Category Archives: Autumn

Feta Stuffed Pork Chops

 

This recipe makes for pork chops that a are flavorful, juicy, and tender. This oven-baked technique will ensure that your pork has a delicious crust and a perfectly cooked interior. Just follow these simple tips below and prepare yourself to reconsider everything you know about this weeknight-friendly cut. The recipe follows.

Tips on Cooking the Perfect Pork Chops

1. Buy the pork chops bone-in and thick.
Typically, bone-in pork chops are thicker than those with the bone removed. A thin pork chop is difficult to cook perfectly with this method, because of the hard sear you give both sides before it goes in the oven. If a chop is too thin, by the time you’ve seared both sides, the thing is practically overcooked! Choosing a thick chop allows you to get a nice golden sear on both sides and a perfectly cooked tender center.

2. Get your skillet HOT.
The goal of this initial sear is to get a golden, crisp crust on your chop without really cooking the center. I find that using a cast iron skillet is the best for cooking pork chops. A hot skillet is so CRUCIAL. Let your pork chops cook a couple minutes undisturbed, then take a peek and see how that golden crust is forming. When you are pleased with the desired golden sear, flip the chops over and brown them again, to get golden on the other side.

3. Brush with butter.
This classic restaurant trick—basting with butter while cooking—makes a great dish worthy f five stars. However, if you are trying to keep it healthy and watch the cholesterol, this step isn’t required, but it will definitely make the pork chops extremely delicious though. For the recipe below, you will be brushing a garlicky rosemary butter on the chops.

4. Use a meat thermometer.
Yes, many parofessional and home cooks will say that you will known the meat is done by instinct, but let’s be real, that takes years of experience by being the kitchen. But if you are not familiar with the “doneness” of your proteins, using a meat thermometer will make your life just a tad bit easier. I know, I know. This is the extra step that often seems fussy, but trust me, it’s worth it. Using a meat thermometer takes the guess work out of cooking pork chops, and that’s “a good thing.” The temperature you pull your chops at is totally up to you, but here’s a quick guide to choosing the right temperature for your taste. As always, give the meat some time to rest before digging in. Five to ten minutes should do the trick.

  1. 120°-130° F: This is comfortably at medium rare. Warning! You will see pink, and that’s is perfectly fine (See the USDA tips for cooking pork). The pork chop will be rosy-pink on the inside and super juicy.
  2. 130°-140° F: For those who are not comfortable with pink pork, this might be the right temperature zone for you. There will be a touch of pink in the center, but for the most part the flesh will be white. The meat will still be nice and juicy.
  3. 140°-145° F: No pink here! The meat will be completely white all the way through. Pork chops at this temperature will still have the potential to be juicy, just be sure to pull them from the oven on the lower end of this spectrum, as the chops will continue to cook even after they’re out of the oven. Anything past 145° F is the danger DRY zone, so keep a close watch.

Other than that, good luck and happy eating!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the Feta Cheese Filling:
3 tablespoons feta cheese (crumbled)
2/3 cup diced sun dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, taste

For the Pork Chops:
4 bone-in pork loin chops
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, taste

For the Glaze:
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Mix feta cheese, tomatoes, parsley and olive oil in a bowl. Use the tip of a sharp boning or paring knife to cut a 3-inch slit in the side of each pork chop, 2 inches deep and 1/4-inch away from the bone, to make a pocket for stuffing. Stuff pork chops with feta cheese filling and secure with toothpicks.

Season pork chops with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl mix together butter, rosemary, and garlic. Set aside.

In cast iron or oven safe skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil then add pork chops. Sear until golden, 4 minutes, flip and cook 4 minutes more. Brush pork chops generously with garlic butter.

Place the skillet in oven and cook until cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Serve with more garlic butter, if desired.

pork-chop-verticalPhoto Credit: Ethan Calabrese, 2018.

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Pumpkin Rigatoni

Like Linus of Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts” comic strip….I think pumpkins are GREAT!

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And once again, plated.com has brought another amazing pasta dish, which is perfect for those “Meatless Mondays” and is affordable enough to make on your own.

Rigatoni is a popular pasta in Southern and Central Italy. Given its ridged and tubular shape, these features enables the pasta to hold just about any kind of sauce very well. Typically, a tomato based sauce is used with rigatoni, but in this dish, a pumpkin puree is the vegetable of choice for the sauce.

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Pumpkin can be tricky and heavy in sauces. If your sauce becomes too thick while cooking this dish, use the reserved pasta cooking water to thin it out. Not only will this little trick improve the consistency of your sauce, but the starchy cooking water will also help the sauce cling better to the pasta.

