Grilled Pork and Eggplant Napoleon With Gremolata

8 07 2013

Gremolata is an Italian chopped herb condiment, typically made with lemon zest, parsley and garlic. It’s a great accompaniment to grilled meat and/or veggies, and a great way to use up your abundant garden herbs. Here I’ve paired it with a combo of grilled pork and eggplant – delicioso!

Grilled Pork and Eggplant Napoleon With Gremolata

Grilled Pork and Eggplant Napoleon With Gremolata

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

  • 4-6 small pork medallions
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced into thick rounds
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, garlic, parsley and salt and pepper in a small bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for an hour.

You can marinate the pork if you’d like, or just move right to grilling it. I like to marinate it for a half hour or so in a little Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, 2 small garlic cloves crushed and salt and pepper – just whisk all the ingredients together and add the pork. Cover and refrigerate for a half hour. Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temp before grilling it.

Preheat grill to medium-high, around 300 degrees.

Coat eggplant slices with a little olive oil, salt and pepper before grilling.

Grill the pork medallions and eggplant slices a few minutes on either side, allowing good grill marks to form and cooking through. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Layer pork medallions in between eggplant slices on individual plates to form a “napoleon” and top with gremolata. Serve with a side like rice, potatoes or a salad. Here I’ve served the napoleons with leftover barley salad (recipe posted recently below).

Pork Medallions Over Marsala Orzo

14 05 2013

I tend to use onions, garlic and mushrooms in the base of a lot of my dinners because they quickly help add flavor to just about anything. But recently I’ve heard from some friends who like to try my recipes that they don’t like mushrooms so tend not to try recipes with mushrooms in them. Two pieces of advice….if you’ve never liked shrooms and haven’t tried them in a while, try them again. It took me many years to come around to them, but I enjoy them now. You may be surprised how your taste buds change! And secondly, if you’ve tried them recently and still can’t stand them – just omit them from recipes you’d like to try. Don’t pass up a good recipe just because of a few scary shrooms 🙂

Pork Medallions Over Marsala Orzo

Pork Medallions Over Marsala Orzo

The following serves 2:

  • 4 – 6 pork loin cutlets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Half medium onion, sliced
  • 2 – 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup dried whole wheat orzo
  • Marsala wine
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Heat some olive oil (few turns of the pan) in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season pork cutlets with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Add to hot pan and saute until browned on both sides (few minutes on both sides). Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

Reduce the heat to medium on the same skillet you cooked the pork in. Add onions and saute for a few minutes, scrapping up any brown bits in the pan. Next add garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Cook for another minute. Next add red bell pepper and mushrooms. Saute and continue to toss until the mushrooms start to brown. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt and cook the orzo to al dente according to package directions. Save 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and strain orzo.

Once the mushrooms are browned and the orzo is strained, degalze the skillet with some marsala wine – a few turns of the pan. Be sure to scrape up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan at this point as well. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat to low. Add the strained orzo right to the skillet and toss well so it begins to soak up the marsala. Add about half the cooking liquid along with a good handful of parmesan cheese. Stir quickly so the cheese melts into the pasta evenly and doesn’t clump.

Taste orzo and season with salt if needed. Spoon orzo among two plates. Serve pork medallions over orzo and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Pork and Veggie Stir Fry Over Cauliflower Rice

10 04 2013

I had half a head of cauliflower leftover after using it in the cauliflower pizza I recently posted about. I loved the way the “rice” came out for the pizza, so I decided to try the “rice” as the base of a stir fry dinner. This is another great way to trick yourself into believing you’re eating a starch when you’re really just getting another serving of veggies! I might be a little obsessed with cauliflower rice now, just saying 😉

Pork and Veggie Stir Fry Over Cauliflower Rice

Pork and Veggie Stir Fry Over Cauliflower Rice

The following serves 2 with leftovers:

  • Half a head of cauliflower, florets chopped
  • Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Pork, cubed
  • Chopped veggies for stir frying such as broccoli florets, green beans, mushrooms and red onion
  • Garlic, minced
  • Ginger, minced from the tube
  • Low-sodium soy sauce

Chop the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until the consistency of “rice” forms. Saute the “rice” in a little olive oil over medium heat until the cauliflower is cooked and translucent, about 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Meanwhile, make the marinade for your pork and veggies. Whisk together a couple heads a minced garlic, about a 1/2 Tbsp or so of fresh ginger minced from the tube and about 1/4 cup of soy sauce. Toss marinade with veggies and pork and marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir fry veggies and pork in oil in a hot wok until pork is cooked. To make the stir frying easier, you may want to do the veggies first, remove and set aside and then stir fry the pork to get an even cook. Serve pork and veggies over cauliflower rice and soy sauce on the side.

Mu Shu Pork

23 01 2013

Stir-fry seems to be healthful because there tends to be a good amount of veggies, but calories and sodium from the oil and soy sauce can sneak up on you. I found this recipe from Cuisine at Home, which called for tofu to make this a vegetarian meal, but I went with traditional pork. I also switched up some of the ingredients, so the below is my take on this one-pot meal…

Mu Shu Pork

Mu Shu Pork

The following makes 4 servings (compliments of This Girl and Cuisine at Home):

  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dry sherry
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 tsp peanut oil, divided (I used olive oil instead)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Pork, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • Half a large bag of baby spinach (you could also use shredded napa cabbage as the recipe originally called for)
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium chicken stock

Whisk together soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil and cayenne pepper.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over high until it shimmers. Stir-fry eggs just until cooked through; transfer to a plate. Add 2 tsp oil to wok; heat until it shimmers. Fry the pork until lightly browned, a few minutes, then transfer to a plate. Add remaining 1 tsp oil to wok.

