Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pork Chop Baked With Apples And Onions

Tonight I wanted to use the "other white meat"....Pork.  I  love pork chops but haven't been eating them as much lately because Kristi doesn't like pork.  I was at Market Street the other day and they were having a sale on boneless pork chops so I had to get some.  Pork chops can dry out and be tough if not cooked right so I decided to find a recipe that would keep them tender and juicy.  A friend suggested The NY Times website under Dining & Wine for great recipes.  I started looking for pork chop recipes and ran across this one which seared the chops to lock in the juice.  I also like apples and onions so I figured this was a can't miss recipe. 

Just as I thought, it was excellent!  Kristi tried it and even she liked this dish, enjoy!

Cook Time: 40mins
Level: Easy
Yields: 2 servings (for me at least, 4 servings for most)


• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 4 ¾-inch-thick pork chops
• 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
• ¼ cup sherry
• ¼ cup apple cider
• 2 large macintosh apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
• Salt, pepper and cinnamon for seasoning


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in large, ovenproof skillet over medium- high heat. Add pork chops(seasoned with salt, pepper and a dash of cinnamon) and sear on each side until golden brown(about 1 ½ mins. each side). Place on plate and set aside.

Add onions to the skillet and cook for 2mins. stirring often. Add sherry and apple cider and cook while stirring and scraping up any brown bits stuck to bottom of pan. Add the apples, salt and pepper and reduce heat to low and cook for about 5mins.

Place pork chops back in the skillet and pour any juices from plate over top. Cover skillet and put in oven for 15-20mins until pork chops are tender and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and divide into 4 plates. Garnish with a fresh mint leaves.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


I received a request today for a Red Pepper Hummus recipe.  To be honest, I haven't eaten much hummus and certainly never made it so this would be something new to try.  As soon as I saw Red Pepper, I  knew I'd be a fan.  I checked out a few different recipes and this one from Guy Fieri looked the best.  Turns out I made a great choice, this hummus is unbelievable and simple to make!  Thanks for the request Ricky, give it a try and I promise you'll like it.


·    16oz can chickpeas drained
·    6oz roasted red bell pepper
·    1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
·    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
·    3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
·    3 tablespoons chopped red onion
·    1 teaspoon paprika
·    1 tablespoon chipotle pepper and adobe sauce
·    ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
·    1 teaspoon salt and pepper
·    Toasted pita bread, to serve


Add all ingredients except oil and pita bread to food processor, blend until a puree, then slowly add in olive oil.

Refrigerate for an hour and then serve with toasted pita bread.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Who knew cooking was contagious?  For the most part, Kristi (my wife) leaves the kitchen creating to me, but when I came home from work tonight the house smelled wonderful!  I went straight to the kitchen to find out what the sweet aroma was and saw these mouth watering cookies ... Strawberry Shortcake Cookies and had to try them immediately....Wow, they were even better then they smelled!  Great job Kristi!!!  See what she says below.

Tis the season for strawberries!  In case you've been hiding in a cave over the last few weeks, you can't make a trip to the grocery store without being greeted by an abundance of this red fruit.  So needless to say, I wanted to make a dessert incorporating this ingredient and instead of going with the traditional Strawberry Shortcake... I turned it up a notch and with the help of
Martha Stewart and some delicious red berries I picked up from Market Street I decided to make Strawberry Shortcake Cookies!    

First off, here a few interesting facts about strawberries:
  • On average, a strawberry has 200 seeds
  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside
  • If all the strawberries produced in California, in one year, were laid berry to berry, they'd wrap around the world 15 times
  • Strawberries are grown in every state in the United States and every province of Canada
  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family
  • Ninety-four percent of US households consume strawberries
  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring
  • Strawberries are low fat, low calorie; high in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, potassium
  • In medieval times, strawberries were served at important functions to bring peace & prosperity

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I usually like to save Sunday for a day to eat unhealthy.  However, this Sunday I needed to keep it healthy. This weekend was something I call overated.  I went to an awesome cookout Friday night (and over ate), had a culinary open house Saturday morning (and over ate) and then want to Taste of Addison later that day (and yes, over ate).  

So on my quest for something healthy to finish my (overated) weekend off with, I remembered a recipe for lettuce wraps by Rachael Ray I stumbled upon a while ago: Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps. It sounded delicious, so off to the grocery store I went. 

In the end, the dish turned out just as delicious as I had imagined ... but of course, next time I'll probably add some crushed red pepper flakes with garlic and ginger to give it a kick ('cause that is how I roll!). Enjoy!

Side note: This dish called for Shiitake mushrooms which I am not a fan of, so I decided to leave those out from the recipe.

Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Key West Chicken

If I want to grill chicken when I get home from a long day at work, I need a quick, healthy and tasty marinade. I found a recipe for Key West Chicken and was instantly intrigued.  It was easy to make, only needed 30 minutes to marinate and the ingredients are right up my alley.  And not to mention healthy too!  

