Archive for the 'Meat' Category

Almond Crusted Pork Tenderloin

I have two favorite recipes for pork tenderloin.  The first is honey hoisin pork tenderloin, and the second (in no particular order) is this recipe for almond crusted pork tenderloin.  This recipe is super easy to make and so flavorful.  The pork is tender and juicy and the almonds and bread crumbs give the crust a nice crunch.  I like to serve slices of this pork tenderloin alongside fresh steamed vegetables and fluffy mashed potatoes.  It would also be great accompanied by a salad and fresh bread.  The next time you are looking for a simple and delicious (and healthy!) pork tenderloin recipe, try this one!

Almond Crusted Pork Tenderloin

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of any fat
  • 1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs, almonds, rosemary, pepper, & salt in a shallow dish.  Place the beaten egg whites in a separate shallow dish.
  3. Dip pork in egg whites and then dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Place the pork on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake pork at 425 F for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F.
  5. Cover the pork with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.  Then cut the pork into ¼ inch thick slices and serve.

Source:  Slightly adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, January 1998

All-American Chili

I’ve tried several chili recipes over the years and this one is definitely my favorite.  It’s flavorful, spicy, and hearty.  The recipe comes from the January 2003 issue of Cooking Light, and not only is this chili delicious, it’s also fairly low calorie.  It’s easy to make, and it’s the perfect thing to have on a cold day.  I like to serve this chili with homemade cornbread or crusty French bread.  Like most chilis, the leftovers are excellent and the flavors only improve over time.  And if you are looking for a recipe for vegetarian chili, try this one – it’s also from Cooking Light and it’s another one of my favorites!

All-American Chili

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 6  ounces  hot (or mild- depending on how much spice you like!) turkey Italian sausage
  • 2  cups  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  chopped green bell pepper
  • 8  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound  ground sirloin
  • 1  jalapeño pepper, chopped (optional – I always omit this… the chili is spicy enough for me without it)
  • 2  tablespoons  chili powder
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  ground cumin
  • 3  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • ½  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  bay leaves
  • 1 ¼  cups  Merlot or other fruity red wine (beef broth can be substituted)
  • 2  (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, un drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2  (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • ½  cup  (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Remove the casings from the sausage. Add the sausage, onion, and the next 4 ingredients (onion through jalapeño (if using)) to the pan; cook 8 minutes or until the sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble.
  2. Add the chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (chili powder through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in the wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Discard the bay leaves.  Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese.

Makes: 8 servings (each serving size is 1 ¼ cups)

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Every time I use my slow cooker, I wonder why I don’t use it more often.  It’s such a wonderful kitchen appliance.  I made this pulled pork last weekend and it was so easy!  All I had to do was put the pork in the slow cooker along with some onions and chicken broth (for flavor) and set it to low power for 8 hours.  Then I had the whole day free to cross things off my to-do list and run my errands.  Meanwhile, my dinner practically cooked itself!  I also used this time to make a delicious cranberry blueberry pie for dessert– (recipe to come soon!)  After 8 hours, I checked on the pork and it was cooked to perfection.  Then all I had to do was shred the meat, put it back in the slow cooker with some BBQ sauce (my favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s :) ) plus a few other ingredients, simmer it for another hour, and dinner was ready.  I served this pulled pork on homemade brioche burger buns (which I also made while the pork was cooking all day.)  These pulled pork sandwiches were fantastic!  The pork was sweet, tender, juicy and deliciously BBQ flavored.  And the leftovers were great the next day… and the day after that too.  I’m not usually one to eat leftovers 2 days in a row, but this was so good that I couldn’t resist!  I can’t wait to make this pulled pork again!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 1  (3 lb.) boneless pork shoulder, skin and excess fat removed
  • 1  onion, chopped
  • ½  cup  low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 2  cups  bottled or homemade barbecue sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  mustard
  • 2  tablespoons  honey
  • 1  tablespoon  soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Trim the pork of any excess fat.  Scatter onion over bottom of slow cooker and place pork on top.  Add broth, cover and cook on low until very tender, about 8 hours.  Remove the meat and let cool.  Remove the onions and cooking liquid from the slow cooker (discard them) and wipe the slow cooker clean with a paper towel.
  2. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat into thin shreds, removing all fat and gristle.
  3. Return the pulled pork to slow cooker and stir in the barbecue sauce, mustard, honey and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour longer on low, stirring occasionally. Serve on toasted hamburger buns.

Source: Adapted from My Recipes

Homemade brioche buns made these pulled pork sandwiches extra delicious.

Turkey Sugar Cookies & Herb Roasted Turkey

Even though Turkey Sugar Cookies and Herb Roasted Turkey are two very different things, I decided to combine these two recipes into one post since Thanksgiving is over and everyone is probably in Christmas-mode by now.  I made both the cookies and herb roasted turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner last week.

Turkey-Shaped Sugar Cookies

For the cookies and royal icing, I used the same recipes I always use, which can be found by clicking here.  I have tried a lot of sugar cookie recipes over the years and this one is my favorite.  The cookies always taste delicious and the dough never spreads when it bakes, so the cookies perfectly hold the shape of the cookie cutter.  These cookies were fairly easy (and fun!) to decorate too.  All you need is a few #2 decorating tips, piping bags, squeeze bottles, and royal icing that has been tinted black, brown, red, orange, and yellow.  If you would like to see how to decorate these cookies and create the feather details, click here to see Bridget’s tutorial on her blog, Bake at 350.

Source: Bake at 350 blog

Herb Roasted Turkey

Since this was the first turkey I’ve ever cooked, I spent some time researching different recipes.  I ended up narrowing it down to 3 recipes, but all of them seemed to be missing something.  So I took the parts I liked from each recipe and combined them to make my own turkey recipe.  I’m very happy with how it turned out and I will definitely use this recipe again!  It was a simple recipe too – basically I just stuffed the turkey with lots of fresh herbs, vegetables, and a few orange wedges (to keep the turkey juicy).  I also rubbed the turkey with herb butter to add an extra layer of flavor.  Additionally, I added some vegetables and chicken broth to the roasting pan to flavor what would become the gravy.

I decided not to brine the turkey because logistically, I don’t think it would have worked.  There wouldn’t have been enough space to store it in our fridge, and since we were hosting Thanksgiving for 19 people, we needed a fairly large turkey.  We went with a 22-pound bird, which provided us with lots of yummy leftovers!  This is a great recipe for a flavorful, juicy, herb-roasted turkey.  Enjoy!

Herb Roasted Turkey

Ingredients

For the Turkey & Roasting Pan:

  • 6 ribs celery, largely chopped & divided
  • 6 carrots, largely chopped & divided
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges & divided
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 orange, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1 whole turkey, 18-22 pounds, thawed

For the Herb Butter:

  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. each chopped fresh thyme, sage, & rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and set oven rack to lower position.  Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and discard.  Rinse the turkey well and pat dry with paper towels.  Set the turkey on a large baking sheet.
  2. Line a roasting pan with half of the celery, carrots, & onion wedges.  Add 2 cups chicken broth (this will help keep the turkey moist and add flavor to the juices for the gravy). Place a roasting rack on top of the vegetables & set aside.
  3. Stuff the turkey with salt & pepper, half of the onion wedges, celery, carrots, thyme & rosemary sprigs, sage leaves, & orange wedges.  Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  4. For the herb butter: Process the softened butter, thyme, sage, rosemary, and salt in a mini food processor.  Rub the turkey all over with the herb butter, making sure to reach the crevices of the legs and wings.
  5. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of one of the inside thigh muscles, but not touching the bone.  Transfer the turkey to the roasting rack, breast side up.  Roast the turkey for 2 hours, occasionally checking on it to make sure it doesn’t brown too much or burn.  Once the turkey is golden brown (this should take approximately 2 hours) tent it loosely with foil (make sure to leave air space between the bird and foil).  If the vegetables begin to scorch, add some additional chicken broth to the pan.  Continue roasting the turkey until the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 F.  (Our 22 pound bird roasted for approximately 6 hours until it was done).
  6. If desired, baste the turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices. (Basting helps keep the skin moist & helps it to brown—I did not baste my turkey.)
  7. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a cutting board set on a jelly roll pan, tent it with foil, and allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before carving.  Carve the turkey, arrange on a platter, and garnish as desired.
  8. Strain the pan drippings into a large glass measuring cup & reserve them for the gravy.

