The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Sage-Rubbed Pork Chops with Warm Apple Slaw November 2, 2009

Filed under: Apples,Pork,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 5:37 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

PorkChops with apple slaw

I’m not crazy about this picture since I didn’t get a very good browning on my pork chops.  Don’t worry about the apples being over-powering as they end up very savory.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave

For the chops:
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper
Four 3/4-inch-thick bone in pork loin chops (about 8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons olive oil (1 tablespoon)

For the slaw:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced into half-moons
1 large Granny Smith apple, cut in half, cored, and coarsely shredded
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and coarsely shredded (about 9 cups)
3 large carrots, coaresly shredded (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

  1. To make the chops, combine the sage, garlic, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixuture all over the pork chops and let them sit at room temperature for 10 mibutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until good and hot. Add the chops and brown well on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate.
  3. To make the slaw, carefully wipe out the pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion, apple, and sage. Cook, stirring a few times, until softened and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cabage, carrots, vinegar, and salt and continue cooking until the cabbage and carrots begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and return the pork chops to the pan, burying them in the vegetable mixture. Cover and cook just until the pork chops have just a slight blush in the center, 5 to 7 minutes longer.
  4. To serve, arrange the warm slaw on individual plates and top with a pork chop and some pan juices.
 

Spanish-Style Brine & Rub for Pork Tenderloin with Maduros and Spicy Slaw January 13, 2009

spanish-pork

After brining our Thanksgiving turkey, I was hooked on the method.  This book includes several brining recipes for pork and I really wanted to give one a try.  This was fantastic!  If you love pork and intense flavor this recipe is for you!  Think Bobby Flay.   I just love Spanish flavors and this recipe really hits the mark.  I had 2 plantains ripe on the counter and was excited to make Maduros (or fried plantains).  There is a small Peruvian place in the Upper East Side of Manhattan (Pio Pio) that has the best maduros and chicken you will ever eat.  Mine didn’t come out quite as good (but we still ate every last bite so you know this is good!) and I think it was because my oil wasn’t hot enough.  I made a spicy slaw to serve with the pork as well. 

Source:  Bruce Aidells’s Complete Book of Pork; I recently got this book as a gift and it really is a go to book for pork.  My changes are in green.

Spanish Style Brine

3 1/2 cups cold water

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar)

1 cup ice cubes

4 bone-in rib pork chops (about 3 pounds total) 1.5 pound pork tenderloin

1.  Pour the water into a large bowl or plastic storage tub.  Stir in the salt and continue stirring until the salt dissolves.  Stir in the sugar and vinegar and continue stirring until they dissolve.  Add the ice cubes and stir to chill the mixture down.  It should be 45 F or colder on an instant-read thermometer.  Add the pork, cover, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.  Remove the pork and discard the brine.  Pat dry with paper towels, and either proceed with the recipe or cover with plastic wrap.  The pork can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before being cooked.

Spanish Style Rub

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon of chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoons sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar)

1.  Combine all above ingredients.  Coat the brined pork generously on both sides with the rub.  Set the chops aside while you prepare a grill.  

2.  I used a gas grill and cooked the pork uncovered high heat 3 minutes per side (6 minutes total) and then covered for an additional 10 minutes.  Pork reached an internal temperature of 145 F and juices were no longer pink.  

3.  Slice pork and serve with spicy coleslaw, avocados, bell pepper, and maduros (below).

 

maduros

Maduros (Fried plantains)

2 ripe plantains (yellow with some black spotting)

Canola oil

1.  Slice plantains on the bias.   

2.  Heat oil in a small saucepan until very hot.  Oil should reach to top of plantains.  Oil must be very hot or it will soak into the plantains while cooking.  Cook plantains 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel to drain.

 

spicy-slaw

Spicy Slaw

4-5 cups precut slaw mix

1/2 cup low-fat mayo

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon white sugar

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 

1 teaspoon Frank’s hot sauce

salt & pepper

1.  Combine first 6 ingredients.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Serve immediately if you prefer a crunchy slaw or chill in refrigerator for a few hours.

 

Platinum Chef Challenge #10 Results! November 27, 2008

When Lisa from Lime in the Coconut chose my entry as the winner for Platinum Chef Challenge #9 I was honored and so excited!  But then I had the daunting task of choosing the next ingredients.  I couldn’t find a site that listed all previous 9 challenge ingredients so I did my best to choose ingredients that most likely had not been picked yet.  I thought I might have chosen ingredients that were too difficult when I only had one entry at the original deadline.  Now I’m glad I added the extension because I received a total of 5 fabulous recipes!  In no particular oder (well actually, it is the order I received the entries), here are the recipes:

Cara, from Cara’s Cravings, the Platinum Chef Challenge creator:

Cara decided to adapt a recipe from Cooking Light to make Lentil-Goat Cheese burgers.  Personally, I love this idea!.  She served it with some baby spinach and a lemon vinaigrette adapted from a Orange Tarragon dressing recipe in her Moosewood Low-fat Favorites Cookbook.

 

img_7441

Lentil Goat Cheese Burgers

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup dried lentils

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon olive oi

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 ounces goat cheese

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 large egg white, lightly beaten 

1.  Place first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender; drain. Discard bay leaf. Place lentils in a large bowl; partially mash with a fork. Cool slightly. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly. Add onion mixture, cheese, and remaining ingredients to lentils; stir well to combine. Cover and chill 45 minutes. 

2.  Divide mixture into 3-4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Cook patties 5 minutes on each side or until done.

 

img_7448

Roasted Garlic & Lemon Vinaigrette

1 whole head of roasted garlic (squeeze the cloves out of the skins)

1/4 cup lemon juice

salt & pepper

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp minced fresh tarragon

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1.  Combine garlic cloves and remaining ingredients in a blender, process until smooth and creamy. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.


Kate, from Paved with Good Intentions

Kate took a delicious classic take on the ingredients:  soup and salad.  But boy did she ever jazz up a classic minestrone by adding sausage.  What a delicious sounding soup!

pcc008-1

Sausage and Lentil Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil

5 links hot italian sausage

7 oz ham, shredded

2 onions, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp thyme

8 cups chicken broth

1 can whole tomatoes

1/2 lb dried lentils

1 bunch spinach leaves, chopped

1.  Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add sausage links and cook until done. Remove sausages from pot, cool, and slice sausages.

2.  Add ham, onions, and green pepper to the pot. Cover and cook 15 minutes.

3.  Add garlic, cumin, and thyme. Cover and cook 5 more minutes.

4.  Add chicken broth, sausage, tomatoes, and lentils. Lower heat, cover, and cook two hours.

5.  Remove from heat, add spinach, and let stand 2 more minutes.

pcc001-1

Warm Goat Cheese Salad

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 tsp dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/6 cup olive oil

2 belgian endives

1 bunch spinach

1/2 granny smith apple, sliced into 8 slices

2 oz goat cheese, sliced into 2 rounds

chopped walnuts

1.  Preheat broil. Combine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Shake to blend.

2.  Add oil and shake again.

3.  Place endive leaves and spinach on plate.

4.  Place slices of apples on broiler pan into two fans. Place round of goat cheese on top of each fan of apples. Broil 5 minutes.

5.  Use spatula to place apples and goat cheese in center of salad. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with walnuts.


Ms. Feather Flower, from Ms. Feather Flower’s Kitchen:

Ms. Feather is a new blogger and I’m so happy that she joined our challenge!  Her blog focuses on gardening with a section to highlight fresh vegetable recipes.  Hope to see more from her!  She created a spicy baked side or suggests that it could be served over rice for a vegetarian main.  I think it would be a great topping for flatbread or pizza.

 

pcc-garden

Tangy Spinach with Lentils and Goat Cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp cayenne red pepper

10 oz regular spinach – rinsed, stems removed and cut into 1/2 inch slices (or 1-10 oz bagged baby spinach)

2 cups cooked lentils drained

1 small fresh tomato, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

3 oz goat cheese 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Uncover and mix in the lentils, tomato, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover and continue cooking until the spinach is wilted, about 4 more minutes.

