Creamy Tomato Sauced Linguine with Prosciutto and Peas

Pasta-with-Tomato-Cream-Sauce-9 This is purely comfort food. Great for a winter meal, or any time you just want to get into your jammies and chow down on food that makes you warm and happy.

There are a lot of these recipes and I borrowed freely from about three coming up with my own twists.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box of pasta of your choice. I like linguine for this but you could use shells or rotini, or bowties for instance.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, microplaned
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 1/2 c finely minced onion
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 c good red wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese (best quality if you can)
  • 1 c cream
  • 6 oz prosciutto  diced, or bacon
  • 1 c peas (frozen is fine)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the pasta al dente. (You can do this early and place in a bowl and refrigerate until dinner time. Add a tablespoon of EVOO which will keep it from sticking. Take it from the fridge an hour before dinner or bring it to room temperature before you complete the dish before serving.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the garlic, keeping it cornered with the pan tipped so the garlic stays in the oil and doesn’t burn. Remove from burner entirely when the garlic smells fragrant.
  3. Add the onions and turn much lower and saute until softened and translucent.
  4. Pour in the wine and raise the temp a bit until it bubbles. Continue for a couple of minutes.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes, oregano  and pepper flakes, stirring it all together, and reducing to a simmer. Let this go for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. When you are about ready to serve, add the prosciutto and cheese along with the peas and stir in. Then add the cream.
  7. When the mixture is well stirred, add the pasta and turn with tongs until the pasta is well coated.
  8. Place all in a serving bowl with tongs to serve.
  9. Serve with additional cheese.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can use regular tomatoes in which case you should blanch them and remove the seeds and the skins. I’d say about 8 Romas would do. You need not use the prosciutto at all if you want to be meatless. Other vegetables than peas can also be used. Asparagus would work as would broccoli or green beans.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

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Pork Chops Smothered in Onions and Bacon

pork-chop This is one of the go-to recipes when unexpected company shows up or you want something a little more elegant for a quiet dinner for two. Either way, it’s fast and tasty.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 slices of bacon, diced and fried crisp.
  • 1 small-medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 pork chops bone-in or boneless
  • 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 1/2 c cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve.
  2. Fry the onions in the bacon grease until caramelized. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. Salt and pepper the pork chops and fry until well browned on both sides and reduce heat and continue cooking until done.
  4. Remove pork chops and add the broth and cream. Once it is nice and bubbly, add the butter in bits, and whisk in until the sauce thickens.
  5. Either plate the chops and cover with the onions and bacon and sauce, or leave the sauce in a gravy boat for individual adding.

SERVES: 2

NOTES: Add mushrooms if you wish. That would kick it out of the park. You might add some fresh thyme, parsley, or rosemary if you wish as well.

SOURCE: Adapted slightly from All Day I Dream About Food

Queso Fundido Mac & Cheese

fundito Fundido means molten or melted and that certain is the case here. The Internet is besieged with fundido recipes it seems, and so you should consider it molten in more than one way.

In other words, play with it and make it your own.

This plays with the concept of mac and cheese and takes it to an all-time high with chiles and chorizo and tons of cheese and crema.

It should be considered comfort food.

It should be considered in your next meal-planning session.

Trust me.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 ounces Mexican chorizo
  • 2 large poblano pepper
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 C  extra sharp cheese, shredded or a combination of Jack, cheddar, Queso Fresco etc.
  • 1½ cups Mexican crema
  • 8 ounces small pasta shells
  • ½ cup crushed, taco chips
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Canola or olive oil spray

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Blacken your chiles, peel, seed and chop and set aside.
  2. Brown your chorizo and 1/2 diced onion in a skillet and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour, stir to a roux and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the milk and cream and heat until it starts to simmer and thicken. Add the mustard and nutmeg.
  5. Add the cheese, and stir until melted. Add a bit of pepper.
  6. Cook the pasta until al dente.
  7. Drain and place in an oiled or buttered 10 x 14 baking dish
  8. Add the cooked chorizo, onions, and chiles.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and spread evenly.
  10. Cover with the panko/taco chips.
  11. Bake uncovered at 375° for about 30 minutes.
  12. Set to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

SERVES: 8 generously

NOTES: as always, substitute any peppers or add more. I added one chopped Serrano to the cheese sauce. Also you could use ground pork or ground beef if you don’t like chorizo, but you will lose a lot of flavor. If you do so, add a tbsp of chile powder and a tsp of cumin to the cheese sauce.  If you leave out the pasta, make in a cast iron skillet and put under the broiler to brown and serve with chips.

