Category Archives: Pork

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.

Crockpot Pork Chops with Awesome Sauce

Gimme what you got for a pork chop!  I don’t know why I always end up singing that when I make pork chops.  I don’t know.  Anyway.

I had some pork chops in the freezer so I set out to find a “good crockpot recipe” using them.  The Crockin’ Girls website has a recipe called the Most Amazing Pork Chops Ever.  I wasn’t sure if I believed all that but the recipe called for blessed little, all things I happened to have on hand (with the exception of only one or two things), so I gave it a whirl.  It turns out they were not exaggerating.  Seriously yummy stuff!  The sauce/gravy (I hate gravy so I will call it sauce) is really what made it.  You will want to get some nice bread, maybe a sourdough, for dipping and sopping up that sauce.  Or you can just use a spoon.  I won’t judge you.  I used a small package of pork chops but it makes a lot of sauce so you can easily use a larger package.

The recipe called for a packet of dry onion soup mix, which I THOUGHT I had, but turned out I didn’t.  What I did have was Lipton Savory Herb with Garlic soup mix, so I used that.  It was SO good that I will make that change every time I make this.  My husband said “whatever you did this time, do it again!”  The picture isn’t great, it’s really hard to make a pork chop with gravy look good, I learned.

Crockpot Pork Chops with Amazing Sauce

Crockpot Pork Chops with Awesome Sauce
Recipe adapted from The Crockin’ Girls

Ingredients:
1 pkg. pork chops (mine were boneless, with four in it)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 envelope Lipton Savory Herb with Garlic soup mix
1 pkg. dry pork gravy mix (I used McCormick brand)
1.5 cups chicken broth

Method:

Spray the crock with nonstick spray and set the pork chops inside.  In a medium-sized bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together.  Pour on top of the pork chops and cover, then cook on LOW 8 hours.  Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

Smoked Pork and Black Eyed Pea Gumbo

Cochon and Cochon Butcher in New Orleans are two yummy restaurants.  A few years ago before I had eaten there, I looked up their menu online and was interested to see that they had some recipes posted.  One was for a black-eyed pea gumbo.  I was intrigued and saved the recipe.

Over the last few years I always thought about making that recipe, but it always seemed like something my guests would be weirded out at.  Finally I decided to just make it and see what happened.  I got all the ingredients before actually reading the recipe, and seeing that the pork was to be smoked.  My husband was at work and the weather report was calling for rain the next day, so if it was going to be smoked it was going to be me doing it.  After consulting with both my dad and my husband on the phone (many phone calls!) I was proud to say I smoked the meat all on my own.  I used pecan wood and a Hunters Game Rub from the Baton Rouge company Red Stick Spice.  I was so excited by the great smoke ring the meat had.

And my guests?  Loved it.  In fact, the guest that was the most skeptical asked for the recipe!  It had a ton of flavor and wasn’t hard at all to make – instead of smoking the meat you could always go to a bbq joint and get some already smoked pork.  I’m sure the original recipe intended for you to use fresh black eye peas and greens, but I just didn’t have the time and the canned worked just fine.  There was not a whole lot of black eye peas, if you want more of that you can use two cans.

Smoked Pork and Black Eyed Pea Gumbo

Smoked Pork and Black Eyed Pea Gumbo
Recipe adapted from Cochon

Ingredients:
1 cup oil/bacon grease
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 slices bacon
1 carton chicken broth
1 carton beef stock
1 can chicken broth
1 can beef broth
1 package frozen seasoning blend
1 spoon minced garlic
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp file’ powder
4 tbsp Creole seasoning
1/2-3/4 tbsp salt
6 cups water
1 can black eye peas, rinsed and drained
1 can turnip greens, liquid drained (I used the Glory brand seasoned greens)
3 lb. smoked pork butt, cubed
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 package sausage, cut into small rounds

Method:

In a small skillet, cook the four slices bacon until crisp.  Set the bacon aside and pour the bacon grease into a 1 cup measuring cup.  Add vegetable oil to the bacon grease, until it makes 1 cup oil/bacon grease.  Pour the oil into a large stockpot and heat over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the flour and make a roux – you want it to be the same brown as a paper bag.  Stir often, getting the corners of the pot to prevent burning.

Once the roux has reached the desired color, add your seasoning blend and minced garlic.  Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are tender, thenadd the water to break up the roux.  Once it comes to a slow boil again, add the rest of the ingredients.  Crumble the bacon and add it in as well.  Simmer a few hours, stirring occasionally.  Skim the oil off of the top then taste for seasonings.  Serve over rice or potato salad, or bot

My Smoked Pork Butt :)

Smoked Pork and Black Eyed Pea Gumbo

Check out the smoke ring!

