Category: Pork/Ham

Grilled Pork Chops

Grilled Double-Thick Pork Chops

Today we’re making grilled double-thick pork chops with a simple marinade of fig vinegar, olive oil, dried sage and salt and pepper. It’s a subtle marinade and complements the chops nicely.

These pork chops are thick and need both direct and indirect heat. Turn on the grill about 15 minutes before cooking. Start over the direct heat to sear and color the chops on both sides, then move to the indirect heat an dturn the direct heat to low. The ideal grill temperature is 300 degrees F.

Cook until the internal temperature is 140 degrees F; let rest for 5 minutes. These pork chops are slightly pink inside and very juicy!

Serve with our potato packets – no pots and pans!

Watch the Grilled Pork Chop Video Here.

 

Braised Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples

Country-Style Spareribs

Country-style spare ribs are moist and tender when braised low and slow and taste delicious accompanied with red cabbage and apples.

When I was a kid, we had spareribs and sauerkraut a few times a year in fall and winter. I was never a fan of the regular spareribs. Too greasy and not enough meat. Somehow, those spareribs taste better when cooked low and slow on the barbecue with a tangy red sauce.

My mom mixed up the type of meat she used throughout the season and I was happiest when she chose country-style spareribs. These are thick and meaty and when cooked properly, fall-apart tender.

Country-style ribs are more pork chop than ribs. This cut, which  is very meaty and less fatty than spareribs, is from the front end of the baby back ribs and are an economical cut. Cook low and slow, known as braising, which melds the delicious flavors of the meat and vegetables. Braises are best made the day before; defat the top before reheating.

Tip: I rarely brown my meat before braising anymore. I really can’t tell the difference with low and slow cooking. Lots of flavors are released during cooking that more than compensate for not browning.

Country-Style Spareribs

For this recipe I chose to use fresh red cabbage and Granny Smith apples with thinly sliced, caramelized onions, stock and apple cider. Caraway seeds and juniper berries (use a disposable tea filter bag for easy removal) nicely complement the pork and the vegetables. Five minutes before serving, add the vinegar and dill, stir and serve!

Country-Style Spareribs

Watch the Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples Here.

 

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Braised Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples

Country-Style Spareribs

Cook this either in a slow cooker or on the stovetop. If you have the time, cool and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Slow Cooking

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds country-style spareribs
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 cups stock or water
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Generously season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heat-tolerant slow-cooker insert or large Dutch oven. Add the onion to the hot pan and sweat for 5 minutes, Continue cooking until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes more. Watch the heat, don’t burn the onions, add a little water as needed to deglaze the pan or loosen the caramelized onion juices from the bottom of the pan. This is what colors and flavors the onion.
  3. Stir in the cabbage, apples, garlic, caraway seeds and juniper berries, stock and apple cider. Tuck the ribs into the vegetables and bring to a boil.
  4. Slow Cooker: Remove the insert to the slow cooker, cover and set on low for 6-8 hours, the timing will depend on the amount of heat your slow cooker generates, until fork tender. Turn the pork half way through cooking.
  5. Stovetop: Reduce the heat to low (barely a simmer), cover and cook for 2-3 hours, until fork tender, checking to make sure the liquid is not boiling.
  6. Remove the ribs to a warm platter and cover.
  7. Stir in the vinegar or lemon juice and dill and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes.
  8. Add the cabbage to the platter and serve.

 

Watch the Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples Here:

 

 

 

Braised Pork Chops in Sauerkraut

Winter Storm Jonas

In anticipation of the snow storm, I stocked up at Stew Leonards on Thursday. One purchase was two extra thick center-cut pork chops for Braised Pork Chops in Sauerkraut, using Dr. Pickle’s sauerkraut.

Winter Storm Jonas

We’re right in the middle of Winter Storm Jonas. Don’t you love how all storms now have names! I remember some unnamed storms when we lived in NYC, such as the Blizzard of 1978 – 17.7 inches and Metropolitan Snowstorm of 1983 – 17.6 inches. According to the news, the city already has 15 inches and the storm warning goes through 7am tomorrow!

Winter Storm Jonas

We’re only at six inches and the forecast isn’t too bad here. It’s windy (35-40 mph winds) and I’m glad we’re home and warm. The aroma from the pork and sauerkraut is intoxicating and I’m anxiously awaiting dinner!

