CONTEST WINNING RECIPE!!!

I owe my cousin Rebecca Wetzel the credit for many good things in life. She introduced me to the world’s best dog, the dachshund. She knows how to make nachos, and the best toppings for pizza. When I wondered what the difference between conservatives and liberals was, she was the first person I asked. (And her tenth-grade explanation was probably better than any I would articulate now.) She pioneered the path to Grove City College, where I found my closest friends, met my husband, and – in about every way – grew up. She is a hero of mine for many reasons, and her culinary art is just cheese on the fries. (Get it? Icing on the cake?)

Rebecca submitted two of her all-star recipes for my blog’s recipe contest. This Pulled Beef Barbeque recipe is terrific. I think the first time I had it was in Rebecca’s apartment where it had been simmering for a few hours. If I remember correctly, I ate it for about three meals that day. Here are Rebecca’s notes.

This came from Taste of Home about 18 yes ago or so. It is designed to be eaten on rolls as a sandwich, but if allergies prevent that, it would be good straight of the plate, too. This can be made ahead of time. It reheats very well, especially in a crock pot.

4 lbs chuck roast (it can be in more than one piece)
3 Tbs cooking oil
2 large onions, minced
1 cup ketchup
1 cup beef broth
2/3 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs worchestire sauce
2 Tbs yellow mustard
2 Tbs molasses
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper

Add the oil to a deep skillet and brown the beef on all sides. Remove the beef and place into a roasting pan. Add all other ingredients to the skillet. Bring to a oil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour this liquid over the beef. Cover and roast at 325 for 2 hours. Flip beef over. Cover and roast for another 2 hours. It should be tender enough to easily pull apart with a fork Remove the meat from the roaster and shred. Put the shredded beef back into the liquid and mix together.

I highly recommend this recipe. Goes great for Saturday football days! Thanks for passing along, Rebecca!

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Yummy Fall Recipe: Rachel Ray’s Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Pork Chop with Cider Gravy, Sauteed Apples and Onions

This allergy-friendly recipe was DELICIOUS. Unfortunately, pork chops are my nemesis. All I will say is to make sure you cook them for MORE than this recipe says and make sure they are done :). I will leave it at that. But truly, this was such a wonderful recipe and perfect for fall.  Way to go, Rachel. Oh, and I’ll also add this. It’s probably better for a night you will have an extra hand with kids, if you have kids. It is a little time-intesive just at the very end. But very worth it!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Salt
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, 1-inch thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, yellow or red, thinly sliced
  • 2 Gala or Golden Delicious apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons butter (dairy-free)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 rounded tablespoons orange marmalade

 

Directions

In a medium pot add sweet potatoes and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until fork tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

 Season chops with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork 5 minutes on the first side until deeply golden, turn and cook 3 to 4 minutes more with a loose foil tent over the pan. Remove cooked chops to a plate and cover to keep warm. Add another turn of the pan of olive oil, add the onions and apples. Season with salt, pepper and thyme and cook until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Douse with juice of a lemon and remove onions and apples to a bowl; keep warm.

 Add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet, melt then whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in cider and 1 cup of stock. Season the gravy with salt and pepper. Thicken 4 to 5 minutes over medium-low heat.

 Drain cooked sweet potatoes and return pan to stove. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and combine with marmalade and 1 cup stock. Add potatoes and mash, season with salt and pepper.

 Serve chop covered with apples and onions, gravy poured down, and sweet potatoes aside.

Honey-sesame pork tenderlion

My favorite, favorite, favorite food resource is America’s Test Kitchen. They wrote my favorite cookbook, and publish my favorite cooking magazine. This is a really good recipe for those pork tenderlions that are always on sale at Harris Teeter. The recipe is for a whole tenderloin, but I usually cook half and freeze half. This is by far the best pork glaze I’ve ever had. I like serving itover rice.

2 T sesame seeds

3 T oil

pork tenderloins

salt and pepper

1/2 c honey

1/2 c cider vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Toast sesame seeds in skillet for 3 minutes. Set aside
  2. Heat 1T oil in empty skillet. Pat pork dry and coat with salt and pepper. Cook until browned on all sides, 5-8 minues. REduce heat to medium, add honey, 1/2 c vinegar, and cook, until mixture is syrupy and pork registers 145 degrees, about 10 minues. Transfer and let rest 5 minutes before cutting.
  3. Cut, spread glaze over pork, and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Caramelized Onion and Chicken Tostadas

Unlike my sister Julie, I don’t invent recipes. I copy, I adapt, I follow recipes. So when I DO invent a recipe, I am so. stinkin. proud. Add to it that tonight I put this together in 30 minutes. And it was delicious!! So good! I guess this is just another testiment to the vast amount of things that can be accomplished when your husband is home.

Ingredients:

  • 8 corn or flour tortillas – 6 inch
  • can of black beans
  • 1/2 lb. meat of your choice. (I usually hate when recipes say this, because it reminds me of the “choose your adventure” books and how good could a recipe be if something like meat is not specific? However, honestly – lots of things would be so yummy here. Leftover pork tenderloin, rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken breast, ground turkey, ground beef.)
  • one onion
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • cilantro
  • mexican spice mix (if you don’t have something along these lines available a splash of Tabasco would work)

Instructions:

  • Toast tostadas: Brush each side with olive oil. Put under the broiler for 3 minutes, watching closely. When they are browned, flip sides. Set them aside.
  • Caramelize onion: Slice onion vertically. Put in a pan with steaming olive oil on medium heat. Cook for a while until they are brown in color. I add 1/2 t of sugar about halfway through.
  • Prepare meat: saute ground beef or grill chicken breast and slice. Set aside.
  • Dice avocado and tomato and wash and chop cilantro.
  • Layer tostadas: tortilla, onion, meat, beans. If you are like me and like your food very HOT to taste, stick these layered tortillas back under the broiler at this point. Then add avocado, tomato, and cilantro.
  • Serves 4.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

(adapted from myrecipes.com)

 Go ahead and season the other tenderloin in the package, wrap and freeze to short-cut another meal.

Yield:  Makes 4 servings

 1 (1-lb.) pork tenderloin

1 teaspoon McCormick Grill Mates Montreal steak seasoning

3 bacon slices, cut in half crosswise (Hormel Natural Choice Bacon or Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon)

 1. Preheat oven to 425°. Remove silver skin from pork tenderloin, leaving a thin layer of fat covering the pork. Sprinkle seasoning over pork. Wrap pork with bacon slices, and secure with wooden picks. Place pork on a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined roasting pan.

2. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 155°. Increase oven temperature to broil. Broil 5 inches from heat 3 to 5 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove from oven; cover pork with foil, and let stand 10 minutes or until thermometer registers 160°.

Serve with baked sweet potatoes and steamed vegetables.