3. Transfer the spinach to the baking dish and dot with goat cheese, pushing it down into the dish.

4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the goat cheese is lightly browned.

 

Next we have Lisa’s entry from Lime in the Coconut:

Lisa put a Mediterranean twist on the challenge ingredients.  Or at least I like to think so because lentil spreads remind me of delicious hummus and babaganush dips.  You’ll have to check out her blog for detail pictures which will help tremendously when you make her dish.  The roasted garlic head looks amazing!

pccbrus

Goat Cheese and Lentil Bruschetta Topped with Fresh Baby Spinach

1 cup lentils

2 sprigs rosemary

2 small bay leaves

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

1/4 cup olive oil

1 head of roasted garlic (to roast the garlic cut off the top, brush it with olive oil and place it in a baking dish. Pour water into the dish so it goes about 1/2 way up the head of garlic. Cover with foil. Preheat your oven to 425 and put in the garlic for about an hour or until soft. Remove, let cool and then squeeze out your soft cloves

juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

1 bag of baby spinach leaves

1 loaf of French baguette

16 oz of spreadable herbed goat cheese (or any variety of goat cheese you like)

 

1.  To make the lentil spread, combine your dry lentils, rosemary, bay leaves, chicken stock and water in a pot and place the lid cocked over top to let steam escape. Turn the burner to medium heat and allow the liquid to come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until lentils are tender.

2.  Once lentils are cooked, drain them, remove the bay leaves and the rosemary stems (many of the rosemary leaves will have come off the stems, this is fine it will all get pureed in the food processor. You just have to remove any woody stems.) Place the lentils in a food processor, add your lemon juice, garlic and vinegar and process. Stream in the olive oil as the processor is running until you have a creamy spread-like consistency. Add in salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

3.  Preheat your oven to 350. Slice your baguette in half longways, as if you’re going to make a sandwich with the entire baguette. Once you’ve done that then slice it into 4 in pieces. Drizzle olive oil over each piece, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in your oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until bread is toasted. If it’s warm out you can grill your bread, or if you have an indoor grill you can grill your bread. It was cold outside and I didn’t feel like pulling out my indoor grill pan so I toasted it in the oven. Worked just fine.

4.  Once the bread is toasty, pull it out and spread a layer of goat cheese on each piece.

5.  Then spread a thick layer of lentil spread on each piece.

6.  Finally, top with a handful of baby spinach leaves.

7.  You can place the bruschetta back in the oven for about 3 minutes to wilt the spinach just a bit and warm the spreads.


Finally we have Cookie from Workout then Cook:

In the past month, Cookie has added some great sounding fall seasonal recipes on her blog which everyone should checkout.  For the challenge, Cookie stuffed a pork chop with a delicious sounding goat cheese spinach mixture and served with a light lemon lentil salad.  The pork chop looks fantastic as I love the stuffing idea.  


ppcporkchops

Pork Chops stuffed with Goat Cheese and Spinach

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1 c frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry

2 oz goat cheese, softened

½ tsp grated lemon rind

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 boneless pork chops

 

1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.  In medium bowl, mix cheese, mustard, lemon rind and spinach until well blended.

3.  Using a sharp knife, slice pockets into chops by slicing horizontally into the side, and almost through to the other side. Season the outside with salt and pepper. Stuff chops with spinach mixture, allowing stuffing to overflow out of pockets.

4.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and sear on 1 side until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip chops and cook another 4 minutes until done.

 

Lentil Salad with Lemon Dressing

½ c dried brown lentils

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1.  Cook lentils in pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Place in large bowl. Mix in tomatoes.

2.  Whisk together olive oil, mustard and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add dressing to salad; toss to coat. Add goat cheese. Transfer salad to serving bowl or platter.

 

So after three days of thinking I’ve finally picked a winner.  And the winner is…Kate from Paved with Good Intentions!  I loved her soup idea and it really fits with the fall season.  She creatively used all of the ingredients in a classic dish.  I really would love to make this soup.  Congratulations!  Be sure to check out her blog and the continuation of the Platinum Chef Challenge.

