There are tons of recipes out there for pork chops! Even though this one seems to have a lot of ingredients, it makes enough for TWO chops, but can easily be doubled. Once they have marinated, it only takes about four minutes a side to fry them. They came out moist and tender.
Pork Chop Marinade
1-2 pork chops
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard (can substitute with Dijon or yellow mustard)
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt (can substitute with kosher salt)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (if using fresh thyme, increase amount to 1 T)
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes (can substitute with Herbs de Provence)
1. Whisk together marinade ingredients to fully combine.
2. Add marinade to resealable plastic bag and marinade pork for a minimum of 1 hour up to overnight.
3. Discard any excess marinade prior to cooking meat
Checking the pantry and freezer, I found I had all of the ingredients for this sauce, including a very nice medium zucchini for spiralizing. I also had a pound of ground veal which I had not put in the freezer since I bought it two days before. You can use beef or whatever…
Weeknight Bolognese Sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup onion, finely diced
½ cup carrots, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground veal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 Tablespoons white wine
¼ cup milk
1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 pinch baking soda
Zucchini noodles or the pasta of your choice
Romano or Parmesan cheese for serving
1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.
2. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté until softened stirring often, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Add garlic and sauté stirring often until fragrant, around 1 minute.
4. Add the ground veal and sauté using wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks until the veal is fully browned, around 5 minutes.
5. Add salt, crushed red pepper, dried basil, dried Italian seasoning, wine, milk, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and baking soda and stir until well combined.
6. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.
7. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes stirring periodically.
8. Serve immediately over zucchini noodles or pasta with a sprinkle of Romano or Parmesan cheese.
Just in case you are tired of holiday food…LOL. There are many variations for egg roll this and that. This one intrigued me because it uses ramen noodles, which certainly stretched the normal recipes. All you need to do is to buy a package of any Asian ramen soup and discard the packets of sauce! In lieu of cutting up cabbage, etc., just buy a package of coleslaw mix!
Egg Roll Ramen Skillet
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 (3 oz) packages ramen noodles
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground pork
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 (16 oz) bag coleslaw mix with carrots
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into one tablespoon of the soy sauce until dissolved. Whisk in the remaining soy sauce, ginger, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
2 Discard the seasoning packages from the ramen and cook noodles 1 minute less than package directions call for. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil.
3 In a large skillet or work, heat the remaining oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook about 3 minutes.
4 Reduce heat to medium-high, add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Push onions and garlic to the side of the pan and add pork to center. Let cook 30 seconds before stirring, then break apart meat with a wooden spoon and stir in onions and garlic. Cook until no longer pink.
5 Add bell pepper and coleslaw mix and cook until cabbage has reduced, 2-3 minutes.
6 Add noodles and sauce and toss thoroughly, cook 2-4 minutes.
7 Adjust seasoning as needed, top with green onions, and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. [https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/egg-roll-noodles/]
Traditionally, we always have duck for Christmas Eve due to the reality that most people will have turkey for Christmas Day! This is a new recipe I found in place of the Duck L’orange that I have roasted in the past. The combination of balsamic vinegar, honey and lemon was incredible. It would be great for New Year’s Eve or Day!
Roast Christmas Duck
6 lb whole duck
5 garlic cloves chopped
1 lemon small or medium, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 lemon, freshly squeezed juice
1/4 cup honey
A. If you purchased frozen duck, make sure to defrost the frozen duck in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Once the duck is completely defrosted (in the refrigerator), take the duck out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking to bring it more or less to room temperature.
B. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You will be roasting the duck for a total of 3 hours (3 hours will be divided into 4-time chunks where you will be flipping the duck, brushing it with glaze, etc. – see the instructions below).
1. Remove the giblets from inside the duck. Rinse the duck, inside and outside, with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Set the duck on the working surface. Score the duck’s skin on the breast in a diamond pattern, making sure you only cut the skin, without reaching the meat. Poke the other fatty parts of the duck with the tip of the knife all over, to ensure fat release, especially in very fatty parts. You don’t need to poke the duck legs as the skin is pretty thin there (except for where the duck legs connect to the duck body). Season the duck very generously with salt both inside the cavity of the duck and outside on the skin, legs, all over. Place the duck breast side up.
3. Put 5 chopped garlic cloves and lemon slices inside the duck cavity (these are just for flavor, not for eating – you will discard them after cooking). The duck will have flapping skin on both ends – fold that skin inwards, to hold the garlic and lemon inside. Tie up the duck legs with butcher’s twine.
4. Place the bird breast side up on a large roasting pan with a rack (roasting pan should have a roasting rack to lift the duck from the bottom of the pan and allow the fat to drip below the duck). Roast the duck, breast side up, for 1 hour at 350 F.