Stir-fry garlic and ginger until fragrant, 30 seconds. If you like it spicy, add some cayenne here as well. Add carrot, bell pepper, green beans and chicken stock; cook vegetables until crisp-tender, 2-5 minutes.

Add spinach (or cabbage), sauce mixture, eggs and pork; stir until spinach wilts and pork reheats, 2-3 minutes.

Garlic-Lemon Pork With Mushrooms and Onion

20 12 2012

I originally saw this pork recipe in Everyday Food….and then I was cruising Pinterest and saw it pinned with a twist of adding mushrooms and onions. It just so happened that this was the twist I was planning to put on this meal myself! Great foodie minds 🙂

Garlic-Lemon Pork With Mushrooms and Onion

Garlic-Lemon Pork With Mushrooms and Onion

The following serves 4 (

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced, 1 very thinly sliced
  • 1 pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch slices and pounded 1/4 inch thick (or just use 4 large pre-sliced pork chops)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • Half an onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp sliced fresh chives

Place flour in a shallow dish and stir in 1 tsp lemon zest. Season pork with salt and pepper, then coat with flour, shaking off excess.

In a large skillet, heat oil and 1 Tbsp butter over medium-high. In batches, cook pork until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil.

Reduce heat to medium, add the onions and let them start to brown. Next add the mushrooms and garlic. Add a little more oil if needed and continue cooking until mushrooms are browned.

Add broth and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, 4 minutes. Return pork to pan along with any accumulated juices and lemon slices; cook until sauce has thickened slightly, 2 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chives.

This Girl’s Extras:

  • I omitted the flour altogether, and replaced olive oil for butter and the pork turned out great!
  • In place of the flour I seasoned the pork with lemon zest, salt and dried herbs such as parsley and basil.
  • Serve with roasted veggies such as zucchini and squash topped with asiago cheese and walnuts for a well-rounded meal 🙂

Smoky Pork Pappardelle

29 04 2012

I hosted a supper and wine tasting evening for my girlies this weekend, and this pork pappardelle was the main dish of the night. It’s rich and luxurious, and while it appears fancy which is great to serve guests, it doesn’t take too much hard work which is great for the host. The trick is in the braising of the meat, and the oven does that for you!

Smoky Pork Pappardelle

The following serves 6 (compliments of Food & Wine):

  • One 2-pound piece of boneless pork shoulder
  • Smoked sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 celery rib, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound pappardelle
  • 1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 300. Season the pork with 1 1/2 tablespoons of smoked salt. In a medium, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the pork and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned on all sides, 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate. I didn’t have smoked salt, so I seasoned the pork liberally with kosher salt and pepper and grilled until nicely marked all around.
Add the apple, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and thyme to the casserole and cook over moderate heat until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it deepens in color, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the chicken stock, vinegar and honey and bring to a simmer. Add the pork, cover and transfer the casserole to the oven. Braise the pork for about 3 hours, turning once halfway through, until very tender.
Using 2 forks, shred the pork; discard any large pieces of fat. Transfer the shredded pork to the sauce and stir in the mascarpone. Cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pappardelle until al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer to the casserole with the sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce and the parsley over moderate heat until well coated, about 1 minute. Transfer the pasta to warm bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with grated cheese.
I paired this dish with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a dry red wine that pairs well with a meat-based ragu and won’t be overwhelmed by food with luxurious flavors.

Pork Milanese With Sautéed Spinach and Herb Acorn Squash Puree

26 03 2012

Pork, Chicken or Veal Milanese is an Italian breaded meat cutlet which is pan-fried in butter, oil or a combination of both. The panko and parm breading for tonight’s milanese was inspired by a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, although I like to play around with the seasoning and make it my own.

I had a beautiful organic acorn squash just waiting to be turned into something great.  I thought a herb squash puree would be a perfect complement to this supper….and I was right!

Pork Milanese With Sautéed Spinach and Herb Acorn Squash Puree

The following serves 2:

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 small boneless pork loin chops
  • Salt, black pepper and garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • Fresh parsley and chives
  • Half a bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 acorn squash, split in half and seeds scooped out
  • Water
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place cut squash, flesh side down in a baking dish and top with water, about half way up the squash. Bake for one hour or until tender. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add a handful of parsley, some chopped chives and a little lemon zest and cook over medium heat for a few minutes or so. When the squash is done, remove from oven and scoop out squash flesh into the saucepan with the melted herb butter. Puree squash with the butter, sugar, good pinch of salt and a few more fresh parsley sprigs. I used an emulsion blender to get a nice puree, but you could also mash with a potato masher. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Coarsely crush the panko into a large shallow bowl. Mix the cheese into the panko. Lightly beat the egg in another large shallow bowl. Sprinkle the pork generously with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. Next, zest some lemon right over the chops on one side. Dip the pork, 1 piece at a time, in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then dredge the pork in the crumb mixture, coating completely.

Heat about 3 Tbsp of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork to the hot oil and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.

In a small pan, heat a little bit of oil and add about a clove of minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute to flavor the oil. Next, wilt in the spinach and season with salt. When the spinach starts to wilt, toss in some lemon juice and cook for another minute or so.

Transfer the pork to plates,  finish with lemon juice, then top with spinach and serve along with the squash puree.