Asparagus Pork Stir-Fry

This recipe calls for the left over pork chops from the Slow cooker pork chop recipe

This recipe calls for the left over pork chops from the Slow cooker pork chop recipe, if they were so good that there wasn’t any leftovers, then save the juices and add to a pound of cooked ground pork or cooked pork stew meat.  Use about 1/2 of the pork chop recipe juices to flavor this recipe, more can be added if desired for flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 sm.-med. onion, diced
  • 1-2 tbsp House Seasoning
  • 1/2 – a whole bunch of fresh asparagus, sliced in 1 to 1 &1/2 inch pieces
  • 2-4 left over cooked pork chops, cubed, or 1 lb each of cooked ground pork or pork stew meat
  • 1 can of Italian flavored diced tomatoes, drained

Instructions:

In a large skillet, add oil and heat till ready.  Add diced onion and saute till soft, meanwhile cut up asparagus, add and cook till tender.

Mean while cut out the bones and cube your cooked pork chops, if there is any gravy or juices still with the chops, make sure to add this to the skillet also.  Stir fry till all heated and the gelled juices are juicy.

If any water has produced in the skillet, drain before adding tomatoes.  Drain tomatoes slightly, then add to skillet, cook till heated well.

You can turn to simmer after adding tomatoes if you need to let sit for a bit before serving otherwise serve as soon as heated.

Ham Sauce

Ham sauce/glaze

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Blend all these ingredients together and pour over ham and cook about an hour before ham is to be served, this will create a creamy sauce.

This can also be added after the ham is done and cooked at 425 for 30 minutes to create a glaze.

Broccoli Rice Skillet

Broccoli Rice Skillet

Ingredients:

Instructions:

In a deep skillet or pot, start cooking rice according to package directions.  When the directions say to remove from heat and let set, don’t.

While the rice is cooking, if your vegetables are in large pieces, chop or cut them into smaller pieces if desired.  This is a good way to hide the veggies certain family members do not like.

When the rice is at the let set stage, leave on heat and add veggies, soup, and cheese.  Stir together well, bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Let simmer till desired thickness is desired about 10-15 minutes.  If you let it stand off the heat about 5 minutes before serving it will thicken further.

**adding some cooked diced chicken to this would make it a main one pot meal.

Asparagus Omelette

Asparagus Omelet

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 8 fresh asparagus stems
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped bacon or real bacon bits
  • 1/2 tsp basil, fresh or dried
  • 1 c. shredded cheese

Instructions:

In a skillet heat the oil.  Add the onion and saute for about 2 minutes.  While onions are cooking, slice the asparagus stems into 1/4 inch pieces up to about 1-2 inches from the flowering part.  Set the flowering part aside for later.  Add the slices of asparagus to the onion and saute together till asparagus is tender, approx 3-5 min.

Meanwhile in a mixing bowl whisk the eggs, then add parsley, bacon, and basil stirring together.

Once onions and asparagus are done, drain the oil and add the onion and asp. to the egg mixture.

Using the same skillet, saute the tops of the asparagus till tender using only the remnants of the oil left behind from the onions.  when the flowery stems are done set aside.

On med. – High heat, the hotter the better, take 1 tbsp. of butter and melt into skillet.   Pour 1/2 the mixture into the skillet and quickly stir to even the veggies out.  The trick is to let the bottom set without browning.  Once the bottom has set, lay 4 of the stems of the asparagus onto eggs toward one side then sprinkle 1/2 the cheese.  Fold over like a letter.

Once folded, turn over and keep turning to prevent from burning but to heat until egg is cooked and the cheese is melted.  Repeat with the rest of the eggs till you have two or more omelettes.

Brine For Meat

To brine is a process of infusing flavor and moisture into meat.

WARNING: May require a very large container, that must fit in the refrigerator.

An excellent site for understanding the brining process..: Brine

To brine is a process of infusing flavor and moisture into meat.  Brining is used to make some very common meat such as corned beef, turkeys at thanksgiving.  Brining turkey has become quite popular the past few years.  The original concept was to preserve meat that could not be refrigerated, but the current times have found that it’s still quite handy for infusing flavor and moisture into meats that can be dry when cooked.

My process was for a 12.5 pound fresh ham that came from a hog that was butchered from a cousin.  The only constraint I had was having a container large enough the hold the 12.5 lb. ham and almost a gallon and a half of liquid.

The container has to be large enough to hold the meat yet deep enough to be able to cover the meat completely with water.  No part of the meat can be out of the water or it’s not supposed to work very well.  I could not cut in half due to the bone, so I had to trim the ham down to be able to do this, my container was not deep enough, was plenty large but the ham was too tall.  Trial and error happened and gladly to say not too much error. I didn’t end up with Brine all over the fridge.

The only key to remember is that you need to have 1 c. of Kosher Salt(only) to every gallon of fluid.  The fluid can be any thing, mostly it’s water but any type of fluids such as beer, fruit juices, vinegars, etc.. Double check the brine web site for any juices that are acidic, such as lemon and vinegars these can cause an adjustment requirement in your brining time.

The Recipe I created for this ham included the following Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 gallon of water
  • 2 c. liquid smoke, (larger bottles can be purchased than the average 2-3 oz. bottle)
  • 1 1/2 c. Kosher salt(only)-table salt with iodine will not work
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried rosemary

Instructions:

In a large bowl add 2 qts. of your water that is hot or boiling, add salt and sugar to this hot water and stir until the salt has dissolved.  The rest of the liquid needs to be very cold, all fluid that goes around the meat needs to be cold so not to cook the meat while it’s soaking.

