Tag Archives: oregano

Mediterranean Pork Chops Sheet Pan Dinner

25 Jun
Mediterranean Pork Chops Sheet Pan Dinner

Mediterranean Pork Chops Sheet Pan Dinner

Hallooo my friends, I have an easy sheet pan dinner recipe for you today as well as another update on my food cart, Austin Street Tacos.

First things first, let’s get to the recipe. Sheet pan dinners are great as you just have one pan to clean up after. The slight downside to this one is you have to remove the pan a couple of times, at least I have to with my bottom broiler. I mistimed my broiling time a tad too, so the potatoes are a bit “crisp” however I got no complaints from the hubby on that, he loves crispy potatoes! I used baby red and Yukon gold potatoes and asparagus as my green veggie, but you could use any other potatoes or veggies you want. Potatoes should be even sized about 1 inch or so, and most veggies will cook along with the pork. Adjust timing as necessary.

Here’s how you do this:

Mediterranean Pork Chops Sheet Pan Dinner

3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from one large lemon
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano (2 teaspoons dried)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3 to 4 thick pork chops, any kind
1 pound baby potatoes (cut any large ones in half)
1/2 pound asparagus
Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, pepper, and salt. Place pork chops in zip-top bag, then pour all but a couple tablespoons of marinade over chops. Reserve the rest. Seal the bag and squish around to coat. Refrigerate for one to four hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine the potatoes and vegetables in the reserved marinade. Add the potatoes to a lightly oil-sprayed sheet pan. You can line the pan with foil but I’m working on developing a lovely patina on mine. I think I did the trick with that part this time around. 🙂

Place potatoes in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan and add the pork chops and vegetables then return to oven. Cook for another 25 minutes, or until pork registers 140 degrees in the thickest part of a chop. Bump the oven to broil. Since I have a bottom broiler, I have to remove the pan so at this point I decided to grate some Parmesan cheese over everything, but that’s optional. Broil for a few minutes, remove from oven and serve!

~~~~~~~

Now for an update on my cart. With summer and tourists now in Bend, business is doing great at my little cart, yay! I also added a Saturday Farmer’s Market to my venue, which is doing outstanding. The first Saturday I sold out about 45 minutes before the market ended. This past Saturday, I cooked a bunch more meats and had enough, whew!

Northwest Crossing Farmer's Market

Northwest Crossing Farmer’s Market

Here I am at the very tail end of the market, serving my last customer. Pay no mind to my messy salsa bar at that point!

And looky, I got Instagrammed! I prep my salsa/condiment bar fresh each morning, and customers certainly love that it seems. Thank you bendfoodie, whoever you are!

Fresh Salsa Bar

Fresh Salsa Bar!

Oh, and here’s the handy-dandy printable for my recipe:

 

Advertisements

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Salami over Pasta

11 Mar
Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Calabrese Salami Over Pasta

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Calabrese Salami Over Pasta

Call me crazy for making this, but it turned out so awesome (to me) that I ate it for lunch THREE DAYS STRAIGHT. Never mind the opinions of the household members.

I had some lingering Calabrese salami and frozen artichokes hanging out in the usual places, and decided to throw caution to the wind and make something up. As it turns out, mixing chicken and salami is not so uncommon (it’s a New Orlean’s dish). Neither is mixing artichokes and salami (pizza, anyone?). Why not marry them all into one dish?? And then serve it over pasta?

This is a delight for the taste buds and even guest-worthy, if you have friends who aren’t intimidated by the bold and adventurous. 🙂

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Salami over Pasta

1 1/4 pounds chicken breasts or thighs (mine were boneless/skinless breasts)
Salt and black pepper for seasoning chicken, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/2 cup sliced fennel bulb
5 ounces frozen artichokes (that’s 1/2 bag of Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup large-diced salami (I used Calabrese, also TJ’s)
1 large stalk fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leafed parsley, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
Juice of 1/2 small lemon, plus lemon slices from the other half
Cooked pasta of choice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut chicken into large sections, if large. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Over medium-high heat, add the oil and sear the chicken until browned on all sides, a few minutes a side. The chicken will cook more later, so remove and place in a 2-quart casserole dish with a cover.

