Pork Chops with Apple Maple Sauce

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I really think pork chops are an under utilized meat.  I think they are so delicious and such a delicate meat that really takes to many different flavors. This time I made them with a maple syrup apple sauce that was really tasty and the right balance of sweet and savory.

Last night was James and my first night without any family around since  before Thanksgiving, and we were grateful to get an evening with just the two of us.  We had an amazing time over the holiday and were so lucky to have family around for almost two weeks. But as a young married couple in our new house, we really enjoy the nights we get to ourselves.

This time of year gearing towards the holidays is hectic! We have 2-3 events every week until Christmas, meaning we won’t be getting many evenings to ourselves for a while. We are so lucky to have so many great friends in a great community, but we are going to cherish the nights we get to spend just the two of us!

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What you need:

  • 1lb Pork Chops
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, cubed
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of white wine (dry)
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Season both sides of your pork chop with salt and pepper.

If your pork chops are particularly thick like these, heat your oven to 325F to finish cooking them in the oven.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot.  Once sizzling, add in your pork chops.

Cook your pork chops for about 7 minutes per side until nicely browned.

Remove the chops from the pan and add in your apple, syrup, wine, broth and rosemary.

Add in about 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper to taste.

Let your sauce cook down for about 5 minutes before adding your pork chops back into the pan.

Put the pan with the chops and sauce in the oven for about 5-8min until cooked through.

Remove from the oven and enjoy!

We served ours with a tasty lemon roast potato, but you could serve it with anything you want. Make sure you have some wine left over to serve with dinner!

Buen Provecho!

Peruvian Chicken

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I am super stoked it is Thursday. Meaning it’s almost Friday and almost the weekend! It is officially time to start counting down to thanksgiving because it’s two weeks away! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It is amazing food, no pressure for gifts, and a day when it’s totally acceptable to start drinking around 10am.  All in the name of cooking and family!

As Americans we have a lot to be thankful for, and this year, James and I are hosting our family at our new house. My in-laws are coming in from the UK and my parents will fly up from TX.  The thing we most have in common is a love of food and having a good time. I am so excited to host the first of hopefully many holidays at our new house! James and I have had such an exciting year and it makes us very happy to share it.

You might be asking what Peruvian chicken has to do with thanksgiving, and the answer is… nothing! I just realized Thanksgiving was two weeks away and I got excited!

This recipe is great, and very easy to make.  It’s the perfect Sunday family dinner, and honestly if you wanted to throw out the thanksgiving rule book, it would be a great way to marinate and cook your thanksgiving turkey!

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What you need:

  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 large chicken breasts or a whole 4lb chicken
  • 1 medium onion, diced

Combine all of your ingredients together except for the chicken in a bowl.

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Put your chicken in a baking dish and cover it with the marinade. Rub it into the skin and the meat itself.  Cover it and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

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This is a great thing to make the night before as the longer it marinates the more flavor the chicken gets.

Heat the oven to 375F and cook the chicken for 60min. If your chicken breasts are smaller cook for less time, but the chicken will come out juicy and full of flavor!

I served mine with black beans and some fresh sliced tomato, but feel free to enjoy it with anything you want!

 

Shrimp and Chorizo Stuffed Poblano

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After last night’s historic election, we have an entire country evaluating what this means for our future. Whoever you supported in this election, the whole country needs to step back and analyze what kind of future we want for our children. America is at a fork in the road, and we need to decide which direction is best to propel our nation forward.

It is very easy to get caught up in the stress and the partisan arguments, but we must now unite and be positive, and teach our children by example how to work hard, be kind, and have integrity.

More importantly though, we must come together over a good meal and make sure no matter what, we continue to take care of ourselves and our families and eat delicious healthy food! As an extension of yesterday’s comfort food post, another comfort food for me is chile relleno, this time with shrimp and chorizo!

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What you need:

  • 1/2 pound Mexican-style chorizo
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 cup short-grain rice
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 large, fresh poblano chiles
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar, shredded (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 400F.

