Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Recipe Review - Pork Chops with Peaches & Almonds

This recipe came out of Michael Symon's excellent 5 in 5 cookbook, which (technically) belongs to my husband ... and in which we've flagged a lot of recipes.

I did modify the recipe, though, and for that I apologize - nectarines looked better than peaches at the grocery store; I didn't have sherry vinegar on hand (substituted rice vinegar); and I totally forgot to buy parsley - but I think it turned out OK.

Plated meal - pork chops with stone fruit & almonds, side of salad & pilaf.

Shopping List

  • pork loin chops (calls for 6; I used 4)
  • unsalted slivered almonds 
  • 2 peaches (nectarines)
  • unsalted butter

Recipe Review

Ease of Preparation

Very easy - the most complicated thing is pounding the chops, which my daughter helped me do.

My sister could do this.

Specialty Equipment Required?

None. While I used a meat mallet to pound the chops, you could use a heavy skillet to similar effect.

Speaking of skillets, though, I should have chosen a wider one.

Did my husband and daughter enjoy it?

The husband liked it; the kid refused to touch it.

Regular rotation-worthy?

Yes, I think so. The kid will come around.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What to Do With Chicken Legs?

Letting the munchkin pick the recipes to try in any given week can sometimes get interesting.

Like the ratatouille she begged to try a few months ago, but refused to touch after it had been made. (I still like it; maybe I'll make it for my mom next time.)

Tonight's dinner is another one of those "Dishes Inspired by Disney" recipes:

Shopping List

  • chicken legs (recipe calls for 8; we used 12)
  • orange (we used a tangelo because that's what looked good; you need juice AND zest, so choose what makes sense for you)
  • no sugar added orange marmalade
  • rosemary sprigs
Everything else (salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil) we had in the house.

Mise en place

Ease of Preparation

Pretty simple, which is great for a recipe that's being plugged by a kids' cable channel.

My sister could definitely do this ... well, if the idea of pulling the skin off the chicken legs doesn't make her gag.

Chicken legs in the pan, skin removed.

Specialty Equipment Required?

A fine grater to zest an orange; this is easy enough to find. Mine's a long MicroPlane brand, but you don't need to spend a lot of cash on one if you're not sure you'll use it.

A citrus reamer would be helpful in extracting the juice from the orange, but not 100% necessary.

Did my husband and daughter enjoy it?

The kid liked it, but the husband wasn't overfond of the citrus-balsamic glaze. He'd prefer it with plain barbecue sauce.

Reducing the balsamic vinegar-marmalade-rosemary mixture.

Regular rotation-worthy?

If we mix it up a bit, and don't pick a super-hot day to make it, sure.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Scratch-Made Meals ... With Help

It's been a slow week for me, creatively. My allergies (tree pollen, thanks) have been absolutely crazy, and I've been dealing with a bit of a sinus infection on top of that.

But, we had steak, chicken, and a small ham to make before they went bad.

So, on Monday, we had "Island Soyaki" marinated grilled strip steak with wok-steamed vegetables and rice noodles. (The "help" was the linked sauce ... and the pre-cut stir-fry vegetables.)

Yesterday, for Cinco de Mayo, we had tequila-lime cilantro marinated chicken fajitas. 

I made the marinade myself on Monday with about a cup of fresh cilantro, the juice of 3 limes, a smashed garlic clove, salt, pepper, and some olive oil. (Toss everything except the oil in the blender & blend; while blending, drizzle about 1/4-cup of olive oil into the mixture, 'til everything is smooth. Place chicken in a zip-top baggie & empty blender into the bag. Massage to coat & marinate 12-24 hours.)

Today, we had baked glazed ham with box mac & cheese and steamed broccoli. 

Tomorrow, we'll probably have leftover ham & cheese pocket pies. (I'll likely use refrigerated biscuit dough for the pie crusts.)