan on the stovetop on a burner set over medium heat. With a wooden spoon, loosen all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and stir together for about 1 to 2 minutes to make a quick pan sauce. Strain out all of the vegetables to get a smoother sauce.

Cut the rack of pork along the bones, making even portions of the pork (basically pork chops) and serve with the pan sauce and your side dishes.

I enjoyed the spice blend on the meat, and the spices lent the perfect flavor to the dish. The spices formed a great crust on the outside of the pork so that you could get great flavor with each bite you took. The pan sauce was a nice touch as well and goes well with the pork and just about any side dish you make with it. I made some fresh broccoli and rice to go with the pork, and the sauce kicked up the plain rice a bit. You could serve this with potatoes as well, and the potatoes would work nicely roasted under the rack of pork with your other vegetables to help pick up some additional flavors. There is not much to the recipe itself and you do need a little bit of extra time to cook this meal during the week, but if you have the time to do it, it can be quite a nice meal to change things up.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Cooking, Dinner, Pork, Spices

 

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Some Indoor Barbecue – Oven Roasted Maple Chicken and Ribs

Those that follow this blog know I have long lamented about the inability I have to use an outdoor grill here. New York State laws don’t allow condos and apartments to own gas or charcoal grills, and the electric grill, while doing its job, didn’t really offer that much in the way of a good grilling experience. This has left me to my own devices when it comes to grilling, meaning I do what I can indoors with the oven and stovetop. While I will never get the great smell of outdoor grill cooking or the fantastic grill marks (though my grill pan does a good job, it just isn’t the same), I still like to make barbecue flavors when I can inside. For some reason not that long ago I had a craving for some barbecued chicken and ribs. Now, making barbecued chicken and ribs is nothing out of the ordinary – all you need are your chicken pieces, ribs and some barbecue sauce mainly – I wanted something that was going to give us some different flavor and a bit of that barbecue feel. I came across this recipe at New York Times Cooking from Nigella Lawson for oven roasted maple chicken and ribs that offered the unique flavor I was going for with that roasted, not-quite-barbecued method.

Oven Roasted Maple Chicken and Ribs

1 cup apple cider or juice

¼ cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

6 unpeeled garlic cloves

½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)

8 pork spareribs, separated

6 chicken thighs with skin and bone (or other chicken pieces)

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the apple cider, maple syrup, vegetable oil and soy sauce. Add the star anise, cinnamon stick, garlic cloves and the hot pepper flakes (if using) and stir the ingredients to combine them well.

In a large freezer bag or bowl, combine the pork ribs and chicken pieces. Pour in the apple cider mixture, and seal the bag or cover the bowl. Refrigerate the meat overnight or up to 2 days.

Remove the marinated mixture from the refrigerator, and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the contents of the bag or bowl (including the marinating liquid) into a large enough roasting pan to avoid crowding the meat. Turn the chicken pieces, so they are skin side up.

Roast the meat until the chicken is opaque throughout and the ribs are tender, about 1 1/4 hours; 35 to 40 minutes into roasting turn the ribs over, but leave the chicken skin side up and turn the heat to 425 degrees to increase browning, if desired.

When the chicken and ribs are finished roasting, there will be quite a lot of fat in the sauce. Strain the sauce and use a fat separator to remove the excess. Place the meat in a large dish along with the strained sauce and serve hot.

While there is not much to the original recipe, I did make a couple of slight variations of my own. To the marinade, I did add 1/2 a teaspoon of liquid smoke so I could get a smokier flavor from the meat. It worked out quite nicely for both the chicken and the ribs. I did not add all the marinating liquid into the roasting pan when I put the meat in. Instead, I changed the cooking method a bit. I put half the marinade in the pan and covered the roasting pan for the first 60 minutes with aluminum foil to give the meat a chance to cook and keep some of the juices in, then removed the foil for the next thirty minutes and cooked the chicken and ribs this way. For the last twenty to thirty minutes, I basted the chicken and ribs with the remaining sauce so that the meat got a nice coating of the sauce and had more of a “barbecued” look to it. I then placed the meat under the broil for a minute or two for some final coloring. While I think working with the original recipe will turn things just fine, I believe that this method turned out moister meat and more tender ribs and chicken that were not dried out. I really liked the maple flavor of the ribs and the chicken, and you could easily make this for a crowd if you have a big enough roasting pan where the meat does not get crowded, so it steams. I served this with some grilling sides like green beans, cole slaw, and corn to round out the grilling experience (cornbread would go nicely here too).

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Cooking, Dinner, Grilling, Pork, Poultry, Uncategorized

 

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Recipes for Picky Eaters | Bon Appetit

We all have picky eaters in our households. For us, Sean won’t eat tomatoes, Michelle is not a big fish eater, and I don’t eat pasta and cheese ( I know, gasp!). Very often this means re-working recipes to make it fit everyone’s needs. Of course, there are some great recipes for the picky eaters in your life that mask some ingredients they may protest about but love once they eat them. I have done it myself, using some cheese in things I usually would not eat and they were quite tasty. In any case, Bon Appetit has put together 32 recipes for the picky eaters in your life to help them learn to love some great dishes. Check it out!

