Archive for the ‘ Pork ’ Category

SPICY PEACH BARBECUE SPARE RIBS

This recipe for sweet and spicy pork ribs is one of my family’s all-time favorites.  Seems like every time the warm summer weather rolled around, we could expect my Mom to whip up a batch of these sticky ribs to eat out on the patio on a warm night.  Their flavor is so unique and the dish itself so craveable that I was stunned to learn how simple they are to prepare.  If you have a can of sliced peaches in heavy syrup, a pinch of crushed red pepper and a bottle of supermarket barbecue sauce in the pantry, then you’re in business.  Now, I’m a nut for good, slow-smoked, true barbecue, but if you need to feed a crowd and don’t have the time or equipment needed to produce the genuine article, these will do just fine.  Serve with some baked beans and grilled corn and you’ve got a dang good BBQ dinner.

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CLASSIC MEATLOAF

The real title of this post should be “Mom’s Meatloaf,” as this is the very same recipe I grew up eating as a child.  A perennial favorite in our household, few meatloaves deliver in the way this barbecue sauce-topped rendition does.  The epitome of comfort, my Mom would be the first to tell you that this dish is “hard to screw up.”  In fact, it’s the simplicity of this recipe that makes it a true standout in my mind.  Perfect for company, yet quick and easy enough for a weeknight meal, this tender and juicy meatloaf comes together in no time and feeds a crowd for next to nothing.  Covered with a sweet, tangy homemade barbecue sauce, this meatloaf is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters as few can resist it’s sticky, ketchup-like topping.  If you love meatloaf but can’t justify the saturated fat, substitute ground turkey for a version that is just as tasty and quite a bit healthier — you’ll barely notice the difference.  As good cold as it is served warm, this recipe also makes for a killer meatloaf sandwich.  So, in a world filled with so much bad meatloaf, do yourself a favor and go with a tried-and-true recipe that works.  Your family, friends and significant others will thank you.

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CHILE-BRAISED PORK TACOS

Chile-Braised Pork Tacos

If you’re wondering why I’m posting another pork taco recipe, try to understand that this is the type of food that I crave.  Comforting, flavorful food that fills the belly and is easy on the pocketbook.  Anyone who’s read my blog knows by now that I love Mexican food, so instead of  waxing poetic about the various influences that have colored my fondness for all fare south-of-the-border, let me explain what makes cooking dishes like this so appealing.

For me, a bowl of chile-braised pork sitting in my refrigerator represents a week’s worth of filling meals and tasty snacks to come.  A  3-pound piece of pork shoulder will make somewhere close to twenty tacos.  That’s ten servings coming from a piece of meat that costs somewhere around $11. 00 – $12.00 dollars.  Not a bad deal if you ask me.  Strapped for time on the weeknights?  Make this recipe your “Sunday braise” and reap the benefits of succulent homemade pork for the entire week.  It might take a bit of time and planning to prepare the chile paste, but if you do any kind of Mexican cooking at home, odds are you already have everything you need in your pantry.

If you’re adverse to heat, its important to know that the dried chiles in this recipe render a dish that is by no means spicy, but rather earthy and complex — subtly perfumed with spices like clove, allspice and oregano.  Still, as delicious as this may be, even I can tire of tacos. Fortunately, this recipe makes for an outstanding all-purpose Mexican pork.  It’s just as delicious in a burrito, rolled up with beans, sour cream, salsa and guac, or in a cheesy quesadilla. I’ve even had it alongside eggs or topped on tortilla chips like mini tostadas. Next time I’ll be throwing it in a soft roll and serving it as a torta.

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SAUSAGE AND LENTIL STEW

Sausage and Lentil Stew

Let’s be honest — this dish isn’t going to be winning any beauty pageants anytime soon.  With it’s reddish-brown color scheme and thick, chili-like texture, this isn’t the type of recipe that turns many heads on Foodgawker or Tastespotting.  So, like a friend who’s just set you up on a blind date with an aesthetically challenged individual, I implore you to move past its humble appearance and try to get to know the soul of this comforting dish.

For me, this is cold weather fare at its best.  A warm, stick-to-your-ribs type meal that’s like a hug from a loved one.  Creamy lentils and sausages combine to produce a dish that is both high in protein and rich in savory flavor.  The best part? It’s cheap and simple to make.  In fact, you probably already have everything to make it your kitchen.  All you really need is a handful of lentils, a few sausages from the fridge, a leftover glass of wine, and you can have a filling and satisfying meal at a moment’s notice.  This is hearty food that reheats well and makes great leftovers.

If looks don’t matter, you might have found your new soul mate.

Continue reading lentil stew recipe . . .

GOAT CHEESE AND CHORIZO ROLLS

Goat Cheese Chorizo Rolls

You know how bacon is all the rage these days? Bacon dipped in chocolate, bacon topped donuts, bacon beurre blanc — for me, it’s all about chorizo.  I’m constantly looking for ways to incorporate it into my cooking and seldom pass up an opportunity to eat a dish in which it is a key component (see Arroz Con Pollo).  Such was the case when I came across this recipe for Goat Cheese and Chorizo Rolls in this month’s Food and Wine Magazine.  Now chorizo is good by itself, but chorizo and tangy goat cheese together?  That sounded like a combo that was too good to pass up.

With a few holiday parties just around the corner, I figured I’d give these guys a test drive before serving them to any guests.  In this sense I consider myself a self-employed guinea pig — not a bad job at all.  After eating a half batch for lunch, I can say with certainty that I have a new hors d’oeurve recipe in the arsenal.  Tangy from the goat cheese and rich and smoky from the chorizo, these crispy little bundles are the type of finger food that demand a good cocktail to wash them down.  While they take a bit of time and patience to roll, preparing the goat cheese filling takes minutes.  Knock these out early in the morning and keep them in the fridge until your friends arrive.

After reading that the recipe was inspired by the street food of Argentina, I decided to serve them alongside another Argentine classic of chimichurri rojo.  Like it’s verde cousin, this sauce has plenty of garlic and a nice vinegar bite to cut through the rich, creaminess of the goat cheese.

Continue reading goat cheese and chorizo rolls recipe . . .