Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops with Fresh Apple Salsa

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops with Fresh Apple Salsa

I’m getting Fall fever, even if it is still 90 degrees here in Florida. I drank my first pumpkin beer this week, I’m going to get my fall decorations out this weekend and I made my first seasonal dinner.  You can never go wrong with the combination of pork and apples so when I saw a recipe in my Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook for Root Beer Pork Chops with Apple Salsa I knew I had to try it. I loved the idea but made some changes to the recipes to fit my tastes.

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops with Fresh Apple Salsa

4 Boneless Pork Loin Chops

1/4 c molasses

6 oz root beer

1 T oil

Combine Root Beer and Molasses in a ziplock bag or shallow dish add pork chops and refrigerate 4 hrs-overnight, turning occasionally. Heat oil in a large skillet over med high heat and add pork chops. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until seared with some dark brown coloring. Turn chops and repeat on the other side. Add remaining root beer mixture to pan  with chops and bring to a boil. reduce heat to low and cover, cook for 4 more minutes or until desired doneness. ( use a meat thermometer if desired)

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops

Fresh Apple Salsa

2 large crisp apples, (I used Fiji, Granny Smiths would be good also)

1/2 c chopped onion

1/4-1/2 t minced jalapeño pepper

1 T lemon juice

2 T honey

1/4 t salt

1 T chopped fresh parsley

add all ingredients to a bowl and stir, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This makes more than needed for the pork chops, use the leftovers for wraps, chicken salad, or peanut butter would be great, or also as an accompaniment with a cheese plate or with cinnamon sugar pita chips.

Fresh Apple Salsa great on top of pork or chicken

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops with Fresh Apple Salsa

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Go Green: Enchiladas Verdes

Enchiladas Verdes

Mmm, I love the green enchilada sauce, to me it is so much better than the red. I love the tart, tangy flavor of the tomatillos. If you are unfamiliar with tomatillos, check out a previous post I wrote Tomatillos 101.  I don’t know why I don’t use them more often. I made this dish using a store bought rotisserie chicken to save me time and effort, a great weeknight cheat. These would also be great with any left over shredded meats like pork or beef.

Enchiladas Verdes

1 lb fresh tomatillos, husks removed an quartered

1 Jalapeño pepper halved with seeds and membrane removed

1 onion peeled and cut into 1/8s

1 T olive oil

1 t chopped garlic

1 T fresh cilantro 

1/2 t cumin

10 corn tortillas

4-5 c shredded or chopped chicken

1 c shredded Monterey jack cheese

Optional for garnish

1/2 c crumbled queso fresco cheese

chopped onion

chopped cilantro

sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, place tomatillos, onion and jalapeno pepper on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with oil. Bake for 15 min or until soft and blistered in areas. 

Enchiladas Verdes

Scrape mixture into a food processor or blender bowl, add garlic, cilantro, and cumin. Puree until almost smooth, I like a little bit of chunk in my sauce. 

Enchiladas Verdes

Add 2 T sauce to the bottom of a 9×11 baking pan. Then take a tortilla and spread a light coating of the sauce with a spoon or spatula on top, add chicken on top (about a 1/4 c) and roll up, place the tortilla seam side down in the baking pan. Continue with the remainder of the tortillas and chicken.

Enchiladas Verdes

Enchiladas Verdes

Top with remaining sauce and cheese ( you may want to reserve a small amount of the sauce to top finished enchiladas with. 

Enchiladas Verdes

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Enchiladas Verdes

Let cool for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to serve. Top with any remaining sauce, onion, queso fresco, chopped cilantro and sour cream.

Enchiladas Verdes

Shrimp with Mango Barbecue Sauce

Shrimp with Mango Barbecue Sauce

 

I love fruit barbecue sauces, it adds that little element of sweet in a fresh and unexpected way. This sauce would be great on chicken wings or pork tenderloin as well.

Shrimp with Mango Barbecue Sauce

2 ripe mangos peeled, seeded and chopped

1 T brown sugar

1 jalapeno minced ( optional)

1 t chopped garlic

1 T soy sauce

1 t mustard

1 T apple cider vinegar

add all ingredients to a small sauce pan, cook over med/low until mango breaks down and sauce in about 25 minutes ( you can puree the sauce with an immersion or regular blender if you want it smoother) Also depending on you mangos ripeness you may want to add some more sugar.

Mango Barbecue Sauce

To use with shrimp, get 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp thread on skewers. brush shrimp with barbecue sauce and grill over med heat, about 3 min per side or until shrimp is opaque.

Shrimp with Mango Barbecue Sauce

Memorial Day Weekend Menu

Looking for some new recipes to celebrate your long weekend. Here are some of my favorites.

Oma's Potato Salad

Oma’s Potato Salad

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red, White, and Blue Salad

Red White and Blue Salad

Barbecued Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Cinco De Mayo is this weekend and I will be in London but here are some recipes for you to enjoy while I am gone.

Spicy Tequila Pulled Pork

Spicy Tequila Pulled Pork

Beer Ritas

Beer-ritas

Chicken Frito Pie

Chicken Frito Pie

Chicken Frito Pie

Cactus Pear Margaritas

Cactus Pear Margarita

Salsa and Guacamole

Homemade Salsa and Guacamole

Calabacitas

Calabacitas

IMG_3571 IMG_3554

and here are some ideas for decor

Enjoy!

Banana and Chicken Curry

 

Ok I admit it, I love cooking reality shows. My favorites are Chopped, Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef. I love to see the cheftestants think on their feet and see what creative dishes they come up with out of the mystery ingredients. I was so inspired by Chef Nate Appleman on episode 1 of this season’s Iron Chef Redempition. The ingredient was bananas and he came up with a banana curry. Why didn’t I think of that? I love curry, I have made pumpkin curry, coconut curry, sweet potato curry etc… Bananas seem like a no brainer, but I have never seen it before. Now I had to try my hand at this. Next trip to the store I bought a bunch of bananas and the game was on. It was just as delicious as I thought it would be, my kids didn’t even know there was banana in it, they get weird when I put fruit in savory dishes, but they ate every last bite of it. Now what else can I put bananas in…

Banana and Chicken Curry

3 bananas peeled

2 T Olive Oil

1/2  t salt

3 chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces

1 t chopped garlic

1 T minced ginger

1 1/2 T curry powder ( I used a Sri Lankin mix but any would work)

1 jalapeno chopped

2 c chicken broth

1 c diced carrots

1/2 t cayenne papper ( optional)

2 T chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 400

Place bananas on a baking pan and drizzle with 1 T olive oil and sprinkle with salt, cook for 7-10 minutes

 

In a large pot or dutch oven add 1 T olive oil, chicken garlic, ginger and jalapeno, cook until chicken is brown. Add cooked bananas, and use the back of a wooden spoon to mash. Add curry powder, cayenne, carrots and chicken broth, stir together, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stir in chopped cilantro and serve over rice.

Barbecued Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

 

I am not intimidated but much in the kitchen but for some reason ribs have always been well, scary. However, they are my oldest child’s favorite food and biggest request as well as a family favorite. So it was time to put on my big girl apron and figure this out. I have to say they were delicious and pretty easy, just takes some preplanning. I will be making them again and was very pleased with the flavor of the marinade and barbecue sauce. I desperately wish(hint, hint) that I had a smoker but until then these  slow roasted and then grilled ribs will be perfect.

4 lbs Pork Loin Baby Back Ribs

Orange Jalapeno Marinade

2 garlic cloves chopped

1 tsp orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

1-2 jalapenos minced

1/2 t dijon mustard

1/4 c ponzu (citrus infused soy sauce) or soy sauce

1/4 c lemon lime soda (sprite, 7up etc…)

Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Remove silver skin from ribs if necessary and score the ribs with a sharp knife through the fat between each bone to allow the marinade to penetrate.

Place ribs into a large ziploc bag and pour in marinade. Place in refrigerator over night turning the bag occasionally.

Preheat oven to 200, remove ribs from bag and place in a large pan, cover with foil and cook 3-4 hrs, turning once.

 

Orange Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce

2 c ketchup

3 oz jalapeno jelly

juice of 1 orange

1 tsp orange zest

1T worcestershire sauce

1T dijon mustard

1 T apple cider vinegar

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 t black pepper

1/2 t salt

add all ingredients to a small sauce pan stir and bring to a simmer over med heat. Make sure jelly is melted and turn to low until ready to use.

Remove ribs from over, baste with sauce and place on a preheated grill (med-high) for about 7-10 min per side or until sauce caramelizes. If you don’t have a grill, place under the broiler in the oven.

 

 

Spicy Green Curry with Turkey and Eggplant

 

Try this new twist with ground meat, Turkey , Beef, Chicken or Pork would work. A great alternative to the ho-hum Hamburger Helper, this dish tastes fresh, light and a little spicy. Adjust the heat to your liking by the amount of jalapeno you use.If your not an eggplant fan try zucchini or butternut squash instead.

Spicy Green Curry with Turkey and Eggplant

2 T Olive Oil

1.5 lbs ground meat (Turkey, Chicken,Beef or Pork)

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/2 pound fresh green beans washed and trimmed

3 cups cubed eggplant, ( skin off or on)

1 jalapeno minced (adjust to your spice preference)

2 T minced ginger

1T minced garlic

1-2 T green curry paste (found in Asian section of supermarket)

1 can coconut milk

1t lime zest

1T lime juice

1 T chopped mint

1 T chopped cilantro

Brown ground meat in a large pan over high heat, add 1 T of olive oil if using turkey or chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while browning. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Turn heat down to medium and add 1 T oil to the pan, add eggplant, green beans, jalapeno, ginger and garlic, sauté for about 5 minutes. Move vegetables to the sides of the pan and add green curry paste to the middle. cook for about 2 more minutes. Add can of coconut milk, and lime juice and zest and stir.

 

Add ground meat back in and stir. Simmer with cover on for about 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and eggplant and beans are tender. Add fresh herbs (Mint and Cilantro) and stir. Serve with lime wedges and more fresh herbs if desired.

*If using zucchini, cook time will be shorter, if using butternut squash cook time will be longer.

 

Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa

Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa

2T olive oil

1 1/2 limes juiced

6 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets

3 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped

1/2 red onion diced

1 small jalapeno (or half large), minced (ribs and seeds removed)

2 T chopped cilantro

Combine olive oil, juice of 1 lime and salt and pepper in a small bowl, pour over chicken breast and put in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Grill over med high heat for about 4-6 minutes per side depending on thickness (check with a meat thermometer).

In a medium sized bowl combine peaches, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and juice from 1/2 a lime. sprinkle with salt. Serve over cooked chicken.

Salmon and Shrimp with Mango Curry

I

I like Salmon with Mango Salsa, I like Salmon with Coconut Curry. I decided to marry the two and it was a success, a perfect Summer meal.

Salmon and Shrimp with Mango Curry

12 oz salmon ( I prefer the wild, this time I used Frozen Coho Wild Alaskan Salmon)

1/2 lb shrimp, deveined and peeled

2 ripe mangos diced

1T butter

1 t minced ginger

1 T minced garlic

1 t minced jalapeno

1 T Curry Powder

1 c coconut milk

chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a large pan over med high heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt pepper and 1/4 t of the curry powder. Add to melted butter and cook for 1 min on each side.

Add shrimp, mango, garlic, jalapeno, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and curry powder, simmer for 4-6 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and shrimp are opaque.

Serve over rice or pasta and top with chopped cilantro.