Honey glazed porkchops

Porkchop

They looked so pretty on the plate, I couldn't help but take a picture.

We had these huge porkchops in the freezer, and it was just me and the roomie last night, so I thought I’d make something deliciously simple. What’s weird is that the idea just popped into my head when I pulled out the meat to defrost. But it worked oh so well.

I actually looked up a honey glaze, and that was as simple as I’d hoped. Mix together equal parts of brown sugar and honey, and heat them up. Sear the porkchops on both sides with salt and pepper. Put the porkchops in a baking dish, pour half the sugar mixture over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Flip and repeat.

I served mine with an asparagus stir-fry that I had in the freezer for a while, and then I added mushrooms, fresh spinach and balsamic vinegar. The vinegar didn’t give the veggies as full of a flavor as I had hoped, but it did give them a little tinge of flavor outside of their own crunchiness.

JDM Burgers

Stuffed burgers were the specialty tonight, and again, I scoured the web for something that sounded good and then adapted to my liking. And again, they were amazing. When the boyfriend doesn’t say anything while eating, you know it has to be good.

So we used a combo of ground beef and ground turkey, chopped up some green onions and mushrooms, and mixed that all together. Then we added in ground mustard and cumin to the meat. Form those into eight burgers. On four, put slices of havarti cheese (perfect for melting) and bacon, then put the other four on top and seal the edges so the goodies don’t come out.

Burger

Just looking at the goodies in this burger make my mouth water...

A smokin’ hot pan is essential for these, and I bet they’d be even better on a grill. Pop them in the pan and let them cook four to five minutes and then serve them. We used poppy seed hamburger buns that were an extremely good deal at one of my favorite grocery store. For condiments, we mixed some Jack Daniels Horseradish Mustard (JDM!) with a little bit of original barbecue sauce and just a splash of Worcestershire. We mixed about a tablespoon of mayonnaise in as well, but I think I would omit that next time. Spread that yummy mixture on the bun and then add the burger, some tomato and a piece of lettuce and you have one scrumptious and filling burger.

On the side, of course we had fries – it’s a burger and we’re Americans. But I did spice them up a bit with seasoning salt, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and just a bit of extra salt. Pop them in the oven and they are good and scrumptious. Because they have some of the same ingredients as the burger and condiment, they go quite nicely alongside such a hugely delicious burger.

Chorizo Chicken Pasta

Two bowls and there was still plenty of leftovers

I had chicken on hand and I needed something to do with it that I haven’t done a hundred times already. So thinking about what I had in my freezer, I browsed for chicken and chorizo recipes. Then adapted one that I found. It turned out really really good, and had just enough bite to it to not be extremely spicy that no one could eat it, but enough to give it a little memorable kick.

What makes this meal even better is that it is budget friendly and filling! Even with just the little bit of pasta that I used, it could have fed more than the three people that it did.

Chicken Gumbo from a crockpot

So I was lazing around the couch two days ago, and of course I had the Food Network on. And I was trying to figure out what exactly I was going to do with those chicken thighs I had just pulled out of the freezer. Well, Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller came on, and she was talking about using a slow cooker for her show. Then she added celery (got that…), green bell peppers (got those…), onion (definitely got that…), chicken (yep), and whole slew of spices to the crockpot. She said she was making Chicken Gumbo. Gumbo. Hmm…I wonder what that tastes like? Until last night, I’d never had gumbo.

So the only ingredients that I was missing were the andouille sausage, so I used smoke turkey sausage. And then I had to go get the chicken broth and tomato juice. So all in all, I spent like 3 bucks on this meal because everything was something I already had. How awesome is that??

Chicken Gumbo

This is the gumbo after it's cooked for six hours and is ready to eat.

The only other snag I ran into was I wasn’t entirely sure if my crock pot worked or not. For some reason, mine doesn’t have a light to tell me if it’s on or not? So after I had left for work, I asked my roomate to tell me if it was warm. It was. Probably a good thing because I don’t think it would have been as good if I was only letting it simmer in a pot for two hours after I got home. What was really nice is that I prepped all the ingredients the night before, put them in a bag and put them in the fridge, then just dumped the bag and the juices in the pot with the liquids, stirred it up and turned it on. After 6 hours it was ready to go.

I think I have some ideas for variations now that I know what the good stuff tastes like, but those are in the future.

Recipe to come…

Credit to Robin on my bibliography page.

Thrown Together Fajitas

So all I had was steak. The question was what to do with the steak. Then I noticed I had some leftover home-made guacamole from the Super Bowl. And cheese. And only two tortillas. Logical conclusion just screams fajitas. Now how to spice my fajitas?
Worcestershire, lemon juice, lime juice, Tabasco, spicy mustard, steak sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, dried cilantro. A little of this, a little of that, all to taste.
I chopped up the steaks, threw them in the pan with all those prior ingredients and let them simmer, turning them every so often. They shrank and turned brown. I heated up the tortillas on the gas stove, just threw them on the flame and kept moving them and flipping them. No pan needed.
Add cheese to the bottom of the tortilla, then meat, then lettuce and the guacamole. I would have posted a picture, but it didn’t look as appetizing all opened up. I’m sure that everyone knows what a rolled up tortilla looks like anyway.

Cooking with Alcohol

So this recipe idea came from a friend of mine who is pretty good in the kitchen – he made the tortilla soup from my last post. I then used his recipe, adapted some things to my liking, and presto, it’s amazing.

cptmpork

Pork chops and tortellini with cheesy beschamel. By far the most scrumptious and tantalizing meal I've made yet.

So pork chops. I used bone-in. I’m sure it would work with boneless as well. Ziploc bag with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and some spices. Let it marinate. Even just marinating for a few hours and being flipped once they were still so good. I couldn’t believe it.

Then tortellini. I used the kind from a bag, and then made my own sauce. They had pretty colors, and come to find out, each pretty color was filled with something different. That’s cool. The havarti/cheddar/parmesan beschamel sauce took two tries to get right, and some experimenting to achieve a flavor that I liked. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if it was the “right” flavor, but it was good so who cares?

The recipes are on my recipes page…though the name for the pork is a little weird, and it’s actually a combination of two recipes to get the whole plate. Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup

So I went to a friend’s apartment the other night, and had this amazing tortilla soup. He even fried up his own tortilla strips! He won’t tell me how to make it, but I did find out what’s in it. I may have to do some experimentation and try and figure it out.

-boiled, spice-rubbed chicken breast
-hominy
-refried beans
-spices (cayenne, paprika, garlic, and some other ones)
-chicken broth (from boiling the chicken)
-canned tomatoes
-tomato paste
To top it all off were the tortilla strips and cheese and sour cream. A-Maze-Ing!

Tortilla Soup

This is what it looked like finished. Though once I got through with it all you could see was the bowl.