20 September 2009

Slow Cooker Pepper Pork Chops

Okay, I have to say these were the BEST pork chops I have ever had in my life. Easy to make and very delicious. Also, I didn't have any dried apple slices so we used 2 fresh braeburn apples cut up instead. Perfect. We paired this with unsweetened gravenstein applesauce, mashed potatoes and steamed cauliflower and broccoli (my kids favorite). Really super fantastic. Try it, you will not regret it. YUM.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2006

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 8 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 6 hr 20 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings


2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, slightly crushed
1 pound ice
4 (1 to 1 1/2-inch thick) bone-in pork chops
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 ounces dried apple slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, julienned
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme


Combine the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup kosher salt, brown sugar and peppercorns in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook just until the salt and sugar dissolve, then remove from the heat and add the ice. Place the pork chops into a 2-gallon zip-top bag along with the mixture and seal. Place in a plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the chops from the brine, rinse, and pat dry. Season on both sides with the kosher salt and set aside

Place the apples in the slow cooker.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 12-inch stainless steel saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute the pork chops on both sides until golden brown, approximately 5 to 6 minutes per side. Once browned, place the pork chops into the slow cooker atop the apples.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan followed by the onions and saute until they begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth to the pan to deglaze. Add the black pepper and thyme and stir to combine. Transfer this to the slow cooker, set to high, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Decrease the heat to low and continue cooking for another 4 hours and 30 minutes or until the pork is tender and falling away from the bone.

02 September 2009

grilled chicken with rosemary and lemon

Number 34 - grilled chicken with rosemary and lemon from AllRecipes.

Marinate 6 chicken breasts in the following:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh rosemary (or 2 Tbl. dried)
3 cloves garlic
zest from an entire lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Mix the marinade.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken breasts, and brush half of the marinade over them.
Refrigerate for 3 hours.
Grill the chicken while brushing with the rest of the marinade.

We cut chicken into strips and put it on sandwiches.

The original recipe called for butter instead of olive oil in the marinade. I don't know what idiot decided that BUTTER is a good ingredient for marinade. I melted it so it would be a liquid, but it congealed right back up as soon as the lemon hit it not to mention when I tried to brush it on the cold chicken. It all tasted fine, which is why I'm posting the recipe in the count, but making it was a mess. I also couldn't separate out part of it for the original marinade and part for basting later on the grill. Dumb.

summer harvest bake

Number 33 of 50. This is from the Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook, and with a story about Native Americans. It's apparently an variation of a Navajo dish.

2 Tbl. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

2 large zucchini or yellow summer squash (or combination), chopped into small (but not too small) cubes
1 green bell pepper, cut in thin strips
1 cup corn

2 large tomatoes, sliced
grated Longhorn cheese

1. Saute the onion in the oil with the herbs.
2. Combine the squash, bell pepper, and corn in a shallow baking dish. Top with the onion mixture and bake for 1 hour or until the squash is starting to soften.
3. Put the sliced tomatoes and cheese over the top of everything, and bake for another 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Watch your proportions. I had WAY too much squash compared to everything else. But it was still good!

01 September 2009

Greek pasta salad

I'm baaack ... back to working on my 50 recipes. Actually, numbers 32, 33, and 34 were made about 2 months ago - I just never got around to posting them even though I've had a note sitting here at the computer all this time. But now I am here, and I will start posting again. And - ahem - I will start cooking again too. I'm really happy I have an awesome husband who lets me have lag times for a few weeks at a time when I just can't wrap my brain around cooking, and he takes over.

For 32, I got this Greek pasta salad here on AllRecipes - I did NOT make the dressing that they have listed with the recipe, so I can't vouch for that part of it and you'll have to click on the link to get that part of their recipe. I used the Greek vinaigrette I already had from the Greek quesadillas. It's a totally different dressing - it has spicy mustard in it. Yum!

cooked spiral pasta (penne would work too)
mushrooms, sliced
cherry tomatoes, halved
red bell pepper, chopped
crumbled feta cheese
scallions, chopped
Kalamata or some other Greek olives

Mix together, toss with the dressing, chill, eat!

The recipe also called for pepperoni sausage, cut into chunks. I don't think I added that because we don't usually have that around.