Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tangerine Slaw Fish Tacos

Holiday season weeknights present special challenges on top of everything else you've got to do in your already crazy life; choir practice, holiday pageants, gift shopping, tree trimming, cooking, baking, family in from out of town...

Whew! I am already worn out. 

Here is a 20 minute weeknight meal that takes a little help from the store.  

Tangerines are in season here in Florida.  Nothing like that fresh Farmer's Market flavor. 

It's fresh coleslaw, with big slices of sweet tangerine, tossed in a savory Coriander seed dressing, and served over crispy fish tenders in warm corn tortillas. 

This slaw is so delicious, you will want to make it will all your grilled or breaded fish dishes.  It's even better the next day.

Tangerine Slaw Fish Tacos

Fresh Tangerine,
Ready to Toss with Slaw

Fish Tacos and Spanish Rice
Serves 4 - 6
Serving Size: Two Tacos 

2 - 10 ounce boxes Breaded Fish Tenders (Such as Gorton's)*
Corn Tortillas

For the Slaw:

3 cups Coleslaw mix from a bag
1 large or two regular sized Tangerines, sectioned and cut in half
Juice of one large Orange
Juice of one Lime
1 tablespoon chopped Coriander Seed
Pinch of course Sea Salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup Canola Oil Mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon chopped Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Other:  Hot Sauce, optional

Bake fish per package directions.

Suggestion:  Use a coffee grinder to chop/grind the Coriander Seed.  I suggest a slightly rough chop.

In a large mixing bowl, combine coleslaw and tangerines.

In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients for slaw.

Place two pieces of fish onto a heated corn tortilla.  Top with slaw and hot sauce if desired.

Yes, it's that easy.  

Happy Holidays!

*No product was supplied to blogger and not a paid endorsement.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bountiful Harvest Pork Chops

Bountiful Harvest Pork Chops

I previously posted an alternative to green bean casserole.   We have to have it in our home on Thanksgiving.   I make my own mushroom sauce using Sherry wine instead of using the soup. I know that food snobs have a tendency to roll eyes at the very mention of the traditional version. I am not such a snob so eat what you like.  I grew up on the stuff and I think it's delish!

Whether you use the traditional recipe or make your own, this dish will work with the leftovers. A few added veggies and a two-to-for center cup pork loin chops, and you’ve got a great, easy meal.  

I left this recipe a little open to interpretation; it all depends on how many you are feeding and how much leftover green bean casserole you have on hand.  

Here you go - 

2 or 4 center cup Pork Chops, bone in (about ¼ inch thick)
¼ to ½ cup All Purpose Flour
1 to 2 tablespoons Grill Seasoning for Chicken
1 to 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 to 2 Carrots cut into rounds
2 to 4 stalks Celery, chopped
½ to one whole small Spanish Onion, sliced
2 to 4 cups leftover Green Bean Casserole
1 to 2 tablespoons Sherry
Splash or two of 2% Milk
Extra Crispy Onions for topping

Other: Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray baking dish with cooking spray.

Dredge pork chops in flour seasoned with Chicken Seasoning.

Heat oil in skillet.  Brown chops on both sides, about 5 minutes.   Remove from pan. 

Add carrots, celery and onion.  Sauté for about three minutes until softened.  

Add leftover green bean casserole, sherry and the milk.  Warm through about five minutes.

Turn mixture into baking pan treated with cooking spray.  Spread out evenly and top with pork chops.   Cover and bake for approximately ten minutes.

Uncover. Top with crispy onions and continue to bake for five more minutes.

I used leftover apple stuffing to make the stuffing cups side dish.

This time of year is very busy.   Look for upcoming posts on quick and healthy weeknight meals!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe I - Turkey Chili

On Black Friday, you are probably doing one of two things;  shopping or working.   But, what about all that leftover turkey?  Either way, you need a no-fuss recipe.

This chili dish is mild enough to serve to the in-laws if they are still hanging at your house.  I suggest following this recipe and serving a little hot sauce on the side for those who want more heat. 

I served this over Orzo.  I also served a side salad with bacon and Ranch and a few corn chips on the side.  

A great Black Friday meal because you can put this in the crock pot in the morning and you can forget about it.  If you are surprised by the additon of the soda to the chili, don't be.  This adds a little sweetness and you'll have to do less thickening.

