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Recipe: Sour Orange Pulled Pork

Sour Orange Pulled Pork

Sour Orange Pulled Pork


With the election out of the way, forget about going red or blue and go orange with this recipe for Sour Orange Pulled Pork. The country may be divided on candidates, but (barring religious regions) we can all agree on the deliciousness that is pulled pork.

The sourness of the Sour Orange Pulled Pork goes great over a bed of mashed sweet potatoes. It’s a sour, sweet, salty, fatty combo that’s a great treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste
  • 1 4-lb. bone-in pork shoulder
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP honey
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

    Sour Orange Pulled Pork

    Sour Orange Pulled Pork is slow cooked in a mixture of orange and lime juice.

  1. Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil and garlic paste in a large roasting pan. Add the pork and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerate 30 minutes before ready to cook.
  2. Preheat oven to 300F.
  3. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and cover.
  4. While pork is cooking, put the orange and lime juices and honey in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to 2 cups (it will be a syrup consistency). Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Also while pork is cooking, cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes and boil in a large pot for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Once cooked, mash sweet potatoes to desired consistency.
  6. Heat the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mased sweet potatoes and press into the skillet with spatula. Cook, scraping and turning as the bottom browns, until hot.
  7. Once pork has cooked, shred the pork using 2 forks or your hands.
  8. In a medium saucepan, toss the shredded pork with the sour orange honey glaze and reheat over medium heat.
  9. Serve the pork on top of prepared sweet potatoes (reheated if necessary). Garnish with cilantro leaves.

There are several components to Sour Orange Pulled Pork, but none of them are difficult. The hardest part will be leaving with the wonderful smell of slow-cooking pork in the oven. Exercise some patience!

You can also add some cilantro to the sweet potatoes while cooking if desired. And if you really want to go hog wild (couldn’t resist!) you also add some bacon. The more pork the merrier.

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8 Comments

Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake


Need a quick cake recipe that’s light on ingredients, but full of flavor? This recipe for Blackberry Buttermilk Cake is the answer to your prayers.

I’m a huge fan of fresh blackberries so this cake has a special spot in my heart. It’s super easy to make and takes 45 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

    My guess is that you’ll have more than once slice.

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cup blackberries
  • whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

    Who doesn’t love fresh blackberries?

  3. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper as well.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  6. Beat in the egg and vanilla to butter-sugar mixture.
  7. In three batches, mix in the buttermilk and dry ingredients (ending with dry ingredients).
  8. Fold the batter until blended, scrape into the pan and smooth the top.
  9. Scatter the blackberries on the batter and lightly press them in. Sprinkle with additional sugar.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  11. Let cool for 10 minutes then turn out the cake and remove the paper.
  12. Turn the cake right side up to let cool.
  13. Serve with whipped cream and more blackberries.

You can always substitute in another fruit in place of the blackberries. I’m actually thinking of trying it with peaches or apples next.

This Blackberry Buttermilk Cake is a great cake that’s not too sweet and gets a nice taste of sour from the blackberries. I highly recommend serving it with the whipped cream.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew


This recipe for Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew combines three of my favorite ingredients: Fall/Winter favorite butternut squash, chicken thighs and superfood quinoa.

This stew is full of flavor, nutrients and warmth. It’s a hearty stew perfect for cold weather and serving family style.

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

A healthy update on chicken stew


Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 chicken thigh filets
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 TBSP chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, steam the butternut squash until barely tender (about 10-12 minutes). Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Steam the remaining squash an additional 4-6 minutes. Mash this squash with a fork or potato masher then add to non-mashed squash in the bowl.
  3. Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

    Parsley is pictured as the garnish, but I would suggest cilantro instead

  4. In a large Dutch oven (or saucepan), over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth, some salt and pepper and chili flakes to a simmer.
  5. Add the chicken thighs, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and let cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  7. Add the olive oil to the Dutch oven and return to the stove, reducing heat to medium.
  8. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Add garlic and cook for an additional minutes, still stirring.
  10. To the Dutch oven, add the tomatoes and all the butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  11. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa (make sure you’ve rinsed it). Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  12. Meanwhile, shred the chicken with a knife and fork on the cutting board.
  13. Stir the chicken into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  14. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  15. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Some of you smartypants may notice parsley is pictured in the dish in the photos I have. You’re correct, but honestly, I didn’t like the parsley in this dish so I replaced mine with cilantro and it was much much better.

This Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa stew is the perfect meal for all those cold nights quickly approaching. Enjoy it with a nice glass of wine and some freshly baked bread.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Cookin', One-Pot Wonders, Recipes, Soups/Stews

 

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Recipe: Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

Save cooking time by using a pressure cooker and finishing off the ribs in the broiler.

 

Put that Chinese take-out menu aside, I’ve got a spareribs recipe that’s easy to prep and easy to cook: Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs. These ribs are crispy and have a nice sweet heat to them.

For this recipe for Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs you will need a pressure cooker and a broiler. As an alternative, you can slow cook them in the oven at about 300F for 4-6 hours.

Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

Dip and dunk these ribs into a plum sauce pan sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plum sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 2 racks pork spareribs
  • 4 TBSP fresh ginger (chopped)
  • 1 TBSP molasses
  • 6 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 TBSP Sriracha

 

 

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the plum sauce, soy sauce, molasses, ginger, garlic and half of the honey. Puree until smooth.
  2. Add Sriracha and pulse to combine.
  3. Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

    Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

  4. Cut the spareribs into 3-rib sections and transfer to a pressure cooker. Add the plum sauce puree and let stand, turning often, for 45 minutes.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pressure cooker then cover and cook at high pressure for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Run cold water over the pressure cooker to release the pressure.
  7. Transfer the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet, meaty side up.
  8. Boil the cooking juices until reduced to 2 cups. Transfer the plum sauce pan sauce to a bowl.
  9. Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat.
  10. Brush the ribs all over with the remaining honey and broil, turning once, until the ribs are glazed and crispy around the edges (about 5 to 10 minutes).
  11. Transfer the rib sections to a cutting board and slice into individual ribs. Serve with the plum sauce pan sauce.

I love pork ribs (well, any ribs really), but I especially enjoy the sweet heat and crispiness of these Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Ribs. They’re perfect for Fall and football season.

As I mentioned above, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, just marinate them and slow cook them in the oven for 4 to 6 hours at about 300F. Then, broil them off per the instructions.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese


Full disclosure: this Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese is a Spring dish, but I had a craving so I made it. And I’m not waiting until the earth thaws out to share it.

This recipe combines the pasta, pesto with sweet peas and goat cheese for a dish that’s sweet, pungent and has a light acidity. It’s a great side dish for chicken or fish. Or, you can do like I did, and just eat a big bowl of it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated romano (or parmesan) cheese
  • 3 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 pound thawed green peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Need a quick side dish? Try Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese.


Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in the boiling water until al dente.
  2. Drain pasta, but reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  3. In a food processor, process the garlic, basil and pine nuts until very fine.
  4. Add the olive oil and cheese and process to combine.
  5. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper. Process until all ingredients are smooth.
  6. Spoon the pea pesto into a large bowl then add pasta and toss to coat.
  7. If needed, add pasta water, gradually, to loosen the sauce.
  8. When pasta is thoroughly coated in sauce, crumble in the goat cheese and toss again.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve as a side or as a main course.

The pea pesto will make the pasta look like it’s been hit with green radiation since it’s so bright. That said, this is a delicious pasta dish if you’re looking to trade out alfredo or marinara sauce.

To make this recipe even healthier, I used whole wheat fusilli. Bring some Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese to you’re next dinner and you won’t be disappointed.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides

 

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Recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting


Halloween’s only a couple days away so here’s a quick recipe that uses a total of five ingredients. That’s it — nothing to be spooked about when making these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting.

You can decorate them with inedible plastic Halloween decorations or use decorations of the edible variety. These cupcakes don’t set as well as cupcakes made with a traditional batter, but these are easier so it’s a trade-off.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting are perfect for Halloween and all of Fall.


Ingredients:

  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree and yellow cake mix and mix together well. This batter will be thick.
  3. Scoop one heaping TBSP of cake batter for each cupcake into a cupcake liner-lined muffin or cupcake tin.
  4. While cupcakes are baking, mix together vanilla frosting, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup in a medium bowl. Transfer into a pastry bag if desired.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Let cupcakes cool for 5-10 minutes then top with frosting.
  7. Repeat until no batter remains.

You’ll probably have some of the Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice frosting let so feel free to use if for other dishes. These cupcakes don’t rise that much so try and fill up the cupcake lines about 3/4 way to the top.

These Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting may be light on ingredients, but they’re high on ease and simplicity and taste. They’re perfect to take to a Halloween party when you don’t have time to make something very elaborate. Honestly, no one will ever know how simple they are. Happy Halloween!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Funfetti Blondies

Funfetti Blondies

Funfetti Blondies


I semi-obsessed with Funfetti cake mix and I fully intended to make Funfetti cupcakes this past weekend, but decided to mix things up and try out some Funfetti Blondies.

The Funfetti experiment was a hit. You get the full-on taste with a firmer texture. Sadly, some of the color is lacking, but this is still a great dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Funfetti cake mix
  • Funfetti Blondies

    Funfetti Blondies

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • Seeds from one vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 TBSP sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, brown sugar and vanilla bean seeds.
  4. Whisk in the melted butter until combined.
  5. In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and Funfetti cake mix, stirring to mix.
  6. Funfetti Blondies

    Sprinkles make everything better!

  7. Slowly mix the flour/cake mixture into the wet ingredients until combined.
  8. Stir in 2 TBSP of the sprinkles (save the remaining TBSP).
  9. Pour the batter into the greased pan.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining sprinkles on top.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Let cool and cut into squares.

Aside from Funfetti’s awesomeness in the cake world, it’s also pretty damn delicious. And while this recipe isn’t cheap on the calorie scale, it’s worth it on the taste scale.

I found these Funfetti Blondies to be pretty sweet so I didn’t add frosting on top, but if you want to add some rainbow chip or vanilla icing, it will make them even more decadent.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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