Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pork Chops with Corn and Jalapeno Salad

Here's a dish to put you in the mood for summer! I needed that yesterday and this meal really hit the spot.

Ingredients:
  • 4 bone in pork chops
  • 1 tbsp (or less if desired) salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 4 ears corn, remove kernels
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 pint sweet tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Directions:
  • Combine the sugar, salt and coriander. Rub each of the pork chops on both sides with the mixture, and refrigerate overnight. I didn't buy them ahead of time so I just seasoned and waiting 30 minutes and then cooked them. If you do it this way, I would add less salt. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a large bowl for the salad, add the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, tomatoes, scallions and garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. 
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat with olive oil. Once hot add the corn and jalapeno. I cooked for about 5 minutes. Toss in the salad bowl and mix everything together.
  • Add a little more olive oil to the pan and add the pork chops. Brown both sides. Once browned, throw in the oven for about 5 minutes or until completely cooked inside. I had my trusty meat thermometer to help me. You can cook the pork chops solely on the cook top if you want...I just decided to finish them off in the oven. 
  • The original recipe calls for a bbq but I had to improvise seeing as how we are still pretty rainy here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ham & Cheese Danish

Anyone else always on the hunt for easy and filling breakfast ideas? I have the luxury of eating whenever I'm hungry, and trust me it's a lot these days, but Brian always eats in the car on the way to work or at his desk at work. So it's nice for him to have something in his stomach to fuel him for a few hours. I know I make a lot of things from The Chew but seriously, they make so many good things! Enter: the ham and cheese danish. This one is as easy as layering and assembling but feels a little extra fancy because it's in a puff pastry. Side note, I made these Monday night and refrigerated them overnight to serve each morning...trust me, you want to reheat. It's not that great cold. Lesson learned.

Ingredients:
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup gruyere, shredded
  • 4 slices cooked ham, you can use deli meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • chives, finely chopped for garnish
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • In a medium saute pan over medium low heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add sliced onions and cook until onions turn golden brown and release their natural sugar, about 30 minutes. Add a bit of water to the pan as necessary if brown bits begin to form on the bottom. Not too much though! Season with salt and pepper. Allow onions to cool.
  • To form the danish, on one half of the pastry, place half of the caramelized onions, half of the cheese and half of the ham, leaving a 1" border around the edges. Repeat with remaining ingredients, seasoning each layer. 
  • In a small bowl, beat 1 egg. Brush the 1" border with the beaten egg and then carefully fold the pastry over the ingredients, like you are closing a book. Crimp the edges all around the border to seal and transfer the pastry to a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush the entire pastry with the beaten egg. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slices on top of the pastry. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Top the danish with creme fraiche and chopped chives.




Monday, March 16, 2015

Fried Chicken & Smoothies

I know I said last week that we are trying to eat better...well yesterday we decided to cheat and have something wonderfully indulgent. I made oven-fried chicken with cornbread and broccoli slaw. It hit the spot! I also made smoothies which I guess are slightly healthier however it still is quite a bit of sugar. After being married to Brian if there is 1 skill I have acquired it's definitely nutrition knowledge. (Do put that good knowledge to use? Of course not!) "Sugar is sugar" he would say, doesn't matter what the source is. On the plus side, this smoothie has no added sugar. Hooray!

Oven-Fried Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 8 pieces of chicken (thighs, drumsticks, breasts, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
  • vegetable oil or shortening
Directions:
  • Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot (I used my dutch oven) to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer. 
  • Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to cook in the oven). Don't crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. 
Truth be told I am obsessed with Safeway's broccoli slaw and boxed cornbread. YUM

Fruit Smoothie

I chose this particular smoothie because it is exactly what I had on hand. The blueberries I used were from our yard last summer...thank you freezer!

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup yogurt (I used plain greek yogurt)
  • splash of almond milk (or whichever milk you prefer and only if needed. I don't like my smoothies too thick)
Directions:

Throw everything in your blender and voila! 



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Roasted Garlic and Chicken Soup

Anyone else have a go to food when sick? Mine is a family soup recipe that I make myself usually in the midst of the sickness storm but even in the middle of feeling like death, the ritual of making the soup and then being able to eat it somehow helps. Maybe it's just mental. Whatever works right??
This week Brian and I decided to start eating a bit healthier. Not that we really eat that much junk food but I definitely tend to indulge a bit more than usual when it comes to cooking dinner. Anyways, I mention the sicky part because this soup could easily become a new "sick soup." It's got loads of garlic, jalapeno and lemon, etc...all wonderful for you when sick. And it's delicious and filling. A win in my book!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups farro (rinsed)
  • 2 heads garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced into coins
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups leftover shredded chicken
  • 1 lemon, juiced
Directions:
  • Cook farro according to package instructions and set aside
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut garlic bulbs crosswise to remove the tops and expose the cloves. Place the bulbs on a large piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Gather the edges of aluminum and press together to completely encapsulate the garlic like a little tent. Bake for 30 minutes. 
  • Remove garlic from oven and carefully open up the package. Garlic cloves should be soft and golden. Squeeze out the softened cloves from the bulb, discarding the skins. Blend garlic into the broth using an immersion blender or traditional blender. Set aside. 
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Saute the onions and carrots, seasoning with salt, until soft and translucent. Add sliced jalapenos and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Stir in ginger and cook until fragrant. 
  • Stir in the garlic chicken broth and parsley. Add cooked farro, shredded chicken and lemon. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and serve warm.