Once salt is dissolved, add all other fluids and ingredients.  Pour over meat, (if your meat and fluid are going to come close to the top, add part of your fluid and add the rest once it’s in the fridge so not to make a mess while moving.  Then scoop some out before removing from the fridge.)  If your meat floats, place something on top the keep it weighted down.

I let this ham soak for 15 hours, it would not have hurt it to soak longer.  Then, once time is up, pour out the brine, rinse the meat off and cook in oven or roaster.  Do not cook in the brine juice it could cause a reverse effect on you meat.  Add fresh water or broth.

Slow Cooker Pork Chop Gravy

Pork Chop Gravy

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Ladle about 2 cups of juice into a bowl or into the 2 qt. sauce pan you’ll cook it in.  Add the flour and whisk til smooth and the only lumps left are the ones from the meat juice.  Pour this into a sauce pan and add 2-3 more cups of juice.  Cook on low-med. stirring frequently until thickened and serve over chops.

This helps a lot if they come out a little dry and it carries the flavor you’ve been smelling all day while the pork chops cooked.

Not Your Momma’s Tuna Casserole

A tuna casserole with many faces

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of chicken flavored stuffing mix, (Stovetop for example is nice)
  • 2 cans of tuna, NOT drained
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1-2 stalks of green onions, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder(optional)
  • 2 tsp. dried dill, (I use Adam’s dried dill, but if you can’t find Adam’s try this brand Castella)
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 3/4 c. Ken’s steakhouse honey mustard dressing
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded cheese

Instructions:

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients till well blended. Add extra mustard or mayo if it seems dry, you need the mixture to almost be creamy but not wet.

Spray a casserole dish with oil and spread mixture evenly into.

Bake on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes till well heated and cheese is melted.

Optional: remove at 20 minutes and add more cheese to top and heat for 5-10 more till melted.

***This also makes a wonderful cold tune salad, can be served on lettuce or by itself. It already has the “crackers” in it.*

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

Ingredients:

  • 6 pork chops
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 2 tsp ground ginger or fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (I use Spice world minced garlic)
  • 1/2 c barbecue sauce, any flavor

Instructions:

Place chops in cooker, in separate bowl combine well all other ingredients.  Pour over chops and cook on low 6 hours or till done.

Combine everything the night before and let marinate till ready to cook.  Serve with a gravy from the juices.

The chops are going to come slightly dry, but I don’t believe that the cooking time or moisture has anything to do with it.  The Soy Sauce has a butt load of salt in it so I think there’s not much you can do about the moistness or dryness unless you cut out the soy sauce which will change the flavor or find no/low salt soy sauce.  Mine were covered in moisture till near time I served them and they were still dry.

**Save the leftover pork and/or juices for the Asparagus Pork Stir Fry recipe

Green Sauce Enchiladas

Green Sauce Enchiladas

Ingredients:

Instructions:

In a skillet add onions and oil and heat for a few minutes.  Add meat, cumin, garlic, paprika, parsley, cilantro, house seasoning.  Cook stirring regularly, chopping meat till in small pieces, until all is well blended and meat is cooked through.  If the meat is too juicy/greasy, *add 1/2 c masa flour to mix and stir well, this will absorb the juice.  Draining could drain of too much of the flavor, the flour will bind it together.

In an 8×8 glass casserole, spray pan with oil, fill tortillas and roll into the pan until filled.

In separate bowl, add green chiles, tomatoes & green chiles, and green chile sauce, stir together.

Pour over enchiladas, run spoon along sides and lift slightly to let the juice fall down around the sides.

Cook at 350 degrees, for 20 minutes, remove add shredded cheese to top and return to oven for 5-10 more minutes till melted.

Serves 2-4

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

Making homemade mashed potatoes is not an exact art, the ingredients are not really measured. They are added till it tastes right.

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb. bag of potatoes or less
  • milk
  • butter
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions:

Wash and peel your potatoes.  Peel all the way or partially or not at all, it’s OK to leave potato peel in your mashed tators, they can give a different flavor. I would suggest not leaving all the peel because your peel to potato ratio might be too much on the peel side, but i always leave some on about 50%.

Dice your potatoes, the smaller the pieces the faster they will cook, keep this in mind if your in a time crunch or need to take some time.  The smaller pieces should cook through in about 30 minutes.

Place your diced potatoes in a pot, and cover with water at least one inch above the potatoes.  Make sure the pot is deep enough to hold everything and still have an inch or two to the top of the pot to prevent boiling over.

Bring the water to a boil and cook till you can insert a fork easily into a piece.  The longer you cook them the softer they get and the more easily they mash.

Once cooked, drain well in a colander.  Place back into the pot or into a mash or blend safe bowl.  If you  have a plastic potato masher you can put them back into the pot you cooked them in, but it you have a metal one or want to use a mixer, a glass bowl  would be best.  If you cook your potatoes long enough, neither method is necessary, because with a good wooden spoon the more you stir to add the ingredients the more they mash up on their own.

Before mashing add some butter, salt, pepper and milk, mash or mix till creamy.  Add milk and butter as needed till you reach the thickness  and creaminess you like.  Season to taste as well.

**Trick keep some instant potatoes lying around.  If you happen to get too much milk or butter, these will make a sneaky way to thicken them up and no dining guest will ever be the wiser.