Tag Archives: cream

Braised Pork in Milk with Lemon and Sage over Spinach

17 Sep
Braised Pork in Milk with Lemon and Sage over Spinach

Braised Pork in Milk with Lemon and Sage over Spinach

So I have this friend who has a food blog in this far distant place called Ireland. He recently posted a recipe about some rare, free-range organic pork that can only be found in that special place of the world, and he did a fine job with it! But, today, I am here to tell you about how to cook cheap, non-free-range odd cuts of pork into a delicious meal, which doesn’t require trips to specialty breed organic farmers, meat butchers, and the like. (No offense Conor! 😉 To make amends, I shall lead others to your epic blog —> HERE.)

What I have here are two distinctly generic cuts of pork, one a thick bone-in pork loin, the other, two small thin slices of pork chops. Both of which were purchased then frozen from the 50% off bin. GASP! However, I am a frugal shopper when I want to be.

Non-Free-Range nor Rare Pork Cuts

Non-Free-Range nor Rare Pork Cuts

I adapted this recipe from my Braised Chicken in Milk recipe. Low and slow is the way to go my friends! I selected to eat (after cooking) the thin chops, which I chose to bundle together first to match the pork loin thickness. They were perfectly moist and delicious, as well as a bite I took from my husband’s pork loin was equally moist and tender. However, my husband swears one can never cook a moist and tender pork and even balked at his piece. Nay-sayer! But let me tell you, I will prove him wrong once I buy a sous-vide machine, which is happening in the very near future. I know I keep telling my foodie friends that, but I have to put this nonsense to bed that pork can’t ever be tender. So there.

Now, on to the recipe, which is fantastic (and simple) in my humble opinion.

Braised Pork in Milk with Lemon and Sage over Spinach

3/4 to 1-1/2 pounds pork cuts, even thickness, any kind
Ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 tablespoon real butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup homemade or low sodium chick broth/stock
1 cinnamon stick
Handful of fresh sage
Zest/skin of a large lemon, peeled in thick strips
Handful of garlic cloves, smashed
1-1/2 cups Half and Half or Heavy Cream, plus 1/2 to 1 cup more if needed
4 to 6-ounces fresh spinach

The Ubiquitous Ingredients Shot

The Ubiquitous Ingredients Shot

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Season the pork all over with ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste. Add butter and olive oil over medium-high heat in a deep cast iron skillet or Dutch oven and brown on both sides.

Browning the Inferior Pork

Browning the Inferior Pork

Remove from the heat then put the pork on a plate to rest. Deglaze the skillet or pot with the chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits. Add the rest of the ingredients back to the skillet except pork and spinach and stir until simmering.

Bringing Lovely Sauce up to Simmer

Bringing Lovely Sauce up to Simmer

Nestle the pork into the sauce and place in the preheated oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Ready to Bake in Oven

Ready to Bake in Oven

Turn the pork over and stir the sauce half-way through the cooking time.

When done, remove from oven and remove the pork to a plate and cover to rest again. Add the skillet to the stove burner over low heat, then add spinach, and add 1/2 cup to 1 more cup of Half and Half or cream, if needed. Stir until the spinach is wilted and the sauce has thickened and is bubbling. Don’t worry about any curdling, it’s supposed to do that.

Simmering the Sauce and Wilting the Spinach

Simmering the Sauce and Wilting the Spinach

Remove cinnamon stick and lemon rinds from sauce, and garlic cloves if you want but they are yummy! Serve the pork over the spinach on warmed plates, with plenty of extra sauce to coat.

Braised Pork in Milk with Lemon and Sage over Spinach

Braised Pork in Milk with Lemon and Sage over Spinach

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Indian Butter Chicken

26 Sep
Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

An absolutely wonderful friend of mine sent me a large package of garam masala earlier this year. I even had the pleasure of rooming with her this past weekend for a charity fundraising event in Minneapolis.

OK, it was a big party with lots of shenanigans, laughing, and tears of joy. But a fundraising event nonetheless where the proceeds of the event go to the MODs Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization dedicated to supporting wildlife conservation, education and art. Oh, so where was I? Yes, the garam masala. This is a food blog, right?

I actually made this back in July when we had a short spurt of unseasonably cold weather, just before it zoomed right up into the triple digits. It didn’t feel right posting about it while everyone was sweating buckets and craving cool salads.

