Hi friends! Thanks for stopping by my blog again. Today I am sharing a dinner recipe that I have actually been avoiding for quite some time. One of my husband’s favorite dinners is pork chops which happens to be one of my least favorite. Pork chops are one food that always stand out in my mind as bland and dry. My mom is the best cook I know, but growing up I always cringed when she said she was making pork chops!
College was the first time I really started experimenting in the kitchen. I was always interested in trying new recipes and let’s face it, I had plenty of time to do so. I made pork chops for Mike a few times in college. I believe one was in a fancy blackberry reduction. I can’t even say I was really trying to win him over because back then he was a total plain Jane in the food department!
For the last few months Mike has been asking me to make pork chops. I finally caved-in because I was running out of ideas for new recipes to try and found myself staring at the meat/poultry display at the food store. I decided to buy a 3 pack of organic, boneless pork chops from Stop and Shop. When I got home I did a little bit of research on how to cook pork chops. I find most of my recipe inspiration from magazines or Pinterest photos (not usually the recipes themselves). Once I see a picture I like to try to figure out what the ingredients might be or how I can use that photo as my starting point.
For this specific dinner I kept the ingredients simple. I also decided to cook these pork chops the same way I have cooked filet mignon. Sear both sides on the stove top then pop the pan in the oven. It’s super important that to use a good quality, oven safe pan for easy transfer from the stove top to oven. It’s easy to forget that a pan was in a very hot oven and reach for the handle. I have burned my hand really bad by accidentally grabbing the handle. To prevent that from happening again I put a “pot holder” on the pan handle right after it comes out of the oven (similar to this).
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I love sweet potatoes and I have finally perfected what I think is the best seasoning ever. Cut up the potatoes however you like (cubes, discs, slices) then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, paprika and herb de Provence. THE BEST!
3 boneless pork chops, about 1-1 1/2 inch thick
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus more to oil pan)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed
– Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-In a zip-top bag, marinate pork chops with EVOO, garlic and seasonings for 20/30 minutes.
– Heat no more than 1-2 tablespoons of EVOO in an oven safe pan (pork chops will be well coated in oil to begin with) over medium heat
– Sear pork chops for 4-5 minutes per side (if your pork chops are thicker than 1-1 1/2in you will probably need to increase the time).
– Transfer pan to oven for 10 minutes
Working full time sometimes makes cooking dinner tough. When I am researching recipes, it seems as if all of the easy recipes are unhealthy. I am all for comfort meals here and there, but overall I try to cook healthy dinners. In this blog I am sharing an easy and healthy recipe that is perfect for busy nights!
In my house, we love home cooked meals. My husband and I almost always eat dinner together. On the nights that he gets home late I usually don’t cook or go to my parent’s house. Mike is my #1 taste taster and recipe critic. I always joke that his taste buds have come a long way since we started dating in college. These days he will try anything. Today I am sharing one of his hands down favorite and most requested meals.
One of my go-to weeknight dinners is zoodles with chicken sausage and sundried tomatoes. It’s a quick and easy low-carb alternative for pasta. To save time on busy nights, remove the sausage from the casing and slice the tomatoes ahead of time. You can also find pre-made zoodles at the grocery store. I find using the food processor to chop veggies is a great timesaver too. Prep and cook this meal in about 30 minutes, making 2-4 servings.
1 package of organic chicken sausage
5 cups spiraled zucchini (aka zoodles…they shrink, so the more the better!)
1 cup sundried tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 medium yellow onion
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Remove chicken sausage from casing then brown over medium heat and break sausage into small pieces. I suggest using a sauté pan that is deeper than a regular frying pan.
While sausage is browning, slice sundried tomatoes into thin strips and chop onion. Once sausage is cooked transfer into a bowl. Using the same pan add a swirl of extra virgin olive oil and sauté garlic and onions (5-7 mins) then add the tomatoes (medium/low heat). Sundried tomatoes tend to soak up a lot of oil, so add a bit more to the pan and cook until they soften (5 mins).
Next, add sausage back to the pan to blend flavors together (5-7 mins).
Finally, over medium/low heat add the zoodles to the pan and mix together. I prefer to keep the zoodles on the firm side (they can get very mushy), so I won’t let them cook for more than 10 minutes. If you’re like me and don’t have a very large sauté pan you will probably need to leave the zoodles in a bit longer and may want to add a lid.
With NFL playoffs this weekend, I thought it would be a good day to share a great game-day app. It’s one of the easiest appetizers I have ever made. You can prep most of the ingredients ahead of time which makes them perfect for parties. Pop them in the oven when your guests arrive and in 30 minutes you’ll have a great snack ready. to eat I actually made these one Christmas Eve and my family really liked them. Be warned – jalapenos can be very hot, so be mindful of the seeds. Heat is not for everyone. These so easy that you don’t really need to follow a recipe. Here is super easy spin on loaded potato skins!
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Slice potatoes into rounds about 1/2 inch thick and place on baking sheet (note: do not slice potatoes ahead of time because they will turn brown (similar to an apple). I made this mistake and had to cut up more potatoes).
Slice japalenos into small rounds (keeping or discarding as many of the seeds as you like – the seeds hold the heat).
Use a kitchen scissor to cut the bacon into small bite sized pieces
Directions – The Assembly
Using a basting brush, VERY lightly spread olive oil on the top of each potato (the bacon will release oils). You just need enough oil to help the salt and pepper stick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper,
Place 1-2 jalapeno and bacon slices along with shredded cheddar on each potato.
Bake for about 30 minutes then top with fresh scallions.