Asian Pork Chops

ASIAN PORK CHOPS

     I love almost any kind of Meat if it’s prepared Asian-style.  These Pork Chops are knock your socks off delicious!  A little Soy, a little Honey, a little Ginger, Garlic, a few other ingredients, and you won’t believe it!  This recipe can be Baked, Pan Fried, Broiled, or Grilled.  It literally took five minutes of prep.  Prepare and Cook in the same dish!  So simple.

P.S.  Wait until you see what I did with the leftovers!!!  Watch for it.

INGREDIENTS: 

4-6 Boneless Pork Chops

¼ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

2 TBSP Hoisin Sauce *

1 TBSP Honey

1 TBSP Brown Sugar (light or dark)

3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 tsp Rice Vinegar

¼ tsp Ginger Powder

½ tsp Black Pepper

PREPARATION:

     In a baking dish, mix all ingredients except Chops.  Stir well with a fork.  Add the Chops.  I poked a few holes in them, but it probably isn’t necessary.  Flip the Chops over.  Cover and marinate for a good hour.  Longer will be better!  *Hoisin can be salty.  Measure exactly.

     Drain the Marinade, but reserve it for basting.  You can Grill, Bake, Broil, or fry in Cast Iron.  Cooking time will vary depending on how you cook it, as well as how thick or thin your chops are.  Best to take its temp.  Don’t overcook, or your Chops will be dry, and no longer tender.  145 is suggested, Please read below:

https://www.pork.org/cooking/pork-temperature/ says:  145° F

The USDA recommends cooking chops, roasts, loins, and tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145° F, followed by a three-minute rest. Ground pork should always be cooked to 160° F.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice

Bob loves Red Beans and Rice. I normally add Meat, but he wanted Vegetarian style this time. If you would like to add Meat, we usually use Chorizo, Andouille, or Chicken, just sautee it first. If you would like it spicy, just add 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle Chili Pepper. I also added fresh Mushrooms. This is Cook’s Country recipe, and except for the slow-cooker prep, and less seasonings, this is very similar to what I normally do. They use Meat and no heat, but we like it a little spicy.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Optional: 1 cup sliced fresh Mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (About 2 3/4 cans broth) or Veggie Broth for Vegetarian-style
  • 16 oz dried Red beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 pats Butter
  • In a 12” skillet, cook onion, bell pepper, celery, (and Mushrooms if using) in a drizzle of Olive Oil and 2 pats Butter until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic, oregano, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add broth, beans, and bay leaf, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are just beginning to soften, about 20 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.
  • Cover Slow Cooker and cook on low until beans are completely tender, 4 to 5 hours (or cook on high for 3 to 4 hours).  Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Cook rice according to package instructions.  Serve beans over or next to rice.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Whatever Asian Noodles

     Most everyone loves a nice bowl of Asian Noodles.  What’s not to like, right?  A little pasta, a few Asian condiments, and whatever Veggies you like.  Want it hot?  Add some hot Sesame Oil.  Got leftover meat?  Throw it in there.  Shrimp is awesome, too!  On the table in about 15 minutes.  Get out the chop sticks!  Here is another one of my recipes:

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 4 servings

1 ½ cups leftover diced Pork, Chicken, or Beef (cooked Shrimp)

½ package of Pasta or Noodles

Olive Oil

1 cup fresh Mushrooms, sliced

½ cup Onions, sliced from top to bottom

½ cup Carrot, shredded

3-4 cloves Garlic, chopped or minced

½” piece of Ginger Root, peeled and grated

OPTIONAL VEGETABLES:  Peas, Broccoli, Bell Pepper

4-5 TBSP Dark Soy Sauce

2 tsp Oyster Sauce

2 TBSP Brown Sugar

½ tsp Hot Chili Oil*

1 tsp Sesame Oil

2 – 3 TBSP Sake, Dry Sherry, or Rice Wine Vinegar

PREPARATION:

     Cook half a package of Noodles or Spaghetti, or whatever you have in the pantry.  Drain and set aside.    

     While the Noodles are cooking, preheat a 10” or 12” skillet.  Drizzle Olive Oil in bottom.  Add Mushrooms, Onions, Carrot, Garlic, and Ginger Root.  Sautee until fragrant and Onions are soft.

     Add the leftover meat or Shrimp.  (If using raw Shrimp, allow 3 minutes to cook through). 

     Add Dark Soy, Oyster Sauce, Brown Sugar, Hot Chili Oil, Sesame Oil, and Sake.  Simmer for a few minutes.  Taste a piece of meat or Shrimp to see if you need to adjust anything.

     Add the cooked noodles to the pan and stir well.  Garnish with Sesame Seeds or Green Onions if you’d like.  Serve.