Now that fall has arrived, it’s time to introduce you to one of the many dishes to come using garam masala, a wonderfully complex spice used commonly in North Indian and South Asian food. It’s a perfect dish for a cool fall night.

Indian Butter Chicken
Adapted from Indian Butter Chicken at foodiecrush

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
2 cups Half and Half or cream
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
Lime wedges and cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving

Cut and Seasoned Chicken

Cut and Seasoned Chicken

Cut the chicken into one-inch chunks and season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste. In a very large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the diced onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until translucent.

Onions in Oil and Butter

Onions in Oil and Butter

Add the garam masala, ginger, and chili powder and cook for several more minutes, stirring often.

Garam Masala and Other Spices Added

Garam Masala and Other Spices Added

Whisk in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and bay leaves and cook for a few more minutes. Add the half and half or cream, stirring until it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 5 more minutes.

Simmering the Creamy Tomato Sauce

Simmering the Creamy Tomato Sauce

Meanwhile, add the remaining oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to another large skillet and cook the chicken over medium-high heat until the chicken is lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Somehow I missed a photo of that step.)

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Transfer the chicken to the creamy tomato sauce and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the peas and remaining butter to the sauce and continue cooking until the butter has melted.

Peas and Butter Added to the Sauce

Peas and Butter Added to the Sauce

Oh my gosh, just look at that beautiful BUTTAH!

Melting Butter

Melting Butter ~ Divine!

Serve over cooked rice and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro leaves.

Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

11 May
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

First off, Happy Mother’s Day! And, wow, what a hit this recipe was with the fam! They really liked this a lot. I had some fun on Pinterest yesterday and glommed together two different recipes for this one, among other tweaks. It was quite easy to make and I think this will be a new meal for the rotation.

I am dancing the happy dance, as it’s sunny today and we are slowly warming up to 80 degrees by Wednesday! Spring has finally arrived. I’m looking forward to sharing some new grilling and salad recipes to pull you through the warmer months ahead.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole Cooked

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole Cooked

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

1/2 cooked rotisserie chicken (about 2 1/2 cups), shredded
1/4 pound thin sliced deli ham, chopped (I used Virginia Smoked)
5 thin slices Swiss cheese

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Half and Half
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste

For the topping:
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish with oil. First layer the shredded chicken.

Shredded Chicken

Shredded Chicken

Then add a layer of ham.

Chopped Ham Layer

Chopped Ham Layer

Then a single layer of Swiss cheese. My husband ate the half slice that didn’t fit.

Swiss Cheese Layer

Swiss Cheese Layer

Next, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it forms a paste, then pour in the milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add in the mustard, Worcestershire, and Parmesan cheese and remove from heat. Stir until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are combined.

Dijon Sauce Layer

Dijon Sauce Layer

Pour the sauce over the casserole from one end to the other, lifting the slices of cheese as you go to get some of the sauce underneath. This is a bit tricky, but don’t pour the hot sauce over your fingers, for gosh sakes!

Panko and Parsley Layer

Panko and Parsley Layer

Last, melt the butter in the microwave in a medium glass bowl. Stir in the Panko and seasoned bread crumbs, seasonings, and chopped parsley. Mix until well combined. Sprinkle it over the top of the casserole evenly.

Bake the casserole uncovered for 30 minutes until the topping is lightly browned hot and bubbly throughout and topping has turned a light golden brown. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve with cooked broccoli, or perhaps a light green salad. Creamy and delicious!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

p.s. We have a family of Great Horned Owls in one of our downtown local parks! I made a visit to them today so though I’d share a photo of the owlet. Awwwww.

Great Horned Owlet

Great Horned Owlet

Potato Moussaka

27 Nov
Potato Moussaka

Potato Moussaka

(Pssst! It’s my birthday today. Any and all comments to that effect welcome. 😉 )

I chose this tasty recipe to test over the weekend as part of Food52’s most recent recipe contest for Your Best Potatoes. I entered my Ooey Gooey Au Gratin Potatoes to the contest, and when I didn’t make the first cut, I looked over all the Community Picks and this one stood out as one I’d enjoy cooking AND eating! So I pressed the Test This button and got to cookin’!

