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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Beer Brined Pork Chops

Okay, so I am a day late with the new posting…AGAIN! I had a great excuse this time as we were decorating the house for the holidays and putting up our Christmas tree…I know its early, but we were having company and all of the decorations were laying out on their bed… Anyways I have had this recipe for awhile and never got around to trying it until last night (yet another excuse for delaying the posting until we tried it). It is great!

Beer Brined Pork Chops

Ingredients
2 cups (500 mL) dark lager or bock beer or whatever brand you have
2 tbsp (30 mL) coarse salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
1 cup (250 mL) ice cubes
1 onion, sliced
4 bone-in pork chops, 1 to 1-1/4 inches thick (about 2-1/2 lb/ 1.125 kg total)

Spice Rub:
1 tbsp (15 mL) smoked paprika (if you don’t have it just use the regular)
1 tsp (5 mL) pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder
1 tsp (5 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
Preparation
In baking dish, whisk together beer, salt and brown sugar; stir in ice cubes and onion. Submerge pork chops in mixture; cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Spice Rub: In small bowl, combine paprika, pepper, garlic powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and thyme.

Remove chops from brine; pat dry with paper towel. Rub spice blend onto both sides of chops.

Place chops on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill until juices run clear when pork is pierced and just a hint of pink remains inside, about 4 minutes per side.
Servings: 4

Serve with some fresh grilled asparagus. FYI..I did not do these on the BBQ, as I just used my stove top griddle…

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Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Curry

A cold night in the Yucatan calls for a nice warm curry! It was 24 degrees C…LOL. One of my favourite chefs, Stefano Faita of Montreal fame created this tasty dish AND its VEGAN for my friend, Jaromey!

Packed with protein and flavour, this vegetarian one pot curry is quick and easy. For a milder flavour, rinse quinoa before using.

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped ginger
1 tbsp. curry paste, or to taste
1 tbsp. garam masala, or to taste
2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 cup canned diced tomato
2 small to medium sweet potatoes, small dice
1 (14-ounce) can chick peas, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup quinoa
1 cup packed baby spinach
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

PREPARATION
Add vegetable oil to large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, curry paste and garam masala. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium high. Add 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add quinoa. Stir. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender, adding remaining 1/2 cup stock if curry looks too dry.
OPTIONAL – Right before serving, stir in spinach. Let spinach wilt slightly. Finish with lime juice and fresh cilantro. Serve.

For more great recipes from Stefano, check out this CBC link to his TV show –

In the Kitchen With Stefano Faita

Classic Fried Rice

I know this should  not be something new to most folks, but I tried this one out a week ago and it was every bit as good as was stated. I do believe like the writer, that butter makes a difference. The most important thing is to cook and chill the rice beforehand! Trust me on this unless you want a sticky mess…

Fried Rice (www.gimmesomeoven.com)
Learn how to make fried rice with this classic fried rice recipe. It tastes even better than the restaurant version!
Prep: 5 mins Cook: 10 mins Total: 15 mins
Ingredients:
• 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
• 2 eggs, whisked
• 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced*
• 1 small white onion, diced
• 1/2 cup frozen peas*
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• salt and pepper
• 4 cups cooked and chilled rice (I prefer short-grain white rice)
• 3 green onions, thinly sliced
• 3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce, or more to taste
• 2 tsp. oyster sauce (optional) I used hoisin since I was out of oyster
• 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

* Since I was out of fresh peas and carrots, I substituted  a cup or so of frozen veggies which included broccoli, cauliflower and carrots//it worked.
Directions:
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate.
Add an additional 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add carrots, onion, peas and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft. Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. Immediately add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and oyster sauce (if using), and stir until combined. Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine, and remove from heat.
Serve warm.

Boston Baked Beans

My sister-in-law made great baked beans! This recipe is very similar to hers but she skipped cooking the beans and used canned beans to cut the cooking time. So do I.

Boston  Baked Beans

Ingredients

2 large cans baked beans
1 cup bacon chopped
1large onion chopped
1stalk celery chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Mix all Ingredients in a large casserole dish. Microwave 30 minutes on medium until bacon and celery are cooked.

Alternately bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked.

Best if cooled and refrigerated and then reheated just before dinner.