Remove your chorizo from the casing and break it apart.

In a saucepan cook your chorizo over medium high heat for 3 or 4 minutes, until mostly cooked through.

Add in your bell peppers, onion, garlic and tomato and cook for another 5-7 min until translucent.

Add in your rice so it is coated in the oil from the chorizo and cook it for a few minutes to remove the raw rice taste.

Add in your liquids and bring to a boil. Then cover your sauce pan and cook on low or simmer for 20min.

After 20 min, put your shrimp in the rice mixture and toss it around, turn off the heat, and re-cover it for another 5 min or so. Shrimp will cook from the heat of the rice.

While your rice cooks, you will cook your poblanos in the oven for 15min or so. Remove them from the oven and put them in a plastic bag. Once they cool, you will be able to peel the skin off easily, thanks to the plastic bag steaming them a little further.

Peel the poblanos, cut off the top, and remove the seeds.

Stuff the peppers with the rice mixture, and at this point you would sprinkle on the cheese.  Feel free to leave it out though.

Put the peppers back in the oven for about 10 min to get a slightly crispy top and to re-warm the peppers.

These are so tasty and warm you from the inside out!

Buen Provecho!

Tuna Tartine

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Growing up tuna sandwiches were a very easy go to lunch, and we really loved them. As I have mentioned before, I have never been the biggest fan of mayo, but tuna salad was always something I really liked.

As I got older and my tastes matured, I got exposure to tuna in a lot of different forms: on salads, tuna steaks, sushi…etc. When I moved to NYC one of my favorite lunch spots was Le Pain Quotidian (The Daily Bread). They have this fabulous tuna tartine – which is essentially an open faced sandwich. This tartine has a white bean hummus base and a simple tuna salad on top.

One of the challenges of eating well every day is finding things you like and having enough variety. There are a million different ways to eat tuna – it’s one of the most versatile foods, and as it’s pure protein, having it once or twice a week is a great option.

tartine ingredients

For this tartine you will need:

  • Slices of good whole grain bread
  • 1 can artichokes in water
  • 1 can or jar of tuna in olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • plain hummus either home made or store bought
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toast your slices of bread to your desired level of browning.

Take the tuna out of the olive oil, letting the excess oil drip off.

Drain your artichokes and roughly chop about half of the can.

Mix your tuna, mayo, mustard, vinegar, artichokes, and the juice of 1/2 lemon and mix thoroughly. If your lemon isn’t very juicy, use the whole lemon.

Remove your toasted bread from the toaster and smooth on a thin layer of hummus.

Layer on your tuna and garnish with a lemon slice for presentation.

This tuna salad is so light and delicious and makes the perfect weekday lunch!

 

Avocado Toast

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Avocado toast is a more recently faddish dish, and many nutritionists are touting it, with an egg, as one of the healthiest breakfasts you can have.  Protein, good fats, and a whole grain carbohydrate can really get you ready for the day.

Obviously with all of the salsa in the house, I wanted to show you yet another way to use it.  Salsa and eggs are like burgers and fries – they just make sense!

The biggest key to this recipe is that you season each component with salt and pepper.  If you don’t add some seasoning to the avocado or egg, this can be quite a bland meal.

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You will need:

  • a thin slice of butter to fry your egg
  • toast
  • half an avocado
  • tomato salsa (as much as you want)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by toasting your bread and smashing your avocado on the plate.

Once your avocado is a glorious mush seasoning it with salt and pepper and give it a good mix. Then top your toast with the avocado.

Add a layer of salsa on top of the avocado.

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Meanwhile, fry your egg in a pan to your desired level of doneness.  James loves a really runny egg, me not so much.

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Put your egg on top of your salsa layered avocado toast and season the egg with salt and pepper.

I like to add a little more salsa on top, to grow on of course, and finally dig in!

Whether you use your hands or a knife and fork, this is flavorful, healthy, and it literally takes 5 minutes to make!