Veggies and Salami

Veggies and Salami

Add the sliced onion and fennel to the hot skillet for about 5 minutes, stirring until starting to soften and brown, then add the salami and sage. Cook until the salami begins to crisp up a bit. Add the garlic, artichoke hearts, oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes.

Beautiful Base for Sauce

Beautiful Base for Sauce

Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bits off the bottom. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Then add the flour, again stirring to incorporate. Now pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Last, squeeze in the juice of the half lemon.

Sauce Mixture for Chicken

Sauce Mixture for Chicken

Pour the mixture over the chicken in the casserole dish, arrange sliced lemons over top, cover with foil, then with the lid.

Cooked Chicken in Veggie Salami Sauce

Cooked Chicken in Veggie Salami Sauce

Place in heated oven and roast for about 40 to 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions.

Uncover and sprinkle with fresh parsley, for garnish. Serve over cooked pasta of choice (I used angel hair) with plenty of sauce and vegetables. For the leftovers, I found shredded Mozzarella cheese to be a fantastic addition!

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Calabrese Salami

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Calabrese Salami

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Recipe

 

Jodi’s Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

22 Oct
Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

This meal is so easy even this one-handed cook pulled it off handily. (I crack myself up.) 😀

My wonderful blog friend Jodi at The Creative Life in Between posted yet another mouth-watering dish for me to steal. I followed her recipe except cut it in half and used smoked paprika in place of the optional smokey paprika chipotle.

Dried Oregano and Honey Garlic Sauce

Dried Oregano and Honey Garlic Sauce

I thought I was out of dried oregano so snipped some fresh and dried it in the toaster oven first, but then found my last year’s dried batch — not in the empty and clearly labeled oregano jar — but in a Mrs. Dash container labeled in Sharpee with my husband’s printing. Go figure.

We served ours over rice and garnished with additional sesame seeds and snipped green onion (I demonstrate my prowess with that task below).

Snipping Green Onion Wearing Traction Device

Snipping Green Onion Wearing Traction Device

This is a spicy, slightly sweet explosion of flavor! The daughter went back for seconds and had the leftovers the next day. My husband ate a large sub just a few hours earlier and didn’t have any. Hiss loss!

Please pop on over to Jodi’s place to find a handy-dandy printable recipe here —> Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Garden Dump Soup ~ Plus a Wild-Caught Chinook Salmon!

11 Sep
Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

Our kindly neighbor in back gifted us with two giant zucchinis and a large summer squash just before we left on our trip to the coast last weekend. I packed the largest zucchini and my mandoline and made a huge pan of Zucchini Lasagna in our RV’s convection oven, so that made use of one.

A couple days after we got back, I discovered the other zucchini and squash in the vegetable bin plus a half bag of baby spinach. AND our tomatoes had gone gangbusters while we were gone!

Garden Fresh Veggies

Garden Fresh Veggies

Soup was the only thing that came to mind where I could use that many veggies at once, so scoured our freezer for a bit of protein to go with it. I found a 1/2 pound of ground turkey, and about a 1/4 pound of homemade ground hot Italian sausage, which I figured needed using up anyways. Last, I grabbed a quart of homemade beef stock out of the freezer, as I had 6 quarts of that and only 2 quarts of chicken broth.

Basically I chopped it all up, sauteed the veggies and meats, then threw the rest of it in a stock-pot with some seasonings and spicy oregano from gardening and voila! Garden Dump Soup. Maybe I should have called it Garden and Freezer Dump Soup? Also at the very end I tossed in a cup of elbow macaroni to thicken it up a bit. Either way, this wowed the hubs, who went back for second and thirds, and he kept asking me what I was going to call it for my blog. I finally came up with this name.

