Pork Chops make a cameo in my kitchen every few weeks and I love coming up with creative ways to enjoy them. Because the meat adapts well to flavors of all sorts, I feel free to get a little adventurous with them. Tonight, I was in the mood for something lemony, but wanted to keep it savory also. So I went with a light breading for the chops matched with a creamy lemon sauce. I knew I could nail the pork chops, but was concerned about the sauce... it turned out to be a great innovation. There was no frying or heavy cream, yet each bite of this dish still had a rich delicousness to it.
This post's main intention is to share a beloved Drunkenly Sweet Ham Glaze recipe with you, but I feel guilty leaving anyone out there stranded that isn't well versed at preparing a ham (flashback of me a couple years ago). This is why I will give you my two cents on the hams of the world. Cooked or not cooked? That is the question.
I gotta say that getting a fully cooked (spiral) ham seems like the most logical and convenient thing to do. Let's face it, there ain't much YOU are actually doing to the flavor of the meat regardless if it comes cooked or not! That being said, here's my take on the options out there:
Que rico! That’s all I can say about the Cuban feast we enjoyed last night. I adore getting back to my roots and chowing down on some home style Latin fare. This recipe isn’t a family heirloom (we actually don’t have one for Lechon Asado). It’s derived from the trustworthy 3 Guys from Miami one along with a little Flavor Appraiser flare. Being that I had to get this meal done on a weekday and revolve it around my work lunch break (I went home to get this sucker suckling in the oven), I didn’t get to cook the roast as long as I wanted to (a little longer and the meat would have been shreddable), but the flavor of the pork was so amazing, it didn’t matter what shape each bite was in.
My first go at Lechon Asado went over very well (just ask the guest of honor, birthday girl Vrenda) and I am proud to share it with you all. If you liked the Ropa Vieja recipe, you’ll love this other Spanish favorite. The next time I make the roast, I’m using the slow cooker (and finishing it off in the oven) so that I can put it in the pot in the morning and avoid the heart palpitations about leaving my oven on unattended. I’ll even provide the slow cooker method that I anticipate using in case anyone out there wants to give that a try!
Make sure you read the recipe all the way to the end for the bonus part of the meal!
This Stuffed Cabbage is another family recipe that I have liked ever since I was a kid. It's one of mom's go to recipes when she's got ground meat to use and can be one of yours too! The preparation is rather simple, especially if you want to forgo the actually stuffing part (omit the cabbage leaves comepletely and prepare at large meatballs). Once you've got it all in the crock pot, you're done until it's time to serve.
The Cuban side of me loves authentic Cuban cooking and I can be sure to find such cuisine here in South Florida, however I wanted to be able to show off my heritage in my own kitchen. After searching up and down for the perfect Ropa Vieja, I opted to use a life line- I called my mom. We talked it out and came up with one together that could be done in the slow cooker. I executed it last night and the family (including Mom) approved! Phew. Now, for those of you who aced Spanish 101, you may be thinking "rope vieja" means "old clothes." Well, you're right! There are several theories out there for the origin of its name, but my Cubana pal (Julie) tells me that in Spain they used to get a roast and cook it all week to make a broth. By the end of the week it was looking old and ragged so they would shred it and spruce it up with sauce to make it more tender, all the while resembling "old clothes." Either way, it tastes amazing and I am so glad to have a recipe for one of my favorite dishes of all time!
I just love when fans get busy in the kitchen and make something yummy and share it with me. Samantha P. from Charlotte, NC has submitted these adorable and scrumptous Meatloaf Cupcakes. I'm excited to give them a go and hope you will be too!
This Meatloaf Cupcake Recipe was inspired by seeing this bakery, The Meatloaf Bakery, on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. I am on a special diet so substitutions were made for some of the ingredients, which I've listed, and they still came out delicious!
Every Wednesday night, my family gets together for "Franco Family Fun Night." What makes it fun you ask? We eat! Although, my recent marriage has turned me into a "Staples," my taste buds will always cling onto my maiden name. This week, Mom cooked up Picadillo, which is in my top 5 favorite dishes of hers. Even better than making it, she accepted my challenge of writing down the recipe for me (not an easy task for someone who never really has an answer when I ask for specific measurements). I am so excited to share this one with you all because it represents a piece of my Cuban heritage with beautiful, healthy flavors.
Picadillo, whos name comes from the Spanish word "picar" meaning to chop/mince, is typically made with beef, but as with most dishes requiring ground meat, we use turkey. Picadillo tends to taste even better reheated so this makes a great meal if you're looking for a dinner to cook in advance.
No "Crocktoberfest" would be complete without a German meal so I decided to venture into something new- Saurbraten, a traditional dish transliterated as "sour, or pickled, roast." The inspiration came from an old Rachel Ray episode where she talked about making the sauce from gingersnaps, which intrigued me enough to give it a go. I also had a cut of London broil (top round) in the freezer that was waiting to be cooked and what a perfect dish to use it for.
After reading through a plethora of recipes, I opted not to go with the 3 day marinade that so many called for (talk about needing to plan ahead) and just did mine overnight. The meat came out tender, though it would have been a bit dull without the traditional gravy, which is super easy to make. I even made homemade Spaetzle, which mom actually had to assist me with (good thing she was invited for dinner), because my dough and the Spaetzle maker being used were not cooperating.
Men love meat and potatoes, and so do the ladies. The hang up is how can we enjoy this perfect pair without having to loosen our belts after the meal? The solution is modification. Not every meal makes it easy to substitute ingredients without completely changing the concept, but for this one, I got it right. The recipes below are my take on the famed 'meat and potatoes' using Turkey Meat Loaf and Mashed Sweet Potatoes as the components. The complete meal is sure to please every member of your household and let you walk away from the table feeling good about this wholesome dinner.
Chili is one of my husband's favorite meals I make and I like it too because it tastes good, is easy to make, and it makes a dollar go a long way. This particular recipe is great for us because we eat half of the pot right away and then freeze the other half for another day (we just had a leftover batch this week). And I know there are Texans out there that will read this and want to hunt me down and beat sense into me since "real chili doesn't have beans," but honestly, I love beans in my Chili! We like our chili to have a kick, but I've definitely made mild versions for friends who don't do spicy. The way I control that is to use different varieties of canned diced tomatoes (mild, medium, etc.). This is a great recipe to enjoy on a "chili" winter day!