Category Archives: quick and easy

Mid-Week Quickie: Honey Butter Pork Chops with Cider Greens

All I have to say is make this.  Immediately.

I got the recipe for the pork glaze from Momma Hen’s Kitchen, and adapted it for pork chops instead of the tenderloin she used.  I had some chard that needed to be used up so I cooked it down with salt and chili powder, added apple cider vinegar to cut the richness of the pork, and on a last-minute whim, threw in some frozen sweet corn.  And all said, it was twenty minutes start to finish with only the two pans I used to cook.

Ingredients
2 boneless pork chops
1.5 tbsp butter
1 tbsp honey
cajun seasoning (or, if you’re me and you don’t have cajun seasoning, you can approximate this with salt, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and chili powder)
1 bunch chard (whatever kind you like – I used mixed), rinsed and ripped into large pieces, with hard stems removed
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, to taste
salt and chili powder
1/4 c. frozen corn

Instructions
1. Heat butter and oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat.
2. While the butter is heating, season the pork chops on one side with the cajun seasoning.
3. When the butter bubbles, add the pork chops to the pan, seasoned side down, and season the top side.  Cook 2-3 minutes, then flip the chops.  Cook until the chops are no longer pink in the middle.  This could be as little as 2 minutes per side if the chops are thin – don’t overcook them!  You can always cook them more later if they are too rare.
4. Now, onto the chard.  Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pot over medium-high heat, and when it shimmers, add the chard.  Sprinkle with a large pinch of salt and another of chili powder.
5. Saute until the chard wilts.  Add the vinegar and corn, and stir.
6. When the corn is hot, you’re ready to go!

Yes, please.

Poached Eggs over Garlicky Chard

Hello world, this is your guilty blogger writing.  I have so many new recipes to share with you and I just haven’t been able to find the time to put them up.  I’m going to try to get back on the wagon though.  Most of the stuff I’ll be posting in the next month or so will be relatively easy and quick, since it’s finals prep time and life is a little hectic.  This is a ridiculously easy and quick recipe that I really loved.

A big part of this recipe is the poached eggs.  I was a little unsure of how they would come out, but it turns out they aren’t as easily ruined as you’d think.  Don’t worry too much, just go for it – you’ll thank me later as you find yourself eating poached eggs on EVERYTHING (more to come on that in a later post).

ingredients
1/2 bunch swiss chard
1 roma tomato
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
salt and pepper

instructions
1. put a small pot of water over high heat.  you want to keep the water at a low simmer – just below boiling – so that tiny bubbles are coming up slowly, but no big bubbles.  add 2 tsp vinegar and stir.

2. crack the eggs into individual small bowls or ramekins (or do them one at a time).  gently slide the eggs into the water one at a time, dipping the ramekin into the water as you do it so there is no drop for the egg.  once you’ve added the eggs, tap the surface of the water with your slotted spoon a couple times to break the surface tension.

3. simmer 3-4 minutes.  to test if the egg is done, lift it out of the water with a slotted spoon, and touch the white – you want the white to feel fairly firm, but still tender.

4. slide the eggs into a bowl of ice water, then remove, set on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.  this ice bath will stop the cooking process.

5. heat a sautee pan over high heat.  while the pan heats, trim the tough veins from the chard and rinse the leaves.  rip into bite-sized pieces, remembering that the chard will shrink significantly during cooking.  add the olive oil to the pan, and when it shimmers, add the chard and a pinch of salt.

6.  while the chard cooks down, dice the tomato.  add the tomato and garlic to the chard in the pan and stir.  cook about 3 minutes, until the chard is all wilted and the tomato and garlic are soft.

7. serve the chard with the poached eggs on top.  top with fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste.

Mid-Week Quickie: Goat Cheese & Asparagus Mac & Cheese

This is a super fast and easy mid-week recipe with almost no cleanup.  It took about 20 minutes start to finish and used one pot and one bowl – doesn’t get much better than that.  This recipe originally came from Smitten Kitchen, but I made a few changes.  Here you go!

ingredients (serves 2)
1/2 lb whole wheat gemelli pasta
1 small lemon
1/2 lb asparagus
1/2 red bell pepper
sugar snap peas or broccoli
1 bunch spinach, rinsed
about 3 oz goat cheese (half of a 5.5 oz log)
2 tbsp olive oil

instructions

1. boil water in a big pot.  add 1/2 tsp salt and the pasta to the boiling water.

gemelli – if you haven’t had it, try it – so good for cheesy pastas!

2. prep your veggies.  snap the hard ends off the asparagus by bending the stalk and letting it break naturally.  then cut the asparagus stalks into thirds or quarters.

3. cut the bell pepper into strips, cut the stems off the spinach, and snap the hard ends off the peas.  if you’re using broccoli, cut it into bite-sized pieces.

4. when the pasta has 3 minutes left to cook, add the asparagus, red pepper, peas and broccoli.  2 minutes later add the spinach.

5. when the spinach wilts, drain the whole pot, reserving about 1/2 c. of the cooking water.

5. in a large bowl, combine the goat cheese, a splash of pasta water (about 1/4 c), olive oil, zest of the lemon, and the juice of half the lemon.

6.  with a fork, mash the goat cheese into the liquid until the mixture is smooth.

you caught me – i switched to a big bowl when i realized that trying to mix this in a little bowl was about to spell disaster.

7.  when the mixture is smooth, add the pasta and vegetables to the bowl, and toss to combine, making sure you scoop up the goat cheese sauce from the bottom to really coat the pasta.

mmm.

Mid-Week Quickie: Mushroom Walnut Tofu Burgers


I think the noticeable lack of meat dishes on my blog bears mentioning. Over the last few years I’ve read all the books about local food, and small producers, and become more and more disturbed by the factory farm industry. Finally, this year, I committed to significantly reducing the amount of meat I eat. So while I’m not entirely vegetarian (as you can see from the various chicken recipes), I generally don’t cook meat at home. The good news is, meatless food does not have to be boring (or filled with granola, as the myth seems to be).

Today I was reading Bon Apetit while I got my oil changed, and they had a recipe for wild mushroom cakes. That got me thinking that I had a bunch of things in the fridge I wanted to use up, and that I had everything I needed to make my own version of a mushroom burger. It came out great – give it a try!

ingredients (makes 2 burgers)
4 oz cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced with the stems removed
1 egg, beaten
1/3 container extra firm tofu
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/8 c. parmesan cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 c breadcrumbs
1/4 c walnuts

instructions
1. toast the walnuts in a dry nonstick pan over medium high heat. just toss them around in the hot pan every minute or so, until they start to smell good. drop those babies in the food processor.
2. put a splash of olive oil in the pan, and when it shimmers, add the mushrooms. saute 2 minutes. add the garlic and stir, and cook 1 additional minute, stirring occasionally. add to food processor.
3. slice the tofu into 1/2 inch thick planks and add to the hot pan. saute for 1 minute, until they look drier – you don’t want to add excess water to the food processor. add them to the processor.
4. add the egg and breadcrumbs to the mixture in the food processor, and blend until chunky but combined. mold the mixture into two patties.don’t panic if it looks a little loose at this point – it will firm up in the pan.
5. heat another splash of olive oil over medium high heat. when it shimmers, add the patties. cook about 5 minutes on each side, until brown and crispy, and cooked through.
getting crispy!
6. serve on a roll, or over a salad. I topped mine with spicy-sweet pepadew peppers, a little parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinagrette.