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

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

Easy Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

Easy Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

Fresh is best. I hate to use canned or jarred soups and sauces unless I have to. The good news is tomatoes are coming into season here in Florida, which means better quality and cheaper prices. This sauce is so easy and so much better than jarred, try it once and you may never go back. Pour it on your favorite pasta or over chicken or pork.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce (serves 2, can be doubled)

1 T olive oil

2 ripe tomatoes chopped

salt and pepper

1/4 c chopped onion

2 t garlic chopped

3 T heavy cream

1 T fresh chopped basil

Sprinkle chopped tomatoes with salt and pepper. Heat oil over med/high in a large skillet, add tomato, onion and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Turn heat to low and add cream, cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil. Serve.

Easy Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

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!

Country Style RIbs with Apple Barbecue Sauce

Country Style Ribs with Apple Barbecue Sauce

 

These delicious ribs start in the crock pot and then crisp up under the broiler or grill, easy and delicious.

Country Style Ribs with Apple Barbecue Sauce

8-10 country style pork ribs

1 c ketchup

1 T Worcestershire sauce

2 small apples peeled, cored and chopped

1 onion diced

2 cloves garlic chopped

2 T apple cider vinegar

Add ribs and remaining ingredients to a slow cooker, heat on high for 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours. Remove from slow cooker and place on heated grill or under a broiler until sauce caramelizes, about 5 minutes. Serve.

IMG_6183

Country Style Ribs with Apple Barbecue Sauce

 

Pork Chops with Orange Butternut Sauce

 

Butternut squash and pork chops are classic fall food, this sauce gets a little zip from oranges which are also coming into season.

Pork Chops with Orange Butternut Sauce

8 boneless pork chops

2 T butter

3 cups butternut squash peeled and cubed

2 garlic cloves

1/2 c chopped onion

3/4 cup orange juice ( used fresh squeezed if possible)

1T balsamic vinegar

1/2  t dried sage

1/2 t ground ginger

1/2 t ground cinnamon

water

salt

chili powder

Melt Butter in a large pan over med high heat. add squash and onions, saute until onions and squash are browned. add garlic and saute until garlic is soft and golden.

add orange juice, vinegar, ginger, sage and cinnamon , bring to a simmer and cover. cook for 15-25 minutes or until squash is soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon. Use a hand blender to make into a puree ( you could also hand mash or use a regular blender) remove from pan and set aside.

Sprinkle chops with salt and chili powder, brown on each side in the pan. You may have to do this in small batches depending on chop and pan size.

 

Add puree back to the pan with chops cover and cook over med heat for 20 minutes or until chops are done. add water if necessary ( I used about a 1/4 cup). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

 

 

 

Tomatillos 101 : Meatloaf with Creamy Tomatillo Gravy

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What’s a tomatillo? Is it a green tomato? I often get asked these questions when checking out at the supermarket. These crazy little husked fruits are actually members of the goose berry family and have a tart taste. Mostly used in latin cuisine, these are the little gems that make salsa verde and the green sauce for enchiladas green. They are actually not ripe when green which makes the taste tart instead of sweeter like its red, purple or brown counterparts.

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To use the husk must be removed, revealing a slightly sticky skin. After removing the husk, skin and seeds are all edible.

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I love to make cream sauces with these because I love the balance of the cream with the tartness. This gravy would also be great on chicken or pork.

Meatloaf with Creamy Tomatillo Gravy

for the meatloaf

2 lbs ground meat ( I used 1/2 pork and 1/2 beef my favorite meatloaf combination)

1 egg

2 T cream

2 T Cholula Hot Sauce (use your favorite)

2T ketchup

2t salt

1t black pepper

1t dried oregano

1 t cumin

2 t chopped garlic

1/2 c bread crumbs

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, place into a baking pan and form into a loaf shape. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

for tomatillo gravy

5 tomatillos, husks removed and chopped

1 c chopped onion

4 garlic cloves chopped

1/2 c chicken or vegetable broth

1 t green hot sauce (optional)

1/2 cream

1/2 t pepper

1/2 t salt

Saute tomatillos and onion in a large pan until soft, add garlic and saute 2 more minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

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Add cream, salt and pepper and cook for 5 more minutes, puree with a hand blender or regular blender if desired.

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Serve over sliced meatloaf with masked potatoes or rice.

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Fall Flavor: Apple Ginger Pork Roast

What is a more classic combination than pork and apples? This is an updated version of pork chop and applesauce night. It’s made in a slow cooker and has a beautiful, savory ,and delicate flavor of apples and ginger.

Apple Ginger Pork Roast

1 1/2 lb pork loin roast

2 T coarsely chopped fresh ginger

1 large onion quartered

3 large or 4 small apples peeled and sliced into 1 inch wedges (use a firm variety)

3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped

2T soy sauce

2 C chicken broth

2 T apple cider vinegar

1/2 t ground cloves

1/2 t ground nutmeg

Add roast, apples, onions, garlic and ginger to a large crock pot / slow cooker. Add soy, chicken broth, vinegar and spices. Turn on high, cover and cook for 4 hours.

Remove Roast and slice, meat will be very tender.

Serve, I served mine on top of mashed potatoes and served the au jus and apples from the pot over the top.

Kale, Potato, and Pork Soup

Hearty, Yummy, and Easy. This is a perfect weeknight meal for fall or anytime of the year. The vinegar added at the end adds a nice flavor and brightness to the soup.

Kale, Potato, and Pork Soup

1 yellow or white onion chopped

2 large potatoes cut into bite sized chunks ( I left the skin on)

3 T olive oil

1- 1 1/2 lbs ground pork  (substitute any ground meat that you have on hand)

3 cloves garlic chopped

1/4 t  black pepper

1/4 t red pepper flakes (add more if you like it spicy)

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 T Italian Seasoning

32 oz chicken broth

1 T balsamic vinegar

In a large heavy pot, add olive oil and heat over med high heat. Add potatoes and onion and cook for about 3 minutes, add ground meat, garlic, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until Meat is no longer pink. Add carrots, Italian Seasoning and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve.