One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pork Quesadillas With Corn Crema

22 04 2016

One Pork Butt – Three Meals.

Meal two, quesadillas, which is always a great go-to vehicle for using up leftovers!

Also, more baby food inspiration here, as I used my son’s corn puree for the corn crema. I’ve seen recipes using heavy cream or mayo added to sour cream to make homemade Mexican crema. I figured corn puree has a similar consistency so why not. Major win folks, its delicious and the perfect sauce to cut through the pork in these quesadillas!

Pork Quesadillas with Corn Crema

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 multi-grain tortillas, soft taco size
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 cup Pulled Pork, just eyeball it
  • 1/2 cup sliced and rinsed leeks (remove the hard green top, slice the white part down the middle lengthwise, then slice again into half moons, then rinse pieces in a mesh strainer to remove any dirt and dry slightly)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • Zest and juice of half a lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Sliced green onions for garnish

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook corn according to package directions. Remove 1/4 cup and set aside. Puree the remaining 1/4 cup with a little water in a high powdered blender until smooth and creamy. Combine the corn puree with the sour cream, zest and lime juice and salt to taste. Set aside.

To build the quesadillas, add two tortillas side-by-side on a large baking sheet (or pizza stone). Top each tortilla with a layer of cheese, pork, leeks and cooked corn (make sure cheese is on the bottom which will act as a glue to keep everything together). Add another layer of cheese and top each with another tortilla. Bake for 20 minutes until tortillas begin to brown and cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle, cut each into four pieces. Divide among plates and top with the corn crema (I used a squeeze bottle if you’re curious) and garnish with sliced green onions.





One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pork and Cheddar Pancake Muffins

22 04 2016

One Pork Butt – Three Meals.

And finally, here’s meal idea three…brunch!

It’s mother hubbard here this weekend. This is about as real as it gets folks, I’m talking down to one egg kind-of-serious. I managed to whip up something creative with just a few ingredients and leftovers though, which is what I do best! AND, I was even able to base it off a little inspiration from one of my favorite pancakes.

There’s this crazy tasty, sweet/savory pancake at First Watch made with cheddar cheese and bacon, which was the inspiration for this dish. Sounds weird, but covered in yummy maple syrup, it’s the perfect brunch bite! Making these as muffins allows you to cook them all at once, rather than having to flip a bunch of jacks individually, and I’m all about saving time!

Pork and Cheddar Pancake Muffins

The following makes 6 muffins (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl combine the milk and eggs. Add Bisquick and stir until just combined. Fold in the pork and cheese.

Spray a large muffin tin with non-stick spray, or use liners for easy cleanup like me. Divide the batter among 6 cups. Bake until cooked through and slightly browning on top, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing.

Serve pancake muffins with a side of Peach Habanero Syrup to pour all over!





Baked Crab Mac-n-Cheese With Peas

18 02 2015

I love the decadence of crab mac-n-cheese! This recipe offers that rich, comforting flavor, but with a few healthier ingredients. In a meal like this, you can easily swap things like coconut oil in place of butter and whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour, as well as sneak in a veggie like peas. And if you’re an observer of Lent, this is a great dinner to dig into on Fridays!

Baked Crab Mac-n-Cheese With Peas

The following serves 3-4 (adapted from Will Cook For Smiles):

  • 2 cups dry whole wheat penne
  • 1 cup (8 oz) crab meat
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 – 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese, grated from the block
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • Chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350. Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package directions. Cook to al dente, then drain well and add back to pot. Add the crab meat and frozen peas to the pasta and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat and add shallot. Saute a minute or two until beginning to soften. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Slowly pour in the milk and constantly whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the grated cheddar and salt and pepper to taste. Keep whisking, slowly, until the cheese is melted. Off heat, stir in half of the parmesan.

Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta, crab and peas and stir well to combine. Transfer to prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with the panko and the rest of the parmesan.

Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove cover and finish baking another 5-10 minutes to help brown the top (you may want to up the heat or turn on the broiler). Allow to rest a few minutes before serving, then garnish with chopped parsley.





Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Bake

13 11 2014

Are you a sucker for cheesy fries or anything buffalo chicken? Who isn’t! Here’s a healthy rendition of a riff on both, featuring leftover chicken and sweet potatoes. Using Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cheese helps keep this dish lighter, while still offering the classic creamy flavors we all love in our less-healthy favs.

Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Bake

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • Smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup buffalo hot sauce like Frank’s
  • 1-1 and 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1-2 small celery stalks, chopped
  • Reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl, toss cubed potatoes with just a little olive oil along with salt, garlic and paprika to taste. Toss well. Spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with a silpat or foil sprayed with non-stick spray.

Roast potatoes until browned, about 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and buffalo sauce together in a bowl. Add the chicken and mix well. Season lightly with salt to taste.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool slightly. Using your hands or a spatula, move the potatoes to the center of the baking sheet until they’re all touching. Top with celery, a little cheese and then spread the buffalo chicken mixture evenly on top. Finally, top with another layer of cheese.

Bake until hot and cheese melts, about 10 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and top with parsley or cilantro before serving. Garnish with more hot sauce if desired and serve with a side salad. Pictured above is shredded cabbage tossed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.





Chipotle Beef and Black Bean Chilaquiles

9 10 2014

Chilaquiles are a popular Mexican breakfast, great for using up day-old tortillas which are crisped up and tossed in sauce. But this spicy and bold-flavored version makes for a delicious dinner too! This meal is also great for using up overripe tomatoes too, because you’ll never know the difference once you quickly puree them. I love finding creative ways to use up ingredients that might otherwise get tossed.

Chipotle Beef and Black Bean Chilaquiles

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Everyday With Rachel Ray):

  • 1 cup dry organic black beans
  • Low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground chipotle chile pepper
  • Granulated garlic
  • Ground coriander
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 6 whole grain small tortillas (or 3 large), quartered
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, plus some of the adobo sauce (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 lb organic ground beef
  • 1 lb tomatoes, pureed in a Vitamix or high-powered blender
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Lime juice
  • Eggs, one per person
  • Reduced-fat, shredded Mexican cheese blend

Either the night before, or the morning you want to serve this, soak the dry black beans in 3 cups of water for at least 8 hours. Drain the beans and add to a medium pot. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add spices – about 1.5 tsp cumin, 1 tsp each of chipotle chile pepper and granulated garlic and 1/2 tsp of coriander. Mix well, cover and cook over medium for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the liquid seems to be evaporating too quickly, just add a little bit more chicken broth. During the last 10 minutes, stir in the diced chiles.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. Lay tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. You can use day-old tortillas here to help use up leftovers you may have. Once crisp, remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Next add dry spices and let them toast. Add 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp coriander. Next add the chipotle in adobo and the sauce. Mix spices together, breaking up the chipotle well. Next add the ground beef, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon. Mix the spices into the meat well, and saute beef until browned and cooked through. Season with salt to taste and add pureed tomatoes. Mix well and bring to a low bubble, then reduce heat to low and cook for 5-10 minutes. You want the sauce to be on the loose side because you’re going to toss the tortilla into it, so if it looks to thick, add some chicken broth to thin out. Season lightly with salt to taste.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add the tortillas and stir into the meat sauce to fully cover the tortillas.

In another skillet with some oil heated, fry one egg per person until the whites are just set and the eggs are sunny-side up, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, dish out some of the meat sauce and tortillas on each plate. Top with some black beans and garnish with cilantro and green onions. Squeeze on some lime juice, then top each plate with a fried egg. Garnish with shredded cheese and more cilantro and green onions.





Italian Sausage and Leek Stuffed Eggplant and Peppers

21 08 2014

This week’s CSA grab bag was a good one, loaded with all sorts of wonderful fruits and veggies! So it was no surprise that tonight I whipped up this delicious, Italian stuffed eggplant and pepper dinner using almost all Fresh Fork Market goodies! A great tip for easily making stuffed eggplant and peppers is to grill the veggies first. You can quickly soften the veggies (just as you would in the oven) while getting a good char and smokey flavor at the same time!

Italian Sausage and Leek Stuffed Eggplant

The following makes 2 stuffed eggplants and 4 stuffed peppers (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced horizontally in half
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced horizontally in half and stem and seeds removed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 large candy onion, chopped (or whatever onion you like or have)
  • 1 lb bulk Italian sausage (mild or hot)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 medium-large garlic cloves, minced
  • Reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 leek, white part sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping

Sprinkle some salt on the inside of the sliced eggplant and allow to sit untouched for at least 30-45 minutes. The eggplant will start to give some of its water, which will also eliminate some of its bitterness. Blot dry using a paper towel.

Preheat grill to medium-low.

Preheat oven to 350.

Drizzle eggplant and halved peppers with a little olive oil and rub all over. Grill covered over medium-low heat for a few minutes on each side. You just want to get a decent char all over and to soften the veggies so that you can easily scoop out the center of the eggplant. Remove the veggies from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and saute chopped onions a few minutes until beginning to soften. Add sausage and break up with the back of a wooden spoon. Saute until meat browns, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up into small pieces with the wooden spoon. Add red pepper flakes if you’d like, along with the minced garlic. Saute until fragrant, a few minutes. Deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock (good turn of the pan) and scrape up all the brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan.

The eggplant should be cool enough to handle at this point. Scoop out the center of each half and transfer to a cutting board. Just be sure to leave the outer shell of the eggplant in tact so that you can stuff it. Chop the eggplant you removed and add it to the sausage. Add the leeks as well. Season lightly with salt and saute for just a minute or two until the leeks start to wilt. Add a little more chicken stock (another good turn of the pan) and turn off the heat. Allow the mixture to cool, then mix in the cheeses.

Lay the eggplant and pepper halves in a casserole dish. Stuff the sausage and leek mixture into the halves – just divide the mixture among the halves, piling up high if you have too. Top with more parmesan, then transfer to the oven to bake.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until everything is hot and cheese has melted. Top with more parmesan and  serve with a side salad.





Mini Phyllo Cup Bacon Cheese Balls

18 08 2014

I saw these fun little cheese balls in this year’s bacon issue of Food Network Magazine. I thought they were so cute and great for serving at a party, but didn’t want people to worry about having to spread them on something. So I came up with the idea to pop them in a mini phyllo cup and poof….the perfect individual appetizer, no utensils required!

Mini Phyllo Cup Bacon Cheese Balls

The following makes 45 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Food Network Magazine):

  • 1 package turkey bacon
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (fancy shred works well)
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Chopped chives
  • Sunflower seeds (no salt added)
  • 45 mini phyllo cups, thawed (3 packages of 15 – you can find them in the frozen section of your grocery store)

Preheat oven to 350. Lay a cooling rack inside a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Lay bacon across the cooling rack in one layer. You will have to do this twice depending how many strips you can fit. Bake until crisp (check on the bacon every 10 minutes until it’s done). Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat and bake the final remaining strips of bacon. Allow all the bacon to cool.

While the bacon cools, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mustard, zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Crumble 8 pieces of cooked bacon, and mix in with the cheese mixture.

Roll into 45 mini balls, lay in a single layer on a tray and cool in the fridge. Crumble the remaining bacon and store in a tupperware container in the fridge.

To save myself time, I did all of the above the night before I wanted to serve these.

The next day I baked the thawed phyllo cups at 350 for 5 minutes or so, to crisp them a bit. Remove cups from the oven and cool.

Next, combine some of the crumble bacon you saved, some chopped chives and some sunflower seeds in a bowl – just eyeball it. You can always mix more if you run out, or if you make too much, serve the garnish over a salad for lunch later.

Remove the balls from the fridge and roll in the bacon, chives and sunflower seeds – pressing slightly to adhere. Place one ball in each phyllo cup, and arrange on a platter to serve.