Source: Inspired by recipes from Real Simple, Sur La Table, & Cuisine at Home

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage

Whenever I am in the mood for a spicy and flavorful dinner, I make jambalaya.  I have been making this Cooking Light recipe for years, and it’s no surprise that it has a 5 star rating on www.cookinglight.com, because it really is that good!  It’s full of shrimp, spicy andouille sausage, peppers, onions, and garlic, all of which give it tons of flavor.  The recipe calls for half a teaspoon of hot pepper sauce, but I usually omit it to cut back on the spiciness.  I think the andouille sausage provides plenty of spice, but if you like really spicy food, you should definitely add the hot pepper sauce.  And like some of my other favorite Cooking Light recipes (such as this, this, this or this one), it is pretty healthy — each (1.5 cup) serving has only 426 calories!  I hope you enjoy!

Recipe from: Cooking Light Magazine , April 2005 issue

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  chopped red bell pepper
  • 1  tablespoon  minced garlic
  • 6  ounces  andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1  cup  uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1  teaspoon  paprika
  • 1  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • ½  teaspoon  onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon  dried thyme
  • ¼  teaspoon  garlic salt
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 2  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾  cup  water
  • 1  tablespoon  tomato paste
  • ½  teaspoon  hot pepper sauce, optional
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can no salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½  pound  peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, minced garlic, and sausage; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Add rice and the next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 2 minutes.  Add broth, water, tomato paste, hot pepper sauce (if using), and diced tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.  Add shrimp; cook 5 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Discard bay leaf.  Stir in parsley.

Yield: 4 (1.5 cup) servings

Before you start cooking the jambalaya, it’s very helpful to measure out all of the spices and combine them in a small prep bowl. That way, when it’s time to add the spices to the pot, you can just throw them all in at once.

I also recommend preparing all of the ingredients before you start cooking. First, gather all of the pantry items (chicken broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes). Then chop the onion, bell pepper, garlic, parsley, and sausage. After that, measure the correct amount of rice. (You can prep and peel the shrimp while the jambalaya is simmering).


Honey Hoisin Pork Tenderloin

Honey Hoisin Pork Tenderloin


I don’t cook pork very often, but when I do, this is my go-to recipe.  I found this recipe years ago in Cooking Light Magazine (it was originally published in the October 2005 issue).  I’ve made it many times since then and it always turns out really well.  It’s easy to make, fairly quick, delicious, and healthy- what more could you ask for? :)  I always serve it with steamed vegetables plus something starchy.  My husband prefers white rice as a side, but I prefer mashed potatoes, so we alternate.  When we most recently made this for dinner, we served it with asparagus and white rice- it was delicious!

Recipe from: Cooking Light Magazine

Honey Hoisin Pork Tenderloin

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2  tablespoons  sliced green onions
  • 2  tablespoons  hoisin sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  sage honey
  • 1  tablespoon  hot water
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • ¼  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • ½  teaspoon  sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients (green onions, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, water, & garlic) in a small bowl. Pour ¼ cup honey mixture into a large zip-top plastic bag; reserve remaining honey mixture. Add pork to bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
  3. Remove pork from bag; discard marinade. Sprinkle pork with salt. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork; cook 2 minutes, browning on all sides. Brush 1 tablespoon reserved honey mixture over pork; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place skillet in oven. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink) or until desired degree of doneness.
  4. Place pork on a platter; let stand 5 minutes. Cut pork across the grain into thin slices. Drizzle with the remaining honey mixture.

Serves: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and about 2 teaspoons honey mixture); 195 calories per serving

the marinade

Steamed asparagus and white rice pair well with the pork.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes


One of my favorite cookbooks is “Cook Smart, Eat Well” by Cooking Light.  It is a collection of easy-to-make recipes that are both simple and healthy.  One of the features of this book is that it gives you a “game plan” for each recipe, so that you know which order to prepare and cook the meal in so that you maximize your time and cook as efficiently as possible.  This is very helpful on a busy weeknight!

I never used to be a huge fan of sloppy joes, but this recipe changed my opinion and now I love them.  This is the perfect weeknight meal, and it makes excellent leftovers.  The ingredients are simple, and several of them are pantry staples: onion, green bell pepper, garlic, ground beef, tomato paste, chicken broth, a few spices, hamburger buns, and canned corn.  The bell peppers and corn add color, sweetness, and tastiness to the dish.  You will not be disappointed with this recipe!