Of course I was going to have to add my own little twist.  I increased one ingredient, decreased another and added two of my own. Can anyone guess which two I added?

Key West Chicken

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chicken Tequila Fettuccine

For those of you that love a good flavorful pasta, this is a must try!  I decided to make this California Pizza Kitchen recipe again this weekend and I have to say that it gets better and better each time I make it.  The tequila lime sauce really brings together the flavors in the dish and is a key part of the recipe, so you want to be careful not to overcook the sauce. Kristi says it's the best yet!

Chicken Tequila Fettuccine

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Stromboli

I was at work thinking of something easy to cook tonight and realized we had some leftover pizza crust that hadn't been used.  One of my favorite things to make is stromboli's ... super easy to make and tasty too!  I happen to have some chicken I bought earlier this week and decided to make one of my favorites: Buffalo Chicken Stromboli.

Buffalo Chicken Stromboli

Pink Vodka Sauce with Fresh Chicken and Spaghetti

This past weekend I wanted to make one of my favorite dishes served at our local Italian staple, Parmas Pizza & Pasta (a must stop place to eat if you are in the Lewisville, TX area!). At Parmas this popular dish is known as the Chicken Murphy ... a chicken and spaghetti dish with onions, bell peppers, jalapenos and mushrooms in a pink vodka sauce. If you ask for any recommendations from the wait staff, this will be at the top of their list and you won't be disappointed.

So my plan was to put my own spin on the dish and see how well I could create my very own version of the Chicken Murphy... 

Pink Vodka Sauce with Fresh Chicken and Spaghetti

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gooey Toffee Cake Bars

In honor of Mother's Day this weekend my wife decided to make something using one of her mom's favorite sweets: toffee.  

Last weekend our friend Julie brought over a dessert she made called Chess Bars which neither of us have had before. Needless to say, it was so good that we had to hide the dessert until after dinner, otherwise it would have been gone before our meal even started!  So we took Julie's recipe for Chess Bars and incorporated one of my Mother in-law's favorite sweets: toffee.

This recipe is very easy to make and will definitely be a crowd pleaser.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mexican Cookout

Yesterday I got to spend the afternoon in my favorite place: the kitchen. My wife and I were having a cookout with a few friends and I decided to go with a Mexican theme.

Grilled Avocados
Refried Beans
Mint Margarita Chicken (my first homemade recipe!)
Taco Burgers
Southwest Potato Salad
Margaritas (highly recommended)

Grilled Avocados

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 large avocados, halved and seeded
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup bottled picante sauce
- 2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- sour cream
- pico de gallo

Stir together olive oil and lime juice. Brush avocados all over with olive oil mixture. Sprinkle avocados with salt.

Grill avocado halves cut side down over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn avocado halves over. Fill centers of avocado halves with picante sauce and cover with cheese. Cover grill and grill about 5 minutes more until cheese begins to melt.

Remove avocados from grill. Garnish with pico de gallo and sour cream (if desired).  You can eat these with a spoon or use a tortilla chip to scoop. 

Mint Margarita Chicken

Cook Time: 2.5 hours
Level: Medium
Yield: 6 servings


- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 1/2 cup tequila
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- garlic powder
- salt
- pepper
- lime cut into 6 slices


Start by cleaning chicken breasts and placing in container for marinating. Add 1/4 cup tequila, 1/8 cup lime juice, 1/8 cup orange juice, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to your liking. Cover, shake to mix ingredients and refrigerate for 2 hours.

While chicken is marinating you can start the sauce. In a small pan, add 3/4 cup chicken stock, 1/4 cup tequila, 1/8 cup lime juice, 1/8 cup orange juice, 1/2 tablespoon mint, and sugar. Bring to boil. Simmer until sauce is reduced by half. In a small bowl add remaining chicken stock and cornstarch; mix well. Slowly whisk mixture into the sauce over medium heat and continue to whisk. When sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat and set aside.

Grill chicken breast for 4 to 5 minutes, before flipping brush on some of the sauce. After flipping, brush on more sauce and grill for another 3 to 4 minutes. Brush on sauce one more time and add cheese. Close the grill so cheese melts. Be sure that chicken is thoroughly cooked and remove from grill.

Garnish chicken with pico de gallo, remainder of minced mint and lime wedge.

Taco Burgers

Cook Time: 1 hour
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup water
- salt
- pepper
- 4 slices pepper jack cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- sour cream
- guacamole
- pico de gallo


Mix water and taco seasoning in a small sauce pan and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer until mixture is half gone. Set aside and let cool.

In large bowl, mix beef, onion, jalapeno, salt and pepper (to taste). Add cooled seasoning mixture, mix with your hands and patty into 4 burgers.

Grill patties 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until desired temperature. Add pepper jack cheese to burgers. Meanwhile, toast buns on grill until light brown. Remove all ingredients from grill.

Add sour cream to top and bottom of buns. Add pico de gallo to bottom bun, place burger on top, add guacamole and add top bun.