*Hot Chili Oil is VERY hot.  A little goes a long way.  Don’t add more than called for without tasting it first.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Irish Egg Rolls, Version 2, Reuben Egg Rolls

A Reuben to go!!

     It hasn’t been very long since I created a recipe for Irish Egg Rolls with leftover Corned Beef.  We all loved them, and I decided to make a different version.  We liked these even better!  Preparation is even easier, as I threw everything in my food processor.  A Reuben to go!  Here’s how I made them:

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 15 EGG ROLLS

2 ½ cups +/- Corned Beef, cooked and shredded

1 ¾ cups Sauerkraut, drained very well

1 medium Carrot, shredded

¾ cup Onion, diced

¼ cup water

8 slices Swiss Cheese

1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing

½ tsp Garlic Powder, ½ tsp Onion Powder, Salt and Pepper

Egg Roll Wrappers

Olive Oil for brushing

PREPARATION:

     Put Corned Beef in a food processor and process until finely shredded.  Place in a large bowl and set aside.

     In a small saucepan, add ¼ cup of water, Carrot, and Onion.  Simmer until Carrot is crisp tender.  Cool a bit and add to bowl.  Most if not all the water is going to evaporate, so keep an eye on it.

     Add Swiss Cheese to the food processor and process until you have small pieces.  (I did mine about ¼”).   Add to the bowl.

     If you want to process the Sauerkraut, feel free.  I used homemade, and it was a little on the large side, so I gave it a quick process. Add to the bowl.

   Stir all the ingredients and add Thousand Island dressing, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, and a little Salt.

          Place wrapper down with corner facing you and place a good 1/3 cup of the filling on the wrapper.  Roll wrapper away from you.  When you get to the corners, wet them with your fingers and press down with your index finger to seal.  Wet and seal.  Repeat until filling is gone.

     Brush top, bottom and sides of each Egg Roll and place in a 400° F air fryer.  Cook until they are browned and crisp. 3-5 minutes. Depending on the type of air fryer you have, you may have to turn your Egg Rolls over with tongs and cook the other side. (Feel free to Bake or Pan-Fry).

DIPPING SAUCES: Best to make these early, and refrigerate to help the flavors meld.

Mustard Sauce: 4 TBSP Honey Dijon Mustard, 2 TBSP Yellow Mustard, 1 TBSP Rice Vinegar, 2 tsp Mustard Powder, ¼ + Cayenne Pepper (or Chipotle Powder). 

Thousand Island Dressing, Use your favorite bottled dressing or make Homemade by combining ¼ + cup Ketchup, ¾ cup Mayo, 2 tsp Sweet Relish, 1 TBSP minced Onion, ½ tsp Garlic Powder, Pepper. (Optional half a Hard-Cooked Egg, finely chopped).

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce: ¼ cup Mayo, 1 TBSP Prepared Mustard, 1 tsp Honey, 1 tsp Lemon Juice.  Spice it up by adding a dab of Horseradish or ½ tsp Sriracha Sauce.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Lentil and Potato Soup

     A quick, and hearty Soup that everyone is sure to love.  If you want to add Meat, feel free.  Lentils are very inexpensive and so healthy; high in fiber, low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, and a great vegetarian protein.  There is no soaking involved, and cook quickly.  I’m sure there are a bazillion recipes for Lentil Soup.  Here is my version:

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 4 servings

2-3 TBSP Olive Oil

1/2 cup Onion, chopped

1/4 cup Celery, chopped

1 large Carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 clove Garlic

¼” Fresh Ginger root, minced

2 TBSP Tomato Paste

1 tsp Salt

¼ cup Water

1 ½ cups Dried Lentils, rinsed and sorted

1 large Tomato, peeled and seeded

2 cans chicken broth (or veggie broth)

¼ tsp dried Coriander

¼ tsp dried Cumin

1/8 tsp Thyme

Black Pepper to taste

1 cup Potato, chunked (I don’t peel them)

OPTIONAL:  When serving, you can give everyone a slice of fresh Lemon to squeeze on their soup.

PREPARATION:

     Drizzle Olive Oil in the bottom of a 4-quart pot.  Place Onion, Celery, Carrot, Garlic, Ginger Root, Tomato Paste, Salt, and Water in the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes.

     Meanwhile, cut through the skin of a large fresh Tomato in quarters.  (No need to cut into the fruit, just pierce the skin.  Remove the core.  Place upside down on a paper plate and microwave on high for 90 seconds.  Let cool a bit, and then peel the skin right off.  Discard the skin and seeds. 

     Add the drained Lentils, Tomato, and Broth to the pot.  Bring to a simmer and add the seasonings.

     Simmer covered for 20 minutes.  While simmering, if it looks like it needs a little more liquid, go ahead and add a little more Broth. Add chunked Potatoes, cover, and cook until tender, another 12-15 min.  If you want to, you can use a potato masher and squish up some of the Lentils.  -OR- put a little of the soup in an electric food chopper and then add back to the pan.