 

Walnut Crusted Pork Chops October 5, 2008

For my entry in the Platinum Chef Challenge #9, I decided to make 2 dishes; a crusted pork and an apple salad.  The walnut from the pork chops ties in nicely with the walnuts and apples in the Arugula Fuji Salad. Plus this was easy to make!  It requires 30 minutes chilling time but besides that, the recipe is really simple. My changes are in green.

Adapted from:  Cooking Light

4 boneless center-cut pork chops, trimmed

1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire suace

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp. ground sage

1/3 cup walnuts, finely ground

2 Tbs. bread crumbs

1 shallot, minced

Bacon drippings (from Arugula Fuji salad)

1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

 

1.  To prepare pork, place chops in a shallow dish; drizzle evenly with Worcestershire.  Combine salt, sage, and black pepper in a small bowl.  Add walnuts, bread crumbs, and shallots to salt mixture; toss well. Press walnut mixture onto both sides of pork chops.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

 

2.  Using the leftover bacon drippings from the pan in Arugula Fuji salad, add pork chops to drippings in pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Add 1/4 cup chicken broth to pan.  Cover, reduce heat, and cook 6 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.  Serve with arugula fuji apple salad and wild rice.

Visit #9 Platinum Chef Challenge at Lime in Coconut

 

Baked Orecchiette with Pork Sugo September 21, 2008

Filed under: Cheese,Holiday,Italian,Pasta,Pork — xigumdrops @ 8:10 pm
Tags: , , ,

A great dish for entertaining.  I served it with toasted fresh bread and tomato bruschetta.  It would also be great with a simple salad.  I reserved about 1/2 cup of the pork liquids prior to processing and added it to the casserole dish with the pasta.  I think it would be even better adding 2 diced fresh tomatoes and possibly some tomato paste or sauce before baking in step 3 as well. Comments in green.

Source:  Food & Wine

3 1/4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces (3 pounds with large fat pieces removed)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

4 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice

4 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cup dry red wine

4 thyme sprigs

5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

2 Tbs. chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbs. chopped oregano

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 1/2 pounds orecchiette

2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (7 ounces)

 

1.  Season the pork with salt and pepper.  In a large enameled cast-iron casserole (large non-stick skillet), heat the olive oil until shimmering.  Add the pork in a single layer and cook over moderately high heat until the pieces are golden brown all over, about 12 minutes.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and cook until softened and browned in spots, about 8 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a simmer.  Add the red wine and thyme springs and cook over high heat until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer over low heat until the pork is very tender, about 2 hours.  I couldn’t fit the stock in my largest skillet so I poured all of the ingredients into my 8 quart stock pot for the 2 hour cooking.

2.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork and vegetables to a food processor; discard the thyme sprigs.  Pulse just until the pork is shredded.  Scrape the shredded pork and vegetables back into the casserole.  Stir in the chopped parsley, oregano and crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper.  This would be a great time to add some fresh diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup reserved pork stock, and some tomato paste or sauce.

3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until it is still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes; drain well.  Add the orecchiette to the casserole and toss with the pork sauce.  Scrape the pasta into a very large baking dish and sprinkle all over the the Parmigiano-Reggiano.  I sprinkled the cheese all over the top and then “pushed” the cheese into the pasta and then sprinkled all over again.  Bake the casserole in the upper third of the oven for about 35 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling.  Let the baked pasta stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Pork with Arugula, Prosciutto & Tomatoes September 10, 2008

Filed under: Pork,Quick dinners — xigumdrops @ 10:15 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This was really good and simple.  Changes in green.

Source:  Food & Wine Magazine

2 tbs. olive oil

5 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped (3 oz package)

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 pound arugula, stems discarded and leaves chopped (I used 1 bag of arugula; I did not think this was enough after it cooked down)

1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped

 

1.  In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add the prosciutto and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic is golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

2.  Season the pork with salt and pepper, and add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until well browned on the outside and medium within, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Transfer the pork to a plate and keep warm.

3.  Add the balsamic vinegar to the skillet and cook until nearly evaporated, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Add the arugula and toss until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and the prosciutto and garlic.  Cook over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally; season with salt and pepper.  Transfer the arugula to a platter, top with the pork and serve.