Sunday, September 21, 2008

Apricot pork chops hit the dinner table!

My husband is not the biggest fan of pork. He is not a picky eater, but pork just doesn't ever set him swooning. Me on the other hand, I don't mind it, especially when it is cooked well. But last week our local grocer had a great deal on pork so I stocked up on tenderloins and chops. Why you might ask if my hubby doesn't like it? Well because he doesn't always get what he wants:)

So the other night in need of a quick meal for dinner, I spied this recipe on Brianna's site for Apricot-Glazed Pork Chops. Knowing that the sweet and spicy glaze might just be the thing to make the pork shine, I went for it. Ready in 30 minutes or less this dish is so good. My hubby even decided that pork was not that bad.

We served these with buttered egg noodles and fresh steamed broccoli. These will definitely be chosen again in this house!

Apricot Glazed Pork Chops (from Brianna)


1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup Apricot preserves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Boneless Pork Chops, Fat trimmed

In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, ginger, soy sauce and water until smooth. Stir in the apricot, oil,lime juice and garlic until blended. Bring to a boil; cook and stir mixture for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

In a large oven safe skillet, add the pork chops browning slightly on each side, about a minute each. Add the apricot glaze. Transfer the pork chops to the oven, uncovered, at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until pork juices run clear.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Get out the BBQ sauce, there's a burger waiting!

I love, love , love barbecue sauce...homemade, out of a jar, it really doesn't matter, it's all delicious, especially when grilling season comes around.

One of my favorites is barbecue chicken pizza from Pizza Luce here in the cities. They call their's the Wrangler Pizza, and it is delicious! Crispy crust topped with barbecue sauce, loads of thinly sliced chicken, Monterrey jack and mozzarella cheese, thin slices of red onion and banana peppers...they make the pizza!

So a couple of months ago I decided to try and make a burger resembling the taste of barbecue chicken pizza, and the result, AMAZING! Try it for yourself if you wish...I served our burgers atop crisp buns topped with red onion and jack cheese, accompanied by chipotle slaw, so good!

Barbecue Chicken Burgers (by me)

1 lb. Lean Ground Chicken
1/4 C finely chopped banana peppers
salt and pepper
1 T barbecue grill seasoning

1/2 C barbecue sauce for basting the burgers while grilling

Monterrey Jack cheese, slices of red onion, hamburger buns, and more BBQ sauce for dipping

Grill as normal, basting every time you flip or every couple of minutes with BBQ sauce, top with toppings and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Potstickers or dumplings, either way they are delicious!

A couple of weeks ago, after the fried cheese, I was contemplating potstickers for a way to use up the leftover wonton wrappers. I saw a recipe in Cooks Illustrated for potstickers, but for some reason I have always been intimidated!

Well on a Tuesday night I found myself trying to find a plan for dinner and knowing Alex would be home late, I decided ot tackle the dumplings. I don't know what I was so nervous for, they are so simple and easy to put together.

Though I like dumplings more (steamed) the hubby is a fan of potstickers (pan-fried) so potstickers it was. They were delish! In the end we decided they needed a littl emore punch of flavor but that is easy to remedy, so I would think we will be making these again!

Pork Potstickers (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

3 cups minced napa cabbage leaves (about ½ medium head)
¾ teaspoon table salt
¾ pound ground pork
4 minced scallions (about 6 tablespoons)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1½ teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepperDumplings
36 round potsticker wrappers (see note)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water, plus extra for brushing


Toss cabbage with the salt in colander set over a bowl and let stand until cabbage begins to wilt, about 20 minutes. Press the cabbage gently with rubber spatula to squeeze out any excess moisture, the transfer to a medium bowl. (If you can't get moisture to release, squeeze cabbage with hands.)

Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until mixture is cold, at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Working with 4 potsticker wrappers at a time (keep the remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap), fill, seal, and shape the dumplings using a generous 1 teaspoon of the chilled filling per dumpling. Transfer the dumplings to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling; you should have about 24 dumplings. (The dumplings can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day, or frozen for up to 1 month. Once frozen, the dumplings can be transferred to a zipper-lock bag to save space in the freezer; do not thaw before cooking.)

Line a large plate with a double layer of paper towels; set aside.

Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil over the bottom of a 12-inch nonstick skillet and arrange half of the dumplings in the skillet, with a flat side facing down (overlapping just slightly if necessary). Place the skillet over medium-high heat and cook the dumplings, without moving, until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, add ½ cup of the water, and cover immediately. Continue to cook, covered, until most of the water is absorbed and the wrappers are slightly translucent, about 10 minutes.

Uncover the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook, without stirring, until the dumpling bottoms are well browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Slide the dumplings onto the paper towel-lined plate, browned side facing down, and let drain briefly. Transfer the dumplings to a serving platter. Let the skillet cool until just warm, then wipe it clean with a wad of paper towels and repeat step 3 with the remaining dumplings, oil, and water.