SOURCE: Hispanic Kitchen

Authentically Tasty Pork Carnitas

Carnitas 500 6487Like so much of Mexican cooking, every family has its own recipe. Nobody has “the” recipe. The one ingredient in all of course is pork.

In most of the authentic ones I’ve found, lard is another basic.

Now I know what you are going to say. Ewwww, no lard for me.

But if you will listen, we can get past this problem.

So scientifically, as I understand it, the lard is not absorbed. A chemically thing happens here. The meat has “juice” in it, aka, water. It also have some fat. If you keep the temperature fairly mild, the fat and collagen “render” out of the meat, but the lard acts as a barrier and prevents the water from escaping.

Thus at the end, you have a crispy (I’ll explain that too) outside, and an amazingly succulent, moist, literally melt-in-your-mouth interior.

Let me repeat again, the lard is not absorbed. You are using raw meat. You are not breading it like chicken. When you do that, the breading (flour and egg) do absorb the fat. That’s why the crust on fried chicken is greasy.

So if you have the nerve to give this a try, you will have the most amazing food experience ever. It literally makes your eyes bug out in pleasure.

So, are you game?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2½ – 3 pound pork butt or shoulder, cut into large pieces at least 2×2 inches in size (do not skimp on the size, trust me)
  • 1 pound lard (if you cannot find lard at your local market, use suet)
  • ½ orange, skin on, quartered
  • 1 lime, skin on, quartered
  • 4 medium garlic cloves skinned and left whole, slightly smashed
  • 1 jalapeno stemmed and sliced into ½ inch rings, seeds left in
  • 1 medium onion, skinned and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup bacon fat

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. In a dutch oven, or similar volume oven-proof vessel, place all ingredients. Cover with parchment and foil and bake for five hours.
  3. Remove from oven and scoop out meat with a hand strainer or spider strainer. Dispose of remaining liquids and solids.
  4. Place cooked pork on a foil-lined sheet pan, place under broiler for five minutes. If the bottoms seem too wet, flip the pork and broil the other side for another minute or two. This step needs to be watched – you want the meat to caramelize without burning it or drying it out.
  5. Serve simply in a warmed flour tortilla with chopped onion and cilantro.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can add sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, or anything else that makes you happy. This meat simply melts. If you cut up the meat into smaller chunks, it tends to disintegrate so keep them quite large. The tenderness is shocking actually. And there is no greasy taste or feel. You might well remove them from the original pan onto some paper towel first before transferring to the sheet for the broiler. Do not skip the broiler part. It adds significantly to the full mouth pleasure and taste. Anyone who tells you to substitute broth or other liquid for the lard is not giving you good advice. You meat will not be anywhere near as moist and tender. It will be dry and chewy.

SOURCE: A Family Feast

Medallions of Succulent Pork

baconwrappedporkThis is one of those really simple but so satisfying recipes. I like pork tenderloin well enough, but it can seem rather dry and unappealing sometimes no matter how much you season it outside.

This recipe seems to just make the most succulent, juicy tenderloin with plenty of flavor as well. It takes almost no time, and is adaptable to grill or stove top.

This is just the way I like it. You may vary the seasonings as you wish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 of a pork tenderloin, sliced in 1 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
  • A rub of your choice: I used salt, pepper, lemon pepper, oregano, a pinch of finely chopped rosemary, cayenne, paprika, granulated garlic.
  • a slice of bacon for each tenderloin piece

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Dry all your meat well with paper towelling.
  2. Mix up your spice mix–mixing it first allows for a more even distribution.
  3. Press the meat into the seasonings and around sides.
  4. Wrap a piece of bacon around each piece and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place in fridge uncovered  for about thirty minutes to further dry the surface.
  6. Place on the cool side of the grill (off direct heat) and cook until about 140°, or until nearly done.
  7. Then place directly over the heat and sear well on each side.
  8. Remove to a platter and cover lightly and let rest for 15 minutes.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: If you are doing indoors. Sear the meat first in a saute pan with a small bit of olive oil. Then transfer to a rack over a baking dish and roast at 425° for 20 minutes (check with a thermometer – 145° is your target. Take out at 140°) Let rest as usual.  You might also like to use a pat of garlic butter on the top of each to melt over.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

 

Chipotle Pulled Pork Enchiladas

chicken enchiladasOkay, let’s get a few things straight here. There are ten thousand “authentic” enchilada sauce recipes. Like any regional dish, everybody has their own recipe which is similar or very different from the people down the street. So there is no “real” enchilada sauce.