Leftover Turkey Chili

4 cups leftover  roast Turkey, pulled from the bone
1   15 ounce can Diced Tomato with Mild Green Chili
1  15 ounce can Kidney Beans with Chili Seasoning (Suggest Bush's)*
1 small Spanish Onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
1/2 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
Sea Salt, to taste
1  12 ounce can 7 Up or Sprite
1 cup Water
1 tablespoon Corn Starch


Fat Free Sour Cream
Mexican Blend Cheese
Pickled  Jalapeño Pepper Slices for garnish

Combine all ingredients except for corn starch in slow cooker.  Stir well.  Cook on low for at least 7 hours.  

During the last part of cooking, remove about a cup of the juice from the slow cooker.  Whisk in corn starch.   Return to slow cooker. 

Increase heat until high.   Bring to boil until chili is thickened.

*No product was supplied to blogger and not an endorsement. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Makeover Part II - The Best Turkey Brine

I have never used brine with a turkey before.  This year I decided to try something a little different.  Our Thanksgiving turkey was so moist and juicy, but with a crispy skin.  The meat just fell off the bone, as you can see in the pictures provided.

Tarragon and orange work so well together.  I live in Florida and the orange trees are producing fruit right now.  I used both flavors in the brine and in the rub.  The result was a subtle orange and herb flavor throughout the turkey, not just on the skin. 

Here is my recipe for the Best Turkey Brine. 

Because this brine is lower in salt, you can feel free to salt your bird to taste before cooking.

Note: Use a non-reactive pot when you brine. 

The Best Turkey Brine (Enough for a 16 pound turkey)

5 quarts Water
1/3 cup Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Peppercorns
¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Orange, quartered and Squeezed of Juice
1 medium Spanish Onion, halved
1 tablespoon dried Tarragon
1 dried Bay leaf, crushed
1 quart Ice Cubes

Combine all ingredients including orange rind but excluding ice cubes into a large non-reactive pot.  The pot should be big enough to submerge your turkey into the brine.

Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for one hour.  

Cool thoroughly - add ice cubes to expedite the cooling process.  Do not submerge the bird until the brine is cool.

Turkey in Brine

Once cooled, submerge your turkey into the pot, cover and refrigerate. Brine approximately forty-five minutes to an hour per pound of meat for best results.

See Note for Rub Recipe

Note:  I added a little salt, pepper, onion and half of an orange to the cavity of the bird. I basted my turkey with melted butter and a mixture of salt, pepper, rubbed sage, dried tarragon, and poultry seasoning before baking.  I covered my bird for all but the last 45 minutes of baking time. 

The last thirty minutes, I basted my bird with a mixture of butter and freshly squeezed orange juice. 

Happy Holidays:  I will be showing you a few great leftover recipes in upcoming posts.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Makeover - Part I

Broccoli Rabe Casserole
Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a North-American Holiday; one that rings true to family, friends, good food, and shopping! 

Tradition doesn't have to mean "stuck in a rut."  So often we make the same Thanksgiving dinner over and over again.  This week, I am mixing it up;  From the seasoning on the turkey to the sides. 

Green Bean Casserole is traditional.  Do not get me wrong.  I am not a food snob, as you know.  I LOVE the traditional green bean casserole.  In fact, as a kid who actually ate ALL of her veggies, I would gobble up two or three servings. 

Have you ever thought about making Broccoli Rabe Casserole? 

Fresh rapini, sauteed in olive oil with nutmeg, baked in a quick cooking casserole with cheese and milk and crispy French Fried onions.  Yum!

Here is tonight's Thanksgiving makeover recipe.  It is something a little different, and perhaps, this dish will become your new holiday tradition.

4 Servings

1 ounce EVOO
1 bunch Broccoli Rabe, chopped and steamed
1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Nutmeg
2 tablespoons Butter
5 ounces (1/2 can) Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/8 cup 2 Milk
2 tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Crispy Fried Onions, divided
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

Other:  Butter flavored Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute broccoli rabe in olive oil for five minutes until wilted.  Dust with Nutmeg.  Add butter and let melt.

Turn mixture into coated baking pan.  Stir in soup, milk, cheese and half of the onions.  Bake for ten minutes.

Add rest of onions and pepper. 

Increase heat to broil

Broil for five minutes until onions are crispy.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Balsamic Dijon Lamb Steaks

Balsamic Dijon Lamb Steaks

I saw these lamb steaks in my supermarket and I had to try them.  These are slices of leg of lamb cut thicker like a steak.  I made a simple marinade and I pan seared these steaks until browned on one side and then I finished them in a hot oven.

My marinade does not include salt.  I didn't want to draw the moisture out of the lamb.  You want to do this any time you anticipate marinated meat is going to cook very quickly.  

