Tag Archives: pork

Eat, Briefly – Grilled Pork Chops with Brie

Last night’s dinner – grilled pork chops stuffed with Brie, and whipped cauliflower with bacon and cheddar.  So yummy.
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I made NONE of it last night.  You know Keri is all about the prep-cooking, and Jr’s evening T-ball schedule is making that prep pay off even more!

Almost every time I get the grill going to cook something, I load it up with extra chicken breasts or pork chops or even burgers, to be cooked until  JUST done. Then I cool them, seal them in zip-locks, and label them for the freezer.

Tossing whatever we will need into the fridge the night before means that we have food ready to be quickly heated and served for maximum taste in minimum time during the busy evening run-around.

For this meal, I cut a pocket in the side of the already-grilled chops and stuffed each with a smear of brie. (But long time readers know that Keri has long been a fan of stuffing a chop – hello 2009 blast from the past.)

Then I just heated it in the oven next to the whipped cauliflower I had steamed, whipped, and mixed with bacon and cheddar on Monday (always my big prep cooking day.)

Add more Vinho Verde and Tah-Dah – dinner on table after 10 minutes in the oven.

Later in the evening during our weekly viewing of Scream, the TV Series (yes, I know that MTv is not age appropriate viewing for our old ass selves, but we love a good Summer thriller,) we shook up some dirty martinis* with blue cheese olives.  Because you have to have a drink to choke on when the killer bumps off his/her next victim, can I get an amen?
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*sidenote – we are Tito’s vodka fans now.

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Filed under Be- Briefly, Cocktail Time, Eat, Eat - Briefly, low carb, Meal Prep

Eat – Ground Pork Two Ways

Oh hey, guess whose house has been infected with an unending late  Spring funk FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL for the past month!?

Yup – Jr got sick within a week of his end-of-March birthday, and I swear one (or more) of us has been cowering under a mountain of blankies of the sofa ever since.

But (knock on ALL the wood,) it appears that we are all on the mend, and I have some goodness to share with you.

A few weeks ago I found a ridiculously good price on ground pork, and (in between rounds of it being me on the sofa whimpering,) so I give you not one, but TWO fabulous ways to use ground pork.

They are both Low Carb, if you happen to be riding the Keto-friendly/LCHF/Atkins/South Beach/It’s carbs or my bikini/ other low carb-ish Train with Keri, but even if that isn’t your groove, you won’t miss anything with these delicious recipes.

  1. Taco-Stuffed Bell Peppers:

WHAT YOU NEED:
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1 or 2 bell peppers – (we use ½ a pepper for each serving and stuff it to VERY overflowing, resulting in 2 servings.  You can easily divide the filling into 2 split peppers and get 4 good servings from this recipe)

1 lb ground pork

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon (or to taste) ground cayenne pepper

1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (Colby Jack used here)

Avocado

(Other taco fixings/toppings of your choice would be totally tasty as well!)

WHAT YOU DO:
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-In a skillet brown the pork and drain the majority of the fat (I don’t like the pork TOTALLY dry,  but not drowning in grease either, so I drain off what I can easily get and leave the rest.)

-Sprinkle in the seasonings and mix to coat all of the meat.

-Add ½ cup of the shredded cheese to the mixture and stir to distribute evenly.

(BTW, at this point you can totally stick this mixture into the fridge or freeze in a zip top baggie until you are ready to use.)

-Clean and cut pepper(s) in half lengthwise, removing seeds and stem.

-Place pepper halves open side up on a baking dish (it should be big enough so they don’t touch each other so air can circulate all around the peppers.)

-Fill each half with the filling mixture and overfill generously.  If there is extra mixture I just let it spill into the pan around the peppers.

-Top each piled-up pepper with the remaining cheese

-Bake the peppers 20 minutes (add 5 minutes if you are using the filing mixture cold from the fridge.)

Eat up!

Meatballs and Marinara

WHAT YOU NEED:
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MEATBALLS:

1 lb ground pork

½ lb spicy sausage  (removed from casing if needed)

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 egg yolk

SAUCE:

29 ounce can plain tomato sauce

1 clove minced/pressed garlic

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

WHAT YOU DO:
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees

-In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for meatballs and mix thoroughly (your very own hands work best for this, folks, get in there and give your mix a good smoosh and squeeze.)