Winter Storm Jonas

Final tally was 15 inches! Thanks Bren Landscaping & Masonry for the great job of clearing us out!

Dr. Pickle

I met Dr. Pickle at the Larchmont farmer’s market through my friend Ellen. He’s a delightful young guy who sells his pickles at a multiple locations in the NY/NJ area and through mail order. Wish he came to CT!!

Dr. Pickle

He sets up a table surrounded by wooden barrels filled with his half-sour pickles, probably my most favorite pickle of all, giardiniera, spicy peppers, pickled mushrooms and many more.

Dr. Pickle

He even makes olives! A tasting dish is always filled with samples and needless to say, you leave with more than you intended to buy!

Dr. Pickle

Back to cooking…

Braised Pork Chops in Sauerkraut

Generously season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper and brown them in oil over high heat four minutes per side. Remove and drain most of the fat.

I don’t drain or rinse Dr. Pickle’s sauerkraut. It’s so fresh and has a nice crunch; it can be eaten without any additional cooking. If you’re using canned sauerkraut, I recommend draining and then soaking it for 20 minutes in cold water. Drain again

To prepare the sauerkraut, combine dry white wine, very thin slices of Granny Smith apple and onion and some caraway seeds in the pot. Because I don’t drain or soak the sauerkraut, I don’t add any more salt at this point. If you use canned sauerkraut, taste it to determine if it needs a little salt after the soaking. Lay the pork chops on top of the sauerkraut, cover and cook on low for 4 hours turning the chops after 2 hours.

 

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Braised Pork Chops in Sauerkraut

If you’re using canned sauerkraut, I recommend draining and then soaking it for 20 minutes in cold water. Drain again, taste and add salt if needed and add ½ cup cold water to make up for the lost liquid.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 portions
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Slow Cooking

Ingredients

  • 2 thick center-cut pork chops
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pint sauerkraut
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup cold water, if you drained the sauerkraut
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Instructions

  1. Generously season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat and sear the chops for 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and drain the fat from the pot.
  3. Stir in the sauerkraut, onion, apple, wine (water if needed) and caraway seeds and bring to a boil.
  4. Return the chops to the pot, placing them on top of the sauerkraut and cover the pan.
  5. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer and cook for 2 hours. Turn the pork chops and cook for another 2 hours. The chops are ready when they’re fork tender.

 

Roasted Vegetable and Ham Frittata

What do you do with leftovers? Repurpose them into a Roasted Vegetable and Ham Frittata.

We had leftover roasted vegetables from dinner and leftover ham from the split pea soup I recently made. I tossed the vegetables and ham together and put them in the bottom of a buttered deep-dish pie pan. It took nine well-beaten eggs with to cover this. I didn’t add any salt and pepper to the eggs because the vegetables were well seasoned and the ham salty. It was the right decision, adding any more salt would have been too much.

We had the frittata for dinner with enough leftover for lunch the next day.

Place the vegetables and ham in the bottom of a lightly greased deep-dish pie pan.

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Beat the eggs and dairy until frothy. Pour over the vegetables.

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Bake for one and one-quarter hours or until the frittata is completely set. Test with the blade of a knife. The frittata is done when the knife comes out clean.

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Roasted Vegetable and Ham Frittata

The vegetables I used were well seasoned and I opted not to season the frittata. Be sure to taste your leftovers before seasoning.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 85 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions
  • Category: Eggs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Leftover vegetables
    4 ounces ham, cut into small cubes
    9 large eggs
    1/4 cup milk or half and half
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. Place the vegetables and ham in the bottom of a lightly greased deep-dish pie pan.
  3. Beat the eggs and milk until frothy.
  4. Pour over the vegetables.
  5. Bake for one and one-quarter hours or until the frittata is completely set.
  6. Test with the blade of a knife. The frittata is done when the knife comes out clean.
  7. Let sit for 10 minutes to solidify.

 

Meatloaf with Spicy Ketchup

Meatloaf is versatile. Use ground meat or poultry and simply change up the herbs and spices or add in some vegetables and you create an entirely different flavor profile. Try this recipe for Meatloaf with Spicy Ketchup.

Bread crumbs, originally used as a filler when meat was rationed during WWII or to stretch a meat dish on a limited budget, are still worth adding in a small amount because they absorb juices during cooking and keep the meatloaf moist.

Meatloaf can take many forms. Free form, stuffed into a loaf pan, individual mini meatloafs; or make meatballs. Mini meatballs are great hors d’oeuvres, serve with a dipping sauce. The possibilities are endless.

I like to make individual free-form meatloaves, which get a nice crust on the top and the sides. I use a scale, an inexpensive one with a needle dial that is more than sufficient. Weighing and shaping each meatloaf ensures they cook evenly and everyone gets the same portion size.

Meatloaf and meatballs freeze well. Place on a tray and put in the freezer. Once frozen, wrap tightly and return to the freezer. Don’t thaw before using, cook the meatloaf frozen and add the frozen meatballs to a sauce.

This is a basic recipe, which yields five and one-half pounds of the mixture. This can be made into 11 seven-ounce mini meatloafs, 40 two-ounce meatballs, one or two large meatloafs, or a combination. I’ve also included a spicy ketchup sauce for glazing the meatloaf during the last ten minutes.

Sauce

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Whisk together the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano and chipotle powder. Try this with a hot Dijon mustard, such as Inglehoffer, for an extra kick.

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Meatloaf

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Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the milk and beat until frothy.

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Stir in the breadcrumbs, onion, cheese, mustard, herb seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper.

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Add the meat to the bowl.

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Knead the breadcrumb mixture and meat together until thoroughly combined.

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At this point, I take a spoonful and panfry it to check on seasonings an important step in recipe development and an easy place to make adjustments.

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And I’m always happy to have a nosh! No changes needed – wish I had cooked a bigger piece…

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Forming

 

Mini meatloaves: 7 ounces

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Meatballs: 2 ounces

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Place on the lined baking tray and bake.

These pictures are to show you the various shapes. Don’t cook on together!

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Mini Meatloafs

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Baking

The optimum internal temperature for a cooked meatloaf or meatballs is 165 degrees F.

Remove the meatloaf 10 minutes before the end cooking time, around 155 degrees F internal temperature, and generously brush the spicy ketchup over the top and sides.

Rest the meatloaf 10 minutes before slicing to allow the meat to set.

Large Meatloaf – about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds

  • Fresh: 300 degrees F for one hour
  • Frozen: 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, lower the heat to 300ºF and continue baking for 40 minutes

Mini Meatloaf – 7 ounces each

  • Fresh: 300 degrees F for 25 minutes
  • Frozen: 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, then 300 degrees F for 30 minutes

Meatballs – 2 ounces each

  • Fresh: 350 degrees F for 12 minutes
  • Frozen: 350 degrees F for 20 minutes

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Meatloaf with Spicy Ketchup

Meatloaf can take many forms. Free form, stuffed into a loaf pan, individual mini meatloafs; or meatballs. Mini meatballs are great hors d’oeuvres, serve with a tasty dipping sauce.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 5 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix
  • Category: Meatloaf
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

Spicy Ketchup
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons hot Dijon mustard, such as Inglehoffer
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder

Meatloaf
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated onion
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons coarse mustard
1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning
2 teaspoons minced cloves of garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 pounds ground beef (15% fat)
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal

Instructions

  1. Spicy Ketchup
  2. Whisk together the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano and chipotle powder.
  3. Meatloaf
  4. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the milk and beat until frothy.
  5. Stir in the breadcrumbs, onion, cheese, mustard, herb seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper.
  6. Add the meat to the bowl and knead together until thoroughly combined.
  7. Forming:
  8. Weigh the mixture for whatever size and shape you want:
    1. Large meatloaf: 2 pounds
    2. Mini meatloafs: 7 ounces
    3. Meatballs: 2 ounces
  9. Place on a baking tray bake in preheated oven.
  10. Baking:
  11. Large Meatloaf – about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
    1. Fresh: 300 degrees F for one hour
    2. Frozen: 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, lower the heat to 300 degrees F and continue baking for 40 minutes
  12. Mini Meatloaf – 7 ounces each
    1. Fresh: 300 degrees F for 25 minutes
    2. Frozen: 350 agrees F for 15 minutes, lower heat to 300 degrees F for 20 minutes
  13. Resting
    1. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the meat to set.
  14. Meatballs – 2 ounces each
    1. Fresh: 350 degrees F for 12 minutes
    2. Frozen: 350 degrees F for 20 minutes

Notes

The optimum internal temperature is 165 degrees F.

Remove the meatloaf 10 minutes prior to the end cooking time, about 155 degrees F internal temperature, and generously glaze top and sides and cook for another 10 minutes.

 

Swine Butchery Class

Saugatuck Craft Butchery, located in Westport, CT holds classes in butchery, sausage making and knife skills. Last Thursday I attended a swine butchery class.

When I arrived, half a pig was spread across the large wooden butcher’s table, all its parts labeled. The class started with a thorough discussion of sourcing, anatomy and a butchering demonstration. They cleared away the butchered pig and I was a little disappointed. I thought it was more hands on. Next thing I know, two new pig halves came out of the meat locker to the table and there were only seven students – WOW! What an opportunity.

Fat surrounding the kidneys is made into leaf lard for pastry making.

Fat surrounding the kidneys is made into leaf lard for pastry making.

We butchered the pigs exactly as the instructor had. It was an amazing experience. I got to remove the tenderloin and clean it “case ready.”

Next I got to remove the hock from the ham. That’s difficult. The skin is tough and no matter how sharp your knife, you need strength. The butchers make beautiful sweeping cuts, mine were hacks. Getting through that skin is challenging and then finding the joint and separating is problematic – I had to stick my fingers in a few times and feel around to find the joint.  I couldn’t see anything until it was completely apart. Once you see how it’s joined together, it makes sense and you can visualize where the knife should go – next time!

Untrimmed pork tenderloin from the demo. My hands were too slick to take pictures of mine.

Untrimmed pork tenderloin from the demo. My hands were too slick to take pictures of mine.

My last task was to use a hand saw on the rib cage separating the loin chops from the spare ribs. I kept bringing the saw too far back at first. Overall, I think everyone in the group had as much fun as I did and we learned a lot. There’s great finesse to butchering; it’s an art to disassemble an animal and not waste or destroy the flesh in the process.

Separating the rib chops from the spareribs with a hand saw.

Separating the rib chops from the spareribs with a hand saw. All the excess fat is made into lard.  This is also bacon.

All scraps go into making a variety of sausages, which we tasted before the class. The kielbasa was my favorite. They make their own bacon and lard as well. Pig’s ears are turned into dog treats – they don’t waste anything.

These guys really like what they do, are friendly and knowledgeable; I look forward to sourcing my meat from them regularly.

Sofrito Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs with Rice and Beans

 

I’ve been busy preparing for the onslaught of Eric’s friends for the Super Bowl. Dinner is Sofrito Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs Over Rice, Beans & Chorizo.

No one has a favorite team this year and I expect a rather low-key (no yelling or expletives) evening. They arrive around 4ish and expect noshes. I like to mix up the Super Bowl recipes and not always rely on salsa and chips and chili. Here’s a recipe for a quick and easy appetizer, Buffalo Wing Dip.

Check out some of these links for delicious dessert ideas!

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Spare Ribs

Heat the oil in a 7-quart covered Dutch oven or heat-proof slow cooker insert over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (it quivers a bit), add the onion, cover and sweat for five minutes.

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Stir in the green pepper, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes; bring to a boil, lower a bit and continue cooking until the liquid reduces about ten minutes.

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Add the garlic, sherry wine vinegar, coriander, turmeric, jalapeño and bay leaves, stir and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Pour in the stock and stir to combine.

Note: this is more liquid than I would normally use, but I want 2 cups of the flavorful liquid to cook the rice.

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Set the spare ribs in the sofrito and bring to a boil.

Stovetop Method: lower heat to barely simmer and continue cooking until the pork is fork tender, about two and one-half hours.

Slow Cooker Method: Set the slow cooker on low and cook until the pork is fork tender; check at six hours and adjust accordingly.

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Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim the fat before reheating.

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Rice

Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

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Put the strained sofrito sauce and rice in a medium-sized covered saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for the recommended time on the package.

Note: Follow instructions on package for cooking in Microwave.

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Stir in the beans, chorizo and cilantro; continue cooking until heated through.

To serve: Spoon the rice mixture in the middle of the plate, top with the spare ribs and ladle sauce over the top. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.

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Braised Sofrito Country-Style Spareribs with Rice, Pink Beans and Chorizo

Make this a day or two in advance to let the flavors meld.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hour
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Braise

Ingredients

  • Spare Ribs
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced pepper
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock (water or vegetable stock is fine)
  • 4 pounds boneless country-style pork spare ribs
  • Rice
  • ½ pound chorizo, skin removed and ¼-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups strained sofrito sauce, return the vegetables to the pot
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pink beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Spare Ribs
  2. Heat the oil in a 7-quart covered Dutch oven or heat-proof slow cooker insert over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (it quivers a bit), add the onion, cover and sweat for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the green pepper, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes; bring to a boil, lower a bit and continue cooking until the liquid reduces about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, sherry wine vinegar, coriander, turmeric, jalapeño and bay leaves, stir and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Pour in the stock and stir to combine.
  5. Note: this is more liquid that I would normally use, but I want 2 cups of the flavorful liquid to cook the rice.
  6. Set the spare ribs in the sofrito and bring to a boil.
  7. Stovetop Method: lower heat to barely simmer and continue cooking until the pork is fork tender, about two and one-half hours.
  8. Slow Cooker Method: Set the slow cooker on low and cook until the pork is fork tender; check at six hours and adjust accordingly.
  9. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim the fat before reheating.
  10. Rice
  11. Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  12. Put the strained sofrito sauce and rice in a medium-sized covered saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for the recommended time on the package.
  13. Note: Follow instructions on package for cooking in the Microwave.
  14. Stir in the beans, chorizo and cilantro; continue cooking until heated through.
  15. To serve: Spoon the rice mixture in the middle of the plate, top with the spare ribs and ladle sauce over the top. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.

Notes

Make this for Super Bowl Sunday or any dinner.

Grilled Pork Medallions with Fig Sauce

I love figs and pork. Walking through Stew Leonard’s the other day I saw a crate with 24 lovely purple figs. Along with the figs, I bought pork tenderloin and made Grilled Pork Medallions with Fig Sauce.

Method

Preheat the grill.

Remove the small tail. Cut the pork in half and each of the two pieces in half.

Stand each piece of pork cut side down on the board, cover the top with plastic wrap and using a meat mallet or heavy-bottomed pan, pound the meat to a one-inch thickness. Place on a tray.

If you want to use the tail, pound it on the uncut side to a one-inch thickness. Otherwise, freeze and save for another purpose, such as a stew or for grinding.

Season each medallion with salt and pepper on both sides.

Remove the tops from the figs and discard. Chop the four ripest figs in to small pieces. Slice eight figs into quarters.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.

Stir in the onions and garlic and sweat for three minutes, or until the onions have softened.

Add the wine, bring to boil and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the figs, chicken stock, sage, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, grill the pork over high heat for about 4 minutes per side, turning halfway through to get the grill marks.

Remove from the heat and let sit, lightly covered, on the serving platter for four minutes.

Sauce the medallions and serve or serve the sauce on the side.

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Grilled Pork Medallions with Fig Sauce

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Grilling

Ingredients

1 whole pork tenderloin
12 fresh figs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock, preferably unsalted*
2 sprigs of fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Preheat the grill.

Remove the small tail. Cut the pork in half and each of the two pieces in half.

Stand each piece of pork cut side down on the board, cover the top with plastic wrap and using a meat mallet or heavy-bottomed pan, pound the meat to a one-inch thickness. Place on a tray.

If you want to use the tail, pound it on the uncut side to a one-inch thickness. Otherwise, freeze and save for another purpose, such as a stew or for grinding.

Season each medallion with salt and pepper on both sides.

Remove the tops from the figs and discard. Chop the four ripest figs in to small pieces. Slice eight figs into quarters.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.

Stir in the onions and garlic and sweat for three minutes, or until the onions have softened.

Add the wine, bring to boil and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the figs, chicken stock, sage, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

 

In the meantime, grill the pork over high heat for about 4 minutes per side, turning halfway through to get the grill marks.

Remove from the heat and let sit, lightly covered, on the serving platter for four minutes.

Sauce the medallions and serve or serve the sauce on the side.

Notes

Reduce the amount of salt added if using a salted stock.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Mozzarella Crostini

I’ve made this hors d’oeuvre a couple of times and it’s always a big hit. I like the presentation and when you bit into each Prosciutto-Wrapped Mozzarella Crostini, there’s a lot going on – sweet, salty, juicy, crunchy. I usually make enough for 3-4 pieces per person, less if there are other options.

This weekend I happened to have some leftover pesto, which I spread on the bottom of the crostini – a great addition to an already delicious bite.

 

Stuffed Pork Loin

A stuffed pork loin is versatile, the variety of fillings is endless. This recipe uses sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, and basil. The stuffing can be made a day or two in advance, you can stuff the roast in the
morning, place it covered in a roasting pan and refrigerate for later cooking.

The ideal internal temperature for a moist pork roast is 145 degrees F, if you prefer it less pink, aim for 160 degrees F, but b careful not to overcook or the roast will be dry.

 

 

Put one tablespoon of the oil in a small covered saucepan over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot stir in the onions and garlic, cover the pan, and sweat for a couple of minutes. If the onions are browning, lower the heat.

Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and breadcrumbs, then mix in the remaining oil, and continue cooking. As the breadcrumbs toast, stir to prevent sticking and burning.

Cook until the mixture is aromatic (toasty) and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

The mixture is done when the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Remove the pan from stove and cool mixture.

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

Remove the butcher string from the roast and stand it on its side.

Place your chef’s knife 1/3 of the way across the top and slice through to about an inch from the bottom.

Lay the pork flat on the board and place your knife at the center (2/3 remaining ) of the pork and slice it in half across, again leaving about 1 inch from the bottom.

Open the roast flat across the board and season the pork with salt and pepper.

Now, complete the filling by mixing in the parmesan, basil, and parsley. Taste to adjust seasoning, but remember, both the cheese and tomatoes are inherently salty.

Gently dump the filling over the top of the meat and spread evenly over the surface.

Take the interior cut and fold it back in place and then again.

Tie the roast tightly, season all sides with salt and pepper, and place in the roasting pan.

Place roasting pan in preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350ºF and continue cooking for another 40-50 minutes, or until internal temperature is 140 to 145 degrees F.

Remove the roast to a cutting and cover with foil and let sit for 8 minutes.

Slice and serve.

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Stuffed Pork Loin

A stuffed pork loin is versatile, the variety of fillings is endless. This recipe uses sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, and basil. The stuffing can be made a day or two in advance, you can stuff the roast in the morning, place it covered in a roasting pan and refrigerate for later cooking.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Roasting

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil divided
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced (I prefer using tomatoes not packed in oil)
½ cup breadcrumbs (I use seasoned, totally optional or season your own)
1 three-pound boneless pork loin roast
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup finely chopped parsley

Instructions

Put one tablespoon of the oil in a small covered saucepan over medium-low heat.

Stir in the onions and garlic, cover the pan, and sweat for a couple of minutes. If the onions are browning, lower the heat.

Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and breadcrumbs, then mix in the remaining oil, and continue cooking. As the breadcrumbs toast, stir to prevent sticking and burning.

Cook until the mixture is aromatic (toasty) and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

The mixture is done when the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Remove the pan from stove and cool mixture.

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

Remove the butcher string from the roast and stand it on its side.

Place your chef’s knife 1/3 of the way across the top and slice through to about an inch from the bottom.

Lay the pork flat on the board and place your knife at the center at the larger side  of the pork and slice it in half across, again leaving about 1 inch from the bottom.

Open the roast flat across the board and season the pork with salt and pepper.

Complete the filling by mixing in the parmesan, basil, and parsley. Taste to adjust seasoning, but remember, both the cheese and tomatoes are inherently salty.

Gently dump the filling over the top of the meat and spread evenly over the surface.

Take the interior cut and fold it back in place and then again.

Tie the roast tightly, season all sides with salt and pepper, and place in the roasting pan.

Place roasting pan in preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350ºF and continue cooking for another 30 minutes, or until internal temperature is 140 to 145 degrees F.

Remove the roast to a cutting and cover with foil and let sit for 8 minutes.

Slice and serve.

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

I purchased a three-pound Berkshire pork shoulder to make pulled pork using the smoker on my gas grill. I’ll serve this with mini Cheddar cheese muffins and a side of creamy coleslaw.

I’m not a barbecue expert and had to peruse many recipes before I was able to decide how to put this together. My daughter requested the moist version using vinegar, instead of a dry rub, which is my preference too. The finished pork is tangy and fall-apart tender.

To infuse a smoky flavor I sparingly used ground chipotle that offers heat and earthy undertones. Most recipes incorporated either a tablespoon of ground mustard or a couple of tablespoons of regular mustard. I thought 1/3 cup of a stone-ground was the best choice.

All ingredients measured and the pork shoulder.

1 large onion diced – about 2 cups

Four smashed garlic cloves – place the side of your knife over each clove and smack with the heel of your hand.

