Category Archives: Pork

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche

We’ve got chickens now so we have eggs-a-plenty.  You know, you can only eat so many scrambled eggs before you’re DONE!  We had a surplus in the fridge that needed to get used up so I set out looking for a recipe that looked good, and more importantly, called for many eggs!

I found just what I was looking for in this bacon jalapeno popper quiche.  I don’t normally like quiches that do not have a crust bottom.  The texture just doesn’t make me happy.  This one called for my favorite things, I knew it couldn’t go wrong.  I made it first several months ago and we have cooked it countless times since.  It’s definitely a winner, with a nice fresh salad on the side!

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Quiche
Recipe adapted from:  Real House Moms

Ingredients:
1 9-inch frozen pie crust (I used deep dish), defrosted
1/2 block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 jalapenos, diced and seeded
1 jalapeno, deseeded and cut into rounds (it can be hard to scoop out the seeds while not cutting the jalapeno, but the seeds DO make it spicier so fair warning here!)4 slices cooked crispy bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup half and half
5 large eggs
1 tsp creole seasoning (Tony’s)
salt to taste
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prick the pie crust all over with a fork, then bake for 10 minutes.  Remove and lower the temperature of the oven to 350.

While the crust is hot, spread the cream cheese evenly over the bottom, then top with the diced jalapenos.  In a small pot, bring the whipping cream and half and half to a warm temperature, but do not scald.  Beat the eggs in a bowl, then whisk the hot cream into the eggs.  Add the bacon, creole seasoning and salt, then pour into the pie crust.

Bake for thirty minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle the cheese on top, then arrange the jalapeno slices on top of the cheese.  Bake another 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and turning a golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Easy Oven Jambalaya

A while back my coworker Kim had the misfortune of her freezer messing up.  She had to quickly cook a lot of the meat she had frozen and one of the things she cooked was this easy oven jambalaya.  She brought some to work for our lunch the next day and it was SO good!  She gave me the recipe and I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve made it since.  My husband is always asking for it, even my picky daughter loves it!

The recipe calls for Uncle Ben’s original rice.  Make sure to get that, Kim said that it does make a difference!  The ingredients do sound a bit strange for a jambalaya but trust me, this is one of the best jambalayas I’ve ever had!  You can be creative with your proteins also.  While jambalaya does typically contain chicken and sausage, shrimp would be delicious and so would crawfish (I know because I did it!).

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Easy Oven Jambalaya
Recipe from the Barth/Cutrera Family

Ingredients:
1 can French Onion Soup
1 can beef broth
1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup green onions
2 cups Uncle Ben’s Original uncooked rice
1 tbsp minced garlic
Tony’s Creole seasoning and thyme to taste
1 lb. boneless diced chicken and sliced smoked sausage (or shrimp, or crawfish)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients.  Pour into an oven-safe casserole that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.  Cover with foil and bake for an hour and a half.

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Roasted Garlic Glazed Pork Loin

A while back we had a teachers appreciation lunch at my school. They served a pork tenderloin that was so good, I got the recipe for it. Then not long afterwards, a friend gave me a jar of roasted garlic pepper jelly. The recipe called for preserves, so I knew what the jar of pepper jelly was going to go to!

This recipe is really easy and it does not disappoint. Below is the information where you can get your own jar of Bulldog Pepper Jelly Brand Roasted Garlic Pepper Jelly. But you could use this recipe with whatever jelly/preserves makes your taste buds go “mmmm”! At the lunch, they used orange marmalade, but said that apricot preserves are even better.

Bulldog Pepper Jelly – “The jelly with a BITE!”
bulldogpepperjelly@gmail.com 337-540-7259

Bulldog Pepper Jelly Roasted Garlic Pepper Jelly

Bulldog Pepper Jelly
Roasted Garlic Pepper Jelly

Roasted Garlic Glazed Pork Loin

Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin
Tony’s Creole Seasoning, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Kitchen Bouquet (Browning liquid)
1/2 jar Roasted Garlic Pepper Jelly (about 1 cup)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season tenderloin generously with Tony’s, set aside.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Brown the tenderloin on both sides, adding a little Kitchen Bouquet for added color.

In a small bowl, mix the jelly, mustard and Worcestershire.  Brush the browned pork with the glaze, then put in the oven for 30 minutes.  Check for doneness using a meat thermometer.  Add more glaze then cook longer if needed.

Once done, remove from the oven and allow it to sit for at least ten minutes before slicing, to retain juices.  Spoon more glaze over the top when serving.

Roasted Garlic Pork Loin

Roasted Garlic Pork Loin

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

“It’s gumbo weather” is a phrase you hear a lot in Louisiana.  What is gumbo weather?  Well basically any temperature under 80 degrees! We had a cool weekend last weekend and I bet you could smell roux cooking from one end of the state to the other!

I couldn’t believe that my gumbo recipe wasn’t on my blog.  I still can’t believe it.  I have several other versions of gumbo but this is a basic traditional version.  I opt to use chicken broth and stock to make it richer and more flavorful.  I’ve heard we are supposed to have a cold winter, so better keep the recipe handy!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
A Cooking With Christen Original

Ingredients:

1 carton chicken broth
1 carton chicken stock
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen cut okra, cooked down (I cook it in oil until it’s not “slimy” anymore)
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 pkg boneless chicken thighs – raw and cut up (I try to cut some of the fat off)
1 pkg smoked sausage or andouille, cut into bite size pieces
1 cooking spoon full of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Chili powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
1-2 bay leaves if you have some
Salt & Tony’s – season to taste
½ cup oil
½ cup flour

Note:  I have never actually measured my seasonings so just do taste tests and add until it tastes good.