-Place mix in freezer while you get the sauce assembled and simmering, This firms it up a bit so it is easier to work with.

– In a large, deep sided pot (I use my dutch oven) over medium low heat, add the minced garlic and cook just until you start to smell garlic in the air before adding all other ingredients.  Stir to combine, cover and bring to a simmer.

-Turn the heat for the sauce to low

-Remove meatball mixture from freezer and create 1 ½ inch balls on foil-lined, sprayed baking sheets.

(My sicky self was bad about taking pics of these recipes as they came together this time around, but I DO have this one – you can see they are a bit um, free form.. BUT FEAR NOT, they cook up beautifully.)
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-Pop them into the oven for 20 minutes.  Rotating them halfway through cooking time will keep the shape more uniform but it isn’t mandatory or anything.

-Remove from oven and add the meatballs to the sauce.  Turn heat up to medium and allow sauce and meatballs to simmer together for 5-10 minutes.

DIG IN.  These go great with pasta, or zoodles, or on bread or oopsie rolls as a hearty meatball sandwich.

But all that just gets in my way – I just want a pile of piping hot meatballs with shredded parmesan sprinkled on top most of the time.  Because yum.

So there you have it – Keri rises off her sofa, like a phoenix from the ashes, to answer the call of the kitchen.

Like you would expect that ANYTHING else would ever be my motivation.

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Eat- Spicy Pulled Pork Quesadillas with Peach Poblano Salsa

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We all know how Keri likes it when she can mix food AND booze together, so my Southern Sloshed Pulled Pork gets made  A LOT around The Casa.

I chuckled a bit reading the recipe as written in that link, because I never just make this stuff one pound at a time these days!  I use 4-5 lbs roasts, typically, and double the seasonings (but not the Jim Beam,) in the crock pot.

Why cook so dang much Keri?

LEFT OVERS!!  I always have this pulled pork all cooked up and frozen, ready to be used in different ways.  Pre-seasoned, pre-cooked BBQ pulled pork is a great place to start for all kinds of yummieness you might never consider “BBQ” pork for.

Like what, you say?

THIS-
WHAT YOU NEED:

1

Salsa:

1 small peach (or 1/2 to ¾ can peaches well drained)

1 poblano pepper roasted, skin and seeds removed (see below – it’s easy.)

Optional ground cayenne pepper

Salt

Quesadillas:

4 tortillas (I like the “fajita size” – a nice thick quesadilla is plenty filling with all of this goodness oozing out!)

4 oz shredded BBQ Pork (or other meat – 2oz per quesadilla is a good amount without being so much that everything can’t stick together well)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

¾ teaspoon cumin

¾ teaspoon chili powder

Optional diced jalapeno

1 ½ -2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used a combination of “casserole mix” and mozzarella

*this will serve 2 people/ make 2 quesadillas

WHAT YOU DO:

If you are using a fresh poblano, now is the time to get it roasting so you can do the other prep while it steams.  If you haven’t done this before it is super easy and makes a chile or pepper taste like heaven.  You can do it on your grill, or directly on your gas burner, but here I used a small skillet.

Heat a dry skillet over high heat on the stove, and then place your pepper on the hot surface.  Allow each side to blister and then turn to the next, until all sides are done:

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Take the skillet off of the heat, cover the pepper, and allow to steam for 10-15 minutes.  DON’T take the lid off or you will lose all of that steam!

3

While you let the pepper do it’s thing, mix up your filling and start your salsa.

In a bowl, combine the pork with the garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and diced jalapeno (if you want – I really like the kick and the crunch they add, you can see I used about  1/4 cup of the pickled variety, and I dice them up so they are spread out in the quesadilla.)  Mix well to combine everything with the pork and set aside.

If you are using a fresh peach, remove the skin and the pit.  Add your peach to a blender or food processor.

Uncover your pepper – the skin will be loose from the body of the pepper, so giving it a gentle rub under some cool water will remove all of that blistered skin.  It is also easy to pull the end with the stem off and remove the seeds from inside the roasted pepper.  Add this to the peaches, and blend until any large chunks are gone:

4

At this point you want to taste the salsa!  (Taste when you cook!  It is the easiest way to know if you are on the right track, and plus, who doesn’t want to sample the goodness?)   If it is a bit bland (not tasting the actual flavor of the ingredients you just blended,) add a pinch of salt and give it another pulse.  (Go in small pinches, it is easier to add more than to try to offset oversalting!)   If you are looking for a little more heat, add a sprinkle of the ground cayenne (Like I did here.)

When your taste testing results in a salsa that is perfect for you, refrigerate while you assemble your quesadillas.

This isn’t rocket science, and I am not going to pretend it is.  I like to cook quesadillas on the George Foreman Grill (or a sandwich press because  OH! YOU FANCY LIKE THAT,) but if you prefer to bake, or heat in a skillet, then go for it.

What is important for structural integrity of the final product is cheese distribution, people.

Lay your “bottom” tortilla down, and start with a good layer of cheese.  On top of that spread 2 oz (half if you are making two like I did here,)  of the meat mixture evenly over that cheese.  Let some areas of cheese show through.  Then, spread another good layer of cheese over the top of that, and place your “top” tortilla on the whole thing.  Now cook.

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Cheese on both sides ensures that neither of the tortillas will go sliding around up against the filling when everything gets hot.  Allowing some cheesy areas to show through that filling layer means that the two sides will be “glued” together so it doesn’t just split in half on you when you are eating it.

It’s a science AND an art form, folks….  and I have spent years perfecting it.  It is my gift to you.

Cook 6-8 minutes until the outside gets crunchy and you can see cheese oozing on the sides.  Let it stand a minute before cutting (again, this will aid in a structurally sound quesadilla. Trust Keri.)

Serve with the salsa generously piled in a dish for dipping/slathering.  The hot filling and gooey cheese  complemented by the cool, fresh, bright flavor of the salsa make for a perfect bite.
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Hooray for the leftover pork!

 

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Eat – Spicy Brussels Sprout Slaw and Stir-fry Pork

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SPRING IS IN THE AIR PEOPLE!!

(I am a little excited.)

The outdoor eating (and drinking – because patio happy hour is practically a professional sport here in Colorful Colorado,) season is upon us – or at least beginning to creep in for a few choice nights, beckoning and teasing us to strap on the sandals and sunscreen, pop the Vhino Verde, and linger into the evening hours on the patio.

Just glorious.

One other thing always happens when the weather starts to get warm around The Casa:  Keri wants salad.  All.  The. Time.

This one is fresh and fun and dressed lightly – you can shred ahead of time (and super fast in a processor) and stir-frying thin strips of pork is done in a few quick minutes – getting you and your dinner to the patio table to enjoy all the first whispers of Spring with all flavor and no fuss.

WHAT YOU NEED:

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For the Slaw:

1/2 lb Brussels Sprouts

1 Medium Carrot, peeled

1/2 Red Bell Pepper (I used a whole one the first time I made this and it was a bit overwhelming)

For the Slaw Dressing:

1 tablespoon Siracha

1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger

2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

For the Pork:

1/2 lb Pork loin sliced into thin strips

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste (I don’t like chunks in this – minced garlic would work too.)

1 tablespoon Soy Sauce

WHAT YOU DO:

Using the slicer disk on a food processor, slice the sprouts, carrot, and pepper:

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Combine the Siracha, ginger, and vinegar:

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Drizzle the mixture over the sliced veggies and toss to coat evenly, and store the slaw in the fridge while you prepare the pork to keep it cool and crisp.

Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, and garlic:

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Coat the pork with the mixture and add the pork and excess mixture to a (pre heated) HOT skillet or wok.  Spread to form a single layer and let cook 3 minutes.  Stir to allow the mixture to coat the pork as it thickens and to cook the other side of the pork.  The mixture will thicken until it is a sticky gel on the bottom of the pan – stir to coat pork one last time and remove from heat when the mix is reduced to a thick, sticky coating.

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Serve the hot pork on top of a bed of the cold, crisp slaw.

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Serves 2 generously.
Bonus for Keri – the leftovers of this + fresh tortillas warmed on a burner = PERFECT fusion tacos for lunch or late night snacking.

Bring on the patio dining!!

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