Blackened Fish Tacos

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I have to be honest, today’s post almost didn’t make it up! We had a rough start to our day that threw me off for the whole afternoon. I woke up this morning with a really bad migraine, I thankfully don’t get them too often, but when I do, they really aren’t fun! I groggily made my way to get a glass of water, and found out soon after that we had NO WATER!

Having no water would have been upsetting on a normal morning, but compounded with a pounding headache, needless to say, I lost all sense of humor. My darling husband (knight in shining armor) magically appeared with coffee and he made all of the necessary phone calls to get our one house drought solved.

Post coffee, some food, and a migraine pill – still desperate for a shower, I start to feel human again. Luckily our water situation was an easy problem to fix.  A tiny little ant had made his way into the well pump and got himself smushed to death by the electric firing mechanism, but his swan song was to prevent the firing mechanism from firing thus making it unable to pump water from our well into the house.

Problem solved, ant funeral completed, finally ready to cook! Given today’s adventures, I needed a win.

Blacked fish tacos are a really fun weeknight dinner, and so easy and fast to cook! Especially when you’ve made salsas ahead of time, all you need to do is get corn tortillas, a good beer or cocktail, and the fish.

For the blackened seasoning you need:

  • 1 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika (if you can’t find smoked, regular is fine, but a bit less flavorful)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I used more, but we love spice)

I used cod today, but you can use tilapia, snapper, trout, or any other delicious white fish!

Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and rub seasoning all over it.

Heat your grill or non-stick pan to medium heat and cook on each side for 3-5 minutes depending on thickness of the fish.

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Warm your corn tortillas either on the stovetop or in the microwave so they don’t break when you eat them.

The fun part about this is that you can make a taco station so your family can build their own tacos with whatever salsas and toppings they like.

I served it with this really delicious red cabbage slaw and all of our salsas!

Hope you enjoy this one!

Chila – Chila- Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

I am sure many of you wondered what I might do with all of the salsa I made in yesterday’s post.  I assure you, we will find use for all of it! What I can prevent James from eating, I will use in recipes throughout the week. This often takes covert tactics of misdirection and hiding in plain sight, but I will do my best to save enough to cook with.

Now most people we know, LOVE breakfast.  In New York City they make a sport of breakfast on the weekends.  This weekend sport is in fact a marathon, not a sprint.  Brunch in New York City lasts until 4:30pm at most restaurants and often includes some form of bottomless mimosa or bloody mary! Marathon!

Admittedly, I cannot hang with the elite in this event with regards to the bottomless beverages, but I do rank among the top competitors in the eating aspect of brunch. (Clearly we have a little olympic fever over here…)

One of my favorite brunch dishes is a Mexican breakfast called chilaquiles! This is pronounced tʃilaˈkiles – take a moment to say this 10 times fast, just to see if you can.

Chilaquiles are a pretty simple breakfast to make, and a seriously delicious one at that! Once you’ve perfected your salsas, you are ready for the next step.

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For a family portion of chilaquiles, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cup of salsa (either tomatillo or tomato – this is up to you, I prefer tomatillo)
  • 4 handfuls of tortilla chips
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of Cotija cheese for sprinkling
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a non-stick pan (this is for your own good) put in half of the salsa and all of the chips and heat on medium until salsa starts boiling and chips begin to soften.

Remove chips and salsa from the pan, taking care to leave a little salsa residue.  This will make your eggs taste delicious.

In a medium bowl scramble up your eggs and season with a little salt and pepper. You can add a couple of spoonfuls of salsa into the raw egg mixture to marry the flavors as well.

Pour the eggs into your already hot pan and cook through.

Put a small portion of salsa soaked chips on each plate and top with a portion of eggs. Spoon over another bit of salsa on top (you can never have too much salsa) and sprinkle some cheese on top.

Savor each bite as you enjoy a classic and delicious breakfast!

Chilaquiles plated