Pork Tenderloin With Pan Sauce

For the last year or so, any time we have pork tenderloin it’s always a recipe my hubby makes, it’s amazing.  Sometimes it’s good to have a change though and when I saw the pork tenderloin with pan sauce on Pinterest, it kind of stuck in the back of my mind.  While digging through my freezer one day I found the perfect size little pork tenderloin and decided to make it.

One of the best things about this recipe (besides it being oh so tasty!) was that it uses things you normally would have on hand.  The only thing I had to go buy was parsley, and really that isn’t even necessary.  I set it all up to marinate in the morning and it was perfectly ready to go by the evening.  It was so delicious, I served it with broccoli and mashed potatoes and the pan sauce was so good that hubby put it on his mashed potatoes.

Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce

Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce
Recipe from Chef Mommy

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
juice from one lemon
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp dry mustard powder
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. pork tenderloin, silver skin removed

Method:

Combine all the ingredients and reserve 2-3 tbsp of the marinade.  Place the tenderloin with the marinade in a large Ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In an oven-safe hot skillet (I used cast iron) sear each side of the tenderloin over medium-high heat for two to three minutes.  Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the inside of the meat has reached 160 degrees.  Remove from the skillet and let rest for a few minutes before slicing.

While that’s resting, make the pan sauce.

Pan Sauce Ingredients:
Pan scrapings from the pork tenderloin
1/2 cup chicken broth
2-3 tbsp reserved pork marinade, thoroughly mixed
2 tsp butter

In the same skillet, add the chicken broth and cook over medium heat, being sure to scrape the bottom.  Add the marinade and let boil for 2-3 minutes, then add the butter and remove from heat, stirring until the butter has melted.  Pour over the sliced tenderloin.

Slow-Cooker Easy BBQ Ribs

It’s August, which in Louisiana means it’s really too hot to even go outside.  You don’t see people walking at the park, no kids riding their bikes.  The heat index is usually around 115.  You certainly don’t often see people outside grilling.  Who wants to stand over a flame in that kind of heat?

Crockpots are great for summer cooking, since they get the job done without heating up your whole house.  I couldn’t wait to try the crockpot ribs recipe I saw on Pinterest, but I was a little hesitant.  I just wasn’t sure how that would go.  I decided to finally give it a try and was so incredibly pleased.  Let me tell you, these ribs were TENDER.  Like hard to get out of the pot tender.  They just wanted to fall apart.  They are fantastic.  My husband says he thinks they’re better than his bbq ones.  I didn’t use the seasoning mixture it called for, simply because I had some on hand (Sweet Pecan Rub from Red Stick Spice) that used those ingredients, but I’ll post the recipe anyway with the seasonings.  Whatever you do, do not skip the broiler step.  It takes great ribs and just makes them better.  Mmm…

Note:  I normally use my bigger 6 qt slow cooker, but used my smaller 4 qt one for this because the ribs kept wanting to slide down since there was so much room.  If you don’t have a smaller one, you could make a ball out of foil to fill in some of the space.

Slow-Cooker Easy BBQ Ribs

Slow-Cooker Easy BBQ Ribs
Recipe from Mmm… is for Mommy

Ingredients:
1.5 tbsp sweet or smoked paprika
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
2.5 lbs pork back ribs – leave the membrane on the back to help hold them together
1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce, I used Stubbs
Nonstick spray

Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl, then rub all over both sides of the ribs.  Spray the crock pot bowl with nonstick spray, then place the ribs on their sides against the wall of the crockpot, thick side down and meaty side against the wall.  Drizzle your cup of bbq sauce over them, then cover and cook for 7 hours on LOW.

When 7 hours are up, cover a cookie sheet (rimmed pan) with foil, then place a rack inside of it (I used a cooling rack).  VERY carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place on the rack, meat side down.  They are going to try to fall all apart!  Place a strainer in a small saucepan and carefully pour the liquid that is remaining in the crockpot through the strainer.  Remove the strainer with the debris and bring the liquid to a boil.  Allow to cook, at a boil, for 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by a third.   Turn the broiler on to low and baste the ribs with the thickened liquid.  Make sure your oven rack is about 10 inches under the broiler element.  Cook under the broiler for three minutes before removing and carefully flipping over, meaty side up.  Baste again and cook for 9 minutes under the broiler, basting a couple of more times during that 9 minutes.

Remove and enjoy!  You can serve the remaining sauce on the side.

All you need to make great ribs!