Friday, May 30, 2014

Pork Chops with Rhubarb Sauce

    My neighbor has mutant rhubarb plants. Supposedly she brought them with her when she moved from Colorado, but they are clearly from another planet. It is only May and the plants are bigger than most of the bushes in our yard. Luckily for me, the freaky plants produce so much fruit that my neighbor has been delivering rhubarb to us on a weekly basis. 
    I tried this pork recipe last night and it was delicious.  The rhubarb sauce is savory and the cherries add a hint of sweetness.  It is a super healthy way to dress-up a pork chop and it is an easy weeknight meal that you can make for the whole fam. 
Pork Chops with Rhubarb Sauce - Martha Stewart

1/2 cup dried cherries (or any other dried fruit)                    
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
8 to 10 ounces rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 pork loin chops, (each 1/2 inch thick and 6 to 8 ounces)

    In a small bowl, combine cherries with vinegar and 1/4 cup hot water; let stand 10 minutes to soften.
    In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
    To the saucepan, add cherry mixture, rhubarb, and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until rhubarb has softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in nutmeg; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; keep warm.
    Generously season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Cook pork (in two batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding the pan) until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve topped with warm sauce. ** I grilled the chops on our outdoor grill. 

More delicioso rhubarb recipes here, herehere

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

    Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Truffles

    Egg-less cookie dough, covered in chocolate & peanut butter.  How could a small bite like this be more perfect? IT CAN'T.

    I found this recipe 2 weeks ago and I am on batch #3. Apparently I missed the memo on the fact that swimsuit season is now HERE.  Ug, I should be doing lunges instead of trying to win the "I'm going to need an entire new wardrobe because I have eaten so many cookie dough truffles" contest.

    You can switch up your dough by adding in different flavored chips, dried fruit, nutella - whatever you want.  The possibilities are endless and thankfully for me, so is the stretch in my elastic-waist pants.

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    Pizza Night - Shaved Asparagus Pizza and Fig-Prosciutto Pizza

    I am officially in a recipe rut.  I feel uninspired and like I just make the same-old meals over and over again.  I have a ton of new recipes, but I lack the ambition to try them.  I am going to blame it on the dreary & cold weather.

    Bridget sent me these two recipes a few weeks back and I finally worked  up enough will-power to try them for a family pizza night.  The recipes were simple, but the results were amazing. We loved both pizzas, so much so that we will probably make them again this weekend and soon enough they will become another "same-old meal".

    Shaved Asparagus Pizza - Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

    Makes 1 thin crust 12-inch pizza

    1 recipe your favorite pizza dough
    1/2 pound asparagus
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    Several grinds black pepper
    1 scallion, thinly sliced

    Preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it goes, or about 500 in most cases. If you use a pizza stone, have it in there.

    Prepare asparagus: No need to snap off ends; they can be your “handles” as you peel the asparagus. Holding a single asparagus spear by its tough end, lay it flat on a cutting board and using a vegetable peeler create long shavings of asparagus by drawing the peeler from the base to the top of the stalk. Repeat with remaining stalks and discard tough ends. Toss peelings with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.

    Assemble and bake pizza: Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Either transfer to a floured or cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (if using a pizza stone in the oven) or to a floured or cornmeal-dusted tray to bake it on. Sprinkle pizza dough with Parmesan, then mozzarella. Pile asparagus on top. Bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges are browned, the cheese is bubbly and the asparagus might be lightly charred. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with scallions, then slice and eat.

    Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula

    Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

    Your favorite pizza dough
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Kosher salt
    6 to 8 tablespoons fig spread or jam
    12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
    Freshly ground black pepper
    6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
    1 bunch washed and rinsed arugula
    1 cup shaved Parmesan

    Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Arrange the oven rack in the lowest position.

    Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface as thinly as possible Dough should be roughly 17 by 10 inches. Place on a large baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Spread the fig spread all over the surface of the dough. Lay the slices of mozzarella all over the surface of the pizza crust. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake the pizza until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and immediately drape the prosciutto slices over the hot pizza. Sprinkle generously with the arugula and Parmesan shavings. Cut into wedges or squares and serve.