Tag Archives: onion

Hard Cider Pork Chops

Here’s a real hearty, German, bring-me-back-to-the-Midwest sort of meal!  It’ll fill your family’s bellies and also be on the table in 30 minutes!!

Kids also enjoy this meal with the sweet apples, potatoes and mildness of the pork…now for the adults, go ahead and pour yourself a glass of hard cider to go with and enjoy!

*GlutenFreeMeal (though MANY are, just double check the apple cider/Hard cider)

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pckg pork chops (4 at about 1″ thick)
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 apples, sliced
  • 1 cup hard cider (or regular non-alcoholic)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage 
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt & pepper 

Side

  • Potatoes, (fried or baked)  

Begin this simple Midwest influenced dinner by seasoning both sides of the pork chops with the sage, thyme leaves, salt and pepper.  Set the pork aside and slice up the onion and apples. 

   Heat a large pan to medium-high and add in the olive oil and butter.  Sear each side of the pork chop for 3-4 minutes (a nice brown color) and set aside again.

In that same pan, add in the sliced apples and onion and saute for 6 minutes (till onions start to soften and turn translucent); add in the hard cider and the apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. 

   Return the seared pork chops to the pan, cover and cook for 5 more minutes.  Serve along with potatoes with the juices from the apples and onions drizzled overtop, enjoy! 

 
Potatoes

Feel free to make your spuds as you wish or maybe change it up everytime you prepare these chops, but here’s how I did ours.

First put the potatoes into a large stockpot of salted water till just covered.  Bring to a gentle boil and the cover pot with lid.  Allow to cook for about 15 minutes.  Till JUST soft when you stick a fork in them, not falling apart.

Drain and remove from pot and when just cool enough to handle, dice up into cubes and season with kosher salt & pepper.  *sometime I’ll sprinkle on seasoned salt or smoked paprika, etc.

Heat up a cast-iron pan to medium heat and then add 1-2 tbsp (canola) oil.  Add in cubed potatoes and allow to cook, not stirring to often, to create a nice “char” on them.  Enjoy!

Chicago ‘Slaw Dogs

Today I was torn between the flavors of a Chicago Dog and a southern style coleslaw topped version…then *ding!  Why not combine the two!?!

Genius…the crisp crunch of coleslaw, but with the flavors of a tangy Midwest Chicago hot dog.  I may never go back to either…I’m sold!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pckg all beef franks
  • 1 pckg rolls/hot dog buns
  • 3-4 cups precut coleslaw (cabbage blend)
  • 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, to taste
  • 1/4 cup pickled sport peppers (or peperoncini’s), chopped, to taste
  • 1 tsp celery salt, to salt

Garnish

  • Tomato slices
  • Dill pickle spears 

In a large bowl, combine the mustard, apple cider vinegar, EVOO and celery salt.  Give this a good whisk…when you think you’re done, you’re not. 😉 Whisk some more!

   Next add in the chopped onion, sweet pickle relish, sport peppers (peperoncini’s) and give another solid stir.

 Finally fold in the cabbage-blend to the Chicago ‘Slaw vinaigrette until it’s completely coated.  Here is where you should give this a taste and adjust your ingredients if necessary.  Do you prefer it sweeter? Than more pickle relish.  Do you like more heat?  Then double up on the hot peppers, etc.

 After you’ve perfected your slaw, cover your dish with Saran Wrap and place in the refridgerator for at least 30 minutes.

Once it’s time to eat, cook your hot dogs to your preference (grill, boil, nuke, sear, broil, sauté…you understand) and place in the bun.  You’ll then add a couple of tomato slices and a dill pickle spear on the sides of the cooked frank and top with a hefty helping of the Chicago ‘Slaw!  Enjoy!  …Grab a napkin too!

Simple Restaurant Style Salsa

I have a huge arsenal of hot sauces and salsa’s in my repertoire, now while this one may not be considered “authentic”, it is damn good!  This easy salsa is ALWAYS such a hit at parties…like, there is NEVER any left and people always ask “who made this??”  Now you can say “I did!”

