Delicious Distractions to get us through the days.

Simple recipes for those with simple chef skills.

Bunch Worthy Lasagna December 18, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Holiday,Pork,Summer,Themed Post — christinedel @ 7:20 pm
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As much as I like to experiment with cooking and learn new dishes, I am not a fan of watching cooking shows. So for me to actually watch a cooking show there must be something to the dish that completely intrigues me.  Normally, when I think of lasagna I picture a lump of food sitting my my belly. But this version of lasagna is light enough to serve at a brunch or luncheon with your friends. I figure, if my Japanese hosts liked this version of lasagna, then there must be something to it. I made a few changes because, well, I live in Japan and I don’t like their tomatoes (sorry Japanese tomatoes, I’m from California).  And the salsa is good enough to stand on its own and eat with chips.


Here it is Sunny’s Latin Lasagna from Food Network:

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used less because I think it smells and tastes horrible)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Tomato Salsa, recipe follows
  • 18 “oven ready” lasagna noodles, about 1 (16-ounce) package (I used only 12)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl stir together ricotta, spinach, egg, cumin, salt and set aside. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat add 3 tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of butter and saute ground pork and cayenne pepper until meat is brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove meat from the pan to a bowl and add mushrooms to the pan. Cook until tender, another 5 minutes. Add meat back to the pan, stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, season with salt and pepper, to taste, then transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.

To assemble, layer bottom of 12 by 9-inch casserole dish with 1/3 of the salsa, then 6 noodles, overlapping to cover the entire bottom surface of the dish. Next add and evenly spread half the ricotta spinach mixture, half the pork mushroom mixture, and a layer of mozzarella. Layer another 1/3 of the salsa, 6 noodles, the remaining ricotta spinach mixture, and the remaining pork mushroom mixture. To finish add the last 6 noodles, top with the remaining salsa. Place the remaining mozzarella slices on top along with the remaining Parmesan. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and pepper, to taste. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F, uncover, and bake for 15 more minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Tomato Salsa:

  • 1 poblano pepper, stem removed, seeded and roughly chopped (didn’t use because the store didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed, seeded and roughly chopped (didn’t use because the store didn’t have any)and ta
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and roughly chopped (I used the large can of pureed tomatoes with basil)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves only
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until almost smooth. Adjust seasoning, to taste.

 

Stuffed Pork Chops in a Wine Sauce November 19, 2010

Filed under: 5 Ingredient/30 Minute Meals,Holiday,Pork,Themed Post — christinedel @ 5:22 pm

This is one of the best recipes I have for pork chops. Almost every pork chop recipe I come across calls for some sort of pan fry then 30 minute bake to pork chops. This cooking method seems to always make my chops over cooked, dry, and horrible tasting. So playing around with the cooking times and methods I came up with some so simple. So simple in fact, I can’t understand why so many other recipes call for so much cooking.  Hey, I figure I must be doing something right if I haven’t made us sick or killed us yet. So here is a pork chop recipe good enough to serve to company.

This recipe can stuff 4 medium sized chops decently. But since I can always only seem to find a pack of 3 chops to feed two of us, I over stuff those chops!

 


 

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 cup of your favorite herb seasoning bread crumbs (for variety mix in some Panko crumbs and stuffing mix)
  • ½ cup of finely chopped onion
  • 3 packets of sugar or about a teaspoon
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • ½teaspoon  of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/3 cup red cooking wine

Directions:

In a large sauce pan, heat on medium the beef broth and wine.

To cut a pocket in the pork chop, lay it flat on a cutting board.  With one hand, evenly press down on the chop with your whole hand to keep it secure to the cutting board.  Start by inserting the knife in the center of the chop and making a one inch opening. Make sure you do not cut through to the other side of the chop. This can be done by feeling the pressure of the knife as you cut. Continue cutting the pocket throughout the chop.

Mix the remaining ingredients thoroughly. Now stuff those pork chops full. If you have any remaining bread crumb mixture, shape them into balls.

By now the beef broth and wine should be simmering. Add the chops and the bread crumb balls and cover. Depending on the size of the chops, the cook time should be around 7 to 10 minutes per side.

Serve and spoon the remaining sauce over the chop. Our normal side is couscous.

Rating:

Husband- 3.75 stars

Me- 4 Stars

 

 

 

Oven Baked Pork Chops March 10, 2009

Filed under: Dinner,Pork — christinedel @ 10:54 pm
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This recipe is all about the stuffing mix.  If you have a favorite stuffing then you need to use it.  We used a herb seasoned stuffing mix and it was phenomenal!  But once again with most pork dishes the pork is a bit bland.  Ya, not something you are supposed to saying when promoting a recipe but this is all about learning and changing the recipes as you see fit.  We do have a favorite stuffed pork recipe that is by far 4 plus stars but I haven’t shared it with you yet, I will eventually. I have included what I would do differently with this recipe to help make the pork taste better.

oven-baked-pork-chops-031009dd

Rating out of three stars: Hubby- 2 stars Me- 2 stars (has potential see alternate steps)

Serves 2 Ready in 30 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 2 pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup of herb seasoned dry stuffing mix

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix the egg, milk, and pepper together.  Crush the stuffing mix slightly so no huge pieces remain.
  3. Dip the each pork chop in the egg mixture then coat with the stuffing.
  4. In an 8 x 8 inch pan, place butter then pork chops.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes turning half way and until no pink remains.

Second option for cooking (which I will try next time we eat this):

  1. After dipping and coating of the pork chop I would place the chop in a large skillet with a can of beef broth and ¼ cup of red wine.
  2. Simmer until the chop is cooked through about 10 minutes, flipping half way.
  3. This will make the stuffing soggy but it still tastes good.

Sides: Roasted Garlic Couscous

Our comments:

Hubby- Needs a sauce (it would have a sauce if we used the alternative recipe).

Me- Awesome use of the stuffing.