That being said, it is pretty much agreed that if you are talking about being reasonably authentic about Mexican cooking, no enchilada sauce has tomatoes in it. It’s a chile sauce, not a tomato sauce.

That also being said, this is a tomato based sauce which qualifies it as maybe being Tex-Mex. I’m sure plenty would dispute that.

And all that being said, this is an excellent tasting recipe. So if you decide to whirr it up, just call it a “Southwestern” style, enchilada.

Most people aren’t experts and won’t know the difference anyway.

INGREDIENTS:

Pork

  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin, shredded *see instructions below
  • 1 (8 ounce) beer
  • 1 bay leaf

Sauce

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2  chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 – 2 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce (depending on spice tolerance)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, roasted *see instructions below
  • 4 tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and roasted *see instructions below
  • ½ large white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)

Enchiladas

  • ½ cup canola oil, for frying
  • 12 – 18 corn tortillas, preferably white
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (preferably Enchilado or Muenster)Use whatever you like
  • 1/2 cup crema Mexicana or sour cream, for topping

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the pork tenderloin and bay leaf in a slow cooker; pour the beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6-8 hours.
  2. Discard the bay leaf. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred the meat. Set aside for assembly.
  3. Arrange tomatoes and tomatillos on a baking sheet. Place your oven rack as close to the broiler as possible.
  4. Broil the tomatoes and tomatillos for about 20 minutes until softened, turning over after 10 minutes. If the skin has blackened remove it. Set aside.
  5. In a blender place the can of diced tomatoes, chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes and roasted tomatillos, chopped onion, garlic cloves, flour, and water. Puree until smooth.
  6. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Pour mixture into skillet and stir. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons. If sauce is too spicy, add an additional can of tomato sauce and stir. If sauce is too thick, add water until desired constancy is reached, making sure to add more salt if necessary.
  7. In a large skillet, heat canola oil until hot. Fry tortillas until softened. Drain on paper towels.
  8. Place lightly fried tortillas, one at a time, in pot of warm red sauce, turning to coat. Place coated tortillas on serving plate.
  9. Fill with some of the shredded pork, some grated cheese and onions. Roll up and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish that has been oiled. Continue until the dish is filled. Ladle the sauce over the top and scatter plenty of cheese on top.
  10. Bake in a preheated  350° oven for about 20-30 minutes or until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You may have leftover sauce. Just freeze it for another use. The original recipe had this done as layered stacks. I prefer the roll. Also, I cut back on the chipotles which can be intense to the novice chile eater. More tomatoes is the way to tame this down if you find yours too hot.

SOURCE: White on Rice Couple

Fabulous Filipino Pork Barbecue

filipinoOh I can’t tell you how good this was.

It was just fabulous. As in seriously fabulous. As in make it again soon!

You could do this with chicken. I chose to use a big chunk of pork tenderloin, from a much larger pork roast that I got on sale. I chunked it up into three pieces and froze two for other uses.

The ingredients are pretty simple and it’s summer and grilling time, so get busy and heat up the grill, dinner is on the way.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Coke
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-4 lbs of pork shoulder or chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before use.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the meat in a plastic bag. Marinate in the fridge for several hours, better overnight if possible.
  2. Place them on wooden skewers, touching but not packed.
  3. Place on a hot grill.
  4. Take the marinade and place in a saucepan and heat to a boil, and then continue at a soft boil reducing to a more syrupy consistency.
  5. Baste the meat as it cooks on the grill, at least a couple of times. Let it get really crispy around the edges, caramelizing the sauce.

SERVES: 2 lbs should serve 8 easily

NOTES: I haven’t tried it with chicken but it should work fine.  You can also do this in the oven. I would said 425° on a roasting pan, probably on a rack for 30 minutes. Check for doneness.

SOURCE: Serious Eats