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Monday, August 8, 2016

Southwestern Turkey Soup

Soups are quick and easy and create a break in the dull routine of the usual meals. They can be used as first course or main course. Thus ground turkey recipe is also lo-cal and good for you.

                                                 Southwestern Turkey Soup

1# ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 seeded, minced jalapeno
1 tsp minced ancho chili with adobo sauce (Caution: Hot!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced red or green bell peppers
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (retain a few for garnish)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup cooked and drained black beans
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (retain half for garnish)
1 cup crispy tortilla strips (retain some for garnish)

In a heated stew pot, add oil, and onions  and saute until translucent. Add garlic for 1 minute. Break up ground turkey and add to pot, stirring to break up large clumps. Saute until almost cooked. Add carrots, bell peppers, jalapenos, and ancho chilis. Stir in tomato paste. Add broth, black beans, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover, add tomatoes, cilantro, and tortilla strips, retaining part of each ingredient for garnish.

Serve and garnish.  Quick, easy, and delicious.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summer Grilled Southwestern Pork Chops

Summer grilling is the most enjoyable way to cook. Sitting outside with a cold beverage and conversation with friends beats a kitchen any time. Pork is a healthy meat choice. This recipe combines traditional with a southwestern flavor.

                               Summer Grilled Southwestern Pork Chops

6 bone-in pork chops, 1/2-in thick
3 Tablespoons AP flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced

Mango-Orange Salsa

1 tsp lime zest
1 1/2 cup red onion, small diced
1/4 cup jalapenos, diced
1 1/2 cup mango, diced
1 cup Mandarin oranges, small diced
1/4 cup Mandarin orange juice
1/2 cup red delicious apple, peeled and small diced
salt/pepper to taste

Pork Chop Marinade

Mix flour, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper, and dried thyme. Add to large Ziploc bag. Place pork chops in bag and shake to thoroughly coat.

Oil grill. Preheat to medium-high. Place chops on grill. Cook one side for two minutes, then turn 1/4 turn for grill marks. Cook 5-6 more minutes. Turn over and repeat. Sprinkle with lime juice before removing from heat. Total cooking time should be between 13-15 minutes.

Mango-Orange Salsa

Mix  red onion, jalapenos, mango, apple, and mandarin oranges. Add lime zest and juice of 1 lime and Mandarin juice. Season with salt and pepper 

Place a spoonful on top of each chop before serving.

Excellent side dish:

Grilled Potatoes in Lime Butter.

5 large Yukon Gold potatoes, thin sliced
1/2 lime, juiced
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt/pepper to taste
6 large squares aluminum foil

Mix basil, lime juice, cayenne pepper, and softened butter. Place a portion of sliced potatoes in the middle of aluminum square, Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold edges to make a foil packet. Keep as thin as possible for proper cooking. Place potato foil packets at edges of grill while cooking chops. Start 4-5 minutes before cooking chops. When done, potatoes should be fork tender. Serve with chops.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chinese New Year Lemon Chicken

To honor Chinese New Year, and because I love Chinese food, here is a great chicken recipe to break that old fried or baked habit.

                           Chinese Lemon Chicken

4 chicken thighs, boned, skinned and cubed, or 2 breasts
3 Tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
3 Tablespoon cooking oil
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tsp lemon zest
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup white rice flour
2 green onions, chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Make a marinade with oyster sauce, sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, and 1/4 cup water. Add chicken. Let chill and stand for 1 hour.  Drain.

Place chicken in beaten egg mixed with 1/4 cup water. Heat saute pan over medium heat, add cooking oil. Add salt, white pepper, and lemon zest to rice flour. Dredge chicken in flour, add to hot saute pan. Cook and stir until cooked (About 5 minutes). Add a little water when cooked to make a light sauce.

Serve over rice. Sprinkle sesame seeds and green onions on serving.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas in Salsa Verde

If you love Mexican food as I do, you are undoubtedly familiar with pork carnitas. This roasted pork dish can be made with little effort using a slow cooker to slowly bring spices and the natural sweet pork flavor together in a fiesta for your tongue.

                             Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas in Salsa Verde  

Cook time: 6 hours
Note: For less spice heat, substitute 2 whole jalapenos instead of ancho chilis. Remove jalapenos before serving.

2# pork shoulder or pork loin
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon rough ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin powder

1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 white onion, fine chopped
1 roasted ancho chili with 1 teaspoon Adobo Sauce (Store remainder of can in Tupperware container. It will keep a very long time) 
1/2 cup cilantro, fine chopped (If you prefer, use parsley)
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
2 limes, juiced
2 cans (4oz) Salsa Verde
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons olive oil

Preheat large skillet over medium-high heat.
Preheat slow cooker on  low heat.

Mix salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cumin together. Rub pork shoulder with spice mix. Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to skillet. Sear shoulder in skillet by turning .

Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil to slow cooker. Add pork shoulder. Add garlic, onion, oregano, half (1/4 cup) of cilantro or parsley, and add ancho chili with Adobo sauce. Add 1/2 cup water to slow cooker. Squeeze juice of 2 limes over the top of pork.  

Cover and cook for 5 1/2 hours on low. Drain liquid from slow cooker, add Salsa Verde, and cover and cook for additional 20-30 minutes.  Pork should pull apart with a fork when done.

Serve over rice with remainder of cilantro or parsley for garnish, or serve with flour tortillas for soft tacos.