Monday, February 17, 2014

Smothered Pork Chops

Mom told me about this recipe. Best pork chops ever. And pretty easy. We love these. Are we getting burned out from this girl's recipes on here? haha.

I used the bacon the first time I made these, but never since. I think they are just as good without and I loathe cooking bacon anyway.

Recipe here

  • 5 slices bacon, chopped (I don't use)
  • 6 bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick (I use 4 thick ones, about 1 1/4-1 1/2" thick)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half moons
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (don't waste your time with this...)
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan. If you have more than 2 tablespoons drippings, drain the excess. If you don’t have quite that much, supplement with canola oil. When the bacon is cool, transfer to a small bag or tupperware and refrigerate until later.
  2. Heat the skillet with the drippings over medium or medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until they are golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, cooking them in batches in the skillet if your skillet isn’t big enough to hold all six at a time in a single layer. When golden on each side, transfer the chops to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining pork.
  3. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the skillet; add onions, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to empty skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour onion mixture over chops in the slow cooker. Add broth, soy sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.
  4. Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).
  5. When ready to serve, carefully transfer chops to serving platter with a large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through a mesh strainer into a saucepan, reserving the solids. Transfer solids to a food processor or blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. (I don't strain or blend up the sauce at all ... i like it chunky and don't want to dirty another appliance anyway). Stir the blended mixture back into remaining liquid in the saucepan. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley. Serve.

I estimated the calories of the sauce only. Obviously there's some fat from the pork chops that will cook into the sauce, but this is a good estimate.

1/4 cup sauce only = 55 kcal

Creamy Swiss Cheese Chicken Bake

I actually really, really liked this. I'm not sure everyone would, but we did. Served with quinoa and roasted broccoli --- it all went really well together. I 1.5'd the sauce because i like saucy stuff. Also, I totally didn't realize I didn't have greek yogurt until I was already making it all, so I used the closest thing and crossed my fingers that it would work --- Kefir. I'm not sure what it tastes like with anything else, but it tasted great with this. haha.

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4-6 chicken pieces) I used 5
  • 6-8 slices Swiss cheese (about 4-6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise (so I used 3/4 c)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 3/4 c lowfat Kefir)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided (so I used 3/4 c in sauce + 1/4 c on top)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (3/4 t)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (3/4 t)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (1.5 t)
  • Hot, cooked rice for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and lightly spray a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season on each side with salt and pepper. Lay the chicken breast pieces in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Layer the Swiss cheese slices over the chicken. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread this mixture over the chicken and cheese. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is hot and bubbly. Serve over hot, steamed rice.

The way I made it (5 chx breasts, 5 slices swiss, Kefir + 1.5'd of all sauce ingredients), I figured 1 serving = 1/2 chicken breast + sauce divided evenly per portion = 355 kcal

Sloppy Joes

I know Nettie posted a sloppy joe recipe a while back, but this is my favorite concoction (besides mom's...her's are the best). It's half manwich + half Mel's recipe. Her recipe alone is too sweet and doesn't taste very sloppy joe to me, but with manwich, it's perfect. Here's her original recipe. My kids LOVE sloppy joes.

2 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1-2 T tomato paste
1/3 c smoky bbq sauce
1/4 c ketchup
2 T worcestershire sauce
2 T soy sauce
Black pepper
1 can Manwich (the regular size)

Cook beef and onions. Drain the grease off the meat and onions. Stir in the tomato paste, and keep stirring until the meat is coated. Add the BBQ sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, pepper, Manwich sauce and bring to a boil.

1/2 cup = 200 CAL (don't write kcal or nettie will call you out)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

mexican chicken lime soup

this is another tortilla soup, not exactly like the Rick Bayless one, just different enough to warrant making both of them.  (I prefer Rick Bayless, but this one is good too).

original recipe here

  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • onion, finely chopped
  • cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken)
  • canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper
  • hass avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise into 12 pieces
  • Crushed tortilla chips
I added corn and beans
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, lower the heat to medium and cook until the onion begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Increase the heat to high, push the vegetables to the side of the pan, add the chicken and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chipotles and adobo sauce, then stir in the chicken broth. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming any foam. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place 2 avocado slices in each of 6 soup bowls and pour in the soup. Top with the tortilla chips.