By the way, our kitchen is complete, and I can start cooking again. I’ll be doing a post on Wednesday about the new kitchen, and I already have some recipes that I can’t wait to post. See you then!

Source: Recipes for Picky Eaters | Bon Appetit

 

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What to Make with Holiday Roast Leftovers- Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

The holiday meal is always a great one, but then you are left trying to figure out what to do with all of those leftovers from your roast, turkey, ham or other protein you made. Bon Appetit has put together 14 great recipe ideas with what you can make with some of those leftovers that you aren’t quite sure what to do with. Check it out!

Source: What to Make with Holiday Roast Leftovers- Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

 

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Quick and Easy Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas and Recipes : Cooking Channel

If you are still looking for some quick and easy recipes to use for your Christmas dinner, Cooking Channel has 25 great ideas for you for side dishes, entrees, salads and more that are very easy to make and can help you round out a menu that is planned even at the last minute. Check it out!

 

Source: Quick and Easy Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas and Recipes : Cooking Channel

 

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55 One-Bite Appetizer Recipes – Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

With Christmas and New Years right around the corner, if you are hosting parties for either you may want to think about some of the appetizers you make for your event. Making appetizers that are quick bites to eat and don’t require a knife and fork is the best way to go and Bon Appetit has put together 55 great recipes for items that are easy to make and try for your party. Check it out!

Our kitchen renovation is still ongoing so there is no cooking for me yet, but after the holidays it will all be done and I’ll have a brand new kitchen to cook in, so look for some great new recipes after the New Year. Thanks for following and have a fantastic holiday!

Source: 55 One-Bite Appetizer Recipes – Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

 

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More Than 23 Delicious Dinners in 5 Ingredients Or Less – Recipes from NYT Cooking

Like most people, finding time to cook regular meals during the holidays can be even more difficult then the typical weeks that go by. On top of everything going around to get prepared for the Christmas goes work, school, afterschool activities and more. For us, things have been really hectic around here as we are getting our kitchen renovated right before the holidays! I won’t be doing much cooking since the kitchen is going to be gutted and made over from top to bottom (something long overdue), but once it is done we will have a brand new space to work in and try new recipes. In the meantime, here are 23 great recipes from New York Times Cooking that use a minimal amount of ingredients and can be cooked quickly, both ideal for this time of year. Check it out!

Source: More Than 23 Delicious Dinners in 5 Ingredients Or Less – Recipes from NYT Cooking

 

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Pair Up the Pork – Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple-Scallion Chutney

When it comes to cooking pork, it seems to me the pork tenderloin is the forgotten son. Most people pay more attention to cooking pork chops or ribs and tend to overlook the greatness that the tenderloin can offer you. I find very often that pork tenderloin is on sale at one supermarket or another and since you get to in a package you can very often get a few meals at of just one purchase for about eight or nine dollars. Tenderloin is also very quick to cook so it makes an ideal choice for a weeknight meal when you may not have a lot of time to put into dinner. One thing I have noticed about pork tenderloin is that it does need some spice or seasoning to really jazz up the flavor. I had purchased pork tenderloin not that long ago and was looking for something different to do with it when I came across this recipe at Fine Cooking. The original recipe makes use of a pork loin, which is typically a little bit of a bigger and thicker roast and takes more time to cook but I did adapt it to the tenderloins that I had available and made it into a pretty tasty meal.

Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple-Scallion Chutney

2 large cloves garlic

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1-1/2 teaspoons toasted coriander seeds, ground (or just ground coriander)

2 pork tenderloins, trimmed

1 medium fresh pineapple (about 3-1/2 lb.)

1/4 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 large shallot, minced

Pinch ground cayenne

1 large scallion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Peel and coarsely chop the garlic. Sprinkle it with a generous pinch of salt and mash it to a paste with the side of a chef’s knife. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl and stir in the oil, lemon zest, coriander, and 1 tablespoon of salt.

Put the pork on a large rimmed baking sheet, pat it dry with paper towels, and rub the tenderloins all over with the salt mixture. Let the tenderloins sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°. Roast the pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 130°F. Factor in about 20 minutes per pound of cooking time for the tenderloins to reach this temperature.

Meanwhile, peel and core the pineapple. Cut half of the pineapple into a small dice and roughly chop the other half. Purée the roughly chopped pineapple in a blender, then strain it through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids with a spoon, to yield about 3/4 cup of pineapple juice. In a small saucepan, combine the strained pineapple juice and maple syrup and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 12 to 15 minutes. The liquid will become very bubbly as it reduces; lower the heat as necessary.

Set aside all but 2 tablespoons of the reduced liquid (this will be your glaze). Add the vinegar, shallot, cayenne, and a pinch of salt to the 2 tablespoons of liquid remaining in the saucepan and cook the mixture over medium heat just until the shallot begins to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the diced pineapple and scallion whites and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the pineapple softens and releases some of its juice, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the chutney from the heat and let it cool slightly.

When the pork reaches 130°F, brush it with some of the glaze and continue to roast, brushing with more glaze every 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 145°F, about 20 minutes more. Let the tenderloins rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

When you are ready to serve, stir the scallion greens and cilantro into the chutney. Slice the pork into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and serve it with the chutney.

The recipe itself is pretty straightforward and you do want to keep a close eye on the tenderloins and the temperature to make sure that it is cooked all the way through. You may even want to sear the tenderloins on the stove top to get a little bit of color on them before you place them in the oven. I actually follow the recipe and glazed them every few minutes and then in the last two or three minutes of cooking placed them under the broiler to give them some extra color. The glaze has fantastic flavor with the combination of the maple syrup and pineapple and the chutney has a nice combination of heat and sweetness thanks to the cayenne pepper and the pineapple. The chutney makes quite a bit so you likely will have some left over (which I did) and then you can use it again as a side dish or other meals or even as a topping for chicken or hamburger. Overall it is a pretty quick meal that you can cook during the week that provide you with something different to do with pork. I served it with some plain white rice, steamed broccoli and homemade biscuits to complete the meal.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2016 in Cooking, Dinner, Fruit, Pork, Side Dishes

 

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An Elegant, Hearty Dish – Pork Chops with Butternut Squash and Apple Stuffing

Since everyone is always so busy during the week and you may not have time for dinners that can take an hour or two to cook or to take the time to put everything together so that it looks nice when you serve it, you probably typically wait to do something like that for the weekend. I know that is what I usually do since dinners around here can sometimes be rushed or eaten late in the evening because of everyone’s schedule so you may not want to serve something heavy. On the weekends however, I tend to look for meals that I can take more time to put into and serve dishes that we may not typically have. Such is the case with this particular recipe I found from Williams-Sonoma for pork chops with butternut squash and Apple stuffing. I just happen to be shopping at Adam’s market and saw that they had some very nice, thick pork chops for a very good price and this was the perfect opportunity to try a recipe just like this. We do not normally have pork chops that are anywhere near this thick or even usually on the bones since Boneless ones can cook quicker and make an ideal choice for weeknight meals. This recipe was quite a bit more elegant, more hearty and looks great when you serve it.

Pork Chops with Butternut Squash and Apple Stuffing

1 1/2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced Granny Smith apple

6 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 large shallot, finely diced

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 1/4 cups toasted breadcrumbs

4 double-cut, bone-in pork loin chops, each about 12 ounces and 1 1/2 inches thick

1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons chicken stock

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat an oven to 400°.

In a large bowl, stir together the butternut squash, celery, apple and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season everything with salt and pepper. Set the bowl aside.

In a large braising pan set over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 seconds. Add the squash mixture and cook until it is just softened, about 7 to 8 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Once it is cooled, stir in the breadcrumbs.

Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Insert a sharp knife into the side of the chop opposite from the bone, making a long slit along the curve all the way to the bone. Wiggle the knife to form a large pocket in the pork chop. Repeat the process with the remaining chops. Stuff each chop with 1/2 cup of the stuffing, packing it into the pocket with your fingers. Feel the pork chops closed by inserting toothpicks through the opening to help keep the stuffing inside.

Set a cast-iron grill pan or large, oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Working in batches, brown the pork chops, turning once, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Return all the chops to the pan and transfer them to the oven. Roast the pork chops until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the stuffing registers 160°, about 20 to 25 minutes. Lift out the chops and transfer them to a platter. Cover the chops loosely with aluminum foil and allow them to rest for 5 minutes. Strain any pan juices into a small bowl; set the bowl aside.

In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and Apple and cook, stirring, until softened, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, water and reserved pan juices and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in the apple cider vinegar. Using an immersion blender, purée the sauce until it is smooth. Place the pork chops on individual plates and drizzle with the sauce or serve together on a large platter.

The only changes I decided to make to the recipe were that I added some spinach to the stuffing because I had some on hand and it was a nice addition of flavor and as I was roasting the pork chops I placed them over some potatoes and root vegetables that had been parboiled ahead of time so that everything would roast together and be done at about the same time. This also allowed the potatoes and vegetables to pick up some of the juices and flavor from the pork chops. The stuffing for the pork chops was great and had excellent flavor to it, with the apples and squash really helping to enhance the stuffing. You want to make sure you remember to take the toothpicks out of the pork chops before you serve them so that no one inadvertently tries to bite into one. Along with the roasted potatoes and vegetables, I served this with some of the roasted butternut squash soup that I had previously made to make it a nice, hearty meal that was perfect for the cooler fall weather we were having. While it may not be something that you cook that often, it is a good recipe to have for your weekend arsenal, particularly when the pork chops are on sale.

That is all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 3, 2016 in Cooking, Pork

 

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The 101 Recipes You Need to Know How to Cook | Bon Appetit

Every home cook has some basic recipes that they turn to all of the time for weeknight meals, special Sunday suppers or dinner parties. There are some classics and basic recipes that you learn along the way that you can always rely on when you want to turn out a great meal. Bon Appetit has put together 101 of the basic classic recipes, with everything from appetizers to desserts and everything in between so that you can have recipes to fall back on, learn and use when you want them. Check it out!

Source: The 101 Recipes You Need to Know How to Cook | Bon Appetit

 

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