Red Wine-Braised Pork Chops


Red Wine-Braised Pork Chops
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
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  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 bone-in pork blade chops, 1″ thick (2-1/2 to )
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme plus ¼ teaspoon minced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½″ long piece ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup ruby port
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 1½ quarts cold water in large container. Submerge chops in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Remove chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off meat cap and any fat and cartilage opposite rib bones. Cut trimmings into pieces. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add trimmings and brown on all sides, 6 to 9 minutes. Add Pork Chops and sear on both sides. Remove the pork chops and set aside
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add onions, thyme sprigs, garlic, bay leaves, ginger, and allspice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in wine, port, and 2 tablespoons vinegar and cook until reduced to thin syrup, 5 to 7 minutes. Add chicken broth, spread onions and pork scraps into even layer, and bring to simmer. Arrange pork chops on top of pork scraps and onions.
  4. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is tender, 1¼ to 1½ hours. Remove from oven and let chops rest in pot, covered, 30 minutes. Transfer chops to serving platter and tent with aluminum foil. Pour braising liquid through fine-mesh strainer set over large bowl; discard solids. Transfer braising liquid to fat separator and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe out now-empty pot with wad of paper towels. Return defatted braising liquid to pot and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 cup, 3 to 7 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter, minced thyme, and remaining ½ teaspoon vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over chops, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
When braising pork chops, it’s important to avoid lean loin chops that have a tendency to dry out when even slightly overcooked. Instead, begin with a blade chop, which, like other braising cuts, has a larger amount of fat and connective tissue. Trim the chops of excess fat and connective tissue to prevent buckling when cooked, and use those trimmings to build a rich and flavorful braising liquid that can quickly be turned into a tasty sauce for your braised chops

Look for chops with a small eye and a large amount of marbling, as these are the best suited to braising. The pork scraps can be removed when straining the sauce in step 4 and served alongside the chops. (They taste great.)


Jumbo Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce


Jumbo Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce
Very easy to make & very yummy
  • 1 Box large Shells
  • 1 lb. ground round
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Ragu Chunky Tomato Garlic and Onion Sauce (or make your own)
  • 15 oz. (1 cup or 454 gm) whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 5 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained by squeezing on paper towels
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  1. Boil Pasta Shells as per directions on box and cook to al dente. Drain and let it cool until easy to handle.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic until tender. Add beef and sauté until brown. Add salt and pepper and oregano. Pour in Ragu sauce then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through.
  3. In a big bowl, mix the Ricotta cheese with the egg, mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper. Squeeze out all moisture from thawed spinach by wrapping in a paper towel or clean dish towel. Add to ricotta mixture and stir until blended. Stuff cooked shells with ricotta combination and lay flat with open side facing up.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about 2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Add stuffed shells on top of sauce, still with open side facing upwards. set Spoon the rest of the meat sauce on top.
  5. Completely cover top with mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.
Use a little Ziploc baggy with the corner cut out to pipe the filling into the shells.
Can prepare early in the day and refrigerate and then baked for dinner.

Can add Italian sausage crumbled to meat filling for additional flavor

--If using oven-Ready Pasta add 1 cup of water to meat sauce mixture.

--Can use Catelli Express Cannelloni if large shells hard to find. The Catelli Express cannelloni (Red Box) is perfect and you will have exactly the right amount of cheese mixture to stuff all the cannelloni without any leftovers. The Cannelloni was delicious.

--The 340 gm bag of Mozzarella cheese will give you the 3 cups this recipe calls for exactly.


Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes
The key here is a delicious bleu cheese dressing. Crumbled bleu cheese. is just too strong! The dressing provides a creamy base that mellows the bleu devi
Serves: 2-3
  • 7 small red bliss potatoes, quartered
  • ¾ cup of your favorite bleu cheese dressing
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 2 tsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 handful of parmesan cheese
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Boil water, chop your potatoes while you wait, boil potatoes until tender (10-15 minutes) then drain
  2. Add-in bleu cheese, milk, parmesan cheese, butter, salt and pepper
  3. Blend together with a hand mixer


Classic Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions


Classic Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
Delicious. Melts in your mouth, you'll want to go back for seconds (and thirds)
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 2 to 4 portions
  1. Boil your potatoes. Since they are so small the baby yukon golds only take about 20 minutes to cook
  2. While your potatoes are boiling take the time to cut up your fresh chives. My preferred method is with kitchen scissors, it makes quick and easy work! You can use dried chives but fresh is best in this classic recipe
  3. When your potatoes are done drain them and add all of your ingredients back in the pot for mixing. Use a hand mixer to mix.
Also check out the Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes


Caramelized Onions


Caramelized Onions
Caramelized onions are game changers. They are sweet and smoky bursts of flavor that can be both simple and sophisticated at the same time. You can add them to virtually any meal and they will exponentially improve the dish. Best of all they are easy to make if you’re willing to invest some time.
Serves: 2 cups
Prep time: 
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  • 4 medium yellow onions cut in uniform size
  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp. butter, margarine, etc
  1. Cut your onions in any size you want, just make sure they are uniform so the cooking time is the same for each piece
  2. Over medium high heat, combine your butter and oil. Using a combination of the two is done because it will even out the cooking time and reduce burning because of the higher smoke point of the oil, and it will create a more complex flavor
  3. Put the onions in the pot and toss to coat every piece with butter/oil.
  4. While your onions cook down it’s important to keep tossing and stirring them. Stir from the bottom to the top to make sure the distribution is even throughout the pot. If onions start to brown to fast lower heat. Caramelized onions should be uniformly cooked and uneven stirring can ruin your whole operation.
  5. Cook to a deep brown color about 30 minutes.
  6. These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week or so
**These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week or so.

A little primer on onions: they are dense, full of water, give a lot of it off in the cooking process, and take a while to cook down. No matter, have patience. And don't even think about covering your pot while you're making these. We want all that water to evaporate, not collect in the pot.


Sautéed Sweet Plantains


Sautéed Sweet Plantains (Tajaditas Dulces de Platano)
These are so good. This traditional South America and Caribbean side dish adds a nice sweetness to any meal. Use plantains with heavy black spotting to a fully black skin. Try these bananas in place of potatoes with your meal, you'll like it
Serves: 6
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  • ¼ cup peanut oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 yellow plantains (very ripe heavy black spotting or all black), peeled and cut in -thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional
  1. Heat peanut oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the butter begins to sizzle. Gently toss plantain slices with brown sugar, then place into hot oil. Fry until the plantains begin to turn golden brown, then turn over, and continue frying until they have caramelized, about 2 minutes per side
  2. Drain plantains on a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt before serving
Use non-stick fry pan and omit the oil or use very little. Mix salt with sugar. Can put sugar straight into butter and oil.


Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs
Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs are delicious and add a kick to the traditional spring, summer, or Easter appetizer
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • 12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1½ tsp. rice vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. ground mustard
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 6 pieces bacon, cooked, crisp, and crumbled
  • Paprika
  1. Slice the hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise
  2. Remove the yolks and put them in a mixing bowl
  3. Mash the egg yolks with a fork
  4. Add the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, ground mustard, and sugar to the mashed egg yolks and stir until well combined
  5. Mix in the jalapenos and bacon
  6. Put the mixture in a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag
  7. Fill each egg hole with the mixture
  8. Sprinkle with paprika
  9. Chill until ready to serve




Beef Short Ribs

Beef Short Ribs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless beef short ribs (or bone-in short ribs)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1½” cubes (opt.)
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large onion, rough chopped
  • 5 carrots, cut into 1-2″ pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon sage
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  1. Preheat oven .
  2. Stovetop, heat oil in heavy, oven-safe pan or Dutch oven over medium/high. Brown beef approximately 1 minute per side.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Add all ingredients, cover and place in oven.
  4. After 1 hour, turn oven off and leave covered dish in closed oven for 3 hours. Cooking will continue with residual heat, so no peeking.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onion, and Garlic


Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onion, and Garlic
It's a beautiful dish with many colors and full of flavor. Warning, it is addictive."
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 -2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • 6 cups cabbage, cut into thin wedges (1 small head cabbage)
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat cook the chopped bacon until crisp and browned; remove to a bowl or plate and set aside (do not drain the bacon fat).
  2. Add in onion; cook stirring until softened (about 4-5 minutes, adding in the garlic and chili flakes and paprika the last 2 minutes).
  3. Add in cabbage, broth and sugar; cover and cook stirring occasionally until the cabbage wilts (about 25 minutes) season with salt and pepper towards the end of cooking.
  4. Stir in the cooked bacon


VEGETABLE TIAN (thinly sliced veggies topped with cheese and then roasted)


VEGETABLE TIAN (thinly sliced veggies topped with cheese and then roasted)
The veggies were perfectly roasted, the potatoes were nice and tender and the caramelized onions were sweet and salty. The whole dish was delicious and it looked really pretty too.
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (divided)
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion cut in half and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 russet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes
  • Sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Dried thyme, to taste
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 60 seconds. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the greased baking dish.
  2. Slice the potatoes, zucchini, squash and tomatoes in thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly into a spiral, making only one layer. Season with sea salt, black pepper and dried thyme, to taste. Drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil over the top.


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