Black Beans & Rice with Sausage

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Ingredients
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked white rice

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2-3 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 t paprika
cilantro, to taste
3 cooked black beans
1lb cooked sausage of your choice

Directions
In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes.

Cut sausage into approx. quarter inch discs, saute in pan until heated through.

To rice, add the spices, black beans, and sausage. Mix and serve.

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Pork Shoulder Ragu

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I tried this recipe after a recommendation from our friends Lindsey and Bethany. It’s a good one! Getting it in the oven on time was my biggest challenge, but after that, it’s SO SO simple. Great flavor & hard to mess up, this one’s a winner.

2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small pat butter
1 large can whole tomatoes, with juice
1 cup red wine
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh oregano
Small handful of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness (I used Trader Joe’s Hot Chili Sauce)
Pappardelle
Freshly grated Parmesean

Preheat oven to 325°F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all.

Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.) Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir. Cook 1 to 2 pounds pasta according to package directions. When it’s is ready, put into individual bowls and top with ragu and lots of Parm.

**I try to always include the recipe as its creator intended, and then share my own changes below. I used sriracha for the hot sauce (and estimated rather than measured), and replaced pappardelle with egg noodles. No fresh herbs, used dried instead. Other thoughts are recorded at www.tredways.org.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

This was recently prepared at one of my company’s lunches and is a great autumn dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 2 lbs. pork tenderloin
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rub minced garlic into the pork.
  3. In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, and thyme.
  4. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the tenderloin and rub it into all sides. Make sure you cover all sides.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tenderloin.
  6. Fill roasting pan with about 1 inch of warm water.
  7. Place pork tenderloin in roasting pan.
  8. Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes per pound or until tenderloin reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. Pork will still be a bit pink at this temperature. If you want it more well-done, cook to an internal temperature of 150-160 degrees.
  9. Remove pork from oven and let it stand for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Transfer to cutting board and slice into smaller pieces.

Hard Cider Braised Pork Roast

Tonight was the second time I’ve made a pork roast using this recipe. And while the recipe was quite good as written, this time we made a substitution that changed it enough (in a good way) that I think it deserves its own post. Since Jason doesn’t love beer, I swapped out the beer for hard cider (I used Woodchuck), and the result was, in my opinion, markedly more delicious, even though I really like the beer version too. (I also used regular paprika, since smoked paprika isn’t my favorite. I really don’t know if it makes a difference or not.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 3 pounds pork butt roast, cut into 3– to 4–inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into quarters
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into big chunks
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2 12-ounce bottles Woodchuck or other hard cider
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) beef broth

Directions:

  1. Combine the brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, oregano, and seasoned salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Rub the dry spice mixture over the pork pieces until well coated and refrigerate 4–24 hours.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Sear the meat on each side and add to a large slow cooker.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, hard cider, and beef broth to the slow cooker.
  5. Stir all of the ingredients and cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Ham and Cheese Sliders

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These are a surprise hit with the kids. In fact, they’ve lately become my go-to thing for something easy I know they’ll eat. I usually make 6 to 8 sandwiches.

Ingredients:

  • Rolls of some kind (we usually use hamburger buns, but you could also use cocktail buns)
  • 1/2 pound (ish) sliced ham (I have used deli ham as well as leftover Easter ham)
  • Swiss cheese (one slice for each sandwich)
  • mayonaise (a little for each sandwich; optional)
  • honey mustard sauce (recipe follows)

for the sauce

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (yellow or Dijon, as you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried minced onion (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with foil (for easy cleanup)
  2. Assemble the sandwiches (minus the honey mustard sauce) on the cookie sheet
  3. Mix all the sauce ingredients together and brush on top of each bun (if I have extra sauce, and I usually do, I just lift up the top of each bun and brush some sauce on top of the cheese)
  4. Bake, covered with foil, for 10 min; remove the foil and bake another 2 minutes

Asian-Style Braised Pork Loin

This dish was super easy and delicious. The boys asked for seconds (actually, Simon ate thirds), and I’ve never seen Simon eat so much broccoli. Win, win, win, win. 

I didn’t use the green onions (Simon doesn’t like “yunyuns,” and I am trying to avoid mealtime drama). I didn’t have reduced-sodium soy sauce, so I used regular. It was plenty salty, so I would definitely suggest going for the reduced-sodium version if you can. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 quarter-sized slices unpeeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 8–16 ounces broccoli (1–2  bunches)

Directions:

  1. Combine water, 4 green onions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and star anise in a medium Dutch oven. Add pork and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 40 minutes, turning pork after 20 minutes. Turn pork again and simmer until meat thermometer inserted into center of pork reads 145 degrees (about 12 minutes). Transfer to cutting board and let cool.
  2. Pour pot liquid through sieve into glass measuring cup or bowl.
  3. To make sauce, combine 3 tablespoons cooking liquid and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil in small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Steam broccoli, then toss with 1/2 cup cooking liquid and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil in medium bowl.
  5. Cut pork into slices. Transfer pork and broccoli to plater; drizzle with sauce and remaining 2 green onions.

Soy-Braised Pork Tenderloin, Mushrooms, and Leeks

(Originally posted in April 2011.) I put off trying this recipe because I was intimidated by leeks. I finally watched a few YouTube videos about how to clean them, and I’m glad I did. Leeks are delicious, and this super-easy recipe has become a once-a-week staple at our house.

Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 leeks, cleaned and halved lengthwise
  • 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1-inch thick medallions
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet on medium for 1 minute. Carefully place leeks, cut sides down, across the bottom of the hot pan. Cook undisturbed for 4 minutes, then flip over.
  2. Add mushrooms and soy sauce. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and ginger and continue to simmer for at least 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In another large skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil on medium for 1 minute.
  5. Arrange pork in pan. Cook 2 minutes, then flip over each medallion and repeat until pork is cooked through.
  6. Add medallions to leeks mixture. Deglaze the skillet used to cook pork by removing it from heat and adding 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Rub spatula across bottom of pan several times to bring up the juices and add to the mushroom mixture.
  7. Cook everything, uncovered, for 2 minutes over medium heat.