What’s good about a soup like this is you can use any  vegetables you have on hand, your preference of broth, and any kind of ground meat and pasta. So versatile! If you don’t end up using any ground hot Italian sausage I would recommend adding a 1/2 teaspoon or so of dried Italian seasoning and perhaps a pinch of red chile pepper flakes. But that’s just me.

Even better, the next day I made myself a hearty breakfast (it was workout day) by plopping a farm-fresh egg into it and simmered it to perfection. Yay!

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Garden Dump Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 extra-large zucchini (about 3 cups chopped)
1 large summer squash (about 2 cups chopped)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 to 1 pound low-fat ground meat or combination of meats
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
4 cups broth or stock of choice, preferably homemade or low sodium
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1 cup dry elbow macaroni
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional for garnish

Chop and mince up everything to prep. Add the oil to a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Veggies and Ground Meats

Veggies and Ground Meats

Add the ground meat, veggies (except tomatoes, and spinach if using), onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook for about 15 minutes until the meat is cooked pretty much through.

Add the stock or broth, tomatoes, and oregano plus other herbs/spices if necessary.

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Bring to a simmer, then add the elbow macaroni or other small pasta. Simmer until pasta is done then add the chopped spinach (if using) and cook until wilted.

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve in bowls with optional Parmesan cheese. Filling and super yummy!

Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

p.s. Never Forget! 9-11-01

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

p.p.s. My hubby caught a 40-inch 24-pound Chinook Salmon out of the Siletz Bay last weekend! Woo hoo! Here’s a few photos (or 6 or 7), if you don’t mind me sharing. My turn next. 🙂

Hooked

Hooked

Netted!

Netted!

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Weighing the Salmon

Weighing the Salmon ~ That’s One Happy Man!

 

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

27 Aug
Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

My good WP and FB friend Kat shared a video a couple of weeks ago of how to make a fresh box grater tomato sauce, and with a garden full of ripening tomatoes I knew I would be making a fresh-grated tomato sauce in the immediate future.

Hanging Tomato Plants

Hanging Tomato Plants

And of course I had to add shrimp, as my hubby and I are really enjoying our lack of daughter’s presence for dinners this summer so that we can eat this scrumptious shellfish, which is the ONLY seafood she doesn’t like.

The tomatoes in our garden are really small this year, so I didn’t even bother to slice them in half before grating. I just trimmed a tiny slice off the top, then grated away! I am sold on this method of preparing tomatoes for a sauce. Since I was planning on adding shrimp to this, I gussied everything up and cooked it for a short spell so that the shrimp would have a delicious sauce to simmer in.

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

My husband said I should put a tomato meter rating on my recipes, like the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes does, lol. With that, we give this recipe 5 ripe tomatoes! (Note: This recipe feeds two. Feel free to double as necessary.)

So what am I waiting for?! Here is the recipe:

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

4 ounces dry Linguine or other pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
Large splash of good white wine
Enough tomatoes for 1 cup grated sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt or Mrs. Dash and ground black pepper, to taste
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, reserve about a half cup of liquid, then drain and return to pot, cover and keep warm on lowest setting. Add small splashes of reserved pasta water and stir occasionally to keep it from sticking while preparing the rest of the dish.

While pasta is cooking, slice a small piece off the top of each tomato and grate flat-handed on a box grater down to the skin. Grate enough tomatoes for 1 cup of sauce.

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Add half the oil to a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic for a minute more then add in a splash of wine. Add the rest of the oil, the grated tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and seasonings. Bring to a low simmer.

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Nestle the shrimp into the sauce and cook for a few minutes, then flip over with tongs and cook for a few more until almost done. Last, add the chopped spinach, and simmer until wilted and shrimp are just cooked through.

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Stir in the cooked pasta and additional reserved water until desired consistency. Serve on plates with a side salad and/or rustic bread.

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Note how I did NOT add any cheese to this, as apparently the European world eschews cheese on seafood so I followed suit. I did not miss the cheese at all! I must say, this is the brightest, freshest tomato sauce I have ever tasted.

