parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic: pan fried herbed pork chop

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Like the song, it’s a recipe for love and this pan-fried herbed pork chop. It’s served with mashed cauliflower, spinach with chili flakes in coconut oil, and steamed sugar snap peas.

Pan-Fried Herbed Pork Chops
2 pork chops, 2 inches thick
1 tablespoon cilantro (the parsley), minced
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Put the herbs in a small bowl. Pour the oil into a large plate. Place the pork chops in the oil and turn. Spoon the herb mix evenly over each side. Fry on a griddle 6-8 minutes per side or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F on an instant read thermometer.

Mashed Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 tablespoon milk
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the cauliflower in boiling salted water for about 6-10 minutes or until tender. Drain and put into a food processor. Process until fine. Add the cheese and milk to make it creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spinach with Chili Flakes in Coconut Oil
1 bunch spinach
Crushed chili flakes to taste
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Chop spinach into 3 inch lengths. Saute lightly in vegetable oil. Add chili flakes to taste. Add the coconut oil. If it is solid, let the heat of the food melt it.

Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
Salt to taste

In boiling salted water, cook the peas until they turn bright green. Remove from heat and drain. Rinse the peas in cold water to stop the cooking. Plate, and sprinkle sea salt or Himalayan pink salt to taste.

sunday dinner

I’m in the mood to cook!

There’s still no news that power has been restored at the office. Train service has been restored to Lower Manhattan this weekend, but after a week off from work, I have all this energy that I’m using up in the kitchen.

Autumn Sweet Potato Cakes adapted from http://brokeassgourmet.com/articles/autumn-sweet-potato-cakes Taranee sent me this recipe for baked sweet potato cakes and said that I had to try this. I could not find frozen kale at the supermarket so I made do with fresh kale. We love kale so the bunch won’t go to waste. Besides kale, this recipe includes dried cranberries and caramelized onion. What a tasty way to eat vegetables.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10-12 patties

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 3 medium garnet yams (orange sweet potatoes), peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup cooked chopped kale
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, or to taste
  • 2 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta optional
  • 1/8 cup whole wheat flour (or more, as needed)
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat.
  • Add the sliced onions and let cook, stirring very occasionally, until the onions become brown and soft. Reserve the onions for garnish. After removing the onion, add the kale to the pan and lightly sauté until they turn bright green.
  • Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Cover a baking tray with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peeled, diced sweet potatoes and cover.
  • Let the sweet potatoes cook for about 8 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  • Drain the cooked sweet potatoes and transfer to a bowl. Mash with the back of a fork or a potato masher until mostly smooth.
  • Stir in the kale, garlic, cranberries, salt, pepper, sage, egg, goat cheese or feta (if using), and flour.  Stir gently to combine.
  • Use a quarter cup measure to scoop up the mixture and gently shake it out in a mound on the prepared tray. Gently flatten the top with a spatula. Continue scooping, shaking, flattening patties. After about three of these scoops, rinse the scoop in water so the mixture will release easily.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until browned on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Flip the patties and brown on the second side, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

Roasted Turnips and Carrots (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
I slightly burned the carrots but I loved the crisp sweetness anyway.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 24-30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds white turnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and slivered
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro, optional

Preparation

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425˚F. Put oven rack in lower-middle position.
  • Toss turnips and carrots in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread vegetables in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Roast until the bottom of the turnips is golden and the carrots are browned around the edges, 12-15 minutes. Turn the turnips and carrots and continue to roast until they are tender and golden, 12-15 minutes more.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro, if using, and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Variations

  • Add 2 teaspoons garlic powder and 1 teaspoon brown sugar to the seasonings.
  • Add 1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger to the seasonings. Toss the turnips and carrots with 2 tablespoons maple syrup before serving

Wasabi and Panko Crusted Pork Tenderloin Cutlets (adapted from myrecipes.com)
To cut calories, I baked the cutlets rather than fry them.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup whole wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 8 cutlets from 1 x 1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silver and pounded flat (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry, sake, or rice cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

Preparation

  • Place panko, almond flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Mix with a fork. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Dip pork in egg white; dredge in panko mixture.
  • Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat; add pork. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork from pan; sprinkle with salt.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add ginger to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine broth, sherry, soy sauce, sugar, and wasabi in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping pan to loosen the browned bits called fond. Stir in green onions. Spoon sauce over pork.