I also waited and added the salt I used for seasoning the lamb after it finished cooking. 

Lamb in the Marinade

For each 3/4 pound of Lamb Steaks you will need -

For the Marinade:

2 ounces of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and pour over the lamb.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours for the best flavor.

When you are ready to cook -

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Dab some of the excess marinade off the lamb with a paper towel.  This will help with the browning process.
  • Sprinkle a little freshly ground Black Pepper on both sides of the lamb, to taste. 
  • Preheat a cast iron skillet on high with a little Olive Oil added to the pan. 
  • Cook lamb steaks on one side, about one and one half minutes until browned. 
  • Flip and place the pan into the hot oven for about three minutes until the steaks come up to medium rare.  Carryover cooking time will occur, so adjust time accordingly.
  • Sprinkle with salt before serving. 
  • Let lamb rest a few minutes before you slice into it.

I served the lamb will Dilled Mashed Potatoes and
Wilted Spinach with Olive Oil and Nutmeg

Have a great weekend! 

I'll be back next week with Thanksgiving recipes and leftover ideas.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tilapia Ybor

Tilapia Ybor

I lived in the Tampa Bay area for over 15 years. My corporate office is in that neck of the woods.  When I have the opportunity to visit for a couple of days, I like to try to get to the famous Columbia Restaurant where the food is fabulous, the service is spectacular, and the decor is authentic Cuban Courtyard.  If you ever get the chance, be sure to visit the original haunt in Ybor City.  On the outskirts or downtown Tampa, Ybor City was once known for it's cigar factories.  Today, it's better known for it's colorful nightlife.  Yet one tradition, the Columbia, still stands.

The Columbia's famous Cuban sandwich and the Original "1905"Salad™ are to die for.  So is the chicken and yellow rice.  My personal favorite is the Snapper “Alicante” :

Remove fish and most of the onions and peppers to a plate and keep warm under aluminum foil.  Pour remaining sauce into sauce pan (or you can use the same saute pan).  Bring to boil and reduce for about two minutes until sauce thickens.

Plate fish with onions, peppers and sauce.  Top with chopped candied walnuts and fresh parsley.  Suggestion:  Serve with yellow rice

Not an endorsement of the restaurant and no product was supplied to blogger.

"It features the King of Gulf fish, Snapper, baked in a casserole with sweet Spanish onions, green peppers, a rich gravy, olive oil, fresh garlic, Sauterne wine and topped with sliced roasted almonds. Served with yellow rice garnished with fried eggplant and shrimp supreme." (Columbia Restaurant Menu).

I was so hungry for this dish today, but darn, I didn't have any Snapper... but I had Tilapia.  I did not have any white California Sauterne wine... but I had a bottle of cheap red California Sangria in my refrigerator and a little brandy on hand. 

Forget the eggplant and shrimp garnish. I  didn't have that either, but I did have some Valencia rice and Annato, so I could make my "fake out" yellow rice. 

On all the other ingredients - check -  I was good to go!

Except for the almonds... so I used candied walnuts.  Hey, that goes pretty darn good with the brandy, let me tell you.

Okay, so I guess my dish isn't anything like the other.  My recipe is more of a "smothered" fish dish...  I used my creative energy and came up with something that is definitely Tampa-inspired - and it is delicioso!

As a tribute, I am calling this dish "Tilapia Ybor.' 

Makes 2 Servings:
2   4 ounce Tilapia Fillets
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour (for dredging)
2 teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Paprika
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Spanish Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup green or red Bell Pepper, sliced into rings or thin sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Butter

For the Gravy:
1/4 cup red Sangria wine
1 tablespoon Brandy
1 cup All Natural Beef Broth (you can substitute Vegetable Broth)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
Pinch of coarse Sea Salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

Butter Flavored Cooking Spray
Chopped Candied Walnuts (optional)
Fresh Chopped Italian Parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Note: I like to use my ceramic casserole dish to prepare this recipe.

Spray baking pan with cooking spray. 

Dredge Tilapia in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a Saute pan. 
Note:  I'm sure the chefs would disagree, it doesn't matter to me if your pan has sloped sides or straight, as long as it cooks evenly  In fact, this is more of a chicken frying pan that I am using.  I love it for this purpose.  Whatever works!

Add the fish dredged in seasoned flour.  Saute for approximately one minute per side.  Remove fish from pan to prepared baking dish.

Add onions and peppers.  Cook for three to four minutes until the edges begin to slightly brown.  Your pan should be at a high heat now, and with the remaining flour on the bottom, this "browning" should be easily accomplished. 

Add garlic and butter.  Cook for one more minute or until butter melts. 

Add the brandy to the wine and pour over the onions, pepper, and garlic.  Stir in beef broth.  Add the olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and combine.

Bring gravy to boil and reduce to simmer, about three or four minutes. 

Pour gravy over the Tilapia.  Bake for (trust me - you know I test all my recipes) 28 minutes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Italian Tuna and Broccoli Casserole

Italian Tuna and Broccoli Casserole

I am not big into casseroles because casseroles tend to be a bit, well… fattening. 

My Tuna and Broccoli Casserole is lighter.  No roux.  No heavy sauce.   You can actually taste the tuna and the broccoli. 

I used 2% milk.  There is no added salt to the dish other than what’s in the sauce and in the cheese.  I even bumped up the fiber by using whole grain pasta.

This is a complete dinner.   You don’t even need to make a salad. The veggies are in here! 

I love these types of one dish dinners for weeknights.   You can clean up stage one while the casserole is baking.  There is relatively little cleanup after dinner.

I used a semi-dry white Florida Chablis from the beautiful Lakeridge winery in my dish.  This Chablis is made with Muscadine. You can select any semi-dry wine you have on hand.  I just think the wine adds a little something to the sauce, but you can certainly leave it out.  

Of course, if you are using the wine, you might want to have a glass of that Chablis with your meal.  The Florida Chablis pairs perfectly with this old time-style recipe. 

You can use another brand of garlic and herb sauce if you have your favorite.  You can also use your favorite brand of crispy onions (and your favorite flavor).  This recipe was tested with the brands listed below.*

Makes 4 Servings:


3 cups whole grain Corkscrew Pasta, cooked al dente
1 package Knorr® Garlic and Herb Sauce Mix
1 ½ cups 2% Milk
1 tablespoon Butter
Splash of white semi-dry White Wine (optional)
½ tablespoon Italian Seasoning
¼ teaspoon grated Nutmeg
2 cups Broccoli florets
1  5 ounce can Solid White Italian Style Tuna packed in oil, drained and flaked
4 slices Tomato
½ cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheese
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
¼ cup Crispy Onions (suggest Fresh Gourmet® Garlic Pepper flavor)

Other:  Butter Flavored Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 casserole dish with cooking spray.

Cook pasta per package directions to al dente. 

Prepare sauce mix with 2% milk and butter.  Grate in nutmeg,.  Stir in Italian seasoning and white wine if using.

Steam broccoli florets in two tablespoons of water in the microwave for two minutes. 

Combine hot pasta, sauce and broccoli carefully so that you don’t break up the florets. 

Stir in tuna.  Fold mixture into prepared casserole dish.

Top with tomato, cheese and fresh pepper.   You can spray a little more of the butter-flavored cooking spray on top of the tomato and cheese to help promote a golden brown color.   

Bake, uncovered,  for 20 minutes.

Top with crispy onions and continue to bake for another 5 minutes. 

Let casserole rest for about five minutes before serving.

*No product was supplied to blogger and the use of these products is not an endorsement.

If you like the sauce that I used to make this dish, you might also like:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Braciola Gorgonzola

Braciola Gorgonzola

Braciola ( plural is Braciole - pronounced "brajole") is an Italian-American speciality.  My recipe doesn't require expensive or fancy ingredients; no pine nuts and no prosciutto.  

It's beef, stuffed with a light mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs and cheese, braised in the oven and basted with a simple tomato sauce. The addition of the Gorgonzola cheese puts this dish over-the-top.  

Healthy Cook's  Note:  You might be surprised to learn that the Gorgonzola cheese adds ONLY 50 calories per serving.

The dish I prepared is enough for two people.  Make two or three rolls if you are feeding four or more.  This recipe is easy to double or triple.

I use a light mayonnaise in my stuffing, so I don't use oil to bind the breadcrumbs together.  I use a little cold water.  I find this works great.  The mayonnaise adds flavor and richness, and you don't need any extra oil other than what you use to brown the meat.

Top round steak is used as it's inexpensive.  Look for one that is thinly sliced; less pounding!  The only thing you have to remember is to continuously baste the meat once you take the foil off; a little "crusting" on the outside is normal.  If you don't baste the meat, it can get dry.  There are plently of Braciole recipes out there where the meat braises all day in sauce.  You can find one to your liking, I am sure if this one is not for you.

I selected a semi-dry white wine to make the sauce. I think the little bit of sweetness just adds something.  Anytime you "bake" tomato sauce, it gets very think and almost caramelized.  I like to use a splash or two at the end to thin it out a bit before serving. 

I also use granulated garlic and onion in this dish.  I prefer it as I believe it blends well into the stuffing and into the sauce. 

Note:  For drinking, I recommend an Italian jug wine, such as a Paisano.  A nice mint iced tea also does the trick.

Nothing fancy here; just great eats!


3/4 - 1 pound Top Round Steak, pounded flat
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese

For the Stuffing: 
1/2 cup seasoned Breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan and Romano Cheese
2 tablespoons light Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1/4 cup Cold Water
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cooking Spray
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, for browning
Fresh Oregano and Basil for garnish (optional but suggested)

Simple Tomato Sauce:

15 ounces Tomato Sauce
2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
2 teaspoons Onion Powder
1/2 tablespoon dried Oregano
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Semi Dry White Wine, plus 2 tablespoons reserved

Note:  You will need butcher's twine to prepare this dish.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Add tomato sauce ingredients (except for the wine) to pan and stir.  Add to oven while preheating.

Pound meat to desired thickness.

Combine all stuffing ingredients.  Mix well until the texture becomes something like nut cookie dough (that's the best way I can describe it).  

Spread the stuffing mixture down the center of the meat.  Roll top to bottom and secure with butcher's twine.

Place the meat roll on top of the sauce.  Baste with some of the sauce and tent lightly with foil, being careful that the foil doesn't make contact with the tomato sauce.

Bake, covered, for 1 hour and 1/2.

Remove foil tent.  Add 1/4 of wine to the sauce.  Bake for 1/2 hour more, basting repeatedly.

Remove from oven and let meat rest for about 10 minutes.  Remove twine and slice into six rounds.

Top with Gorgonzola cheese and lay the rounds back onto the sauce.

Return to oven and bake 10 - 15 minutes until cheese is melted.

Note:   You can add a little water along with the two tablespoons of wine to rejuvenate your "baked" tomato sauce before topping the meat pinwheels.  This gives it a nice bright red color and thins it out a bit.

Top with fresh herbs.

Cut calories by skipping the pasta.  I like to serve this dish with sautéed mushrooms with thyme and broccoli roasted with Parmesan cheese. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pork and Poblano Chili with a Cornbread Crust

Kraft and Philadelphia Brand are on a mission this holiday season to provide 100,000 meals to Feeding America this holiday season!*   The website is asking members to submit mini-cooking videos using A Touch of Philly cheeses.  For each video uploaded, 200 meals will be secured and for each photo submitted, 100 meals will be secured.   I had to do my part to help out. 

Pork and Poblano Chili
with a Cornbread Crust

I made my Pork and Poblano Chili with a Cornbread Crust.  I am going to share the recipe with you.  I am going to give you the link in case you would like to upload a video to help out with this great cause.

  • Servings: 4

    • 2 Roasted Poblanos, skin removed and seeded
    • 2 tbsp. of Olive Oil
    • 1 medium Spanish Onion, diced
    • 1 clove fresh Garlic, minced
    • 1 pound(s) of Ground Pork
    • 1 tbsp. of Ground Cumin
    • 1 Fresh Cayenne Pepper, seeded and minced
    • 2 tsp. of Chili Powder (optional)
    • 2 tsp. of ground Oregano
    • 2 tsp. of course Sea Salt, more to taste
    • 1/2 tsp. of freshly ground Pepper, or to taste
    • 1 tbsp. of Light Brown Sugar, more to taste
    • 15 ounce(s) of Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
    • 15 ounce(s) of Diced Tomato for Chili
    • 12 ounce(s) of Ginger Ale
    • 1 cup(s) of cold Water
    • 1 tbsp. of Cornstarch
    • 1 Package Cornbread Muffin mix, prepared by box directions
    • 2 cup(s) of PHILADELPHIA Touch of Philly Three Cheese blend, more to taste
    1. To roast Poblanos - simply drizzle with olive oil and bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour. This can be done ahead of time.
    2. Add olive oil to Dutch oven and heat over medium heat.
    3. Add onion and garlic. Saute for five minutes, but do not brown.
    4. Add ground pork, cumin, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder (if using), and ground oregano. Cook until pork is browed to your liking.
    5. Add salt and pepper. Note; do not add the salt while browning the meat. This will slow down the browning process.
    6. Add brown sugar, beans and diced tomato. Stir.
    7. Add ginger ale.
    8. Mix water and corn starch until blended. Add to Dutch oven.
    9. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, at least two hours. I think low and slow is better when cooking chili. If you have more than two hours, take your time with it. It will only get better!
    10. Prepare cornbread mix per package directions and add in desired amount of cheese to mixture.
    11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    12. Ladle chili into an oven-safe crock (fill about half way). Add cheese and then ladle more chili on top.
    13. Top with three tablespoons of cornbread mixture (or or less to your liking). Bake for about 15 minutes. If your crust is thicker, go longer. If not, you can check it at about 10 minutes. You want the cornbread to set-up.

    Check out my video.  It is on the second page in the gallery, as well as all the other great videos.

    *The monetary equivalent of meals will be donated.  $0.14 equals one meal secured by Feeding America on behalf of local food banks. 

    Note:  Not an endorsement and no product was supplied to blogger.

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops with Green Dressing

    As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, Foodbuzz and Green Giant ® provided me with a free sample of Green Giant ® Vegetables.

    New dietary guidelines suggest that we fill half our plate at each meal with fruits and veggies.  If you read this blog regularly, you know I love my veggies.  Veggies, whole grain, regular exercise and moderation - and I am on my way to a new me!

    True story: When my husband, Dan, and I started dating thirteen years ago, he had me over for dinner.  His idea of  "meat and veggies" was frozen chicken Cordon Bleu and Jalapeño Poppers. I am so glad that Dan finally learned how to cook! 

    Dan still doesn't like to eat his vegetables.  I know many of you out there have the same problem with significant others, kids, or maybe you really don't like to eat your veggies all that much.  These recipes will get you to rethink what's on your plate.

    Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chop
    with Green Dressing

    Instead of stuffing my pork chops with stuffing, I used Green Giant ® Valley Steamers Broccoli & Cheese Sauce, and I served the "stuffing" on the side.  I coated the chops with crispy Lemon Panko breadcrumbs.  I used the remaining portion of the veggies from the bag to make a delicious dressing. 

    I used a 12 ounce package of Green Giant ® vegetables.  If you plan on making this dish for four people, use the family-sized 24 ounce package.  Each package yields three servings.  Each serving is only 45 calories. 

    I am not a big fan of frozen broccoli, but these veggies were really good. Even after steaming in the microwavable bag and then baking in the oven, the broccoli still had a nice crunch.   I believe that Green Giant ® went to great pains to ensure that the Valley Steamers taste market-fresh.

    Interesting Tip:  Frozen veggies retain more nutrients than fresh.  You can buy veggies at the farmer's market like I do every weekend.  But the freezing process is what keeps the goodness in.

    These pork chops are so juicy.  The cheesy goodness just makes the filling in the chops so delicious.

    Makes 2 Servings:

    Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops:

    1 cup Green Giant ® Valley Steamers Broccoli & Cheese Sauce
    4  boneless Pork Loin Chops, pounded to 1/4 inch thick
    1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
    1 Egg, Beaten
    1 teaspoon Hot Sauce
    2/3 cup Lemon Panko Bread Crumbs

    Other:  Butter Flavored Cooking Spray; fresh chopped Parsley

    Note:  You will need toothpicks for securing the pork chops

    For the Dressing:

    1 cup Water
    1 cup boxed Stuffing Mix
    1/2 cup Green Giant ® Valley Steamers Broccoli & Cheese Sauce, minced

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Steam vegetables in the microwave per package directions.  Let cool.

    Pound pork chops to 1/4 inch thick.

    Place 1/2 cup of the Broccoli & Cheese mixture on one pork chop.  Top with second pork chop.  Secure with tooth picks.  Repeat with other chop(s).

    Dredge chops in flour.   Beat hot sauce and egg together.  Dip chops into egg mixture, and then turn over into Panko bread crumbs until coated.

    Spray baking dish with cooking spray.  Add chops to dish.  Spray top of chops with more cooking spray.

    Break for 45 minutes until pork is cooked thoroughly and Panko begins to slightly brown.  Adjust cooking time as needed.

    To make the dressing.

    Bring water to boil.  Add stuffing mix.  Remove from heat.

    Add remaining chopped vegetable mixture to stuffing.  Stir.

    Turn mixture in a pie pan sprayed with cooking spray and even out in pan.  Bake along side pork chops for 20 minutes until top of dressing begins to brown.

    Top chops and dressing with fresh parsley.