Method:

Make a roux:  heat oil in large stockpot.  Once hot, add flour and stir constantly until it’s the color of a brown paper bag.  It’s time consuming but it’s the key.  Make sure to scrape the sides and corners of the pot.

While you’re making your roux, put your sausage in a microwave-safe bowl and add water just till the sausage is covered.  Microwave for about 8 minutes.  Drain in the sink into a colander and rinse well.  You want to get some of that fatty grease out.

Once your roux is brown enough, add onion, bell pepper and minced garlic, cook until veggies are soft.  Add Rotel, chicken broth and chicken stock, stir well and let heat up again to a slow boil.  This is a good time to start adding the rest of your dry seasonings and Worcestershire sauce.

Once boiling again, add chicken, sausage and okra and let simmer about an hour and a half or until chicken is cooked through.  The longer you let it cook, the better it will taste.  If it looks too thick, you can add more chicken broth or water

Check seasonings and add anything you find it might be missing.

Serve over rice or for the traditional southern Louisiana version, serve over potato salad.

 

 

Cajun Empanadas (Boudin-Stuffed Empanadas)

We really do not go out to eat often.  There was a time when we did, but now with a child, a mortgage, tuition…well there are just more important things to spend money on!  When we do go out to eat we like to go somewhere GOOD.  A local restaurant serves food made from local ingredients, and we love going there.  Not only is it delicious and a fun night out, but we also like supporting local businesses.

As food nerds, we like to try to figure out how they make things and try to recreate them at home.  One thing we did that with recently was the Cajun empanadas.  It was one of those meals that just made you go “mmmmm” with your first bite.  They were made of puff pastry filled with smoked boudin, and you dipped it in buffalo queso.  I never would have thought to combine those things but oh my, was it amazing!  We bought two different boudins from Guillory’s, the regular smoked and jalapeno smoked.  The regular smoked were just kind of plain tasting, but the jalapeno ones were just right, without being too spicy.  These would be fantastic if you made them smaller as an appetizer I think.  Here is what we created:

Cajun Empanadas

Cajun Empanadas

Cajun Empanadas

Ingredients:

1 pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 lb. GOOD smoked boudin (the best locally is the jalapeno smoked boudin at Guillory’s in Pineville), removed from casing
1 egg
queso for dipping

Method:

Preheat oven to temperature recommended on the puff pastry box.  On a floured surface, roll the thawed pastry out to thin it out.  Using a bowl, cut out round shapes, whatever size you want.  Fill halfway with boudin, then fold one half over the other and seal.  You may need to rub a little water on the dough to make it seal properly.  Take a fork and crimp the edges.  Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Before baking, whisk egg and a little water together and lightly brush on top of each empanada.  Bake until golden brown and flaky.  Serve warm with warmed queso to dip it in.

 

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I’ve been seeing pictures of stuffed squash blossoms in the foodie world for a while now, and I’ve been intrigued.  I love squash and really had no idea what in the world this might taste like.  So when my brother-in-law planted a ton of squash, I kept my fingers crossed that I could persuade him to let me have some blossoms.  And he did!

I found a recipe in Cooking Light for the stuffed blossoms, and that magazine has never steered me wrong so I went with it.  They are stuffed with a homemade pimiento cheese, how yum!  I love pimiento cheese, but only if it’s homemade.  The store-bought junk is awful so if you think you don’t like it, and that’s all you ever had, then try again.  This recipe was pretty easy to make, I think it makes a difference to roast the peppers yourself, rather than the jarred kind.  The blossoms themselves really didn’t have much of a taste, they were primarily a vehicle for serving up that delicious pimiento cheese!  This would be a great (visually impressive) appetizer for a small dinner party.

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Recipe from Cooking Light, June 2013

Ingredients:
1 small red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1/2 cup fat-free cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp. minced green onions
1 tbsp. mayo
1/2 tsp hot sauce (I used Tabasco garlic flavor)
dash of ground red pepper
2.5 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used a Cabot Vermont white)
1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 fresh squash blossoms, thoroughly washed

Method:

Set the broiler to high and place the bell pepper halves skin side up on a pan covered with foil and sprayed with nonstick spray.  Broil until they are blackened, then place in a paper bag, closed well for five minutes.  (I had never heard of this approach but it worked well!)  Peel the blackened skin off and dice the bell pepper.

In a bowl, combine the diced bell pepper and all of the rest of the ingredients (except the squash blossoms) until well-mixed.  VERY carefully (use a very small spoon) stuff the mixture into the squash blossoms and serve.

Cracklin’ Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

This recipe is actually my husbands’ brainchild.  He went hunting this weekend and planned on cooking duck wraps, but due to too many hands in the kitchen, his duck was boiled instead of defrosted.  The duck ended up going in the gumbo and he was left with a bunch of jalapenos and cream cheese and nothing to do with it.

Down the road from the camp is a store that sells fresh boudin and cracklins.  He had some “cracklin crumbs” which are basically what is left after all the big chunks of cracklins are gone.  He likes to put it in cornbread.  He took those and created something so delicious that when he came home from hunting, he had to go buy the stuff to make more!  These were phenomenal and would be a huge hit for a Super Bowl Party.  Just sayin’.  ;)

Cracklin' Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

Cracklin’ Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

Cracklin’ Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
A Cooking With Christen original recipe

Ingredients:

1 dozen jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
1 block cream cheese, softened
3/4 crushed FRESH cracklin’ crumbs
1 tbsp hot sauce of your choice
sharp cheddar cheese to top

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix the cream cheese, cracklin’ crumbs and hot sauce until evenly distributed.  Spread onto each jalapeno half, top with shredded cheese and place on a baking sheet.  Bake until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden.    Serve warm.