Oh! And if you want to see the referenced video, here it is: How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce | Food and Wine

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

2 Jul
Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

What can I say? This dish is simply AH-MAZING! I am a huge fan of artichokes, but fried? And also jumbo shrimp? Shut the door and lock me in! When I saw this recipe over at Meals with Mel (please stop on by her site to check it out. Hi Melody!!) I knew I just had to make it and went on a mission to do just that. My only regret is adding only two cans of artichokes, as I do believe I ate at least one can of said artichokes before they even met the shrimp and pasta.

While not something I’d indulge in often while watching the waistline, this is definitely a meal I will make again. My husband loved it too and wow Mel, thanks for the introduction to a plate of heaven!

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta
Adapted from same recipe at Meals with Mel

2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, quartered
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 handful thyme sprigs
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 pound jumbo shrimp (16/20 count)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large shallot, diced small (about 1/3 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped and divided
2 teaspoons fresh spicy oregano, minced
1/8 cup capers plus 2 teaspoons of the brine
1 large lemon, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 to 6 ounces dried Linguine
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Pecorino Romano, grated, for serving

Drain the artichoke hearts until they are almost completely dry. I squished them down in the colander with paper towels then let them set for about a half hour, blotting with more paper towels periodically.

Artichokes and Thyme Ready to Fry

Artichokes and Thyme Ready to Fry

Arrange the artichoke hearts in a single layer in the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet. Pour just enough olive oil over the artichokes to cover them. I used a cup.

Toss in the smashed clove of garlic and thyme sprigs. Turn the heat on to medium-high and allow the artichoke hearts to fry for about 30 minutes.

Artichokes Halfway Through Frying

Artichokes Halfway Through Frying

After about 10 minutes gently move the artichokes around to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom. After about 20 minutes carefully turn the artichoke hearts over to ensure even browning. After 30 minutes they should be golden brown, but don’t let them burn.

Remove the artichokes from the skillet and transfer to a paper towel-line plate. Lightly salt the hot fried artichoke hearts. Set aside and try not to eat them all. Trust me.

Fried Artichokes

Fried Artichokes ~ Maybe I should have moved them further away from my work space

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook to your preference according to package directions. Remove a cup or two of the cooking water and reserve, then drain the pasta

In another large skillet add about 2 tablespoons of the artichoke “frying” oil and a tablespoon of butter. Add the shallot and cook over medium heat until tender, about four minutes. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, capers and brine, half the chopped parsley, and the juice and zest of half the lemon. Season with a little salt and lots of ground black pepper, to taste. Cook for two minutes until fragrant, then add the white wine and reduce by half.

Cooking the Jumbo Shrimp

Cooking the Jumbo Shrimp

Add the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp turn pink, just a couple minutes per side. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the shrimp and fried artichokes and toss to combine. Loosen the pasta with the reserved cooking water.

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Pour the skillet contents into large serving bowl and toss with the remaining parsley, the other lemon half squeezed, and a little fresh grated Pecorino Romano or other high-quality hard cheese. This is dinner-guest worthy! Enjoy!

P.S. I have been super busy the past few days getting our house and patio ready for a 4th of July party. I hope you all have a safe, memorable and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Chimichurri Sauce on Ribeye Steak ~ or Whatever!

25 Jun
Chimichurri Sauce with Grilled Ribeye

Chimichurri Sauce with Grilled Ribeye

Soooo, my daughter has absconded with my prized Canon Rebel that I use for my foodie blog, as she’s flown off to Texas to record her adventures in Austin, Wimberley, and San Antonio for a week. I don’t know why I let her take it. So that left me without recording anything I made this week, but luckily had a few downloaded pics of some homemade Chimichurri sauce I made last weekend for some grilled Ribeyes. Unfortunately I only took pics of the final product and not the “making” of it. I’m sure you’ll live. 🙂

This is a very versatile, slightly spicy sauce that can be used as a topping on any grilled (or otherwise) protein, like steak, chicken, or fish. It can also be used as an overnight marinade, which I also used it for later in the week for a tough cut of meat. It’s a winning combination of flavors. This will keep two to three weeks in the fridge if you keep adding a little oil to keep it covered. When you want to use it for a recipe, just take it out of the fridge at least an hour beforehand to let the oil warm  and loosen up and then give it a good shake or stir. This is also best made at least a day or two ahead to let the flavors meld.

