Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pork Chops Saltimbocca

Pork Chops Saltimbocca

This recipe has four of my favorite ingredients: pork chops, prosciutto , spinach and provolone.  With these key ingredients you can't go wrong. This is almost a meal in itself . Maybe you could add a salad or some bread. Whatever you choose to accompany it I' m sure you will enjoy it as much as Olivia and her husband did.


Pork Chops Saltimbocca
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

Prep Time:20 minInactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time:20 min
4 servings

4 7-to-8-ounce boneless center-cut pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large sage leaves
8 thin slices prosciutto
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices provolone cheese (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1 pound baby spinach
Juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges for serving
1 large shallot, finely chopped, or 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Top each chop with a sage leaf, then wrap in 2 slices prosciutto.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops, sage-side down, and cook, turning once, until the prosciutto is crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet, reserving the skillet, and roast until a thermometer inserted sideways into the center of a chop registers 145 degrees F, about 8 minutes. Top each with a slice of provolone; return to the oven until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the spinach in a microwave-safe bowl; add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until wilted, 3 minutes; drain. Drizzle with half of the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the reserved skillet over medium heat; add the shallot and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the broth and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the remaining lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Divide the pork among plates; drizzle with the shallot sauce. Serve with the spinach and lemon wedges.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I rarely post on the blog, as I normally leave Mom to write and post on the blog.  Normally I focus on the recipes, and she writes.  Tonight, however, I could not help but post this recipe right away!!!

With the indecisive weather we are having in Indiana, soup seems like just the ticket on a cold rainy night like tonight was.  I made this soup and it was a huge hit with both my husband and myself.  I love the combination of smokey flavors with all of the bright colors of the peppers.  Yum!

This soup also was an opportunity to use a lot of different pantry items that I had purchased, prepped, made, frozen, or canned ahead of time.  Here are some examples:

  • For the red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, I used pepper strips I had frozen in the freezer.  Last time colored peppers were on sale for a mega deal, I bought a bunch, washed them, cut them into strips, and froze them for....a rainy day! ;)
  • I used home canned shredded chicken breast.
  • I had one lone jar of a home canned tomato, onion, and olive oil mixture left over from last summer.  I used this in my soup.  (Rotel would EASILY substitute for this, so that's why I wrote it into the recipe.)  I used the olive oil in the mixture as the olive oil to brown my onion and pepper mixture.
  • I had both homemade chicken broth and homemade beef broth in the freezer from some previous cooking endeavor, so I thawed those and used them.
  • Lastly, I had home frozen corn that I had taken off of the cob and frozen last summer.

I will definitely be making this recipe again...even when I don't have a bunch of freezer and canned staples to use up!  Enjoy!



For the Soup:
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 can of shredded chicken breast  
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper  
1/4 cup diced orange bell pepper1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 10-ounce can Rotel 
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth  
4 cups hot water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups dried pinto beans
4 cups beef stock  
2 cups frozen sweet corn  

For the Crunchy Tortillas:
4 corn or flour tortillas
pinch of chili powder
Kosher salt
vegetable cooking spray

For the Cilantro Cream:
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (more or less to taste)
pinch of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Jalapeño Topping:
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced

Additional Garnishes:
Mexican blend cheeseDiced red onion


The day before - 
Soak the pinto beans in cool water on the countertop overnight.

The next day-
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring the beef broth to a boil.  Add the drained pinto beans and return to a boil.  Cook over medium high heat for 15-20 minutes until soft.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Throw in the onions, bell peppers and garlic. Mix in the ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt.  Stir to cook the vegetables until they begin to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the frozen corn.

Add the shredded chicken and tomato mixture, juice and all. Add the chicken broth, hot water and tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Add the pinto beans, beef broth and all. Simmer the soup for 10 to 15 minutes. Give it a taste and add salt if needed.

For the Crunchy Tortillas-
Cut the tortillas into 1 inch strips.  Place the strips on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable oil.  Some of the strips may overlap, and that's okay.  Spray the tops of the tortilla strips with vegetable oil and sprinkle on the Kosher salt and chili powder.  Bake until the strips are brown for about 15 minutes.

For the Cilantro Cream-
Mix the sour cream, cilantro, Kosher salt, and garlic powder together.

For the Jalapeño Topping-
Mix the jalapeño and cilantro together.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls.  Place the crunchy tortilla strips on top of the soup.  Sprinkle red onion and Mexican cheese on top.  Place a spoon of the cilantro cream on the soup.  Top with a sprinkle of the jalapeño topping and serve. 

Approximately 8-12 servings.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I admit I have not tried these yet, but when Olivia made them I heard all about them and how good they turned out, so I am anxious to give them a try.  She saw a similar recipe on Food Network and decided to make a few changes and make the recipe her own.  I especially like the inclusion of both horseradish sauce and au jus.  I like both when it comes to a cheese steak sandwich.  These tasty sandwiches will make a great addition to your spring and summer menu lineup!



1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 8-ounce thin cut sirloin steaks, at room temperature
Granulated garlic, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese (about 2 ounces)
1 large onion, halved and sliced
4 fresh crusty sub rolls, hinged
Horseradish Sauce (see below)
Au Jus Sauce (see below)Directions

Begin making Au Jus sauce at the bottom of the recipe first, so it has time to reduce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot. Season both sides of the steaks with granulated garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium high and sear the steaks until well browned, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare to medium doneness. Remove from the skillet and loosely cover with foil. Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, cheddar and provolone in a bowl.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Thinly slice the steaks against the grain.  Place the four slit sub rolls on a lined baking sheet.  Equally divide the steak amongst the four rolls.  Place the sautéed onions overtop of the steaks.  Divide the cheese mixture over the tops of the sandwiches.  Place the baking sheet in the oven until the cheese mixture is melted and gooey.  

Horseradish Sauce:
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonaise
1 tablespoon horseradish (more to taste)
pinch of salt

Mix all horseradish sauce ingredients together in a bowl.  Serve with the sandwiches.

Au Jus:
1 8 oz. can beef broth
3 beef bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 shots worchestire sauce

Mix all Au Jus ingredients together in a small sauce pan.  Slowly simmer over medium or medium-high heat until reduced by half.  Serve warm with the sandwiches.

Sunday, April 14, 2013



This recipe is another one we saw demonstrated at the recent Das Essenhaus cooking show in Middlebury, IN.  I was absolutely astounded to find the the Dream Whip/root beer "frosting" you make for it tastes EXACTLY like the foam on a root beer float.

I don't know about you, but nicer weather makes me long for a trip to a good hot dog stand were you can get a great chili dog and perhaps top it off with a root beer float.  If the weather isn't quite there yet to accomplish this, try making the root beer float cake.  I think you will find it a moist and delicious alternative.

Sleet and snow are still making an occasional appearance here, but Olivia has planted her potatoes and other cool weather crops such as lettuce and peas can't be far behind.  Warm weather food will soon be here. Bring it on!

- Nanette


  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 3/4 cup of root beer divided
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 envelope whipped topping mix (Dream Whip)


  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix, 1-1/4 cups root beer, oil and eggs. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes or stir by hand for 3 minutes.
  • Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • In a small bowl, combine the whipped topping mix and remaining root beer. Beat until soft peaks form. Frost cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-15 servings.

White cake mix and a box of Dream Whip.

It may not look good when the cake is mixed, but it will taste good!

The unfrosted and unadorned cake.
Making the "float foam" frosting!
The finished product!
Wash it down with root beer--of course!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pulled Pork Tamale Pot Pie

Pulled Pork With Two Chiles Tamale Pot Pie
Olivia never met a recipe she couldn't tweak.  Same holds true for this wonderful creation from Rachael Ray.  If you like a dish with a nice blend of flavors that really complement one another, this is for you.  Olivia varied the use of chiles and cheese.  Try it and I'm sure you won't  be disappointed.

Spring is definitely in the air and we are beginning to plan for trips to the nurseries, planting garden crops, and looking forward to eating really fresh food again.  We will be sharing more of the journey as we move toward summer's bounty!  Stay tuned!

Original Recipe:

Pulled Pork with Two Chiles Tamale Pot Pie
Recipe by  Rachael Ray

8 guajillo dried peppers
1 quart chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
1 can chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (half a palmful)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
One 3-pound boneless pork butt (shoulder), trimmed weight
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups fine to medium ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon fennel pollen or ground fennel
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar or hot pepper Cheddar

Heat the dried peppers in a pot. Add 2 cups chicken stock and simmer at a low bubble until tender, 10 minutes. Seed the peppers.

Puree the chipotle in adobo sauce in a food processor. Remove all but about 2 round tablespoons to a plastic bag and freeze for another use. Add the softened dried peppers and their broth to the food processor along with the oregano, coriander and cinnamon. Puree until smooth.

Meanwhile, sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the pork, brown and then remove. Add another turn-of-the-pan of oil, onions and garlic and stir to soften. Return the pork to the pan, add the pepper puree, the remaining stock and about 1 quart water to raise the liquid level halfway up the pork. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until very tender.

Remove the pork, cool to handle, shred and return to the sauce. Bring back to a simmer and reduce to thicken, 15 minutes. For a make-ahead meal, remove from the heat, cool and cover, store in the fridge. Reheat over medium heat, stirring frequently.

To serve, while the pork reheats, place the rack in center of the oven and turn the broiler on high or the oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the milk in a pot and warm to a low bubble over medium heat while you bring 3 cups water to a full boil in a tea kettle or another pot. Add the cornmeal to the milk and whisk in the boiling water, fennel pollen and about 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Whisk constantly for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.

Place the pork in a casserole or individual ovenproof bowls. Top with cornmeal about 1-inch thick and sprinkle with the cheese. Place in the broiler or oven to set and brown the top, a few minutes for individual bowls, 10 to 15 minutes for a large casserole.

Olivia's Version of this Recipe:

Pulled Pork with Two Chiles Tamale Pot Pie
Recipe adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe.

1/2 tsp. Ancho Chile powder
1 quart pork stock, homemade 
2 chipotles in adobo sauce  (freeze the remainder of the peppers from the can)
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 quart shredded pork loin, drainedKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups 0% milk
1 1/2 cups fine to medium ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon fennel pollen or ground fennel
1 1/2 cups grated lightening jack cheese

Puree the chipotles in adobo sauce in a food processor. Add the 2 cups of pork stock to the food processor along with the Ancho Chile powder, oregano, coriander and cinnamon. Puree until smooth.

Mix the pureed chipolte mixture with the shredded pork in a large, oven proof skillet. Bring to a simmer and reduce to thicken, 15 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the milk in a pot and warm to a low bubble over medium heat while you bring 3 cups water to a full boil in a tea kettle or another pot. Add the cornmeal to the milk and whisk in the boiling water, fennel pollen and about 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Whisk constantly for 15 minutes. 

Place the pork in a casserole or individual ovenproof bowls. Top with cornmeal about 1-inch thick and sprinkle with the cheese. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Turn on the broiler in the last five minutes and watch the cheese turn golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let stand about five minutes before serving.