Since I was testing a specific recipe, I did not change or substitute any of the ingredients so that I could give it a fair assessment of the original. I was also very brave and served this to a couple we had over for dinner as the main course, with never even making it before to know how it would turn out. Very brave indeed. With a sigh of relief, all plates were polished off. Whew!

Potato Moussaka Assembled and Ready to Cook

Potato Moussaka Assembled and Ready to Cook

However, if I ever made this again, I would double the amount of spices and herbs called for in it. With the large amounts of potatoes, milk, and cream, the taste of those got lost in the mix. While this was very tasty on its own, three out of the five eating it decided to splash some Sriracha hot sauce over top, which made it just delicious! The other thing I would do different is buy a mandolin to slice the potatoes. It was sure slow going trying to evenly slice that many pounds of potatoes. Oy! Plus I only ended up with three layers of potatoes because I couldn’t slice them thin enough with just a kitchen knife. If you look at the original recipe photo, you can see she did a much neater job with the slicing and presentation. I also did not wait the requisite 15 or 20 minutes to let it set, and that’s pretty obvious from my “square slice” that really wasn’t square or sliced too well.

HINT: Add the sliced potatoes to a bowl of cold water while slicing them, then keep them in the water while you prepare the other ingredients. Remove and pat them dry with a towel when you are ready to assemble. This prevents them from browning.

Soaking Sliced Potatoes

Soaking Sliced Potatoes

Without further ado, here is the recipe I tested, as originally published:

Potato Moussaka <<– link to original, you can also print it from there
Recipe by QueenSashy on Food52 website

Author Notes: Moussaka is a famous Turkish/Mediterranean dish with eggplants, minced meat, tomatoes, béchamel and an occasional potato. However, as the Turks gradually conquered more and more of the Balkan territories and traveled north, towards Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, most of the fancier ingredients were dropped and only potatoes remained with a scant sprinkle of minced meat, a testament to the life in these impoverished farming lands and their colder climates. And that is how the famous Potato Moussaka, one of the staple dishes of the Balkan cuisine was born. Potato moussaka is a seemingly simple dish to make, but the essence of getting it right lies in the baking process. When executed properly potato moussaka is a true masterpiece — wonderfully crisp on top, soft and caramelized on bottom, creamy in the middle, filled with wonderful little caves of fragrant minced beef, and bursting with rich, cheesy taste, despite of containing no cheese at all!  – QueenSashy

Serves 6

  • About 3lb Russet potatoes (to the extent possible, try to use potatoes of similar size and shape)
  • 1 pound ground beef (preferably 80% lean)
  • 2 small shallots (about 4 oz)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 generous teaspoon of dried summer savory (or ½ tsp dried oregano and ½ tsp dried marjoram)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus more for oiling/brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 9×13 inch rectangular baking dish
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, for about a minute or two. Add the ground beef and cook until browned on the surface. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, parsley and summer savory. Divide the meat into three parts.
  3. Peel the potatoes, rinse them and pat them dry. Slice the potatoes 1/8-inch thick, no more, no less. (You may want to discards the smallest pieces.)
  4. Liberally oil the baking dish. Arrange the potato slices neatly in the baking dish in one layer, overlapping each one about the third of the way over the slice that came before, until the bottom of the dish is neatly paved. Sprinkle with salt and cover with the third of the meat. Repeat the process (potatoes + sprinkle of salt + ground beef) two more times. Finish with another neat layer of potatoes (for a total of four potato layers.)
  5. In a small bowl beat the eggs. Add the milk, cream, garlic and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix well. Pour over the potatoes.
  6. Cover the baking dish with a foil and bake covered, until the liquid starts to bubble. Once the liquid starts to bubble, remove the cover, reduce heat to 365°F and bake for another hour or so (this will depend on your oven, dish, and many other factors, so start watching at about 45 minutes). The moussaka is done when the potatoes on top are golden brown, spotted with dark crispy areas, while potatoes inside are very soft. (If you notice during baking that top layer is getting dry, sprinkle it with water and brush it with vegetable oil. If you notice that the entire dish is getting dry, add a bit more warm milk. If you think that top is getting baked faster than the inside, cover with the foil again. If the inside is fully done and the top is not golden, finish the dish under the broiler for a minute or two.)
  7. Remove the moussaka from the oven. Let it settle for about 15-20 minutes, then cut into square slices and eat immediately.
Potato Moussaka

Potato Moussaka

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