HUMPTY DUMPTY HAM & STUFFING

This is another recipe originally found in COLD WEATHER COOKING (1990) by Sarah Leah Chase. I have manipulated this recipe several times over the years to a whole new recipe, but loved the name so have always kept it.

The original recipe called for a bone-in ham. I have by passed that for convenience, BUT I always keep a Honey Baked Ham bone in the freezer for recipes like this and Split Pea Soup. I usually make them back to back for that reason so nothing is wasted also.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: It is sweet and savory ALL at the same time, makes enough for the perfect family Sunday dinner with plenty of leftovers too.  The extra dressing freezes well too.

HUMPTY DUMPTY HAM
4-5 pound ham
1 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup Marsala wine (original recipe called for Madeira, but I use what I ALWAYS have on hand)
3/4 cup salted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
6 large mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 cups stuffing (I usually make my own out of stale sourdough), but the original recipe called for Pepperidge Farm corn bread stuffing
2 cups chopped pecans (original recipe called for 2 1/2 cups)
1 large can crushed pineapple (NOT the one in heavy syrup and DO NOT DRAIN)
1 tablespoon creamy horseradish**
2 tablespoons sour cream**
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground coriander
Zest of 1 large Orange
1/2 cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 cup ham broth
1 cup cream Sherry
1 cup pineapple juice
3/4 cup honey
Honey Baked Ham bone

  • In a large dutch oven cover ham bone with water, season with salt and pepper and simmer over a medium heat for 2 hours until ham is falling off the bone.
  • Strain broth into a large bowl to cool.
  • Pick through ham pieces saving the best for your Split Pea Soup and save for later.

  • Make a crater in the center of each half of ham and set aside.***
  • In a small sauce pan bring the wine, raisins, apricots and mushrooms to a SLOW boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat to cool.
  • Over medium high heat, melt the butter in a LARGE skillet.
  • Add onions, shallots and celery, sautéing until they soften.
  • Transfer onion mixture to a LARGE mixing bowl.
  • Add stuffing, pecans and pineapple blended loosely.
  • Stir in apricots and any residual wine.
  • Whisk together the horseradish, sour cream and egg. Then blend in cloves, coriander and orange zest. Fold into stuffing until well blended.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Stuff each side of ham with the stuffing mixture and then either tie the ham pieces together with kitchen string or us baking bands.
  • Bake any leftover stuffing in a baking dish at the same time.
  • Place ham in roasting pan.
  • Whisk together the pineapple juice, orange juice, ham broth and cream sherry. Pour around the ham.
  • Cover with foil and bake 1 hour.
  • Reduce heat to 325° and uncover the ham.
  • Whisk together 1 cup of the pan juices with the honey.
  • Spoon half of the honey mixture over the ham ad bake another hour, basting often with the glaze.
  • Let ham rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice serve and enjoy!

**Original recipe called for 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, but I am deathly allergic and have had to make substitutions.

***I often just halve the ham and make a thick layer of stuffing between the two halves and close with baking bands.

NOTE: If you are FORTUNATE enough to have a really cool butcher, they will USUALLY bone a bone in ham for you. Be sure and save the bone for soup at a later time.

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VANILLA COGNAC BRINED PORK with GINGERSNAP GRAVY

This recipe originated from the Southern Living cookbook, Off the Eaten Path as Vanilla-Cognac-Brined Pork Tenderloin with Gingersnap Jus. It’s from the Krazy Kat Restaurant at The Inn at Montchanin Village in Delaware. I made just a few changes to work with what I had on hand and really liked them so will keep the changes for future meals.

VANILLA COGNAC BRINED PORK with GINGERSNAP GRAVY

1/2 cup cognac
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons corriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons tri-color peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 vanilla bean. split and scraped
3 cups water
1 1/2 pounds bone-in pork chops

  • Whisk together everything except the pork chops.
  • Place pork chops in a Tupperware marinader or ziplock bag in a bowl (in case it leaks).
  • Add brine mixture and close, marinading for 24 hours.  If using the Tupperware turn it over every few hours.
  • Begin gravy before grilling chops.
  • When ready to grill, drain pork chops of all marinade and pat dry.
  • Grill 3-5 minutes preside depending on thickness until 155˚.
  • Let meat rest under foil 10 minutes.