I used some cilantro from my garden along with the parsley but if you are in the “cilantro-hating” camp you can also sub some spicy arugula or other green. It’s all good! I also used my spicy oregano plant (as opposed to just regular oregano) to give it an added kick.

Chimichurri Sauce with Spicy Oregano Plant

Chimichurri Sauce with Spicy Oregano Plant

And a huge shout-out to The FrugalHausfrau again for inspiring me to adapt her recipe! Click on her link to see the original.

Here is what I did:

Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (sub arugala, more parsley or other green if you don’t like it)
1/2 cup onion, chopped rough
2 garlic cloves
About 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
LOTS of ground black pepper, at least 1/2 teaspoon or more
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
Sea or kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar with a splash of red wine, or all white)
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or until sauce is covered

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until finely minced, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste for additional seasonings, and add as needed.

Allow to stand for 30 minutes, then add more oil after rest time if it’s not covered with at least 1/4 inch of oil.

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce

Cover and chill (I put mine in a Bell canning jar) for at least 3 hours or overnight. Overnight is better. Bring to room temperature at least an hour before serving. Serve over grilled steak, chicken, or fish, or use it as a marinade. Enjoy!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

6 Feb
Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

Finding creative ways to use leftover deli rotisserie chicken (or even home-roasted for that matter) can sometimes be a challenge. I was pretty stoked when this recipe for chicken croquettes showed up in my WP reader board for a unique and delicious way to use up some leftover cooked chicken. (Thank you Fabulous Fare Sisters for making my day!)

My local grocery just started offering rotisserie chicken breasts pieces for sale instead of the whole chicken. OMG what??? I am not a huge fan of dark meat (although I know it is juicier, but I let hubby always take care of that part of the chicken.) But wow, it was so nice to get some deli-roasted chicken *knowing* all the leftovers would be used up before freezing it and turning it into chicken stock. Yes, that is a nice feeling indeed…

These tasty croquettes were not that hard at all to make, and delivered on taste and were not dry at all. We were all very impressed! The adapted recipe version I am giving you made 5 croquettes, so now I have two in the freezer for an easy future meal for just the hubs and I when daughter isn’t home for dinner. Hooray!

Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes
Adapted from Chicken Parmesan Croquettes at Fabulous Fare Sisters

2 1/2 to 3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken (I used my Ninja food processor)
1 large egg
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (homemade are good!)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chicken stock or broth (low sodium or homemade)
Ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano (from our garden!)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup marinara sauce, heated through
Shredded Mozzarella cheese for topping the croquettes
Dried or fresh basil, for garnish

Cooked Chicken in Ninja Processor

Cooked Chicken in Ninja Processor

Finely chop/mince the cooked chicken, either with a knife or in a food processor.

In a large mixing bowl, add the first 8 ingredients and combine together using your hands until blended well.

Croquette Ingredients

Croquette Ingredients

Form mixture into patty size of choice — we ended up with 5.  Add oil to skillet over medium heat, then cook on each side until golden, about 3 minutes each side (remember the chicken is already cooked).  Add more breadcrumbs on top (if you have more) when you flip over for extra flavor.

Frying the Croquettes

Frying the Croquettes

Preheat broiler in oven or toaster oven.

Croquettes Ready for Broiling

Croquettes Ready for Broiling

Top each croquette with a couple of tablespoons of heated marinara sauce of choice, then Mozzarella, and broil until cheese is bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Broiled Croquettes

Broiled Croquettes

Garnish with dried or fresh chopped basil. We served this over cooked pasta, but you can serve with any grain or pasta and a salad.

Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

Pan-Fried Chicken Parmesan Croquettes

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

30 Jan
BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

I rarely try to do copycat recipes as they never come up to snuff to what you expect, but this one scored in my house. Now, probably 99.9999% of my readers don’t even live in my small town nor either close to it, so we’ll just leave it at that I was able to surpass the taste of this amazing shrimp appetizer dish at a local trendy restaurant.

It probably doesn’t even taste the same, since I never bought their expensive $16 bottle of the sauce to compare it to. (Who buys a $16 bottle of BBQ sauce, what??) All I know is that it exceeded our expectations of how it would turn out. I’m in LOVE! My husband swooned! (OK he didn’t literally, but he loved it too so I had to say it.)

I tried searching for the copycat recipe from our local restaurant (Zydeco Kitchen and Cocktails), but all it ever came up with was a copycat recipe for Zydeco 5, which is apparently in the Midwest or thereabouts. So, I googled for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. Whoa! Too much information. However, what I gleaned from it all is that there were two camps in how to prepare it. Either marinating for a long time then oven cooking, or cooking quickly in a cast-iron skillet. I chose the former after my research.

I printed out several of the recipes that went in both camps, then combined all the ingredients into one full recipe. I got a little confuzzled at one point when I scratched out on one and then switched to the other then went back to the other. OY!

Instead of making grits or polenta cakes from scratch (for time reasons), I went with an organic refrigerated garlic and basil polenta tube from a local grocery. Trader Joe’s sells a similar tube of this product.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

Note: I’ve offered to bring this to Super Bowl next week as an appetizer, and THEN make it again a few weeks later as the main course for a dinner party. Am I nuts??? LOL. But will be glad to do it.

Second note: I have a high heat/spice tolerance, so adjust seasoning amounts as needed.

This recipe serves two people, adjust amounts if serving more. On to the recipe!

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili sauce (found in the ketchup aisle)
3 tablespoons Worcesterhire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (I used Stubb’s)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Cajun (Creole) seasoning
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried spicy oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Generous amounts of ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Prepared refrigerated polenta
1 tablespoon butter
Chopped parsley and green onion, for garnish

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add all the ingredients through to the ground pepper. You may want to add the spicy spices a little at a time until the spice level suits your tastes.

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until it’s reduced just a tad. Add the shrimp to a casserole dish, then pour the sauce over it, stirring around to coat. Spread the shrimp around so they’re in a single layer.

Marinating the Shrimp

Marinating the Shrimp

Cover and place in refrigerator for up to 4 hours or overnight.

About a half hour before you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When preheated, place shrimp dish uncovered in oven for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the polenta into 1/2-inch or so cakes (I wasn’t very precise in that case). Add butter to a skillet over medium-high heat, then fry the polenta cakes on each side until slightly browned.

Fried Polenta Cakes

Fried Polenta Cakes

Place two polenta cakes in a bowl, then add desired amount of shrimp over the cakes, pouring generous amounts of the BBQ sauce over it. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and green onion. Serve with a crusty bread, for sopping up all the sauce. Try not to fight over who gets to mop up the last of the sauce out of the casserole dish.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

23 Jan
One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

This is a recipe I have made since college repeatedly. Surprisingly, I have never posted it as it is just “one of those meals” in my rotation. When both hubs and I stare at each other after a long day at work with those glazed eyes and say “what’s for dinner,” this recipe is usually one that comes up in the replies.

Back in the college days (and even early married days) I used to make this with that canned “cream of” soup. Any flavor I pretty much had on hand. After the hubby got diagnosed with high blood pressure, that was the first thing out the door. So I learned how to make my own “cream of” soups, and it is surprisingly simple! (And certainly healthier too but it does have butter and flour.) But never mind that. It just TASTES better too! It’s a plate full of comfort, I tell you! We typically serve with a small salad or steamed green veggie on the side.