Recipe from: Cooking Light

Sloppy Joes

(print recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1  teaspoon  canola oil
  • 1  cup  finely chopped onion
  • 1  cup  finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½  pounds  lean ground beef
  • 1  (6-ounce) can no salt-added tomato paste
  • 2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  (15-ounce) can no salt-added corn, rinsed and drained
  • 6  (1 ½ -ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted (toasting is optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes.
  3. Add meat to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.
  4. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and broth. Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in corn; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  7. Spoon about 1 cup meat mixture on bottom half of each hamburger bun; cover with top half of each bun.

Serves: 6

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers


I first made this recipe for Stuffed Peppers a few months ago and they were really good.  I originally found the recipe in the book “Cook Smart, Eat Well” by Cooking Light.  It’s a collection of easy and healthy recipes, and with each recipe, the book creates a simple menu so that you have a complete meal.  The book recommends serving these peppers with sugar snap peas and sautéed cabbage.  I didn’t feel like cabbage, so I just served steamed sugar snap peas on the side.  The peppers were just as good the second time around, and the snap peas were a great side dish.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, and it is super easy to make.  You can use any color pepper (I used a mixture of red & green peppers).  The filling is a combination of ground sirloin, rice, sautéed onions, a few spices, and Parmesan cheese.  The second time making these, I omitted the wine and it didn’t affect the flavor at all.  The filling also requires jarred pasta sauce, so this is the perfect recipe to make if you have leftover sauce in the fridge that you need to use.  And, like all Cooking Light recipes, it is fairly low-calorie – only 347 calories per bell pepper!

Adapted from: Cooking Light, January 2003

Stuffed Peppers

(print recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1  (3 ½ -ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
  • 4  medium red bell peppers
  • ¾  pound  ground sirloin
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • ½  cup  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  teaspoon  paprika
  • ½  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • 2  cups  bottled tomato-and-basil pasta sauce, divided
  • ½  cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • ½  cup  dry red wine
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Set aside.
  3. While rice cooks, cut tops off bell peppers; reserve tops. Discard seeds and membranes. Place peppers, cut sides down, in an 8-inch square baking dish; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at high 2 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender. Cool.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, parsley, paprika, salt, and allspice; cook 4 minutes or until beef is lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from heat. Add rice, 1 cup pasta sauce, and cheese to beef mixture, stirring to combine.
  5. While beef cooks, combine 1 cup pasta sauce and wine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
  6. Spoon about ¾ cup beef mixture into each pepper. Place peppers in a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; add wine mixture to pan. Cover with foil.
  7. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve peppers with sauce. Garnish with pepper tops, if desired.

Serves: 4

Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew with Red Wine)

Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew with Red Wine)

Ever since watching the movie Julie & Julia a few weeks ago, I have wanted to make Boeuf Bourguignon.  I decided to make Ina Garten’s version of this dish, because it seemed simpler and required much less cooking time than Julia Child’s recipe.  The dish turned out wonderfully, and although it was a little labor (and time) intensive, it was fun to make.  It was the first time I’ve ever flambéed something, which was fun too.  If someone had told me 5 years ago that someday I would be purposely lighting something on fire in my kitchen, I would never have believed it!

Another benefit to this stew is that it made excellent leftovers.  In fact, I think it was better the second night.  Also, since I had more time the second night, I was able to make a couple side dishes to round out the meal.  The beef stew paired perfectly with mashed potatoes (I like mashed Yukon gold potatoes), steamed broccoli, and garlic bread.

Adapted from: Barefoot in Paris cookbook, by Ina Garten (pg. 121-123)

Boeuf Bourguignon

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 6 ounces good bacon, diced
  • 1 ½ pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • ¼ cup Brandy
  • ½  (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Pinot Noir
  • 1 can (2 cups) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves ( ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, optional

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

Toss the carrots, and onions, ½ tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Brandy, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 ¼ hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew.  Sauté the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

Sprinkle each serving with parsley, if desired, and serve with garlic bread.

Serves: 4

Cook the bacon.

Sear the beef cubes in the hot oil/bacon fat until browned.

Saute the carrots and onions.

Flambe the brandy.

Wait for the alcohol to burn off.

Saute the mushrooms.

Mashed potatoes are a good side dish.


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