It’s pretty much just a two-step process..no roasting, no boiling, no nothing (our friends at Rotel did most of the work for us ;)!  All you need is your food processor and 5 minutes to get the fiesta started.

*I always choose Rotel’s “cilantro & lime” mixed with their “hot”…this has quite a kick to it though.  So if your party likes it a bit more mild , I’d omit the “hot” and choose their original or something similar.

^^again..just that one can of “hot” will do it…if you cannot drink a bottle of Tabasco sauce like myself, I’d advice against it.

*You can use a blender if you do not own a food processor, but blenders do tend to make things ‘frothy” instead of finely diced.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes (flavor of choice)
  • 1/2 white onion, rough chop
  • 1 cup cilantro (stems & all)
  • 1 large clove garlic, rough chop
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Hefty pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions 

In your food processor, add in all of the above ingredients EXCEPT the 1/4 cup of sliced green onions.

   Pulse your processor till your desired texture is achieved.  We like ours a bit thinner…so I just pulse it longer.  Simple!

Here is where you will fold in the green onions to give it a bit more bite and texture.

     Depending how soon you’re eating this, pour into a serving dish or into a sealable container (I.e. Tupperware, Saran Wrap).  If eating later, just cover and place in the refridgerator till munch time!  Enjoy!

Spicy Shredded Chicken & Cheese Stuffed Poblanos

I was in the mood for a Chilé relleno, but didn’t want the heaviness that goes along with such a meal.  These stuffed poblanos have a fresher taste since they’re only roasted instead of fried and contain only a couple of simple ingredients!  A nice light take on a Mexican fave!

*Use whichever flavor or cut of cheese you prefer. I used cheese sticks because they’re were handy and the exact flavors I was wanting.

*When I say red sauce, I do NOT mean enchilada sauce..though you’re welcome to try!  I’m thinking more along the lines of that super spicy sauce you get a Mexican restaurants in the smaller dish or from the kitchen.  Basically a spicy, thin salsa.  Make sense??

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cooked chicken breast, shredded (rotisserie, poached)
  • 4-6 poblano peppers, roasted (skin-peeled)
  • 6-8 Cheese sticks (I used a mix of pepper jack & manchego)
  • 1/4 cup spicy red sauce (homemade, HEB, el Pato, etc)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Evoo
  • Kosher salt & pepper

Garnish

  • Mexican crema or sour cream, more red sauce, cilantro, limes.. 

Assuming that your chicken and poblanos are already prepped and ready to go (shredded/chopped and roasted/peeled), we’ll start with the onions!

 In a sauté pan heat about 1Tbsp of EVOO to medium heat.  *You always want your oil hot before you add in your ingredients.  Add in the 1/2 of a diced onion into the pan and allow to sweat down a bit while stirring.  After about 3-5 minutes and in the minced garlic.  Cook both of these together for just 1 minute and remove from the heat.  Burnt garlic is sooo not good!

 Transfer the cooked down onions & garlic to a large bowl.  Along with those you’re going to add in the cooked chicken, the spicy red sauce and a pinch each of kosher salt & pepper.  Feel free to add more red sauce if you’d like, you just don’t want it too wet.

   On to the poblano peppers…after the blistered skins are removed, make a couple inch slit into just ONE side.  Do NOT cut all the way through.  With a small spoon carefully scrape out as much of the seeds as you can.

 Next, place half of a cheese stick into the poblano (I used pepper jack here).  Next add a good size scoop of the spicy chicken mixture into the poblano.  Finally, top with 1 more cheese stick (I used manchego, melts beautifully, and just cut in half for two pieces).  Place the finished stuffed peppers onto a baking sheet or baking dish.

   Place the stuffed poblano peppers into your oven set on broil.  Have the rack about 6″ under your broiler and watch closely, as this will only take a few minutes.

Once the cheese is ooey-gooey they’re ready to devour!  Serve along side a light rice or beans and garnish with a Mexican crema/sour cream, more red sauce, cilantro and a lime!  Enjoy!!

Roasted Red, White & Bleu Potato Salad

This is a knock out for an All-American 🇺🇸 weekend side dish!!  I mean c’mon, the name alone says it all…

The roasted potatoes give fantastic texture (vs boiled), plus great tang from the sour cream addition and you can never ever everrr go wrong with bacon! Duh..

Also, if you do not care for Bleu cheese (were as we love it), by all means omit it and carry on.  It’s takes on more of a “ranch” flavor and is equally amazing.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 1/2 lbs of red potatoes
  • 1 package bacon, cooked (keep grease)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, sliced 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt & pepper 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.   Wash, pat dry and cut your potatoes into roughly 1×1″ squares.  Transfer the cut potatoes into a large bow.

   Start your bacon.  Cook till desired doneness (I prefer crisp) and transfer to a paper towl lined plate to drain.  Do NOT throw out that grease!!

Once the bacon has finished….go with me here….pour that delectable grease over the cut, raw potatoes.  Toss to coat.  (Sooo good!)   Now that the cut potatoes are coated, transfer evenly onto a large baking sheet and liberally sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Place in your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.  Turning once or twice.

While your potatoes are roasting, chop and slice up the red & green onions.

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, red onion, green onion and salt & pepper to taste.

Next, mix in your desired amount of blue cheese.  Remember, a little can go a long way…*again, if you’re not a blue cheese fan, just leave it out!  This is incredibly delicious either way.  You could even add shredded cheddar!

Alrighty, potatoes are cooked through and crisp!  Once removed from the oven, sprinkle over the apple cider vinegar.  While warm, these potatoes really suck it up and helps cut the richness from the cream & bacon elements.

Pour these guys back into the large bowl.  Add in the cream mixture, the bacon and gently toss to coat.

I like to garnish the top with a bit more crunchy bacon pieces and green onions.  A great take on a typical side dish!!  Enjoy!

Creamy Poblano Rice

I have a deep affection to the poblano pepper.  Yes, I am 100% more of a spice girl, but these richly colored and medium heat peppers are so versatile that everyone can enjoy them.  (My three year old ate two full helpings of this dish it’s flavorful, not hot).

Everyone I know grew up eating the traditional orange-y ‘Spanish rice’ with their tacos…why didn’t we ever change up the flavor??  Ok, I know in my childhood home it was because rice-a-roni didn’t make it, but still!

That being said, this recipe takes about 30 minutes to make and boxed rice takes about the same…so give it a try!

*and if your really not into making homemade rice, at least make the creamy poblano purée and add it to some cooked, instant rice.  Done! ☺️👌

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 3 poblanos, seeded and roughly chopped 
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime, the other half for garnish
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1tsp kosher salt
  • Canola oil  

Like usual, we start by prepping our produce.  This always makes everything go smoothly and quickly!  Rinse and cut each as instructed. 

     In a skillet, add together your chicken stock and the poblano peppers.  Bring to a low boil and semi cover.  Allow the peppers to soften for about 10-12 minutes. 

 

We’ll now add in just 1/2 of the heavy cream, cilantro, lime juice and salt.   From here you can either use an immersion blender (straight into the pan) OR pour this mix into a blender or food processor.  Blend till smooth, a little chunky is ok 🙂  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  

 

Next…in the same skillet, quickly wipe clean with a paper towel.  Add in a Tbsp of canola oil on medium heat.  

Now goes in the rice and chopped onion.  Stir around until the rice takes on a white appearance. (About 5 minutes).  Add in the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute. 

 

The last step has arrived (pretty easy so far right?),  pour your creamy poblano mix into the rice and coat.  *here is where I’ll add the other 1/2 cup heavy cream and if needed another 1/2 cup chicken stock.  