GINGERSNAP GRAVY

18 gingersnap cookies
1 1/2 teaspoons avocado oil
1 Shallot, diced
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 cup Marsala wine
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons molasses

  • Pulse cookies in food processor until finely ground.
  • Heat oil in sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  • Saute’ shallot and caraway seeds until onion softens.
  • Add wine, vinegar and broth.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in cookies and molasses until well blended and gravy thickens.

 

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FONTINA STUFFED PORK CHOPS with SWEET PEPPER SAUCE

This recipe originated with Blue Apron.  I’ve made some hubby induced changes that we like so much better. A few of the changes I made were only technical, but made for a much better texture. The original recipe called for the cheese to be cubed.  I’ve changed it to slices for a more even melt and the hint of cheese peeking out crisps up and seals the edge of the pork chop. I also traded the tomato paste out for sun-dried tomato pesto and added the crispy shallot rings.

FONTINA STUFFED PORK CHOPS with SWEET PEPPER SAUCE

2 thick boneless center cut pork chops
1 red mini sweet pepper
1 yellow mini sweet pepper
1 orange mini sweet pepper
1 small shallot
2 ounces Fontina Cheese
1 tablespoons Classico Sun-dried tomato pesto
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1/8 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
2 tablespoons rice flour
1 + 1 + 1 tablespoons Avocado oil

  • Slice the peppers into small rings – discard seeds.
  • Slice the shallot into thin rings.
  • Slice the cheese into thin slices.
  • Dry the pork chops.
  • Butterfly the pork chops ALMOST all the way through.
  • Sprinkle fresh ground pepper inside pork chops.
  • Evenly lay cheese slices inside pork chops with just a hint of cheese peeking out when you close the pork chop.
  • Season both sides with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Coat pork chops with Wondra, shaking off excess flour.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil in skillet until sizzling, reduce heat slightly and add pork chops, cooking 4-6 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through.
  • Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil to skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add pepper rings stirring until peppers are slightly softened.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the tomato pesto, sugar and oregano, stirring frequently until tomato paste is deep red and fragrant.
  • Add the vinegar and chicken broth, cooking until thick and saucy.
  • Break apart the shallot slices into rings.
  • Toss shallot rings with the rice flour until thoroughly coated. Tap off excess flour.
  • Heat remaining oil over medium high heat until sizzling.
  • Add shallot rings in a single even layer stirring frequently until shallots are browned and crispy. Transfer to paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  • Plate pork chops and top with sauce and shallot rings.
  • Enjoy!

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PINEAPPLE CARROT TOP BROWN SUGAR GLAZED HAM and ALL the FIXIN’s

So we changed our mind and stayed home for Easter dinner. We decided it’s just too busy around here and we didn’t want to fight the crowds.  Fortunately, we decided on Wednesday night so I was able to shop on Thursday and NOT fight the crowds in the markets.

PINEAPPLE CARROT TOP BROWN SUGAR GLAZED HAM
1 spiral sliced ham 8-10 pounds
1 jar pineapple preserves
1/2 cup minced carrot tops
2 cups brown sugar

  • Add the ham to the slow cooker, trimming off the bottom as needed to fit it into the slow cooker Add the trimmed fat pieces around the ham in the slow cooker.  They will help keep the moisture level up.
  • Whisk together preserves and minced carrot tops.
  • Spread glaze on ham.
  • Cover with the brown sugar.
  • Cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  • Cover with a light covering of brown sugar and serve.

ROASTED CARROTS AND ASPARAGUS with BERNAISE SAUCE
3 large carrots, sliced thinly and diagonally
3-4 stalks asparagus, per person, trimmed and cut into pieces
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1 batch Bernaise sauce

  • Bring a double boiler of water to a boil.
  • Add butter, salt and pepper to water.
  • Add carrots and asparagus to vegetable steamer.
  • Cover and steam 15-20 minutes until crisp tender.
  • Top with sauce and serve immediately.

BERNAISE SAUCE
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3 tablespoons minced shallots
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 large egg yolks
Juice of 1 large fresh lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper; stir to coat.
  • Stir in vinegar, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vinegar is evaporated, 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and continue cooking shallots, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes longer.
  • Transfer shallot reduction to a small bowl and let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, fill a blender with hot water to warm it; set aside.
  • Melt remaining 1 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is foamy.
  • Transfer butter to a measuring cup.
  • Drain blender and dry well.
  • Combine egg yolks, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water in warm, dry blender.
  • Purée mixture until smooth.
  • With blender running, slowly pour in hot butter in a thin stream of droplets, discarding milk solids at bottom of measuring cup. Blend until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour sauce into a medium bowl stirring in shallot reduction and tarragon.
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 hour ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature. I prefer fresh if your time allows.


POTATOES AU GRATIN
1/2 cup butter
16 oz. whipping cream
5 large russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic (jar) or 1 clove
2 cups grated 4 white cheese mix (Gruyere, Muenster, etc…)
2 cups rates sharp cheddar
Wondra Flour

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Peel and thinly slice potatoes.
  • Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.
  • Gradually add the whipping cream and spices. Blend well.
  • Gradually add the flour until the mixture thickens, but it is still pourable!
  • Mix the cheeses all together.
  • Layer the potatoes, cheese and cream mixture ending with cheese on top.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

I developed this recipe for a request from our youngest and it quickly became a family favorite.

Dessert was a recent inspiration from a new restaurant.  Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen is a fantastic place.  We had the BEST waiter who made our meal so enjoyable while he treated us to dessert and the history of two restaurant families (Carrabas Italian Grill and Ninfas Mexican Cantina) melding together to create this restaurant. I couldn’t find a recipe so I kind of made it up as I went and came VERY close.

BANANA KEY LIME PIE

1 large firm banana, sliced thin
1/4 cup Malibu rum
1 graham cracker crumb crust
14 ounce can Eagle sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup Key Lime Juice

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Soak banana slices in rum.
  • Pat banana slices dry.
  • Combine milk, egg yolks, sugar and lime juice, beating until smooth like custard.
  • Layer banana slices in a layer on top of graham cracker crust.
  • Top with custard and bake 12-15 minutes until JUST barely set.
  • Cool 10 minutes.
  • Move to refrigerator, chilling several hours before serving.
  • Top with whipped cream.

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PINEAPPLE SESAME PORK and BROCCOLI

PINEAPPLE SESAME PORK and BROCCOLI

1 1/2-2 pounds boneless, skinless pork shoulder, cut into bite sized pieces
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 clove black garlic, minced
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons Bragg’s amino acids
1 1/2 pound broccoli
2 shallots, thickly sliced
2 + 1 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 of a small pineapple, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Fresh ground salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Place roasting pan in oven while it is preheating.
  • Cut pork into 4 steaks about 1 inch thick.
  • Seasons steaks with salt. Set aside.
  • Whisk together dressing ingredients – ginger, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the amino acids in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil.
  • Remove stalk from broccoli. Peel, trim and slice stalk into 1/4 inch planks.
  • Divide florets into bite size pieces.
  • Blanch stems and florets for about 10 seconds until bright green.
  • Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
  • Pat broccoli dry and add to medium bowl with shallots, sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season with salt.
  • Transfer broccoli mixture to hot roasting pan, roasting 8-10 minutes until crisp tender.
  • In a large cast iron skillet heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil over medium high heat.
  • Cook pork, stirring frequently until a deep golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Transfer to cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.
  • Pour off most the oil from the skillet.
  • Add pineapple and 1 tablespoon of water, turning often until softened and starting to brown.
  • Add butter and pork juices from the cutting board, tossing until sauce is glossy and emulsified.
  • Stir in the remaining vinegar and amino acids.
  • Season as needed with salt and pepper.
  • Add broccoli mixture to reserved dressing , tossing to coat.
  • Add pork pieces.
  • Top with pineapple mixture.
  • Toss to coat.
  • Serve with rice.

 

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CHIPOTLE DR PEPPER SHREDDED PORK

CHIPOTLE DR. PEPPER SHREDDED PORK

Prep Time:  5 Minutes
Difficulty:     REALLY Easy
Cook Time: 6+ Hours
Servings:    18-20 Servings

1 Large Vidalia Onion
5-7 pound Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt
Freshly ground Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
11 ounce Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
2 cans Dr. Pepper
1/3 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 batch Sauce Recipe below **

  • Preheat oven to 300˚.
  • Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay onion wedges in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
  • Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan fat side up.
  • Puree the peppers and the juice.
  • Strain the peppers to remove the seeds and skins.
  • Mix together the pureed peppers and  brown sugar.
  • Pour over top of the roast then pour the  Dr. Pepper over it all.
  • Cover and place in oven.
  • Cook for at least six hours, undistrubed.
  • Check meat; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not  falling apart, return to the oven for another hour or until it is.
  • Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat.
  • Drain the meat in a colander and discard all but 1 cup of the liquid.
  • Add warm sauce (recipe below) to meat and coat well. If necessary use the 1 cup of liquid to keep the meat moist and juicy.
  • Keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Serve on warm flour tortillas topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.NOTE: You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it’s cold.  Then heat up the liquid on the stove top and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.

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**BBQ SAUCE
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup Smucker’s apricot pineapple jam
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Aminos
3/4 cup Tabasco Jalapeno ketchup
Fresh ground salt and black pepper

  • In a large sauce pan whisk together all the ingredients and bring to a SLOW boil, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat to as low as possible and simmer while the ribs bake.
  • Sauce will thicken during this simmering so stir frequently.

**NOTE:  If you prefer, a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce will work just as well.

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SHEPHERD’S PIE ~ ITALIAN STYLE

Recipe adapted from “One Dish at a Time: Delicious Recipes and Stories from My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond” by Valerie Bertinelli

SHEPHERDS PIE
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small sweet mini red peppers
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped (I have also used a shallot or a shallot and part of a red onion)
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons dry mustard
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into equal size pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Preheat the oven to 375˚.
  • Chop the carrot, celery and onion into like size pieces.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Combine the garlic, bay leaf, carrot, celery, onion in the oil and cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Push the vegetables to the perimeter of the pan and add the lamb.
  • Increase the heat to high and cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned all over.
  • Sprinkle with the mustard, 1 teaspoon of the salt and some pepper, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the tomato paste, fennel seeds and tomato puree and stirring again to blend.
  • Cook for 1 minute more. Turn off the heat and stir in the mint and sage.
  • Remove the bay leaf.
  • Add the potatoes to a saucepan and cover by 2 inches of salted water.
  • Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until a knife releases easily from the potatoes when pierced in the center, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the potatoes.
  • In the same pot, combine the milk, butter, and 1/3 cup of the cooking water and stir together over high heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Work the potatoes through a ricer, then slowly drizzle the hot liquid over the potatoes and stir until light and fluffy.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spoon the lamb mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch deep-dish pie plate, spreading it evenly over the bottom.
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top, covering completely. Use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to create a swirled pattern in the potatoes.
  • Bake until the topping turns golden, about 30 minutes.

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TROPICAL PORK KEBABS

I’m continuing yet again with my experimentation streak and another recipe torn from the pages of a magazine.  At least this time I know It was from Cooking Light September 2011. I made a few changes to accommodate my family’s likes and my pantry and am VERY pleased with the final recipe.

Since it’s just the 2 of us I also make two recipes at a time when I need to use the grill – it’s just plain easier! LOL the hard part is making sure that I use the right sauce on the right meat.

TROPICAL PORK KEBABS
1 1/4 cup SMUCKERS apricot PINEAPPLE preserves*
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch pieces
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
PAM

  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place preserves in a 2 cup measure cup and heat on high in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and heat for another 30 seconds.
  • Stir in soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic.
  • Place 2/3 cup of the mixture in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Add pork to bag and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Remove pork from bag, discarding the marinade.
  • Thread pork pieces evenly onto skewers.**
  • Generously salt and pepper skewers.
  • Coat grill rack with PAM.
  • Arrange skewers on hot grill.
  • Baste with a third of remaining sauce.
  • Grill 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn pork over and baste again with another 1/3 of sauce.
  • Grill another 3-4 minutes.
  • Baste with remaining sauce.

*I prefer apricot pineapple, but the original recipe called for apricot only preserves.
** I use Fire wires. They are flexible cable skewers. These are AMAZING!!!!! If you don’t have a set, you NEED a set!

BREAKFAST for DINNER ~ HAM & CHEDDAR SAVORY BREAD PUDDING

I’ve been trying really hard to work through my stack of recipes for experimenting.  This one was labeled as breakfast for dinner, which was FANTASTIC, but it would also be REALLY GREAT for a Sunday brunch or holiday brunch since it can be prepared in advance and reheated as needed.

HAM & CHEDDAR SAVORY BREAD PUDDING
8-10 slices multi-grain bread with seeds*, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 (3/4, 1/4 divided) cup SHARP cheddar cheese
6 large green onions, chopped
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chicken broth
Fresh ground black pepper
8 ounces ham steak, chopped fine
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 large egg whites
Sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Coat 15×10 jelly roll pan and 4 large ramekins with PAM.
  • Place bread cubes on jelly roll pan and bake for 10 minutes, turning as need or until lightly toasted.
  • Cool toast.
  • Combine bread cubes, 3/4 cup cheese, 3/4 of the onions, milk, chicken broth, pepper, ham, and egg yolks, tossing to mix and coat.
  • In a small bowl beat egg whites at high speed until foamy.
  • Gently fold in egg whites.
  • Spoon 1 cup into prepared ramekins or see note.
  • Top the ramekins with the remaining cheese and onions.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until toasted brown.
  • Top with sour cream and ENJOY!

NOTE: If I’m cooking just for us I will use a shallow baking dish and cook it as a casserole.  By using the shallow baking dish you get a toastier crunch effect.

*ALSO works well with a really SOUR sourdough, but you’ll want to add some extra seasoning!

SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS

I originally found this recipe in COOK’S ILLUSTRATED  and changed it very little.  I served it with rice here for a change, but really prefer it served with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles since it makes such a nice gravy.

SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS
3 slices bacon, diced
2 tablespoons Avocado oil
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
4 bone-in thick pork chops
2 sweet onions, halved and sliced thin
2 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
1 tablespoon minced parsley 
salt and pepper to taste

  • Fry bacon over medium heat, stirring frequntly for 8-10 minutes until browned. Remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel and allow to drain.
  • Reduce heat and add oil to make 2 tablespoons total in pan.
  • Whisk in flour and cook until golden like the color of peanut butter.
  • Slowly add broth and increase heat, whisking continuously until you reach a slow boil. Cover and set aside.
  • Pat pork chops dry.
  • Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet bring 1 tablespoon of the avocado oil to high heat. Add pork chops and brown 2-3 minutes each side. Transfer chops to a plate.
  • Add remaining oil to skillet and bring to heat.
  • Add onions and water to skillet browning until just beginning to caramelize.  Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the skillet.
  • Add thyme and garlic cooking until fragrant.
  • Add pork chops back into pan and pour sauce from other pan over top.
  • Simmer 20-30 minutes until pork is tender and cooked through.
  • Remove chops to a warming platter.
  • Stir in parsley and season sauce with salt and pepper.  Continue cooking until it reaches a gravy like consistency.
  • Spoon over pork chops and top with reserved bacon.

STUFFED MEATBALLS & ROASTED VEGGIE SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE SAUCE

  • I start with whatever vegetables I have in the vegetable bin. Today was Roma tomatoes, celery stalks, green onions and snap peas.
  • Then I drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper over it all and bake it for an hour at 400°.
  • I started the sauce with a can of Contadina tomato paste, 1 teaspoon Better than Beef Bouillon paste, 2 cups orange juice and a V8. This truly was a clean out the fridge day.
  • When done roasting add the vegetables to the sauce and set to simmer all day. The vegetables will continue to cook down into a uniform consistency with the sauce. Salt & pepper taste.


For the sauce:
1 pound COSTCO organic ground beef
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
5 large Roma tomatoes, slice thin
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Lasagna  Noodles, prepared or oven ready**

  •  Brown ground beef, Italian sausage, onions and garlic. Drain fat.
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce.
  • Stir in sugar, salt, pepper, basil, Italian seasoning and fennel, mixing well.
  • Lay tomato slices evenly on top. Cover.
  • Simmer for 2 hours over low heat. Stir in tomato slices until well blended.  At this time you can proceed to finish the lasagna or refrigerate the sauce until ready.


For the meatballs:
1 pound hamburger
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 large slices sourdough bread, crumbled
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Align Center1/2 teaspoon fennel
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1 bunch green onions, finely minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic, jar
mozzarella cheese, about 4 ounces, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • Crumble bread into a large bowl.
  • Toss in Parmesan cheese, parsley, green onions and garlic.
  • Add meat and with your hands mix extremely well until you have a uniform mixture.
  • Roll meatballs around a Parmesan cheese cube.
  • Chill Meatballs until sauce is done.
  • Just before the sauce is finished, brown meatballs.**
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and bring to a medium high simmer until meatballs are cooked though, about 20 minutes.
  • Prepare pasta and Parmesan Cheese Bread while meatballs are cooking.
  • Enjoy

**If you prefer you can add the meatballs directly to the sauce and SLOW simmer for a couple hours instead of browning.

PROPOSED EASTER MENU

Things are moving along well, so well that we decided to host Easter. I’m really excited about being far enough along host Easter and being able to really bake and cook again. This is my proposed menu. Any other ideas?

TROPICAL GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

2-3 pound pork tenderloin
1 cup apricot pineapple preserves
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Whisk together brown sugar and pineapple juice.
  • Blend in preserves.
  • generously salt and pepper the pork loin.
  • Spread a small layer of the glaze on the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Lay the pork loin on top and spread the remaining glaze on top and along the sides.
  • Baste as necessary
  • Bake 45-60 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees.
DEVILED EGGS

8 hard boiled Eggs
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
paprika

  • Cut eggs in half and scoop out yolks. 
  • In a mixing bowl mash the yolks to a fine consistency. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients except the paprika and mix well until smooth and creamy. 
  •  Fill egg whites and sprinkle with paprika. I have a Tupperware egg keeper that fits 8 eggs perfectly. I like to do these a day before serving also to allow the flavors to meld.

HOLIDAY APRICOT CARROT CASSEROLE

2 pounds carrots**
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cans apricot pineapple nectar
1 pound dried apricots
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

  • Clean and bake carrots until slightly mushy.
  • Cool, Slice lengthwise and set aside.
  • While carrots are baking, put dried apricots in a dutch oven and cover with nectar.
  • Simmer apricots until mushy – about an hour.
  • Add butter, brown sugar and walnuts to apricot mixture.
  • In a 13×9 greased baking dish layer carrots and apricot mixture twice.
  • Bake 30-45 minutes at 350°.

**Yams or sweet potatoes or a combination of can be substituted easily.

CHEESY AU GRATIN POTATOES
1/2 cup butter
16 oz. whipping cream
5 large russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups grated 4 white cheese mix (Gruyere, Muenster, etc…)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
Wondra Flour

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel and thinly slice potatoes.
  • Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.
  • Gradually add the whipping cream and spices. Blend well.
  • Gradually add the flour until the mixture thickens, but it is still pourable!
  • Mix the cheeses all together.
  • Layer the potatoes, cheese and cream mixture ending with cheese on top.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

CHOCOLATE BERRY BASKETS 
Chocolate 
Strawberries
Blackberries
Blueberries 

ROLLS OF SHARON aka CINNAMON RAISIN BUNS
ROLLS
2 packages Fleischman’s Rapid Rise Yeast
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup WARM water
1 cup scalded milk (2 minutes in the microwave)
1/2 cup Crisco stick
5 cups flour, divided
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon salt

  • In a small bowl combine the warm water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and both packages of yeast until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the scalded milk, Crisco stick, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Blend well.
  • Add yeast mixture and blend well.
  • Add the well beaten eggs and half the flour. Mix until well blended.
  • Add the remaining flour (a little more if too sticky) and mix well until dough leaves the sides of the bowl and is elastic.
  • With vegetable oil, wipe the inside of another bowl.
  • Place dough in bowl and turn once.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rest in a warm place until double in size.

 

  • Punch down and divide into 2 balls.
  • Put one on the pastry board and one back in the bowl.
  • Let rest 10 minutes.
  • While resting prepare the filling ingredients.

 

  • Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness in a rectangle about 18×24 inches.
  • Spread half the melted butter over the dough and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar.
  • Spread half the raisins over that.
  • Roll tightly jelly roll style and cut into 18 rolls.
  • Place rolls in greased pans 1/4 to 1/2 inches apart.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rise again until double in size.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • While baking prepare the icing.

 

  • When rolls come out the oven, put globs of icing on each one. Return to the oven for a minute or two to melt icing all over the rolls.

FILLING
1 stick melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins

  • Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon until well blended.

ICING
1 stick butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered vanilla
4-6 tablespoons milk

  • Mix all together until smooth.

When re-heating rolls, put a pad of butter on top of roll before microwaving.
These freeze really well. 

MOSCATO STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
1 bottle pink moscato
6 cups lemonade
1/4 cup strawberry vodka
Frozen Strawberry Slices
Lemon slices

  • Blend together well.
  • Enjoy!   

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