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

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Make your plate a little more colorful with this Purple Potato and Bean Salad. Great as a side or a light meatless Summer meal.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

4 cups small purple potatoes, quartered ( I left the skins on)

1 can white beans, rinsed

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 c red onion, chopped

2 T olive oil

2T red wine vinegar

1 T chopped  fresh cilantro ( or basil)

1/2-1t salt

1/8 t black pepper

Boil potatoes until fork tender, drain and add to a large bowl. Add bean, tomatoes, onions,  toss with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add cilantro and stir.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Chill and serve.

Purple Potato and Bean Salad

Tupelo Honey Cafe’s Herb Roasted Chicken

Tupelo Honey Cafe's Herb Roasted Chicken

We recently traveled to Asheville, North Carolina for a weekend brewery crawl. The craft beer there is abundant and fantastic. What I also found was the famous Tupelo Honey Cafe, a Southern foodies dream. Well worth the 3 hour wait ( don’t worry they text you when you’re getting close on the list so you are free to explore downtown while you wait) this restaurant creates new southern comfort food by adding creative twists and fresh local and seasonal ingredients to their dishes. I was such a fan I bought the cook book and have not been disappointed with anything I have tried yet. This is the best roast chicken I have ever made. The herb stuffing seeps its flavor into all of the meat while it roasts, making each bite as comforting as a bowl of chicken soup. This is a great way  to use up extras from the herb garden as well.  I might even try to use this recipe with my Thanksgiving turkey. I highly recommend the cookbook and their website says that there will be a new one available this Spring, I am pre-ordering mine now.

Tupelo Honey Cafe’s Herb Roasted Chicken

1 3 lb chicken

2 c peeled and diced carrots

2 c diced celery

2 c diced sweet yellow onion ( Vidalias are best)

2 T chopped fresh Thyme

2 T chopped fresh sage

2 T chopped fresh Basil

2 T chopped fresh rosemary

2 t salt

1 t pepper

1/2 c olive oil

Pre heat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl to make the stuffing.

Remove giblets from chicken cavity and place on roasting pan. Stuff the cavity with the mixture until full.  Add  left over stuffing with the giblets on the roasting pan and place the chicken on top, use the left over oil in the stuffing bowl to rub over the skin of the chicken. Place in the oven for 1 hr 40 min or until the juices run clear. Let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Use the stuffing and giblets from the roasting pan to make a pan gravy if desired.

Tupelo Honey Cafe's Herb Roasted Chicken

Tupelo Honey Cafe's Herb Roasted Chicken

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

We recently ate at a new Mexican restaurant in town. They had a Butternut squash dip on the menu, I liked the idea of it but theirs was very greasy. Here is my attempt of a healthier and more delicious dip.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed

1 c eggplant cubed ( peeled or unpeeled is fine)

2 poblano peppers cut into 1 ” pieces

1 onion peeled and sliced into 8ths

1 tomato sliced into wedges

1 T olive oil

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 t chopped garlic

2 t cumin

1 T lime juice

Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for garnish if desired

Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet ( I used a silpat to prevent sticking) add oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender/soft. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a food processor or blender or mash by hand until smooth but not pureed, I like it better with a little texture. Stir in cumin, garlic and  lime juice. place in serving dish and top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. This would also be a great filling for veggie enchiladas or tacos.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

 

 

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

 

This chicken is great in tacos, enchiladas, burritos  or rice bowls.

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

6 chicken thighs

3-4 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce chopped, plus 3 T of the Adobo sauce

1 yellow onion cut into eighths

1 T chopped garlic

1 tomato chopped

1/2 c tequila (optional)

2 limes juiced plus 1 t of zest

2 T cumin

3 c chicken broth

Add all ingredients to a crock pot / slow cooker.  Cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 on low. Move chicken to a platter and shred with 2 forks, spoon 1/2 c cooking liquid over the chicken and serve or fill tortillas.

Shredded Chipotle Chicken Tacos

 

 

Roast Beef With Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

 

 

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

2 lb top round roast

1 T Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 T Black Peppercorns ( Add to a ziplock baggy and crush slightly with a meat mallet)

2 t olive oil

3 garlic cloves minced

1/4 cup minced shallot or onion

1/4 c brandy

2 T corn starch

3/4 c heavy cream

1 t Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 325, place in roasting or broiler pan, sprinkle all sides with Montreal Steak seasoning. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until it reaches 150 degrees. Remove from oven and cover with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing ( * slice this cut of beef thin to avoid toughness)

In a lage pan heat oil over med high heat add onions and cook until soft, add garlic and peppercorns and cook 1 more minute. Deglaze pan by adding brandy while still over med high heat. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. Combine cold cream with cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk into pan with broth and cook over low until sauce thickens, add mustard . Serve over sliced meat.

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

Easy comfort food with a kick !

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

2 lbs ground beef (use turkey or chicken if desired)

1/2 c chopped yellow onion

1/4 c chopped green pepper

2 t minced garlic

1 12 oz bottle of chili sauce ( I used Heinz)

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T hot sauce

1/2 t salt

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t dried oregano

1 t mustard

1/2 c water

Brown ground beef with onions peppers and garlic over med high until meat is cooked through. drain off excess fat or liquid if needed. add chili sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, cayenne, oregano and mustard, stir to combine and heat through, add water and stir. Turn heat down to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Serve on toasted buns, add arugula and shredded cheddar if desired.

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

 

**Leftovers make great nachos, heat, spread on tortilla chips and sprinkle with cheese and sour cream

Cheesy Kale, Sausage, and White Bean Casserole

Cheesy Kale, Sausage and White Bean Casserole

MMM, this is delicious.

Cheesy Kale, Sausage, and White Bean Casserole

1T olive oil

4 smoked sausage links sliced into 1/2 ” rounds

1 carrot peeled and diced

1/2 c diced yellow onion

1 rib celery diced

1 can white beans rinsed and drained

3 c fresh baby kale

2 T flour

1/4 t salt

1/8 t black pepper

1 c chicken stock

3/4 shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c panko bread crumbs

 

In a large saute pan heat olive oil over med h high heat. Add sausage, carrot, onion and celery, saute until onion is soft. Add Beans and kale, continue to saute until kale is wilted. Add flour and stir and cook about 2 more minutes. Add stock and bring to a simmer, sauce will thicken, add 1/2 c cheddar cheese and stir until melted.

Cheesy Kale, Sausage and White Bean Casserole

 

Preheat oven to 350

Pour mixture into a baking dish, top with panko and remaining cheese.

Cheesy Kale, Sausage and White Bean Casserole

 

Bake for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Kale, Sausage and White Bean Casserole

Cheesy Kale, Sausage and White Bean Casserole

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

This is a simple soup with natural ingredients that is big on flavor. Perfect for lunch or with a sandwich or salad at dinner. It is also vegan/vegetarian so it is a meatless Monday favorite.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

2t olive oil

1 yellow onion chopped

4 clove garlic chopped

6 cups sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 2″x 2″ pieces

4 c water

1/2 t dried Chipotle Powder ( found in the spice aisle, a little goes a long way )

1 lime zest and juice

1 t salt

Fresh herbs or arugula for topping if desired.

Heat oil in a 2 1/2 quart sauce pan over med high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, water, salt, lime juice, lime zest and chipotle powder. bring to a simmer, cover and cook 30-40 minutes. Let cool slightly by removing from heat. Add to blender in 2 batches if necessary and puree. Add back to pan and keep on low until ready to serve. Add chopped herbs or arugula if desired.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup