Thursday, May 2, 2013

Slow-Cooker Sweet and Sour Pork

We love pork and slow cookers in the Snowgoose household, so naturally we had to try this. From the March/ April issue of All You Magazine 

Ingredients

1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
1/2 cup chili sauce
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 bone-in center-cut pork chops, 1 inch thick
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

1 Mix broth, chili sauce, brown sugar and vinegar in a medium bowl.
2. In a small bowl, stir ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper and ½ tsp. ginger; rub mixture on both sides of pork chops. Warm 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook chops in a single layer until browned, about 2½ minutes; flip and cook 2 minutes longer. Transfer to slow cooker. Repeat with remaining pork.
3. Reduce heat to medium; add remaining oil to same skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat and stir in broth mixture, scraping up browned bits. Pour sauce into slow cooker; stir.
4. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Transfer chops to a platter and cover with foil. Skim fat from sauce. Stir in ¼ tsp. ginger; season with salt and pepper. Serve sauce over pork.



Cook's Notes:
We served it over rice with a side of broccoli.

Gnocchi Primavera

Gnocchi is a favorite in the Snowgoose household, but it is a bitch to make from scratch. Seriously. Mr. Snowgoose tried it once and the result was NOT GOOD. So now we just order it out or buy shelf stable pasta.

This is from the March/ April issue of All You Magazine

Ingredients

Salt and pepper
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
10 oz button mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic
3 plum tomatoes (we used about 2 cups of grape tomatoes instead)
1 cup frozen peas (we omitted this as Waffle hates peas with a passion)
1/2 cup heavy cream (we used 1/2 and 1/2)
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 lb frozen or shelf stable gnocchi
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil


Directions

  1. 1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Place asparagus in a bowl and microwave on high until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. 2. Melt butter with oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt and sauté until mushrooms have given off most of their liquid, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in peas and cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Cook gnocchi in boiling water until they float, about 5 minutes for frozen and 2 minutes for shelf-stable, or as package label directs. Drain and add to vegetable mixture, along with asparagus. Stir in Parmesan and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with basil and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes:

This would be even better with some ham or pancetta 


Creamy Light Potato Soup

From the January 2013 issue of Cooking Light


Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pounds potatoes, cubed
5 cups stock: chicken or veg
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 pound cauliflower, cut into florets (1/2 head)
3/4 teaspoon pepper
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
1/2 cut sour cream or Greek yogurt
2 ounces grated cheddar cheese
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled


Directions


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. 2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, thyme, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
  3. 3. While potatoes simmer, combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cauliflower, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray; toss to coat. Roast at 450° for 30 minutes or until browned, turning once.
  4. 4. Place cauliflower mixture and milk in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour cauliflower mixture into a large bowl. Add half of potato mixture to blender; pulse 5 to 6 times or until coarsely chopped. Pour into bowl with cauliflower mixture. Repeat with remaining potato mixture. Place cauliflower-potato mixture in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 cup green onions, and fromage blanc; stir until fromage blanc melts. Ladle soup into 8 bowls. Top evenly with remaining green onions, cheese, and bacon

Mushroom Frittata


From the January 2013 issue of Cooking Light

Ingredients 

1/2 cup finely grated pecorino/ Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cups baby arugula
2 teaspoons lemon juice


Directions


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. 2. Combine first 3 ingredients; add 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; sauté 6 minutes or until mushrooms brown and most of liquid evaporates. Stir in onions; sauté 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add egg mixture and basil to pan, stirring gently to evenly distribute vegetable mixture; cook 5 minutes or until eggs are partially set. Place pan in oven. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes or until eggs are cooked through and top is lightly browned. Remove pan from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Run a spatula around edge and under frittata to loosen from pan; slide frittata onto a plate or cutting board.
  3. 3. Combine the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, arugula, and lemon juice. Cut the frittata into 6 wedges; top with arugula mixture.
Cook's Notes:

We kept the arugula on the side and made it a salad rather than top the frittata. Even Mr. Snowgoose liked this!