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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring time in Atlanta, Georgia

No Cooking today...  Out and about taking photos of my new part-time hood~
Hope you enjoy my pretty spring photos.  I love Spring time, everythings coming back to life and all those beautiful colors, not to mention that we will be having some fresh vegetable coming soon to the farmers markets.  
On my way back to Texas today, 
cooking for ya'll next week!

Happy Spring!









Monday, March 21, 2011

Pork Chops with a Calvados Reduction

This is not "for the kids", kind-of-dinner!  This is for us "grown-ups" who have the desire to cook with different kinds of flavors from around the world. The sauce we are going to make for our pork chops is from a liquer called Calvados. 
Calvados is an apple brandy from the French région of Basse-Normandie or Lower Normandy, France.

According to wikepedia, Calvados is distilled from specially grown and selected apples, of which there are over 200 named varieties. It is not uncommon for a Calvados producer to use over 100 specific varieties of apples, which are either sweet (such as the Rouge Duret variety), tart (such as the Rambault variety), or bitter (such as the Mettais, Saint Martin, Frequin, and Binet Rouge varieties), with the latter category of apple being inedible.


The fruit is picked (usually by hand) and pressed into a juice that is fermented into a dry cider. It is then distilled into eau de vie. After two years aging in oak casks, it can be sold as Calvados. The longer it is aged, the smoother the drink becomes. Usually the maturation goes on for several years. A bottle of twenty-year-old Calvados can easily command double the price of a bottle of ten-year-old Calvados.
That is your small lesson in the history of Calvados. 
Let's get on with it and get to cooking with the Calvados!








The Players!


Season each side of pork chops with salt and pepper.   In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.   Place pork chops in hot oil and brown both side.  


Remove and place on the rack on top of the baking sheet.  (This pulls the excess grease away from the chops).  Place in pre-heated 400º oven and baked until done, 20 minutes depending on thickness.


Chop shallots.


In same skillet that chops were browned, add in 1 tablespoon of butter and melt.  Sauté shallots until soft 


then add in Calvados, flame and be careful not to get burned.  After flame dies out reduce the liquid in half, 


then add mustard and cream and stir well to combine.  
The last five minutes of cooking time on the chops remove chops from the 
oven and return to the skillet with Calvados sauce, turn to 
coat chops and cook for 3-5 minutes turning to coat in sauce.


Viva la France!

The Recipe:


Pork Chops with a Calvados Reduction Sauce

2 thick bone in pork chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 small shallot, minced
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon Calvados (Apple Brandy)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup whipping cream or half-n-half

Serves 2
Season each side of pork chops with salt and pepper.   In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.   Place pork chops in hot oil and brown both side.  Remove and place on the rack on top of the baking sheet.  (This pulls the excess grease away from the chops).  Place in pre-heated 400º oven and baked until done, 20 minutes depending on thickness.
In same skillet that chops were browned, add in 1 tablespoon of butter and melt.  Sauté shallots until soft then add in Calvados, flame and be careful not to get burned.  After flame dies out reduce the liquid in half, then add mustard and cream and stir well to combine.  The last five minutes of cooking time on the chops remove chops from the oven and return to the skillet with Calvados sauce and turn to coat chops and cook for 3-5 minutes turning to coat in sauce.  Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.

Happy Eating!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hoisin Glazed Chicken

How about a little asian style chicken for dinner tonight?  This will make your chicken moist and will open up all your little tiny taste buds and they will scream YUMMMMMM......




The players, minus raw chicken!


Mix hoisin sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, cilantro, honey in a small bowl for your glaze.


Season chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat olive oil in medium size skillet.  Add chicken and brown the first side, then turn over to brown other side for 3 to four minutes.  Begin to add glaze on the cooked side of each breast.  Cook for 3 to four minutes.  Turn them over and glaze other side of breasts.  Continue adding glaze this way cooking 3 to 4 minutes at a time per side until chicken is done.  Cooking time depends on thickeness of breasts,  mine cooked for 18 minutes. 


Serve with stir-fried vegetables and/or wild rice.




See how moist!



The Recipe:

Hoisin Glazed Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic minced
2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon cilantro minced
1 tablespoon honey

Serves: 2

Season chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat olive oil in medium size skillet.  Add chicken and brown the first side, then turn over to brown other side for 3 to four minutes.  Begin to add glaze on the cooked side of each breast.  Cook for 3 to four minutes.  Turn them over and glaze other side of breasts.  Continue adding glaze this way cooking 3 to 4 minutes at a time per side until chicken is done.  Cooking time depends on thickeness of breasts,  mine cooked for 18 minutes.  Serve with stir-fried vegetables and/or wild rice.

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Stew








Well Once Again!  
Just in time for St. Paddy's Day.
Make this ahead of time and enjoy your
 St. Paddy's Day all day long....



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tomato Avocado Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

There is nothing better than Insalada Caprese but add in some avocado slices and you will be suprised how lovely this addition makes the salad.  I used heirloom tomatoes for this salad the other night.  It was so sweet...








The Recipe:

Tomato Avocado Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

1 large heirloom tomato (or beefsteak)
1 large avocado
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella
3 large leaves of fresh basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of kosher
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4

Cut tomato, avocado and mozzarella in wedges.  Salt the tomato to bring out its flavor.  Arrange on a platter and drizzle with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar.  Roll basil leaves stacked together and slice (this is called chiffonade) the basil in thin strips.  Sprinkle over the salad.  Serve by itself or over your favorite lettuce.

Happy Eating!



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