5. After 1 hour of roasting, flip the duck on its breast and roast it breast side down (roast the other side) for 40 minutes, at 350 F.
6. Remove the roasting pan with the duck from the oven (you now have roasted the duck for 1 hour + 40 minutes), carefully remove the duck to a platter (making sure the lemons and garlic from the cavity do not fall out – keep the skin on both ends of the duck folded), and carefully pour off all the duck fat juices from the roasting pan into a large heat-proof bowl or container.
7. Flip the duck breast side up again on a rack in a roasting pan (the pan will have no fat juices now). In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of balsamic vinegar with the freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon. Brush all of the duck with the balsamic mixture (especially the scored duck breast) and cook the duck breast side up for another 40 minutes at 350 F, brushing every 10 minutes with the mixture.
8. Now, in a separate small bowl, combine ¼ cup honey and 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar lemon mixture that you will have left over from the previous step. Brush the breast side of the duck with this honey-balsamic mixture, and roast for another 40 minutes, brushing the duck breast side every 10 minutes with honey balsamic mixture. You can even carefully broil the duck for the last 10-15 minutes if you like (do it carefully, checking the duck regularly to make sure it doesn’t char too much). Final temperature should be 180 F or 82 Celsius!!!
9. After the duck is cooked, remove it from the oven, let duck stand for 15 minutes. Then, carefully remove and discard the lemon from the cavity (being careful not to get burned).
Carve the duck and serve!
TOTAL COOKING TIME: The duck should be roasted for a total of 3 hours at 350 F. These 3 hours of roasting are divided into 4 distinctive time chunks (1 hour breast side up + 40 minutes breast side down + 40 minutes breast side up brushed with balsamic-lemon mixture + 40 minutes breast side up brushed with honey-balsamic mixture).Calories: 2862kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 79g | Fat: 267g | Saturated Fat: 89g | Cholesterol: 517mg | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 1558mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1145IU | Vitamin C: 48.8mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron
If it seems like I am on a zoodles kick these days, it is because I really do love pasta BUT those carbs are my downfall. Okay, we have been doing the KETO diet again since October with great success! That means very limited carbohydrates. Hence, this KETO recipe. OK, you could make this with real pasta!
The recipe calls for making your own meatballs, but it is so much easier to buy them when you come across a brand you like in the grocery store!!! So skip making them and buy a package ready to bake or fry. Don’t be afraid, those are cherry tomatoes in with the zoodles, NOT egg yolks…LOL
Garlic Butter Zoodles and Meatballs
1 lb. ground chicken, turkey beef or JUST BUY THEM!!
5 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp. butter
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 lb. zoodles
In a large bowl mix together ground chicken, 2 garlic cloves, egg, Parmesan, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper then form into tablespoon sized meatballs.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and cook meatballs until golden on all sides and cooked through, 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
Melt butter in skillet then add remaining 3 garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add zoodles to skillet and toss in garlic butter then squeeze in lemon juice. Add meatballs back and heat just until warmed through.
Affirming that all of our followers in USA had a thankful Thanksgiving! For us Canadians, we celebrated Thanksgiving way back in October. Anyways, this is a great recipe using “zoodles” in a slightly more exotic way. Think you Asian food fans might enjoy it. I have included the nutrition info at the end of the recipe.
Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai
2 medium zucchini
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil (divided)
1 pound (454 g) chicken breast, cut into small chunks
2-3 large cloves garlic minced or crushed
1 small red bell pepper seeded and sliced thin(I used yellow as I had no red)
3-4 green onions sliced in 1-inch pieces
1 large egg
2 cups (480 ml) bean sprouts
1/3 cup (50 g) roasted peanuts
chopped cilantro for garnish
lime wedges optional
2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce (or more to taste)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) ketchup
1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar(I used Sukrin Gold substitute)
½ teaspoon (3 ml) cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili garlic sauce or more to taste
1. Cut zucchini into spirals or noodle strands using the vegetable spiralizer or julienne peeler. Set aside noodles.
2. Make the Sauce: in a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients (rice vinegar, fish sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and chili garlic sauce), set aside. If you want to use sriracha hot sauce, add as much as you like or you can add it afterwards.
3. Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil (reserve the other half for later). Then add zucchini noodles and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are tender. Don’t overcook the noodles. The zucchini noodles should be slightly crunchy with a tender bite.
4. Let the noodles rest for about 3 minutes to allow all the moisture to release. Remove the noodles from the pan and drain the excess water.
5. Carefully wipe the same pan remove the excess water, and then re-heat the pan on medium-high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic until soft and translucent, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through.
Add the bell peppers and green onions. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until tender. Add the egg and stir in with the vegetables until the egg is cooked.
6. Add the zucchini noodles back into the same pan, and then add the sauce. Cook for about 1 more minute or until the zucchini noodles are heated through. Then stir in the bean sprouts.
7. Serve with roasted peanuts and cilantro. If you want to add lime wedges, squeeze some fresh lime juice on the noodles right before serving.
Thanksgiving has passed for us Canadians. American Thanksgiving is coming up very soon. I have been viewing an interview with the president of Butterball who was stating that this year in particular, turkeys would be much larger birds as a result of a shortage of workers to process turkeys during COVID, which resulted in turkeys growing much larger before they were sent to the processors. Small turkeys between 10 and 12 pounds will be extremely hard to find this year! And it definitely is squash season.
If you are not into a traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and all of the trimmings OR if you are not a large family but just a couple, then this could be perfect as a smaller dinner. You could make it vegan using no protein at all!
Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash 4 servings
2 medium acorn squash
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing onto the squash
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
salt and pepper
1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or half a teaspoon dried
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups torn curly kale
¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Slice a small piece off the top and bottom of the squash so it can sit upright, then slice the acorn squash in half width-wise (not through the stem). This will result in a pretty scalloped edge. Scrape out the seeds.
3. Place the squash halves on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Turn upside down (seed side down) and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until onion is softened and turning translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Stir in the chopped fresh thyme, then add the minced garlic and sausage. Continue to sauté for another 8 minutes, or until the sausage is fully cooked.
6. Place the torn kale on top of the sausage mixture and cover the skillet to steam for 1-2 minutes. Stir and re-cover to continue steaming the kale, if necessary. Once the kale is wilted, stir in half the parmesan cheese and remove the pan from heat.
7. Once the squash is done roasting, remove them from the oven and turn the heat up to broil. Flip the squash bowl side up and divide the filling evenly among them (pile it high, they’ll be overfull), then sprinkle on the remaining the parmesan cheese.
8. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted, making sure not to over-brown the squash.
Serve immediately and store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Eat within4 days.
It is always difficult to choose a new recipe each week, and this time I went with a new KETO recipe, since we are once again back on the Keto track after our recent journey. It really is a great recipe, so don’t be afraid to try it, even if you are not on a KETO diet…
Note that this recipe calls for minced ginger. If you dont normally buy fresh ginger, I suggest buying a small jar of ginger paste (which you can find in the Asian section of many grocery stores).
Keto Cashew Chicken Casserole
1 ½ pounds chicken breast cut into chunks (Can also use thighs).
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp avocado oil
1 green pepper cut into chunks
1 white onion cut into chunks
1/4 cup roasted cashews
Sesame seeds for garnish
Chopped green onions for garnish
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp liquid aminosOR soy sauce *
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground gingerOR ginger paste
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce Use only 1/2 tsp for a milder recipe or double if you want it spicier!
In a bowl add sauce ingredients (chili garlic sauce, minced garlic, sesame oil, ginger, salt, and pepper to taste). Set aside.
Heat pan on low heat and toast cashews until lightly brown and set aside.
Add avocado oil to the pan and increase heat to high and add chicken and cook through.
Throw in the chopped pepper, onion, and the sauce mixture and cook on high for about 5 minutes.
Add the liquid aminos/soy sauce, cashews, and rice wine vinegar to pan. Cook until sauce has thickened.
In case you were wondering, we have been away for the last month, visiting family and friends whom we have not seen for over 26 months due to the Pandemic. Back home here now and continuing with new recipes.
If you are NOT a liver fan, you can ignore this one, BUT it turned out very well with being marinated. This is a great option to the standard liver, bacon and caramelized onion recipe which was posted here awhile back.
Pork Liver and Green Onion Stir Fry
300 grams pork liver
½ teaspoon grated ginger
¼ teaspoon grated garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
10 stalks spring onions (scallions may be substituted), cut into two-inch lengths
1. Rinse the liver and wipe dry with paper towels. Optionally, for easier slicing, freeze the pork liver for an hour or so or until partially firm.
2. Slice the liver into 1/4-inch slices.
3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, lime or lemon juice, oyster sauce, pepper and sugar.
4. Add the liver to the marinade and mix well.
5. Cover the bowl and marinate the liver slices in the fridge for at least two hours.
6. Drain the liver slices. Reserve the marinade.
7. Heat the cooking oil and sesame seed oil in a wok or frying pan. Swirl to coat as much of the cooking surface with oil.
8. When the oil starts to smoke, spread the liver slices on the cooking surface. Try to have all pieces in a single layer.
9. Cook without disturbing for about two minutes then flip them over. Cook for another minute.
10. Pour in the marinade and add half of the spring onions to the liver. Stir fry for a minute or just until the liver slices have soaked up the marinade.
11. Turn off the heat. Add the remaining spring onions and toss.