Turn heat down to medium-low, cover and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes till tender, but still with a chew.  Mushy rice is yuck.  You can stir it once or twice, but try to keep that steam heat in with the lid on. 

 

All done!!  Serve along side a mexican inspired dish, chicken, pork or fish with a lime wedge garnish!  Enjoy! 

 

Loaded Buffalo Chicken & Potato Casserole

After a busy week and not making it to our local grocery store..this is what I came up with and I am more than pleased!  Who doesn’t like buffalo wings, at least the semi-spicy and flavorful sauce??!  *If you don’t, we’ll cease contact now…This casserole was super easy, inexpensive and uses up some things you may already have on hand!

I was in no mood to get my boys and I ready to go out and about today just for dinner and when I gathered all of these ingredients from my pantry and fridge it became a home-run!!

The Starting Lineup

  • 5-6 medium russet potatoes, cut into rough 1″ cubes
  • 2lb boneless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into rough 1″ pieces
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled 
  • 2 cups grated cheese (cheddar, Jack, peppered, habanero, etc)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup+ buffalo wing sauce
  • 2Tbsp paprika
  • 1Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1tsp ground pepper
  • Non-stick spray/oil for 9×13 dish
  • Sour cream to garnish (optional) 

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees and coat a 9×13 oven proof dish in non-stick spray.

Now is time to start the bacon!  I am not a fan (at all) of chewy bacon, but for this dish, I prefer to cook my bacon not too (super-duper-like-normal) crisp.  It will continue to cook in the oven.


While the oven is preheating and the bacon is cooking away, we’ll clean and cut the potatoes and chop the 1/2 of an onion.

After the bacon is cooked to your desired doneness, do NOT throw away the 1/3 cup of grease!!  ….follow me here.

In a large bowl, drain that excess bacon grease straight into the bowl.  To that, combine the wing sauce & spices.  Give a good stir and add your cut potatoes and the 1/2 chopped onion into the now amazing glaze.  Toss to coat.

  


While leaving as much wing sauce ‘glaze’ possible in the bowl, transfer the potato and onion mixture to the non-stick sprayed casserole dish.  

This potato mix will go straight into your 475 degree oven.  Allow to cook for 45 minutes, while stirring every 10-15 minutes.

….back to that leftover buffalo sauce glaze…toss your cut up chicken breasts/tenderloins in this sauce and marinate away.  *If you need more sauce for the chicken, just make more.  No foul there.  *I also usually place bowl in fridge, but take out about 20 minutes before potatoes are finished. 

Also, while the potatoes are roasting, combine your sliced green onions, the crumbled bacon and your grated choice of cheese in a bowl. 

About now your potatoes should be cooked through and a bit crispy on the edges.

Drop the oven heat down to 400 degrees and remove the potatoes.  Right away add the (uncooked) chicken on top, followed by your cheese & bacon mix.  Pop this casserole (uncovered) into the oven for 15-20 minutes. 

After the 15’ish minutes of baking is done (chicken will be cooked through and juicy), remove the casserole and serve up!  We like to garnish ours with a big dollop of sour cream and maybe a drizzle of wing sauce or Bleu cheese crumbles.  Enjoy! 

  

Chilé con Carne Enchiladas

I love, love, love how you can change up enchiladas with any number of ingredients.  There are times I like a plain ol cheese or maybe go modern and do a funky goat cheese and roasted veggie…but today, I’m thinking Tex-Mex.   

Here in Texas, they love LOTS of cheese and LOTS of meat with their Mexican food.  So I’m going to do just that!  Let’s begin..

The Starting Lineup

  • 12-14 corn tortillas 
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white onion, plus more for garnish
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • Guajillo Árbol Sauce | Railroad Wife (divided. 1 part for tortillas, 1 part for beef)
  • 2 cups beef/chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 3 Tbsp + chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a blender combine 1/2 cup water with the chopped onion and garlic.  Cover and blend till smooth.

  
In a large pot, add together the onion purée with your ground beef and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

While your beef is cooking, dip each tortilla in the Guajillo Árbol Sauce.  You can either let sit in a shallow dish. **or (even better) lighty ‘fry’ each tortilla in a bit of oil for just 15 seconds and then dip in the spicy sauce just before assembling.


Once your beef and purée has almost cooked down, heat your vegetable oil in a separate pan to medium-high.  Turn heat down to low and slowly add in your flour while whisking quickly to create a rue.

  

Next, add the broth, 2 cups of water and all of the spices to your rue.  Keep whisking over low heat.  Once combined, whisk in your Guajillo Árbol Sauce till a nice even reddish-brown color appears.

Pour this gravy-like sauce into your cooked ground beef.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.  ***make sure to taste along the way for needed salt, etc.


While your chilé con carne is simmering, grate your cheddar cheese.  A great workout for your arms here with that pile o’ cheese needed!

With dipped tortillas, cheese and casserole dish ready, it’s assembly time!!

Lay a tortilla flat and place a nice layer of grated cheese down the center.  Roll up like a cigar and place in your casserole dish seam side down.

Repeat and repeat again until you’ve filled your dish…or dishes perhaps 😉

Once assembled, pour that beefy, chilé con carne directly over top your cheese filled enchiladas…its unfolding nicely isn’t it?!

Top your dish evenly with the remaining mound of grated cheddar cheese and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Remove from oven and top with some extra chopped onion, cilantro and serve with sour cream.  Delicious.



Beer Braised Pork 

I must of had an idea the other night that I wanted to feel fuller than ever before while enjoying some flavors of the south.  Those ‘fat thoughts’ made me think of a real gooey cheesy mac n cheese.  I then thought if it could possibly get any better than that….and it could!  Why not top the already decadent dish with some braised pork and maybe a tangy & sweet bbq sauce?!!  Genius!

…and yes, I am full.  Had seconds. Thirds.  And I am now onto ‘skinny thoughts’.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 3-5lb pork shoulder/butt roast (excess fat trimmed)
  • 1 12oz beer.  (Your pork, your choice)
  • Low sodium chicken broth/stock (at least 24oz)
  • 2-4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp unsalted butter
  • Onion, quartered
  • Serrano Chili, cut long vertical slit through half (stem to tip) but leave intact
  • BBQ sauce of your liking.

Dry Rub

  • 2tbsp chili powder
  • 2tbsp ground coriander
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tbsp cumin
  • 1tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2tbsp black pepper

Take out your pork roast and trim off any excess fat if needed.  Set aside.  In a shallow dish combine all of the spices thoroughly together to make the dry rub.  Place pork roast in dish and evenly distribute the spices and gently press into the meat on all sides.  Cover the roast in dish with plastic wrap and let sit in fridge for at least an hour if not overnight.  Take the roast out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.

*Preheat oven to 300degrees* On med-high, heat an oven safe Dutch oven on your stove top (I love my enameled Lodge cast iron for this).  Add in the EVOO & butter.  Once the butter has melted place the roast in the pan and sear on all sides.  Typically takes about 8-10minutes.  Set roast aside on plate and pour in the chicken broth.  With a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of pot.  This is the GOOD stuff.  It will greatly enhance the flavor of your meal.  Like one of my favorite chefs, Carla Hall, always says, “there’s flavor in the brown!”.  Add the pork roast back into the broth filled pot along with the onion, Serrano and pour in that can of beer.  I personally like to keep a swig or two for myself ;). The liquids should come up to a little over half of the meat.  You do not want it completely covered.

Cover the pot with its lid and place into the 300degree oven.  After 30 minutes I drop the temp down to 250 and 30minutes later down to 225degrees.  Now you can walk away from the oven for a good 4 hours and let that pork roast get flavorful and ridiculously pull apart tender!

We like to serve ours over my easy, creamy Mac n Cheese with a drizzle of Franklin BBQ sauce!  You can purchase it here in Texas at your local HEB Grocery Store (my fave!!)

%d bloggers like this: