Smothered Pork

This is a fabulous fall dish. And let’s be honest. Fall food is the best food. Root vegetables of every color and shape; fragrant apples and pears juicy as can be; and leafy greens and radish in brilliant Van Gogh shades. Fall is the ideal time to convince children that veggies are good because they become intensely beautiful and delicious.

76391_10101777959651549_1257622926_nI actually didn’t have very high hopes for this recipe. I thought it would be a way to class up some kale, but as it turns out, it was fantastic! I think this dish would make almost anyone happy. Add a roasted veggie side and you have a delicious, fairly healthy meal. It doesn’t take a ton of work. I have even put a crockpot version at the bottom. It will also please meat eaters, because, come on, who doesn’t like pork?

Essentially, this is a pork, onion and kale melange all cooked in its own sauce. The sauce is really lovely in its simplicity. I wasn’t sure how the final product would turn out, but it is actually amazing. I would recommend sifting off some of the fat, though, which I didn’t do.

Adapted from Cooking Light

1 Tbl canola oil

2 lb pork shoulder

salt and pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups sliced onion

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp five spice

2 garlic cloves, chopped

5 cups chopped kale

Preheat oven to 325°. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to Dutch oven. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove pork from pan and keep warm.

Add onion to pan (add more oil if needed). Cook 5 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, vinegar, spices, and garlic to pan. Bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Return pork to pan. Cover and bake in the oven at 325° for 1 1/2 hours. Add kale to pan; cover and bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Take out and let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Spoon sauce over pork and veggies and serve.

If making in the crockpot, brown all sides of pork roast, then add all of the ingredients to a crockpot and cook on high for 6-8 hours (depending on the strength of your crockpot).

Pulled Pork Tacos

For me, tacos are a standby.  Anytime I don’t want to spend a ton of time cooking, but I want a filling meal with lots of flavor, I make tacos.   This recipe in particular is a standby for me because it’s quick, easy and delicious.  I have been making these for years, but only recently it occurred to me that I should post them.

Thats right, they look delicious too!  This is another “one pot meal” I make.  In fact, I take it step further and make it even easier by cooking the pork in a slow cooker.  Delicious.  I’m also a little partial to this recipe because I only cook it with Iowa pork.  Every time I go home, my parents give me pounds and pounds of Iowa pork, because they know what I know – Iowa pork is best.  I am an Iowa girl and I get a little misty-eyed thinking of the hometown butchers, rich with fresh, quality meat . . .  ahhh memories.

Needless to say, when I have leftovers from the stock of pig I bring from home, I like to make tacos.  You can easily change the amount of seasoning and reheat some leftover pork roast to make this as well.  Pork roast or pork butt is the typical cut used for pulled pork.  I would advise using one of these cuts.  They fall apart when you cook them which makes it amenable to making tacos.  Any other cut just won’t be the same.  This recipe also makes a LOT of servings, so unless you have a family of 8, be prepared for leftovers.

Seasoning (from All Recipes)

2 Tbl chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp paprika

1 Tbl ground cumin

2 tsp salt

2 tsp black pepper

Tacos

2.5 lbs of pork roast or pork butt

2 10-ounce cans of diced tomato and green chile

corn tortillas

Pat pork with taco seasoning.  Turn slow cooker on to your desired heat and time.  I usually use a probe to cook it to the right temperature.  When its done, or about 30 minutes from being done, drain the fat and break up the pork.  Add it back to the slow cooker, or a large pan.  Add the tomato and chile.  Warm through.  It’s that easy!  I like to heat up the tortillas and top  with cheese, lettuce, and salsa.  Enjoy!

German Schnitzel

I have a special surprise!  This week Delectable Endeavors has a guest writer and recipe from across the pond!  My good friend, Mrs. S, has graciously agreed to share her knowledge of German food.  Mrs. S is an American living in Germany with her husband.  Since living in Germany, she has become well-aquainted with German cuisine, especially schnitzel.

Schnitzel is to Germany what hamburgers are to America.  Culinarily speaking, schnitzel is a piece of meat (typically veal or pork) pounded thin, breaded, and fried.  Mrs. S chose a great recipe to introduce German food.  This is very familiar and friendly to most Americans.  Plus, who doesn’t like something fried?  I also like the fact that she added a little twist of her own by adding some lovely vegetables.

Doesn’t that look great?!  Mrs. S requests that you forgive her dining wear.  Apparently stripes are all the rage in Germany.  Here’s Mrs. S’s recipe:

I used a really basic schnitzel recipe and added a few touches of my own.  You find schnitzel across Germany with different types of sauces and toppings, all of which are delicious.  I just recently had the gumption to try making it my own and was pleasently surprised how great it tasted.  Wanting to spice up the recipe a little bit, I had some veggies I wanted to use up from throughout the week so I sauteed them and used them to top off the schnitzel.

4 boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick

1/4 cup flour

1 tsp Lawry’s seasoning salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten

2 Tbsp milk

3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1 tsp paprika

6-9 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 tsp dried dill

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 green bell pepper

6 white mushrooms

1 medium onion

Use a meat hammer to pound the pork chops to 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch in thickness.  Some people prefer to cut small slits around the edges of the pork to prevent it from curling.  But I did not and I had no problems.

Prepare the following ingredients in three shallow bowls.  In one, mix together the flour, seasoning salt, and pepper.  In the second bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.  In the third bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and paprika.

Roughly chop the green pepper, mushrooms, and onions.

In a small bowl, mix together dill, sour cream, and salt.

Heat 3 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.

Dredge the pork chops in the seasoned flour, then dip into the egg mixture, and finally the breadcrumbs.  Cover the pork as thoroughly as possible.

Saute the pork in batches as your pan allows for 3/4 minutes on each side, until cooked through and the breading is golden brown.  Remove from the skillet and place on a plate and cover in foil until you have finished cooking the remaining pork.  (I found that I needed to continue to add just a little bit more oil after I flipped each piece and in between the two batches.  This helped the breading to crisp up and become golden brown.)

While sauteeing your pork, heat 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a separate pan and sautee the vegetables until they start to be just a little soft.

After you have cooked each of the chops, add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan.  Stir in the sour cream mixture.  Heat and stir until the mixture thickens but do not allow it to boil.

When plating, drizzle the dill sauce over each piece of schnitzel and add the sauteed vegetables over the top.  For a truly German experience, serve with your favorite potato side dish.  Guten Appetit!

Italian Baked Pork Chops

As promised, I bring you another one skillet dish!  This is probably one of my favorite one skillet dishes because its really classy and delicious, but simple and easy.  It would be great for a group of people because its cheap too!

I came up with this dish thinking about toppings for pork chops.  I used the generic name of Italian-baked chops because it uses some classic italian flavors like tomato and garlic.  It really is a great way to serve pork.

I’m trying out a new format with more pictures, so let me know if you like it.

These are the only ingredients you need to make a delicous baked pork chop meal.

2 pork chops

2 shallots, chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 can (14.5 oz) of diced tomatoes (I prefer the ones with garlic and basil)

1 – 2 Tablespoons for olive oil

1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Pasta, as you like

Step 1:  Sear the pork chops

The pork chops look strangely different because they are.  My boyfriend prefers this dish with smoked, bone-in chops, and I prefer it with lean, bone-out chops.  So, this dish is versatile in that effect as well.  First liberally salt and pepper each side of the chops.  Then warm the olive oil over medium heat and add the chops, searing on each side for about 5-7 minutes.

Step 2: Add the shallots and garlic.

As you see, I added the chopped shallots and garlic directly to the pan.  Mix them around the pan.  This will lap up the delicious pan drippings, making the dish even tastier.  Cook them in the pan for a good 3 minutes, until fragrant.

Step 3:  Add tomatoes and vinegar.

Deglaze the pan by adding the red wine vinegar.  Then add canned tomatoes, juice and all.  Season with salt and pepper liberally again.  Turn the pork chops one last time, and turn the heat down to a light simmer.  Let this savory mixture cook on low for 20 – 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Step 4:  Add some pasta, if you’d like!

Lastly, I like to add a little pasta to sop up the yummy sauce.  It doesn’t need much, though!  A 1/2 a cup per person is plenty.

Rosemary Lemon Pork Cutlets

Pork CutletFirst, I must apologize for my long hiatus.  School and life have gotten a little hectic, and in turn, I have neglected my blog.  Hopefully, this lovely recipe makes up for it!

This week’s recipe is from a guest writer – by boyfriend!  Because of my busy schedule, he has been cooking a lot lately.  The other day he made this absolutely decadent meal for me so I asked him if I could use it for the blog.  He obliged, as he didn’t really have a choice!

This is a great, quick meal that is cheap and easy but will taste like a gourmet chef came to your home and slaved for hours over the best cuts of meat.  It starts with a simple pork cutlet, or pork strip.  Mine came from Iowa.  I’m from Iowa, so I’m a little biased, but I thought they were really fantastic.  You want a thin (but not too thin) piece of tenderized pork.  If you don’t have a tenderizer, simply ask your butcher to do this for you.

The next step is to use an infused oil.  Most infused oils are just an average olive or canola oil with different aromatics in it.  Let this combination sit long enough, and the oil will take on the taste of whatever is in it.  We did not have infused oil, so my boyfriend heated some canola oil on low and added lemon juice and dried rosemary.  It worked well.  Make sure that after doing this for about 20 minutes, raise the heat so that the oil is hot enough to fry your pork.

Next, bread the pork.  This is fairly simple.  Beat an egg or two in a bowl.  On another plate, spread out some bread crumbs.  Season them with salt, pepper and lemon pepper seasoning.  Dip the pork in the egg mixture and then the breading.

Finally, fry the pork until done on both sides in the infused oil.  When done, let the cutlet drain on some paper towel for a couple of minutes before eating.  The frying keeps the pork flavorful and moist.  The lemon and rosemary add a delightful tang and herbal finish.  This meal really was a sweet and simple surprise.