Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Apricot Glazed Pork Chops

Man, do I love a good pork chop. I don't know if it's the Southern in me, or what, but anything made out of a pig (except the feet, and probably chitlins...), I'll most likely love it. Growing up, our chops were always lightly breaded and pan-fried. But now that I'm grown up, and in the Great White North, I'm pulling out the indoor grill pan. Have you ever used one of these? Let me tell you, It saves my life. A dear friend (Arnie) gave me a Calphalon panini pan, that doubles as a grill pan for our wedding (you can find them at Target, or at least you could then), and I use it all the time. So if you're looking to put together a wedding registry, or just work on accumulating more great kitchen items, a grill pan is definitely on your list!

So back to this recipe. I saw in Cooking Light this month (more on Cooking Light in another post) a little blurb about what you can do with apricot preserves. Not that apricot preserves are normally at the top of my diet list, however, I was recently gifted some Smucker's Simply Fruit apricot preserves. These have NO SUGAR whatsoever. It is sweetened using fruit juices. So, when you're dying for some jam on your Ezekiel bread, grab the Smucker's Simply Fruit preserves. They're great. And they are the inspiration for this recipe!

I served it with some roasted asparagus, because I'm tired of green beans. Hope you enjoy it!

Apricot Glazed Pork Chops
  • 1/4 cup Smucker's Simply Fruit apricot preserves
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 healthy dashes of ground white pepper
  • 1 dash of ground ginger
  • 1 dash of garlic powder
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • kosher salt to taste
1. Preheat your indoor grill pan (or regular grill) to medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.
2. Whisk together all ingredients but the chops.
3. Wash the pork and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt.
4. Brush one side of pork with the apricot mixture. Place that side down on the hot grill. Brush glaze on other side.
5. Grill chops until done, about 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness. Continue to baste with glaze while chops cook through. You may want to turn the chops more times than typically, so that both sides get glazed.

Carb options
Corn muffins always seem to go well with pork for me, but this pseud0-Asian glaze would also taste great with some steamed rice.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Things I Want to Eat v. Things I WILL eat

Substitute this: For this:

meatloaf with Kraft mac lower fat/no bread meatloaf
& cheese and corn muffins with sweet potatoes and
green beans
cookie dough ice cream 1 CarbSmart by Breyer's
chocolate & vanilla bar

burrito with rice, beans, pork,
cheese, sour cream, guac. etc. huevos rancheros

grilled cheese sandwich piece of Ezekiel bread with
reduced fat cheese toasted
without butter

steak and potatoes marinated flank steak and a
(lots of potatoes) baked sweet potato

General Tso's chicken ginger pork w/ string beans

fried catfish with corn not really sure b/c I don't
bread and collards at Hattie's like unbreaded fish. Ideas?

breakfast cereal oatmeal w/ dried cherries

cupcakes ?????????

chocolate chip cookies small piece of very dark chocolate

pasta with any cream sauce chicken in a light-cream-mostly-stock-sauce?

***I apologize for the formatting issues with this post. I've been trying to fix it for about 20 minutes now to no avail. I really need to meal plan and get to the grocery store, so it shall have to wait another day. Thanks for understanding :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Turkey Cutlets in a mushroom sage sauce

So I had a craving for turkey last week. But I didn't want a Thanksgiving-y turkey, and I obviously wasn't going to roast an entire bird for just Scott and me. I thought of doing a tenderloin or breast. But while at the grocery store, I came across some lovely turkey cutlets. This is the perfect option! They're thin (and can be beaten thinner) so they will cook fast. They can be browned quickly to seal in flavor, but then simmered in a sauce to finish cooking. There would be no dry turkey in our house tonight!

Well, last week got away from me, so I didn't actually make these until last night. I've been obsessed with sage lately (notice this is the 2nd post in a row where sage plays a leading role!) and I had some left over. I didn't want to replay the citrus notes from the chicken recipe and with the cold wintry life I'm living, I wanted something warm, cozy, earthy. Bring in the mushrooms!

I served this with some skillet blistered green beans. Yum. Enjoy!

Turkey Cutlets in a mushroom sage sauce
  • 4 turkey cutlets
  • flour, salt & pepper, and one egg (beaten) for breading (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • about 8oz (can use more) portobello mushrooms, sliced and preferrably a little past their prime (not slimy and bad, but with dark spots on them already... they cook to a really delicious flavor!)
  • 1/2 a small onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/2-2 cups of chicken stock (low sodium, 98% fat free, all that jazz)
  • 1/4 cup light cream (or heavy if you can take the fat)
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl oil around in pan so the bottom is evenly coated. While oil is heating, put cutlets in a freezer sized zip top bag and bang with a rolling pin until uniformly about 1/2 inch thick. If breading, go ahead and put cutlets in the egg, then dredge in flour, s&p mixture for a very light coating. If not breading, sprinkle both sides of cutlets with salt & pepper.
2. Place cutlets in oil and brown both sides, about 4-5 minutes each side. You do not want them to cook through, just get golden on both sides, and leave some yummy turkey bits on the bottom of your pan. When cutlets are browned, remove to a plate and set aside.
3. Add a little more oil to your pan, and allow to heat up.
4. Add onions and mushrooms to hot oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and dash of black pepper. Saute until onions are tender and translucent and mushrooms are cooked through, about 8 minutes. It may be more or less depending on the thickness of your mushroom slices.
5. Add chopped sage to mushrooms and onions, and stir together for about 1 minute. Sage should be aromatic.
6. Add chicken stock and cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes. After this time, check to see if sauce is thickening. If still very runny, add a little cornstarch mixed in water and allow to simmer another 5 minutes.
7. Add turkey cutlets back to pan and nestle in the sauce. Simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes, or until cutlets are cooked through.

Carb options
This sauce is really delicious, so you may want some crusty bread to soak up the sauce. OR, on my packet of sage, there was a recipe for sage biscuits. They sound amazing to me. If you make them, mail me one.

PS: still no picture. I tried to take it on my cell phone's camera, and I can't get it off the phone! Grr!!