This dish also features Pecorino cheese, an Italian sheep’s milk cheese similar in texture to cheeseParmesan with a salty, sharp flavor, which adds a nice counterpoint to the creaminess of the pumpkin sauce and pasta.

Overall, this dish was easy to prepare in under 20 minutes. And it was only 740 calories per serving. A great dish for a light lunch on the weekends or a light dinner during the weekday. This dish is easy enough to expand the ingredients to serve more guests.

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Creamy Pumpkin Rigatoni

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Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
1/4 bunch chives, finely chopped
8 ounces rigatoni pasta
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. When water is boiling, add rigatoni ad a generous pinch of salt. Cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain and set aside.DSC05600

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until sot and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, sage, and crushed red pepper. Cook until fragrant for about 1 more minute. Add pumpkin puree and 1/2 cup water and stir to combine.

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Simmer sauce over medium heat until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add heavy cream and half of the grated pecorino cheese and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

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Add the rigatoni to the skillet with sauce and stir to coat. Add reserved pasta cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

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To serve, divide the rigatoni evenly between 2 pasta bowls. Sprinkle over chives and remaining grated pecorino cheese.

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Chicken Chasseur

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A French classic that never seems to go out of style, this earthy dish combines mushrooms and chicken in a tomato and white-wine sauce. The name, literally “hunter’s chicken,” harks back to a time when game birds and mushrooms from the woods were a natural autumn combination.

Serves 4 

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
4 chicken quarters
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
14 pearl onions peeled, left whole
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1/2 cup  dry white wine
2 Tablespoons cognac
2/3 cup chicken broth or homemade stock
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, drained
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until browned, turning, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.

Add the butter to the pan and reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to moderately high. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are browned, about 5 minutes.<

Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the wine and cognac and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, thyme, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices. Place into the oven to cook for about 45 minutes or until chicken is done.

Remove from the oven allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve.

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Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli with Spiced Apples and Pecans

 Why not whet your guests’ appetites for this Thanksgiving Dinner with  this impressive sweet and savory starter!

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Serves 4

Ingredients:
6 ounces whole pecans, shelled
1 Gala apple (See Cook’s Notes)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ginger
Dash of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
One 9- ounce package Pumpkin and Sage  Ravioli (See Cook’s Notes)

Directions:
Prepare ravioli according to package directions. While ravioli boils, add the cinnamon, sugar, a chop the pecans, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Slice the apple in 4 quarters, and then slice the quarters into 1 inch slices. Toss the apples in the spiced sugar mix.

In a large skillet, melt the butter, add chopped pecans and apple, and sauté for 1 minute. When ravioli is ready, drain and arrange on the plate. Top the ravioli with pecan-apple mix, and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
Any variety of apple can be substituted for  the Gala apple.

Most grocery stores and large supermarkets carry various brands of fresh and frozen ravioli. If Pumpkin and Sage ravioli is not available in your area, a plain ricotta cheese ravioli can be used in this recipe as an alternative.

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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Poulet au Vinaigre

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Chicken with Vinegar Sauce

The French city of Lyon has been internationally known as culinary destination since the 16th Century with its regional specialties that have become elevated in status as Lyonnaise cuisine. These dishes featured summer vegetables from farms in Bresse and Charolais, game from the Dombes, lake fish from Savoy, spring fruits and vegetables from Drôme and Ardèche, and wines from Beaujolais and the Rhone Valley.

In the 18th Century, middle-class women, Mères lyonnaises (Mothers of Lyon) gave birth to Lyon’s current gourmet reputation. These women of modest means, left their homes to work as cooks in large wealthy households in Lyon and eventually started their own businesses, serving dishes that mixed homemade and traditional French cuisine, creating a brand new culinary traditions incorporating their regional roots.The first historical mention of a Mère dates back to Mère Guy in 1759. Located on the Rhône River in the Mulatière region, her self-named guinguette, an open-air restaurant) specialized inmatelote d’anguilles, which was  a dish of stewed eels in white or red-wine sauce.

A century later, Mère Guy’s granddaughters, referred to as La Génie (the Genius) and Maréchal, became the new face of Mère Guy, bringing back classic recipes, including their grandmother’s stewed eels, the dish that “made the Mère Guy reputation.” This reputation attracted honoured guests, including the Empress Eugénie on her annual visit to the thermal waters of neighbouring Aix-les-Bains. Around this time (1830-1850), Mère Brigousse ran a restaurant in the Charpennes district of Lyon. One of her most popular dishes was Tétons de Vénus (En: Venus’ breasts), large breast-shaped quenelles.

Mère Fillioux (Françoise Fillioux, 1865-1925) was the first Mère whose “reputation was known well beyond the limits of the city and region.” She established a restaurant on 73 rue Duquesne, k833_001.jpgnown for a simple, unchanging menu featuring her own culinary creations, such as volaille demi-deuil  (Fowl in half-mourning). The dish takes its name from her technique of cooking “a fattened hen with slivers of truffle inserted between skin and flesh. The alternating black and white appearance of the flesh explains the term ‘half mourning’, a period following the all-black dress of full mourning, when it was acceptable for widows to alternate black and white or grey clothing.”  Their success was linked to the rise of automobile tourism, as promoted by the Michelin Guide, and the development of the city of Lyon under mayor Edouard Herriot. While the Mères started out serving a client base of working-class people, such as journeymen, in this industrial city, the reputation of their meals soon spread to a much wealthier clientele. Celebrities, businessmen and politicians came to frequent these establishments despite the mixing of the social classes, particularly in the Golden Age of the Mères, during the Inter-War period. They offered a menu that was simple (four or five traditional dishes yet refined enough to guarantee both culinary pleasure and a welcoming ambiance.

Many more women joined their numbers during the Great Depression, when they were let go from the wealthy households that employed them. In 1935, the famed food critic Curnonsky, also known as Maurice Edmond Sailland (181304362257curnonsky.jpg72-1956), did not hesitate to describe the city of Lyon as the “world capital of gastronomy.” In the 21st Century, Lyon’s cuisine is defined by simplicity and quality, and is exported to other parts of France and abroad. With more than a thousand eateries, the city of Lyon has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants per capita in France.

There is nothing fussy about Lyonnaise cuisine. It just plain tastes good, really good, and you can get a lot of it on your  plate without breaking your budget trying to feed a hungry crowd. And poulet au vinaigre is one of the most potently consoling dishes ever to come from the French kitchen.

The chicken is browned and then simmered in a sauce built in two stages with stock, white wine, vinegar, shallots, garlic, onions, tomatoes and cream. While the trio of alliums gives it a rich depth of flavor, it’s the racy if cream-muffled notes of acidity from the tomatoes, vinegar and wine that make this dish so satisfying, leaving you very happy and deeply nourished. Poulet au vinaigre   is the perfect  dish  to invite friends over for dinner during the cold  winter months, and to enjoy  it with a good rustic bread and fine bottle of Burgundy.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
One 3- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
6 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 large white onion, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 Roma tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried, plus fresh tarragon leaves for garnish
(optional)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups light cream
Cooked white rice, for serving

Directions:
Heat butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken and cook, turning to brown all over, 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside on a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

To the same Dutch oven, add garlic, onions and shallots and sauté over medium-low heat until transparent but not browned, 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, then add tomatoes, wine, vinegar, stock, tarragon, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Mix and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Return chicken pieces to pan, lower heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, until chicken is tender and cooked through, 45 minutes.

Remove chicken pieces. Add cream and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat, 1 hour. Pass sauce through a strainer or fine-mesh sieve. Adjust seasoning if needed. Return chicken and sauce to pot and place over medium heat to warm, 5 minutes.

To serve, arrange chicken pieces over white rice. Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with fresh tarragon, if using.

 

 

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Spiral Beet and Butternut Squash Salad

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All photographs and written content are copyright protected. We ask that you please do not use these photos without prior written permission. In addition, if you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own words and link back to this site, for proper credit. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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Poached Tamaya Wild Baby Pears

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All photographs and written content are copyright protected. We ask that you please do not use these photos without prior written permission. In addition, if you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own words and link back to this site, for proper credit. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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Georgia Blue Collard Greens

Picked from the Garden this Morning……..

Georgia Blue Collards (Brassica oleracea). A great old Southern favorite, pre-1880 heirloom variety that has a good resistance to heat and cold.A Southern favorite, and also performs well up North. Georgia Blue, is a collard green that has tender, blue-green leaves that will withstand light frost. The mild cabbage-like flavor that is tasty and actually improves with a light frost. Plant in spring and again in late summer for a fall to winter harvest. Avoid areas where any of the cabbage family members, like kale, broccoli or cabbage were grown the previous year. The Georgia Blue is a real producer with a huge yield.

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Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey, for Dinner…………………

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor