Garlic & Herb Boneless Pork Loin

There is nothing better then grabbing a deal at the grocery store.  I don’t know about you, but I constantly feel like I’m grocery shopping.  I get these ideas of something I want to make and no matter how much meat I have in my freezer I have to go out and buy something new.  I’ve never been good at couponing but I’ve been trying to take advange of local deals.  I got a boneless pork loin for so cheap I had to buy 2 of them, right?  I like to wrap up the extra one and put in the freesor for another time.  It’s always good to have a nice roast to make!

So, let me tell you about this pork loin.  I’ve never been a huge pork fan.  I think because I don’t like it with the pink tint, even though I know it’s safe to eat.  I also don’t like overcooked pork.  It’s super easy to overcook it. I bet most people overcook it and don’t even realize it.   My mom really likes pork, she loves pork tenderloin and the pork loin so  I have been making it more often.  I’ve just been switching up the recipes!

This pork loin recipe is one of my favorites.  It’s simple, flavorful and if cooked correctly so moist and tender. And the best part is the crispy top!  I’m a sucker for a crispy skin or crispy fat.

Garlic & Herb Boneless Pork Loin

Ingredients: 
4-5lb boneless pork loin
3 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
1/2 T dried parsley
1/2 T Garlic & Herb Seasoning
2 t onion Powder
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 half sheet aluminum baking pan (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven 375.  In a small bowl mix together the olive with all spices and garlic, set aside.  Add pork loin to a oven safe baking dish, I use a throw away aluminum baking pan.  Add the pork loin fat side up.  Pork loin usually has a side with more fat, make sure that side is up.  Pat the pork down with a paper towel. (This will help get the crispiness I love)

Next, give that pork loin an olive oil bath. Rub the olive oil mixture into the pork making sure to cover the entire thing, make sure the top is fully covered.  Place in the oven, uncovered for 18-20 minutes per pound. You’re looking for 145-160 on an instant read thermometer. I personally still can’t get behind eating pork where it’s pink, but watch the temperature because you can overcook it quickly.  I like my pork to be glistening white when sliced. Good rule of thumb is to always start with less time as to not overcook the meat.  You can always put it back in the oven.

Once meat reaches your desire temperature remove from the oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.  Slice and serve.

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Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

I’m always looking to try new food creations and that’s exactly how this came to be.  Yes, it’s another pulled pork recipe.  Who doesn’t like pulled pork?  This can very easily be made with bbq chicken as well.

While I was in culinary school we made polenta often.  I will tell you right now, I haven’t made it in years.  I cheated in this recipe and actually bought an organic polenta I found in a roll at the store.  When I was shopping and came across it, I just had to buy it and give it a try.  Hey, it is organic.  I’m sure it’s not the greatest since it’s in a roll, duh! However, sometimes you just need to give something a try.  It worked out perfectly for what I was wanting to use it for.

This recipe is pretty simple and would be PERFECT for a small dinner party.  I’m not adding my pulled pork recipe but if you need it, check it out in my previous blogs.  This is simply going to be giving directions on how to crisp up this rolled polenta  and assembling.  The flavors in this recipe are amazing. From the creamy ricotta to the heat from the pulled pork and the jalapeño this is one delicious bite of food.

Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

Ingredients:
Polenta roll, sliced 1/2 inch slices
4 T butter
1 T Olive Oil
3/4 cup ricotta
2 jalapeños, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cups cooked pulled pork

Directions:  Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add in half the butter and olive oil and heat 2 minutes.  Add in sliced polenta and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.  Next add in the remainder of the butter and oil and flip the polenta and cook for another 4-5 minutes.  You can cook longer to your preferred the polenta cake crispier.  Remove the polenta cake and place on paper towel.

To Assemble:  Add a spoonful of ricotta over the polenta, then top with a spoonful of pulled pork next add the sliced jalapeño and diced onions.  You can add more bbq sauce to the pork if you like it saucier.  Sever and enjoy immediately.

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Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Happy October everyone!  The summer has come to an end and it’s finally my favorite season, fall.  I love the crisp in the air, the sleeping with the windows opened and the warm and cozy comfort dishes.

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking just haven’t gotten the time to get the recipes down and posted. Life got in the way a little. I’ve been dealing with my dog, Coco who has some eye issues so that’s been the most important thing lately.  It’s been a long last several weeks.  In case you didn’t know I’m a huge dog lover.  I have 2, both rescues.  Peanut and Coco.  I can’t say it enough, RESCUE! Please!  🙂

Ok, I got side tracked, back to the food!  I have previously shared my pulled pork recipe.  Take a look at that blog post to get my recipe.  This is just an easy dish that is perfect for leftovers.   This would also be a cool item for a potluck.  All you need is to add the pulled pork (No sauce) to a crockpot, put your toppings in a bowl and everyone could make their own stuffed potatoes. I’ve only ever used sweet potatoes.  It’s perfect with the tanginess of the pulled pork, but I love a good baked potato so I’m sure this would come out just as good! How cool would a stuffed potatoes bar be, am I right folks?

Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
8 oz cooked pulled pork
2 large sweet potatoes, cooked
– Favorite BBQ Sauce, to taste
1 jalapeño, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced

Assembling directions: Cut sweet potato in half, don’t go all the way to the ends, (this will help keep the goodness inside) Add in pulled pork, top the meat with BBQ sauce, sliced jalapeños and diced onion and serve.

Note: There is no end to the other toppings you could do. When I make my pulled pork sandwiches I top the pork with a creamy coleslaw (see pulled pork recipe for my coleslaw) That would be delish on top of this stuffed sweet potatoes.

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My Affair With Tostadas!

It’s no surprise that I love tacos. But I have a confession.  I’ve been cheating on tacos with tostadas!  The last year my love for tostadas has grown so much.  I can’t tell you how much I love those crispy flat tortillas!! There have been times I felt like I was posting at least one tostada picture a week on my social media.

I thought I’d share some of my favorites on my blog.  It’s super simple to put together a delicious tostadas dinner.  I figured I’d share some tips!

First you need to start out with a crispy tostada shell.  I’ve only ever seen corn tostadas but if you see flour tostadas give them a go!  You next need to add a delicious protein.  This can be steak, chicken, shrimp or to keep it vegetarian you can add beans or even eggs.  Next is your choice of delicious toppings.  You can add onions, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream, cheese, cheese sauce, guacamole or salsa. Breakfast tostadas are also a great idea.  Just add some eggs and chorizo, sausage or bacon and your toppings and you have successfully made a breakfast tostada!  Or be like me and just eat a regular tostada for breakfast.  No eggs required!! Ha, Ha!

I try and keep tostadas on hand because they have a long shelf life and it’s a great way to throw together a quick dinner.  Here are 4 of my tostadas below with the ingridents.  My favorites are #3 and #4 just because I love steak!!  Check them out! Leave your favorite in the comments! Each of these recipes will make 2 tostadas and you can obviously use more or less of the toppings to your likings.  Enjoy!

1# Spicy Chicken Tostada

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
1 T diced onion
1 T diced jalapeños
4 oz cooked chicken
1/4 cup cooked refried beans
2 T queso sauce
2 T shredded cheese

Directions: Spread cooked refried beans over tostadas.  Top chicken, onions, jalapeños, shredded cheese and drizzle of queso sauce. Enjoy. 

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#2 Pulled Pork Tostada

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 Oz leftover pulled pork
1/4 cup cooked refried beans
2 T diced onion
2 T salsa
6 slices jalapeños
2 T shredded cheese

Directions: Spread the refried beans over the tostadas.  Top with pork, onions and jalapeños and shredded cheese and drizzle over salsa. 

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#3 Skirt Steak Tostadas

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 oz Skirt Steak, Cooked
1/4 cup guacamole
2 T chopped onion
1 T chopped cilantro
2 T queso fresco
2 T salsa
2 lime squeezes

Directions: Spread out guacamole over tostadas.  Top with skirt steak, onion, and queso fresco, drizzle salsa over tostadas and finish with chopped cilantro and squeeze of lime.

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#4 Filet Mignon Steak Tacos

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 oz  filet mignon, cooked
3 T sour cream
2 T chopped jalapeno
2 T diced onion
2 T cilantro
3 T Chihuahua Cheese

Directions: Spread sour cream over the tostadas and lay out steak and continue with toppings, jalapeno, onion, cheese and then Chihuahua cheese.

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Crustless Sausage & Cheddar Quiche

Happy Sunday Funday! I am super excited to share some new awesome recipes with you all. Stay tuned for more!!!

I’ve been trying to eat food lower in carbs. So, I made this crustless quiche. I’m not a huge fan of eggs. I can only eat them every so often. The problem is eggs are a great food while doing the Keto/low carb diet. I need to change the texture and try and mask the flavor as much as possible to really enjoy an egg dish. Quiches and egg stratas are a great way to accomplish that.

That is where this recipe comes in. The star of this dish is definitely the sausage and cheddar cheese. I mean c’mon who doesn’t like sausage and cheese?

This quiche is definitely low in carbs because there is no crust. If you aren’t watching your carb intake or want to use a crust, feel free to do so. I’m sure it would just make this dish even better. If you want to spare some carbs, don’t worry this quiche is delicious without any crust at all.

This quiche is wonderful left over. Dare I even say better the next day! The flavors seem to intensify really well by the next day and makes this a great left over dish. It’s perfect to prep for breakfasts through the week. If you want to double this recipe, just make it in a larger baking dish and cut into squares to serve vs pie slices.

I hope you give it a try!

Crustless Sausage & Cheddar Quiche

Ingredients:
8 oz cooked breakfast sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
6 large eggs
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder

Directions:
In a medium sauté pan over medium heat cook the sausage and break up into small pieces. Cook until cooked through. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel to remove excess grease. Add diced onion to the sauté pan and cook on high heat mixing every so often until onion has softened.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8 inch pie pan with cooking spray. Spread the onion and sausage evenly on the bottom of the pie pan. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and add the heavy whipping cream, whisk until fully incorporated. Fold in the cheddar cheese.

Pour egg mixture into the pie pan. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Insert a knife into the center of the quiche to make sure it comes out clean. The quiche shouldn’t be jiggly in the middle. If it is put back in for another 5-7 minutes. Let the quiche set 10-15 minutes before cutting to serve.

Chef Notes: To make sure the quiche doesn’t go over and make a mess bake it on a cookie sheet to catch any leaks of the egg mixture. Your oven will thank you.

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Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce

Guess what day it is????????? Taco Tuesday!!  I wanted to share with you one of my favorite taco recipes, pork carnitas.  Please note that this is my take on pork carnitas and probably far from authentic but I love them.  I am a huge taco fan and I’ll tell you right now you’ll see a lot of taco dishes from me. I started making these tacos a few years back and I just love them.  In my book tacos are like their own food group just like bacon! LOL Maybe I’ll try the Taco Diet.  Is there such thing?  Haha! But really, I love making tacos.

So this is my pork carnitas recipe.  There is 2 ways you can make these pork carnitas. You can make them in the oven or in a pressure cooker.  I’ve done it both ways.  Check out the recipe below.

Pork Carnitas

Ingredients:

The pork:
3lbs -boneless pork shoulder, cut in bite size pieces
1T Oil
1/2 C Chicken Stock, no salt
2 Jalapeño , diced
1 large onion, cut in chunks or diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cilantro bunches, chopped
2 oranges, juiced and cut into chunks
2 limes, juiced
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Directions: In a large bowl mix all above ingredients together well. Cover and put in the refrigerator for 2 -3 hours.

To bake: Preheat oven 300°.  On a large cookie sheet lay out the pork mixture. Bake for 1.5- 2 hour turning every 30 minutes. Depending on the oven it may take longer to cook. Once completed turn on broiler and cook for 5-7 minutes. Turning once.  This will give a slight crispy texture to the pork. KEEP AN EYE ON IT or it will burn!  Feel free to omit that step.  I don’t use the broiler in my house often because it makes my dogs very upset. 🙂

To use a Pressure Cooker:  This step is a lot easier in my opinion and I feel like the meat comes out better.  Add the mixture to a pressure cooker and let it come up to pressure and cook 55-65 minutes on medium heat.  Make sure there is plenty of liquid in the pot as you don’t want it to burn off. (And it will happen)  Add extra orange juice and chicken stock.   Once done, remove from the heat and let come down to pressure.  (I prefer the pot that goes on the stove and doesn’t have a quick release. Maybe I’m old school! lol) Once you open the lid you should have perfectly tender meat smelling so amazing.

Once meat is cooked, give it one last mix and remove any big chunks of the orange pieces and then it’s ready for the tacos.

8-12 Tortillas (flour or corn) (Amount will vary)

Toppings:
Chopped Onion
Chopped Cilantro
Queso Fresco
Chopped Avocado
Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce (See Recipe Below)

Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup lite mayonnaise (or regular)
1/2 cup pickled Jalapeños or 2 fresh
2 T lime juice
1/2 -3/4 powder Ranch packet
2 T milk or buttermilk
1/2 t salt

Directions: Add all items above to a food processor or a blender and mix till smooth.  You can add more of an ingredient to taste.  If you want it spicier add more jalapeños or less spicy use less jalapeños.

Notes: You can omit the milk if you’d like.  When I put on tacos I always try and thin the sauce out slightly.  I’ve had family make this with Greek yogurt and sour cream which still had a great taste.  I’ve made this less fat with light sour cream and mayonnaise it comes out just as well and is a little more guilt free.  It’s great on tacos and can be used as a dip if you omit the milk.  It will thicken up as it sits in the refrigerator.  If that happens you can add in some extra milk or lime juice.  It’s great on anything actually.  I’ve used it for a taco salad and used as the dressing.

To assemble tacos add meat to your warmed tortillas, add your preferred toppings and sauce. Then enjoy!!

Note: This will make plenty of meat. It’s great for left overs!

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