This can make enough for anywhere from 2 to 6 people, if you have a large enough skillet. I had some huge pork chops, so depending on your family’s eating habits you’ll have leftovers, or not. Don’t worry about the amount of “soup” you end up with, there’s always enough creamy sauce for the amount of meat, potatoes and onions, even if it looks sketchy at best at first. No lie!

p.s. I originally called this simple and easy, but after looking at all the steps after writing it up, I realized I only “think” of it that way, as I swear I could make this blindfolded! If you make this enough times (as I hope you will) then I think you’ll feel the same!

So here is what we have going on:

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

3 to 6 small potatoes, depending on the mouths you feed, washed and scrubbed
1/2 to 1 large yellow onion, peeled
3/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of pork chops, either bone-in or not
Ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil
Several splashes of wine, stock, or water, for deglazing
1 recipe of “cream of” soup (ingredients and recipe to follow)
Pinches of dried or fresh herbs that you like, to taste (I prefer thyme and spicy oregano for this)

Cream of “Anything” Soup Recipe

3 to 4 tablespoons real butter
1/4 cup of finely diced “of” ingredient (mushrooms, cooked chicken, celery… you get the idea)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium stock (any kind)
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
Ground pepper and salt, or Mrs. Dash , to taste

Sliced Patooties

Sliced Patooties

First thing to do is get out the mandoline and slice up all those potatooties and onions thinly. If you don’t have a fancy (like 9.99 Walmart or Amazon) device, then slice thin with your sharpest knife. It’s OK if you don’t have a mandoline. I’m a newcomer to that game and scoffed until I bought one. I totally get it. Cut the onion rings in half with a knife (optional).

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Next season up those chops nice and good, however you want. Nobody is judging you on your spice preference.

Seasoned Pork Chops

Seasoned Pork Chops

Add a tablespoon or so of oil to a large hot skillet (that has a cover to fit) and sear the pork on each side, until nice and browned. I forget how long that takes as I just eyeball it. A few minutes each side, at least. Once browned, remove the chops to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.

Browned Pork Chops

Browned Pork Chops

Add more oil to the skillet and toss in the sliced potatoes and onions and lower heat to medium. Season, to taste. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or so, stirring here and again.

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Meanwhile, make your “cream” of soup. The pans will be side by side, you can do it!

I had ‘shrooms on hand that day, so cream of mushroom soup it was! I also used some turkey stock from my Thanksgiving batch of carcass stock.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add your “of” ingredient (in my case the mushrooms) and cook until soft and the butter is foaming. Pre-cooked chicken is not such a big deal to worry about softening.

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Add the flour then whisk until it’s all incorporated and turns into a weird paste. That’s OK too, it’s supposed to do that.

Making Paste

Making Paste

Add the stock all at once, then whisk like a whirling dervish until it’s all incorporated and smooth and creamy. Strange how it suddenly happens, huh? You’ll know after you try it. Then add the milk and whisk some more until it’s all combined and creamy again. Once again, season to taste and stir in. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Now. Now is the time to put it all together. Deglaze the skillet of veggies with wine or more stock or water to loosen up the yummy crispy bits.

Place the browned pork on top of the potatoes and onions.Pour the cream “of” soup over the pork and spread around. Sprinkle your preferred herbs over top. Please, do not freak out at this point that you don’t have enough soup or gravy or whatever. Trust me. See my photo?

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Bring the skillet up to a slow simmer, then cover, and turn down to medium low. Then walk away. WALK AWAY! Leave it alone for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, uncover and smoosh everything down into the gravy because OMG where did all that gravy come from??? Ha, told you so. This photo is only after 20 minutes.

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Cover the skillet again, and cook until the potatoes are tender and the pork is at least 145 or more degrees, anywhere from 10 to 20 more minutes depending on the thickness of the chops and potatoes.

Once potatoes are softened and pork is safe to eat, turn off skillet, cut pork into serving sizes and scoop amount of potatoes and onions and gravy on to your plate that you want. Serve with some kind of green veggie or salad or whatnot. Enjoy!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

%d bloggers like this: