Archive for the ‘Entrees’ Category

Pork Apple Pie

TOPCROPPorkApple

September usually brings an abundance of apples.  It is this reason this pie came about!  This went over with enthusiasm at my house.  Apple and pork go wonderfully together, and with a bit of sage and cheddar, you have comfort food.  Pork pot pie with a touch of apple sweetness.  Make a hearty dinner pie on a chilly fall night!

Ingredients:

  • Pie Crust (2)
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Pork Chop, cut into 1/2 inch cubesPorkAppleCR
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced peeled apples
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

 

Instructions:

Brown pork in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Once browned, add salt, chopped onion and sage.  Stir frequently. When onion is translucent, add water.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes or up to 35 to 40 minutes if you want your pork to fall apart.

Preheat the oven to 450.

Stir together the milk and flour until smooth and creamy looking.  Slowly stir and add to the pork and bring to a boil while stirring.  When the mixture is thick, it is ready for the pie.

In a pie dish, over the prepared crust, add half the pork mixture.  Layer the apples over the pork, sprinkle with sugar (optional), and then spread half of the cheese.  Cover with the rest of the pork and sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese.  Top with another pie crust, sealing the edges, and slit the top, add some more small pokes around the perimeter.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 350.  Bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.  Let it stand to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

 

I hope you enjoy this one!

PorkApplePieSL

 

Apple Cider Pork

Apple Cider Pork, low carb version.

Sweet apple cider and ginger really compliment pork. Lightly brown the pork in olive oil over medium-high to high heat quickly so the pork doesn’t get tough. I hope you enjoy this if you try it. If you do, let me know how you change it up!

Simmering Pork

Simmering Pork

4 Pork Chops about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp soy sauce
1/8-1/4 cup beer to deglaze
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup apple cider

Salt and pepper chops then brown quickly and lightly in olive oil over high heat. Once browned, lower heat to medium and add beer to deglaze the pan. Then add butter, soy sauce, ginger and cider and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Slice chops and return to pan to coat. If your sauce is too thin, add flour or cornstarch in a bit of cold water to thicken. I try to keep my carbohydrates down so I didn’t thicken the sauce. Serve over egg noodles or a bed of mixed greens if you like to keep the carbs down.

Apple Cider Pork with Noodles

Apple Cider Pork with Noodles

Macaroni Soup

It doesn't get much easier than this.

It doesn’t get much easier than this.

If you have kids, you know how picky they can be. It’s not the prettiest of dishes, but it’s one that kids go nuts over. Some of us adults still eat it as a comfort food. I’m not sure how far back it goes in my family, but my grandma spoke of eating it as a kid. When I was a kid I thought this was the best lunch, snack or dinner in the world. Of course my mother and grandmother both made it with elbows, which carries the milk better than the egg noodles my daughter prefers, but it works with any kind of pasta you prefer.

Elbows or other pasta – Egg noodles is pictured – cooked, drained
Melt butter in hot pasta to coat
Put pasta in a bowl
Add desired amount of milk (we use whole milk)
Let the kids sprinkle on dried parmesan cheese out of a jar (they usually really pour it on).

Enjoy!

Friday “Sketti”

FridaySkettiPlate

I know, right?  It is short for Friday Spaghetti, but when you’re seven or eight and you learn about this dish, for some reason, it’s always going to be “Sketti.”

Mom made this on Fridays when we were children because we couldn’t eat meat on Friday, and fish was a lot more expensive than pasta and a couple of eggs.   She was born in 1930.   Her Mom and Dad were both Italian, so she probably learned it from her Mom for the same reason, as money was probably a bit tight in the 30’s.  Egg is an inexpensive way to add protein to a pasta dish.

This is a quick, delicious inexpensive way to whip up something quickly that will make everybody happy.   This dish is so fast that I started it just before I started this post, and I’ll have to eat before I’m finished.  So if you don’t have a lot of time, this is a winner.

There are two things people fight over – tomato chunks and egg chunks, so be careful during the egg addition to make sure you get chunks.  This is probably a four serving preparation if you have an iron will.   It never makes it to four with us.

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tbs. olive oil

1 28 oz can whole or diced tomatoes

2 tsp (about) dried basil

2 extra large eggs beaten

Salt to taste

1 lb of spaghetti (You can use another pasta, we only use spaghetti, thus the name.)

Start a large pot of salted water to cook pasta.  Check to see how salty the water is before you add the pasta.  I am a fan of Anne Burrell on the Food Channel and she is correct – it should be salty like the ocean.  No matter how good your sauce is, she says, “if the pasta water is not salty enough, your dish will never recover.”  So take Anne’s advice and salt your pasta water “like the ocean.”

Once your pasta water is heating, start your sauce.  By the time your pasta is cooked the sauce will be done.

On medium heat, cook garlic in olive oil in a large saute pan, don’t let it burn, just let it flavor the oil.  Shake the pan to move the garlic around.  Add the tomatoes.  If you’re using whole tomatoes, break them up with your hands as you dump them into the pan.  If you’re using diced, just pour them in.  Add basil.  Bring the sauce to a strong simmer.   Stir and lower heat.

Add the slightly beaten eggs by pouring them around the top of the sauce.  Don’t stir a lot here.  You want the eggs to start to scramble in the sauce.  Every few minutes you can stir gently to move the scrambled eggs through.  If you do stir them too much, the sauce will become more pink, but it’s still just as yummy.   Leave it on a low simmer until your spaghetti is done.

FridaySkettiPan

When your pasta water starts to boil, add the pasta.  Cook to al dente.  Drain pasta and add it to the sauce in the large saute pan.  Toss to combine while still on the heat.  It’s ready to serve.

Top with your favorite Italian cheese.  We used Parmesan growing up but it’s also good with Pecorino Romano.

Hungarian Goulash

HungarianGoulash

I got this recipe from my Mom.  It was always one of my favorites, except for a very short time when pregnancy made it unappetizing.  It’s back to normal standing in our house, and nearly everyone loves it.  I have included crock pot instructions for those who prefer not to babysit the stove.

Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs stew beef

4 slices bacon

2 medium onions

1 to 1/2 cups low sodium beef stock or enough to mostly cover beef

2 TBS paprika

salt & pepper to taste

Season beef with salt and pepper.  Brown beef in a non-stick pan without adding any oil (Mom’s recipe instructions said “in its own fat”).     Remove from pan and set aside.  Fry bacon in the same pan until crisp.  Remove bacon to paper towel to drain, reserve grease.    Lower heat and saute onions in the bacon fat until soft.

Put browned beef in the crock pot, sprinkle on 1 tbs flour & stir to coat beef, add crumbled bacon, onions, paprika and enough beef stock to mostly but not completely cover stew meat in crock pot.  Add 1/2 cup red wine to the pan used to brown the meat & cook the bacon & onions on medium high heat to deglaze pan.  Scrape up any brown bits and put the contents into the crock pot.   Stir and taste to adjust salt and pepper to your preference.

Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for about 4 hours, until meat is tender.

Serve over noodles.

If you want to cook it on the stove, Use the stock pot for all of the browning (not so worried about the non-stick part this way), moving ingredients out and in as necessary, deglaze it with the red wine then dump all ingredients back into the pot and cook covered on a low simmer for about 2 or 2 1/2 hours.

Sage Chicken with Rice

ChickenFinish

Sage Chicken with Broccoli and Rice

This recipe has been kicking around my kitchen for a few years now. It is wonderful with either chicken or pork – this time I happened to use chicken, of course. I had to share it because it is made with simple ingredients that you should always have on hand. To add even more flavor, try adding 1/4 cup of a good dry Chardonnay when you add the butter, letting the alcohol cook off before the chicken is done. This recipe is just a base. Add your favorite heat if you like, or your special chicken seasoning – the ingredients are so versatile. There are so many wonderful dishes that can start like this. I hope you try it & enjoy it. If you do, please comment what you decide to add.

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

3 Chicken Breasts

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1/4 cup of butter

1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves stripped

8-10 fresh sage leaves, julienne or coarsely chopped

2 medium cloves of garlic, chopped fine

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Optional:
4 Cups cooked rice
2 Cups cooked and chopped broccoli florets
Salt and pepper

Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Sprinkle salt and Pepper on both sides.  Heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to brown it.  When the second side is almost browned, add sage, thyme, butter and garlic – keep the heat at medium to medium-high.  Turn chicken a few times while cooking.  When your chicken is done (no longer pink), usually around 7-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken, remove it from the pan and carve to about 1/4 inch slices.

Add the rice to the skillet that you cooked the chicken in to fry for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir in the cooked broccoli to coat.  Serve sliced chicken over rice.