Variation

  • Instead of frying, spray the cutlets with cooking spray and bake the cutlets 15-20 minutes in 425˚F oven or until the cutlets register 165˚F on an instant read thermometer.

italian egg strata with turkey sausage and vegetables

 

Italian Egg Strata with Turkey Sausage and Vegetables (adapted from Dash)
It’s so nice not to have to rush to get dinner on the table. How I love the weekends! The nice thing about this dish is that it can be prepared ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator, then baked for a weeknight dinner. For a Sunday night dinner, it is the best. According to the original recipe, each serving is 380 calories, but since I made substitutions like nonfat milk instead of 2% and whole wheat bread instead of white, that lessens the calorie count. To reduce calories further, substitute part-skim mozzarella cheese for the Monterey Jack cheese.

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus  20 minutes resting time
Cook Time: 1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 40 min (includes resting time)

Ingredients:
1⁄2 cup sliced scallion
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, chopped
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 lb sweet turkey sausage, casings removed, broken into bite-size chunks
7 eggs
3 cups nonfat milk
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese
1⁄4 tsp black pepper
1 half loaf whole wheat baguette (about 5 cups), cut into large chunks
1 cup grated reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and a large skillet with cooking spray. If using a glass dish or a pan with a dark nonstick finish, reduce heat to 325˚F and bake for 55 minutes.

2. Sauté scallion, red pepper, and zucchini in the skillet for 4 minutes. Add sausage and continue cooking until sausage is browned. When the meat is almost cooked through, add the spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat. The meat and vegetable mixture will spring water, so drain it well and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add milk, Parmesan-Romano, and black pepper.

4. In the prepared baking dish, layer half the bread, half the egg mixture, and half the drained sausage-vegetable mixture.  Repeat layers.

5. Press down the top to make sure the bread is completely submerged. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and if desired, with crushed red pepper flakes too.  Let the strata rest for 20 minutes. At this point, you can prepare the strata up to a day ahead and store, covered, in the refrigerator.

6. Just before baking, sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and puffy.

pan-fried fish fillets with mediterranean tomato sauce

I’ve been cooking a lot with tomatoes lately!  Tomatoes are so versatile raw or cooked, so naturally, I had to try this new fish recipe. According to myrecipes.com, this recipe, if made with 6 ounce yellowtail snapper fillets with the skin on, amounts to 282 calories per serving. I used tilapia because it was available (and cheaper) but I think any white fish will do. The sauce has a nice light taste; not overpoweringly tomato-y. In fact,  all the flavors of the herbs come through, so be sure to use fresh as directed in the recipe.

Pan-Fried Fish with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce (adapted from myrecipes.com)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
2 cups chopped seeded plum tomato
1 1/2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (flat-leaf parsley in original recipe)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 pounds tilapia fillets (approximately 2 large fillets)

1. In a medium skillet heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add tomato to the pan and cook 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the capers, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, chives, and tarragon. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste. Cover the skillet to keep warm.

2. In a large nonstick skillet heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with about 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper per side. Add fish to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Turn the fish over; cook 3 minutes or until the fish turns white and flakes easily with a fork. Serve fish with the warmed sauce.

white beans with potatoes, kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes

Now this wasn’t hard to make; it just took longer.  Although it isn’t in the Quick and Easy category, it is perfect for a Sunday dinner when I have more time to cook. This recipe was originally called  White Beans and Lemon Potatoes with Olives and Tomatoes in Robin Robertson’s Vegan on the Cheap. It can either be a vegetable side or a main meal with a salad and another vegetable. I recommend roasted asparagus. This recipe doesn’t really need a lot of salt because of the tanginess of the lemon/lime juice and the olives, white beans, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Make 4 servings

White Beans with Potatoes, Kalamata Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients
2 pounds small white or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1×15.5 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
6-8 oven dried tomatoes cut into 1/4 inch strips (I used sun-dried tomatoes in oil)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
juice of 1 lemon or 1/2 lime

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Lightly oil a 9×13 inch baking pan. Add the potatoes and garlic, drizzle with a little oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until tender, about 40-45 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the oven. Add the beans, tomatoes, parsley, olives, and lemon or lime juice. Drizzle with a little more olive oil if needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine, then return to the oven to heat through, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Variations

  • Add sautéed spinach or other cooked vegetable to make a one-dish meal.
  • Substitute ripe black olives for the kalamata olives.
  • Add capers and/or chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil.

chicken sausage with kale and white beans

My cousin Karen sent me this recipe. With my busy schedule, is it ever quick and easy to put together! Dinner was ready in less than half an hour.

Ingredients
4-5 links of chicken sausage (I used Trade Joe’s red and green pepper chicken sausage)
2 cups canned Cannellini or white beans (can be dried and cooked instead of canned), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 bunch of kale, washed, dried and chopped (enough to fill one colander)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved) or 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil

Directions

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat; add the chicken sausage.
2. Cook for two to three minutes per side and remove from pan; slice each link one-inch thick. Reduce heat to medium high and add the chicken sausage back to the pan with the remaining olive oil and kale. Cook for two to three minutes to wilt the kale.
3. Add garlic, chili flakes, white beans and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Cook two to three minutes until chicken sausage is cooked through and flavors incorporate.
5. Toss with fresh basil and serve.

Nutrition
Calories: 282 Protein: 24 g Carbohydrates: 15 g Total fat: 15 g Saturated fat: 4 g

spice-rubbed pork tenderloin

A spicy pork tenderloin is paired with caramelized carrots. It is moist and tender. This is the entrée for a cold winter night. Or a summer picnic. I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit, which advises cooks to use either baby carrots or carrots cut to baby carrot length. The amounts given in the recipe were for two pounds of carrots and two pork tenderloins. I used one pound of carrots and 1 pork tenderloin and did not halve the seasonings. I’m glad I didn’t. The result was just right and full of flavor. My recommendation is to double the recipe for two pork tenderloins and two pounds of carrots. This is the second recipe  (chicken and fennel meatballs was the first) I’ve recommended a salsa verde and I didn’t make it!

Yield: Makes 6 servings

 Carrots:
1 pound baby carrots, peeled, trimmed
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeño (preferably red), seeded, if desired, and coarsely chopped (I used a frozen Thai chili pepper)
1 teaspoon honey (I used sugar free maple-flavored syrup)
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

 Pork:   
1 (1-to 1 1/4-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silver
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salsa Verde
1 can tomatillos
2-3 serrano chilies, seeded and chopped
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
salt to taste
olive oil to drizzle

 For carrots:
Arrange carrots on large rimmed baking sheet. Whisk 2 tablespoons water and all remaining ingredients in small bowl; pour over carrots and toss to coat. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Toss to coat before continuing.

For pork:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Roast carrot mixture covered until just tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, arrange pork tenderloin on another rimmed baking sheet. Stir oregano, cumin, chile powder, smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt in small bowl; rub mixture all over tenderloin.
  • Heat oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  • Return to rimmed baking sheet. Remove foil from carrots. Nestle pork among carrots on baking sheet, arranging carrots in single layer around pork.
  • Roast uncovered until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145°F,stirring carrots occasionally if beginning to caramelize, about 15-18 minutes.
  • Let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer pork to work surface. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange carrots on platter. Top with pork slices, drizzling any pan juices over the pork and carrots. Serve with a salsa verde, either home made or if you have no time to make one, store-bought.

Padma’s Bali Baked Fish with Coconut Green Beans

Padma's Bali Baked Fish with Coconut Green Beans

Want something spicy and flavorful? I never would have thought to add coconut to these green beans but it does counter the heat from the chilies and adds a flaky texture that’s quite a surprise outside a dessert. The Bali fish recipe itself is easy to make and cooks up in less than 30 minutes. In fact, I added a garlic-spinach sauté to the combination and it was delicious. These two recipes, Bali Baked Fish and Coconut Green Beans, both come from Padma Lakshmi via Glamour magazine.

Bali Baked Fish
2 pounds red snapper fillets (I used tilapia)
salt and pepper
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon ginger root, sliced into rounds
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons water
fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (I used chopped fresh cilantro and scallions)

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray cooking spray in a 9×13 inch glass baking dish.
Arrange the fillets in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In the work bowl of a food processor, add the onion, garlic, ginger root, tamarind paste, sesame oil, cumin, and 1 tablespoon water. Process. If the mixture is too thick, add another tablespoon water. Process until the mixture is puréed.

Pour mixture over the fish fillets. Turn to coat. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 5 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Squeeze on fresh lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle mint on top or cilantro and scallion if using. Serve with Coconut Green Beans and Garlic-Spinach Sauté.

Coconut Green Beans
2 tablespoons canola oil (I used cooking spray)
1 teaspoon mustard seed
2 tablespoons cashews
4 dried red chilies
1 1/2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
Salt

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add cashews and chilies. Once the cashews are toasted, add green beans and stir. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coconut and salt. Cook another 8 to 10 minutes while stirring. When green beans are cooked through but crisp-tender, remove from heat.

[My variation: Instead of sautéing the green beans, I blanched them for 3 minutes in boiling water then rinsed them in cold water to stop the cooking process. This makes the beans tender as well as sets a deep green color. I returned them to the skillet to re-heat with the cashew mixture then added the coconut and salt. I cooked the green bean mixture for another 2-3 minutes and it was done.]

Garlic-Spinach Sauté
3-6 oz. fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Chicken stock
Salt and pepper

To make this low calorie, I used chicken stock instead of oil. Heat about 3 tablespoons chicken stock in a large skillet on high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and toss to cook. Add more stock, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.