One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pork and Cheddar Pancake Muffins

22 04 2016

One Pork Butt – Three Meals.

And finally, here’s meal idea three…brunch!

It’s mother hubbard here this weekend. This is about as real as it gets folks, I’m talking down to one egg kind-of-serious. I managed to whip up something creative with just a few ingredients and leftovers though, which is what I do best! AND, I was even able to base it off a little inspiration from one of my favorite pancakes.

There’s this crazy tasty, sweet/savory pancake at First Watch made with cheddar cheese and bacon, which was the inspiration for this dish. Sounds weird, but covered in yummy maple syrup, it’s the perfect brunch bite! Making these as muffins allows you to cook them all at once, rather than having to flip a bunch of jacks individually, and I’m all about saving time!

Pork and Cheddar Pancake Muffins

The following makes 6 muffins (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl combine the milk and eggs. Add Bisquick and stir until just combined. Fold in the pork and cheese.

Spray a large muffin tin with non-stick spray, or use liners for easy cleanup like me. Divide the batter among 6 cups. Bake until cooked through and slightly browning on top, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing.

Serve pancake muffins with a side of Peach Habanero Syrup to pour all over!

Chorizo With Black Beans and Cheddar Polenta

13 06 2014

Tonight’s yummy Mexican dinner was made with nearly all Fresh Fork Market ingredients from our share this week, and was a labor of love! While not too complicated, there are multiple parts to this which did take some time. Like the black beans for instance….I used dried for the first time and am now converted! The most time-consuming part of making dried beans is soaking them, so just plan ahead, and either soak overnight or in the morning before you head to work.

Chorizo with black beans and cheddar polenta

The following serves 2-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 cup organic dried black beans
  • Water
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 smashed garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 pound bulk ground chorizo
  • 1 bell pepper, whatever color you like, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic scapes, chopped or garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small head fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 cups low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth, plus more for deglazing
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Fresh salsa
  • Corn crackers or tortilla chips for garnish

Rinse black beans well, in a strainer. Soak 1 cup of dried beans in 3 cups of water for 6-10 hours. You can either do this overnight, or in the morning before you head to work. After 6-10 hours, drain the beans, add to a medium pot and add 3 cups of water or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the cumin, oregano, bay leaves, smashed garlic cloves, and 1/4 cup chopped onion. Cook over medium heat for 60 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. If your liquid starts to evaporate before the beans are done, just add some more water or stock. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the diced chilies, juice of 1 lime and salt to taste.

Start the chorizo part after the beans have been cooking for about 30 minutes. In a large cast iron skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat and add the small chopped onion and bell peppers. Saute for a few minutes until beginning to softened. Add the garlic scapes or garlic, cook until fragrant about a minute. Add the chorizo, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Saute until the meat crumbles and starts to get a nice brown on it, stirring occasionally. Deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock, a turn or two of the pan. Be sure to scrape up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan. Add spinach to the chorizo and cook until wilted. Season lightly with salt to taste.

Next make the polenta, just note it cooks fast. Also note this portion is for about 2 people. Bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil. Slowly whisk in the corn meal. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk the polenta constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and vigorously stir in the cheddar cheese until fully melted and incorporated.

Right before serving, garnish both the chorizo mixture and the black beans with some chopped cilantro.

To serve, dish out the polenta, the black beans and the chorizo mixture onto plates. Top with a dollop of fresh salsa and some corn crackers or tortilla chips for some crunch and for scooping.

Cauliflower-Cheddar Oven Risotto with Sauteed Chicken

10 01 2014

I do enjoy making traditional risotto because like any other labor-intense meal, it conveys pure love. No way any of us cooks are standing over a hot stove constantly stirring rice for an hour if we aren’t making it for someone we “heart” ! 🙂

But I digress. Oven risotto is great because you can still achieve the rich, luxurious texture of traditional risotto with a fraction of the work. You can whip up a special meal after a long work week with this recipe, making it a good Friday date night go-to. Open a fresh bottle of dry white wine to cook with, then serve the rest with your meal!

Cauliflower-Cheddar Oven Risotto with Sauteed Chicken

Cauliflower-Cheddar Oven Risotto with Sauteed Chicken

The following serves 4 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 5 cups low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (or broccoli)
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, or I can’t believe it’s not butter
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 and 3/4 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded or grated (I used reduced-fat)
  • 1.5-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets, thinly sliced
  • Citrus-herb seasoning salt, or whatever spices you want to season the chicken with
  • Chives, chopped for garnish

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 425.

Bring 4 cups of the chicken broth to a low simmer in a saucepan. Toss the cauliflower with 1 Tbsp of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute. Add the rice, stir to coat and cook for another minute or two to toast. Pour in the wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the hot broth, 3/4 tsp salt, and pepper to taste; bring to a boil. Cover and set on the bottom oven rack. Place the cauliflower on the upper rack. Bake, stirring both the rice and cauliflower once halfway through cooking, until most of the liquid has been absorbed in the rice and the cauliflower is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 cup chicken stock in the same saucepan you used earlier.

Remove the rice and cauliflower from the oven. Add another 3/4 cut hot broth (if you don’t have enough broth you could also use hot water instead, broth just offers more flavor), 1 Tbsp butter and the cheese to the rice and stir until creamy (add a little more hot water or hot broth to loosen, if necessary). Stir in the cauliflower. This Girl tip: if you’re keeping an eye on your carb intake like me, reserve some of the roasted cauliflower and serve yourself an extra portion of veggies along with the risotto.

After you stir the cauliflower and rice, season some chicken breast cutlets with a citrus-herb seasoning salt (I make my own but you could use whatever seasoning you like) and saute in a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet, until browned on both sides. Save yourself some time and buy the thinly sliced chicken breasts from the grocery store versus pounding them out yourself. I like taking out some frustration by pounding chicken just as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s nice to cut a corner here and there. 🙂

Garnish risotto with chives and serve alongside sauteed chicken, and a glass of white wine.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

11 02 2012

I’m a sucker for a good broccoli-cheddar soup! I put my own spin on this tasty recipe from Food Network Magazine and it turned out great. Perfect for a cold wintry afternoon 🙂

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup with Toppings

The following serves 4:

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (I used carrots instead)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used small red potatoes and also left the skin on)
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (I omitted these altogether and added more broccoli)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/3 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 and 1/3 cups) – I used a combo: 1/3 cup Vermont white cheddar and 1 cup sharp cheddar
  • Croutons for topping (see my homemade crouton recipe from Jan 18, 2012)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery (or carrots in my case) and cook, stirring, until softened about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, half and half, potatoes, bay leaf, 2 cups water, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl; add 3 Tbsp water and season with salt. Cover and microwave until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; drain.

When the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaf from the soup and transfer the soup to a blender. Puree until smooth, leaving the filter cap slightly open to let steam escape (or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender). Return the soup to the pot and thin with water, if necessary. I didn’t add any water as I like broccoli-cheddar soup thick! Return to a simmer over medium-low heat; stir in broccoli and season with salt and pepper.

Add the cheese and stir until melted. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons, if desired. I also topped with some sliced green onions and sliced turkey sausage.

This Girl extra tip: I recommend reheating leftovers over medium heat, stirring often. I also used a little chicken stock the next day to thin it out just a little bit.