Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops

Apples and pork always go well together.  This is an apple cider glaze that you place on top of the chops after you fry, bake or grill them.  It will caramelize so you don't want the glaze to make contact with your cooking surface or else it might stick.

Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops

4 pork chops
salt & freshly ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil 

Grill or bake your pork chops until fully cooked.  While they are cooking, mix together the following ~

1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground crushed red pepper

Cook to a simmer.  In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup cold water and 2 tsp cornstarch.  Whisk into cider mixture.  Cook until it thickens.  Brush onto cooked pork chops.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blackberry Lemon Bars

It's Spring or supposed to be.  It's kind of hard to tell when the wind is blowing at around 30 mph.  A good day for baking and crafting.  I took an old recipe and tweaked it.  I hadn't made jam bars in years but I have lots on jam on hand so I updated my old recipe into something new.  I used the lemon juice and zest to cut some of the sweetness of the jam.

Blackberry Lemon Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats

1 cup blackberry jam
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

Cream together butter and dark brown sugar in a medium sized bowl.   Add in cinnamon, baking soda and flour.  Mix until the flour is all incorporated.  Using a pastry blender mix in the oats.  Pat 2/3 of the mixture in a greased 8 x 8 baking pan.  Spread out jam mixture on  top, leave a space of 1/4" next to the edges so it doesn't bubble over and cause you problems when you try to remove the bars from the pan. Sprinkle the remaining dough on top of the jam evenly.  Bake for 35 minutes at 350°.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

Are you planning on feeding a group an Italian meal?  Maybe a lasagna, salad and some garlic bread.  This is perfect for that.  Pull apart breads are always fun.  Normally I use a round sour dough but I wanted to try using a French bread for this recipe.  It was soft on the inside and crusty on the out.  Perfect for any Italian meal.

Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

1 French bread
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp parsley
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cross hatch cut the French bread in generous 1" slices.  Cut down, but not completely through to the bottom.  Stop about 1/4" before you hit bottom.  Place the bread on a large sheet of aluminum foil and draw up the sides around the bread.  In a small pan, melt the butter and stir in the garlic powder and parsley.  Pour evenly over the bread, trying to hit every square.  Cover the bread with another piece of aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes in a 350°. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Italian Twice Baked Potatoes

These twice baked potatoes are a tasty side to a serving of ham, chicken or beef.  Creamy and cheesy, you could just make a meal of one of these on it's own.  I chose to bake mine in the oven without being wrapped in aluminum foil for a crispy exterior that makes it easier to scoop out the potato and refill.  I used an ice cream scoop to remove the center of the potato.

Italian Twice Baked Potatoes

 2 large Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup Fontina, grated
1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
2 slices Prosciutto, cut into small ribbons
1/4 tsp sea salt (taste before adding to adjust the amount)
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Wash potatoes.  Poke holes into skin with a fork and bake under fork tender.  The length of baking time will depend on the size and type of the potatoes.    Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.  Cut the upper third of the potato off and scoop our the middle and put into a bowl.  With a fork, stir in the butter and cheese.  Add in seasonings and then the prosciutto.  Spoon mixture back into the shells and bake for an additional 20 minutes at 350°.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Breakfast Fried Rice

Today was one of those mornings that I had the perfect collection of breakfast odds and ends to throw together to create a tasty start to the day.  And I had some leftover rice to complete the fried rice breakfast but I did omit the onions and garlic that I normally add to my fried rice dishes.

Breakfast Fried Rice

4 pieces bacon, cut into small slices, cooked and drained
1 apple sausage link, sliced into coins
4 oz breakfast sausage, crumbled and cooked
2 cups rice, preferably cooked the day before but 4 hours before works too
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup carrots, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup peas
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Chili garlic sauce

In a large frying pan or wok,  put in carrots and olive oil and cook until tender.  Add in peas and cook for a couple minutes.  Pour beaten egg on top and stir until cooked.  Add in meats, rice and sauces and mix together.  Serve when the meats and rice are heated.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Double Dark Chocolate Bread

I have an excess of buttermilk and have been finding different ways to use it.  What better way than with a decadent dark chocolate bread.  It's moist and you get an extra treat with dark chocolate chips mixed throughout and in every bite.  

Double Dark Chocolate Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 extra large eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup double-dutch dark cocoa

1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp flour

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs.  Mix in baking powder, soda and salt.  Alternate adding in some of the buttermilk and flour and cocoa.  In a small bowl, mix together the dark chocolate chips and 1 tsp flour.  This will coat them so they do not sink to the bottom of the bread.  Gently fold the chips into the batter.  Pour into a greased bread pan.  Bake for 70 minutes at 350°.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Turkey Cutlets & Sauce

I've long forgotten the turkey overload at the holidays and picked up some turkey cutlets from the grocery store.  I liked the sauce that I made last week so I tweaked it just a bit and served the cutlets with some orzo pasta and peas for a light dinner.

Turkey Cutlets & Sauce

1.3# of turkey cutlets (that was what was in the package I bought but any size will do), pounded 1/4" thick and cut into smaller serving size pieces
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

Create a flour dredge with the above ingredients.  Heat a large frying pan with 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and dredge the breast pieces before placing in the pan.  Lightly brown on both sides and place in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan and cover with aluminum foil while finishing cooking the remaining pieces.  Heat your oven to 350° and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the turkey is 165°.  

In the pan you used to brown the cutlets, add in the following ~

1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk

Heat and allow to reduce until it's cut in half.  Stir in 2 tbsp lemon juice and serve over the turkey cutlets.