Grilled Pork Butt chops

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My dad worked for a company, for 42 years, that had a close affiliation with slaughter houses and more in particular with Hog Farmers so it’s no wonder I am completely gonzo for PORK. I love pork in its many splendored ways such as Pork Chops, Pork sausage, Pork tenderloin, Bacon and of course Pork Butt.

One of the cuts of pork I have recently embraced with a passion is Pork Butt Chops and one of the reasons I have jumped on this particular cut from the humble porcine creature (that’s a pig y’all) is because I get the great flavor that the butt provides without having to cook a huge amount of it all at once oh and, the store I get mine from sells two to a package for about $8.00 and the chops more resemble the side of a cow instead of pork chops. THEY ARE MASSIVE.

I have two different ways that I do these chops. The first is to hit them with a simple dry rub and then grill them. The other and this is only if I have time, is to marinate them for about an hour before grilling.

Here’s my Marinade method:

Ingredients:

      –    Two large Pork Butt chops

     –     Three minced garlic cloves

    –      1 Teaspoon salt

     –     1 ½ Teaspoons ground pepper

     –     1 ½ Teaspoons granulated onion

      –    ¼ cup Chopped Cilantro

      –    3 Tablespoons Olive oil

 

Method:

     –    Place the chops in a zip lock bag or any other type of sealable container

    –     In a separate mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until a paste has formed

    –     Add the paste to the bag or container and mix well until the chops are evenly coated

     –    Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour

     –   Grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning over at the half way mark (about  10 minutes) or until the internal temperature hits 160 degrees

Serve this with whatever side you wish, I’d suggest some grilled corn on the cob (see sides) and roast potatoes.

So there you have it —– another “tasty but simple dish for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time

               Bon Appetit

Frittata

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With the new job taking up 10 hours a day of my time I find I’m resorting, more and more, to my bag of tricks for “simple but tasty” recipes that are also inexpensive and filling so it’s small wonder that this one fills both of those requirements.

The great thing about a Frittata is that you can throw literally anything you wish into it and as long as you bake it for the correct amount of time it should wind up being a dynamite dish. The other wonderful thing about it is that it can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Here’s my version.

Ingredients:

–         Six eggs

–         1 Large green pepper – diced

–         1 Medium white onion – diced

–         3 to 4 Dun dried tomatoes – reconstituted

–         1 Teaspoon salt

–         1 Teaspoon fresh ground pepper

–         2 Minced garlic cloves

–         ½ Cup chopped spinach

–         3 Strips of bacon – rough chopped (if you really want to throw a twist into this then substitute Pancetta for the bacon)

–         Three to four slices of Medium cheddar cheese

Method:

–         Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees

–         While the oven is heating up re- constitute your Sun Dried Tomatoes – simply soak them in hot water for approximately twenty minutes and then rough chop

–         In a large non- reactive bowl mix ALL the ingredients together

–         Pour the Frittata mix into a 12 inch stick proof, oven proof skillet (make sure the skillet is deep enough to handle the mix without spilling over)

–         Pop the skillet into the oven for approximately 30 minutes and bake

–         Check after 30 minutes and if the Frittata does not appear to be done then leave a little while longer

I usually cut and serve mine straight from the skillet as it makes clean up that much easier. Also try this with some nice French bread and Garlic butter.

So there you have it another “tasty but simple” dish.

Until next time…….

Bon Appetite

Butternut Squash soup

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One of the very first soups I ever learned to make was Butternut Squash which in itself is rather amazing because I don’t like squash any other way but in soup. One of the great things about this Gourd is its versatility. It can be cubed, mashed, baked, grilled and made into soup but as I said the only way I will eat it is in a soup. The other great thing about this soup is that you can add almost anything you want in order to, as the Great Emeril Lagasse would say “kick it up a notch”. Things like Leeks, Curry, Bacon, Apples—- you’re limited by your imagination.

So here’s my version of a “simple but tasty” soup that is great anytime of the year.

Ingredients:

–         1 Large Butternut squash peeled seeded and rough chopped

–         3 Large Yukon Gold (or any other yellow potato) peeled and rough chopped

–         1 Medium White onion, peeled and rough chopped

–         4 Cups Chicken stock

–         1 Cup 35% Heavy cream

–         ½ Cup all- purpose flour

–         ¼ Cup butter

–         Salt and White pepper to taste

–         4 Tablespoons Olive oil

Method:

–         Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven

–         Melt the butter in the oil

–         When the butter has melted whisk in the flour and make a roux

–         Add the chicken stock, a little at a time, and whisk until smooth

–         Add the onions, squash and potatoes and bring to a boil

–         Reduce heat and simmer on medium until the squash, potatoes and onions are fork tender

–         If you have an Immersion blender blend  until smooth if you don’t have an immersion blender then use a Blender and blend the soup in small batches

–         Put the soup back in the pot and add the cream and stir until incorporated

–         Leave the soup simmering on medium for approx. 5 more minutes and the heavy cream will start to thicken the soup

–         Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy

So there you have it a “simple but tastey” AND inexpensive soup that really takes no time at all to make but looks and tastes like you have been at it all day.

See you next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Grill pan

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When I originally went looking for a Grill Top to be used on my stove I went with a 10” Cast Iron because not only did it give me the grill marks I wanted on my meat or vegetables but it could also be put right into the oven to finish off whatever I was grilling.

After a few uses I decided it was not the right fit for me so I gave it to my son and it has enjoyed a happy home since that time. What I bought instead was a dual purpose Grill Pan where one side was a Grill and the other is a Flat Top and this combination is just perfect since not only can it be popped in the oven to finish off the grilling but when it’s not being used for grilling you can turn it over and use the Flat Top side to make eggs, pancakes, hash browns  and even sandwiches. Just remember to place it on two burners and turn the burners to the same heat level otherwise you will get uneven heat distribution.

My big caution is NEVER and I mean NEVER put it in the dishwasher or you can say bye bye to Mr. Grill Pan. Simply wash it with mild soap and water, dry and wipe some Olive Oil on it to help protect it.

If you happen to purchase one of these must have kitchen gadgets then I hope you find many “simple but tasty” dishes for it.

Bon Appetit

Basil Pesto

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Basil Pesto is one of those items where you look at it and wonder “is it a sauce or is it a condiment?”

For me it can be both since it can be used in pasta or as a pizza sauce or as a condiment/dipping sauce for grilled shrimp or scallops.

Here is a “simple but tasty” Classic Basil Pesto.

Ingredients:

–         2 Quarts Fresh Basil

–         1 ½ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

–         4 Ounces Pine Nuts

–         6 Garlic cloves

–         1 ½ Teaspoons Salt

–         5 Ounces Fresh grated Parmesan

–         1 ½ Ounces fresh grated Romano

Method:

–         Wash and drain the Basil well

–         Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend to a coarse paste

–         Remove the Pesto to a clean bowl and blend in the cheese

–         Refrigerate

There you have it a “simple but tasty” dish.

                  Bon Appetit

Chicken Reuben

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Every once in a while I feel like doing something simple that is not too difficult but still tasty .

That something is the Sandwich and with a nod to the Sandwich King Jeff Mauro I like to “Make any meal into a sandwich, and any sandwich into a meal” and this particular sandwich does just that.

Ingredients:

–          1 Butterflied Chicken breast

–          2 Pieces of Swiss cheese

–          Russian salad dressing

–          Cole slaw

–          1 Butterflied chicken breast

–          Chicken dry rub (see Rubs and Marinades)

–          All purpose flour

–          2 Tablespoons Olive oil

Method:

–          Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan

–          Season the chicken with the dry rub and dust with the All purpose flour

–          Cook the chicken in the olive oil until done. Approximately 10 minutes

–          Toast the bread and spread some Russian dressing on the bottom piece

–          Lay the Swiss cheese on top of the Russian dressing

–          Add the chicken

–          Top with Coleslaw and the other piece of Rye bread

There you have the Chicken Reuben and in case you’re wondering why I use Coleslaw—- simple I can’t stand Sauerkraut and this sandwich is so versatile that it can be served with pretty much any side you wish.

If you decide to try this recipe I hope you find it as “simple but tasty” as I do.

Bon Appetit

Chimichurri

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Hola Amigo/Ciao Senior

This may seem like a weird way to start a post but there is a reason for this.

Chimichurri is a South American condiment that looks very much like Pesto. As a matter of fact if you really think about it Chimichurri is Pesto meets South America and it carries as much of a kick as you like.

I have really become a fan of Chinchurri lately because it goes very well with all kinds of meats but especially red meats AND it’s so easy to make and lasts a while in the fridge so I hope you like this one.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems

1 cup firmly packed Cilantro

3-4 garlic cloves (or more depending on your penchant for garlic)

2 Tbsps fresh oregano leaves (can sub 2 teaspoons dried oregano)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

METHOD:

–           Finely chop the parsley, cilantro, fresh oregano, and garlic (or process in a food processor several pulses). Place in a small bowl.

–           Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasonings.

Serve immediately or refrigerate. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving. Can keep for a day or two.