Stir onion, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and chipotle.

After 2 hours, notice the expelled juices. It is definitely not necessary to add more liquid.

Finished pulled pork

Finished pulled pork

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Pulled Pork

Serve this with mini Cheddar cheese muffins or biscuits and a side of creamy coleslaw.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 portions
  • Category: Barbecue
  • Method: Slow Cooking

Ingredients

1 large onion, large dice
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/3 cup stone-ground mustard
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (either dark or light)
1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 smashed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ground chipotle red
3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of fat
1 tablespoon coarse salt

Instructions

Mix the onion, ketchup, mustard, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and chipotle together in a slow cooker.

Season the trimmed pork with salt and pepper and place on top of the sauce mixture. Turn the meat a couple of times to coat with the sauce.

Set the slow cooker on low heat and timer for 8 hours; turn the meat every 2 hours. Place the pork on a board and let cook for 20 minutes.

Shred the pork with a couple of forks and return to the pot. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove the hardened fat and discard.

Serve or freeze for another day.

Notes

Don’t be tempted to add more liquid; the meat will expel juices and fat and add volume. You want the sauce to have an intense in flavor!

Haricots Verts in Garlic Butter

My plans for dinner, grilled pork chops with haricots verts in garlic butter and mashed sweet potatoes with goat cheese were spoiled by the weather.

It’s a dreary, snowy-rainy, rainy-snowy day. I shoveled this morning, something I usually enjoy, but the snow is heavy and I finished, an hour later soaked and cold to the bone. The snow continued and the shoveled parts were clogging up with slush again. What is really bugging me are the thick pork chops for dinner that I was planning on grilling. But who wants to go out in the rain and slush to cook. Believe me, I have gone out in many a bad weather, but this one just makes you want to hunker down and avoid the cold, chilly, rain and the slippery deck.

The options are to broil or pan roast the chops. The nice thing about pan roasting is you can make a quick sauce from the fond in the pan.

Haricot vert in Garlic Butter

serves 4

Take 1 pound haricot vert, snap off the stems and rinse thoroughly. Fill a small pan with one-inch of cold water and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Place steaming basket inside, fill with the beans, and cover. Steam over high heat for 4 minutes. While these are cooking, mince 2 garlic cloves and slice 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter (1/3 of a tablespoon). Drain the beans, remove the steamer basket, and add the garlic and butter. Stir (the residual heat of the beans melts the butter and softens the harshness of raw garlic), season to taste with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve in warm bowl.

Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese

Serves: 4

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Set 1 1/2 ounces of goat cheese on the counter to warm while the potatoes are baking. Scrub 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 10 ounces each) to remove dirt and grit. Dry and poke each 3 times with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape while baking. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove to a cutting board and slice each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop the flesh into a warm serving bowl. Stir in the goat cheese (if you forgot to warm the cheese, put in the microwave and soften just a little), mix well, and serve.

 

Cut baked sweet potatoes in half lengthwise.

 

 

 

Scoop potato flesh into warm serving bowl.

 

 

Combine potato and goat cheese

 

Pan Roasted Pork Chops

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

4 pork chops

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small onion, minced

2 teaspoons dried bouquet garni

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 cup broth or stock (vegetable, chicken, or beef)

Method

Preheat oven to 350 ºF.

Pour oil into a large skillet with an ovenproof handle and place over high heat.

Season each chop, both sides, with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place the chops into the hot pan (cover with a spatter screen) and sear for about 2 minutes. Turn when the chops are nicely browned, and sear for another 2 minutes.

 

Seasoned chops in hot skillet with oil.

 

 

First side seared, chops turned and searing again.

 

 

Place seared chops into preheated oven and cook until internal temperature reads 145ºF for medium (the chops will be slightly pink inside) or longer if you want them well done. The timing will depend on how thick the chops are and if they came directly from the refrigerator (cold) or sat on the counter for a short time (less cold).

Remove chops to a warm serving plate and place hot pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop.

Pan roasted chops – remove to heated plate and place hot pan on stovetop.

Add the onions and herbs and stir for a minute or two – don’t let them burn. Pour in the wine and reduce to a couple of tablespoons.

Reduce the wine to a couple of tablespoons.

Now add the stock and cook until it thickens a bit. Season with salt and pepper and pour sauce over chops. Serve.

Internal temperature of 145 ºF has a pink, moist center.