     Serve with a loaf of homemade Bread and a slice of Lemon.  You could also serve with Rice or Pita Bread.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Crab-Stuffed Fish Fillets

Crab-Stuffed Cod Fillet

     Special enough to serve when having guests, easy enough to make on weeknights.  We love this, and found that buying them at a market is quite expensive.  It’s so simple to make at home, using any White Fish Fillets.  I’ve even stuffed Chicken Breasts with the same Stuffing mix.  Serve with your favorite Vegetable, French Fries, and of course homemade Tartar Sauce.

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 4 SERVINGS

1 ½ lbs Cod, Flounder, Tilapia or Haddock Fillets

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

½ lb crab meat, drained

1 mini sweet pepper, minced

2 TBSP celery, minced

2 TBSP onion, minced

2/3 cup Ritz or Saltines, crushed

1 egg, beaten

3 TBSP mayo

Seasonings:  Parsley, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Paprika

4 TSP Butter, melted

PREPARATION:

     Make sure Fish Fillets and Crab Meat have no excess water or your stuffing will be wet. I always pat the Fish with paper toweling before seasoning and stuffing. 

     Butterfly each Fillet.  If you feel a lot of moisture inside, pat dry again.  Lightly Salt and Pepper the inside.  Place a good amount of the Stuffing mixture inside and press closed.  Don’t press too hard or the Stuffing will leak out. 

     Squirt Lemon Juice and melted Butter over the Fillets.  Season Generously.

     Bake at 400 ° F for 25 – 30 minutes or until Fillets are golden brown and flake with a fork.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee

     If you’ve visited Louisiana, hopefully you tasted Etouffee.  In French, the word “étouffée” (borrowed into English as “stuffed” or “stifled”) literally means “smothered” or “suffocated”, from the verb “étouffer“.[1] 

     Étouffée is similar to Gumbo, but it is more a stew than a soup, and is typically cooked with Cajun seasonings, and served over rice.  History has it that Crawfish Etouffee was a staple of the Cajuns in the bayous of Louisiana, and didn’t become popular in restaurants until the 1980s.  The traditional way is to make it with Crawfish, but Shrimp is also delicious.  We always serve it with a big crusty loaf of French Bread. 

     You can be sure that there are a lot of variations to making the perfect Etouffee.  Here is Bob’s recipe:

 Ingredients

Two –12 Oz packages shrimp peeled and deveined (60-80 count)

1 cup oil

1 cup flour

1 large onion finely chopped

2 large stalks celery finely chopped

1 medium green pepper finely chopped

1 medium red pepper finely chopped

3-4 Tbsp minced garlic

1/4 cup butter

6 ounce tomato paste

*1 –  2 teaspoons fish sauce – Optional

Two 15 ounce cans chicken broth

1 cup plain water

2 chicken flavored bouillon cubes

* 1 teaspoon salt (eliminate if using fish sauce)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika (smoked if available)

1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning

Directions:

In a dutch oven make a ROUX stirring the oil and flour together and brown to the color of peanut butter. Do not brown too dark in color as you would with gumbo. 

Add onions, celery, garlic and green pepper, sauté until tender.

Mix melted butter and add tomato paste, blend until smooth.  Add to the ROUX. Stir until completely incorporated.

Pour in water with melted bouillon cubes, add chicken broth, and all seasonings. Add fish sauce.

Cook for 30 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve over rice with a loaf of crusty French Bread on the side.

Serves 6-8.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

Easy Orange Chicken

     Almost everybody loves Orange Chicken, but let’s face it, buying it to go is expensive.  Just for Bob and I, we sometimes spend $40 or more, depending on how many sides we get.  What if I told you that for about $10.50, you could feed 4 adults?  It’s true.  Side dishes are on you, but you can buy a bag of good quality pre-cooked breaded Chicken and make Homemade Orange Sauce that is every bit as good as you’d get in a restaurant.  While the Chicken is in the air fryer, or toaster oven, make the sauce.  SO EASY!  You could also use it as a dip for Egg Rolls.

INGREDIENTS: 

½ cup Orange Marmalade

½ cup Orange Juice (1 Orange)

1/3 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

2 tsp Rice Vinegar (Rice is best, but white vinegar works)

½ tsp Ginger Root, peeled and grated fine

1/8 – ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper

1/3 cup Chicken Broth

2 TBSP Corn Starch

PREPARATION:

     Place a small saucepan on the stove.  Combine all the Ingredients and whisk until combined.  Simmer until the desired thickness is obtained.  I put it in a gravy bowl and let everyone pour Sauce over their own Chicken.  Serving Egg Rolls on the side?  Oh yeah, the Sauce is a great dip.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2020

The Best Chicken Soup

INGREDIENTS:

5 lbs bone-in chicken breasts

8 cans chicken broth

1 onion, chopped and divided

3 ribs celery, divided

4 carrots, divided

1 TBSP garlic, chopped

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp parsley

½ tsp tarragon

1 whole clove (Flavors the broth tremendously.  Don’t forget to remove it before serving.  It will float)

1 bay leaf  (Remove before serving.  It will float, so will be easy to find.

PREPARATION:

     Rip that fatty skin right off the chicken and discard. (It makes the soup greasy).  In an 8 quart saucepan, simmer chicken for two hours with ½ of a chopped onion, 1 carrot and 1 rib of celery which you’re going to break into three or four pieces.  Cover the pan, but leave cover askew.  You want the broth to cook down.

     Remove chicken from pan.  I always tear the bones off and throw them back in the pot while I’m peeling and chopping vegetables.  Put chicken in the fridge. Before adding carrots, celery, garlic and reserved onion to the pan, strain the broth to remove the bones and vegetables.  

      To strain the broth, use a large pan or bowl to catch the broth.  Line the bottom of a colander with cheesecloth. (In a pinch you can use a new Wet Wipe and/or some paper toweling.  I’m such a fraidy cat about chemicals, so if I have to use a Wet Wipe, I wash it in dish water and rinse it well before I strain my broth).  Slowly pour the broth over the cheesecloth and it will filter out any small pieces of fat, bones, cooked vegetables, etc.  Let it drain well so you don’t lose a drop of that liquid gold.

     Now it’s time to add 2 ribs of celery, and 3 carrots, which you will chop, dice, or roll cut.  I always do a diagonal cut because I think it’s pretty.  Starting at the tapered end of the carrot or celery, make a diagonal cut with a sharp knife.  Turn the carrot a quarter of a turn and cut again, moving up the carrot as you go.  This cut gives you a pretty uniform size.  Simmer for another hour with cover askew.  Add some of the chicken to the pan.  This recipe makes a lot and I use the extra chicken for other meals.  i.e. chicken pot pie, chicken and biscuits, chicken chimichangas, chicken burritos, chicken and dumplings, Buffalo chicken dip, etc. About fifteen minutes before serving, add the seasonings.

     You will note that I have not added any noodles to the recipe ingredients, although there is ditalini in the photo.  Here’s why.  Noodles do NOT hold up after they’ve been cooked and frozen.  Since we normally don’t eat this as a meal, (the main reason I make my soup is for when people are feeling sicky).  I always have containers of it in the freezer and everyone knows it.  This is why they all want the recipe since I’m not in NY any more to give them what I’ve made.  Ha ha.  OK, so you have a few choices.  Add rice and let it simmer in the soup.  Rice freezes great.  Or add your noodles when you’re heating up the soup.  If you add a sturdier pasta such as ditalini or farfalle, and you won’t have the problem.

     At this point you can eat some soup and freeze the rest, or save some of the broth, and leftover chicken to make other meals. (Which I most always do.  It saves a lot of work later and you know how we love our Westover’s Leftovers).

      Feel free to add a can of tomatoes or some fresh tomatoes if you want to.

Why this soup is so good:

     Starting out with chicken broth instead of water gives instant flavor and you’ll end up with a fabulously flavorful soup. 

     Using bone-in chicken enriches the broth even more and is incredibly healthy.

     Adding a little poultry seasoning, 1 whole clove, 1 bay leaf, and tarragon gives the soup another layer of flavor.  Remove the clove and bay leaf before serving.  They’ll be easy to find because they’ll float.

     If you’re making this for sickies, freeze small batches in quart freezer bags.  You know when you’re sick you don’t want a lot of solids, so don’t put too much chicken or vegetables in it.  The broth is the ticket. If you’re freezing containers for future meals, load it up with chicken and vegetables.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Asian Pork and Noodles, a Westover Leftover

Asian Pork and Noodles, a Westover Leftover

     My newest Westover Leftover was quite a challenge. We had been out most of the day and didn’t plan anything for dinner.  I had a teeny little piece of Pork Tenderloin in the refrigerator.  It was probably enough to make one sandwich.  I wanted to do something with it, but I wasn’t sure what, and I had 3 adults to feed.  After pawing around, I saw Broccoli in the Vegetable drawer, I suddenly started yanking things out.  You might have been injured if you stood in my way.  I had Sake, Teriyaki Sauce, the Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, a package of Mushrooms, and plenty of Garlic.  No Snow Peas, but not a problem.  I’d use frozen peas.  (I ended up forgetting them and was mad!)

     Nothing was measured.  I sort of eye-balled everything, so know that the Ingredients listed below are not etched in stone, and are a guideline to get you started.  Change it out however you wish! Hate Broccoli?  No problem.  Add Bean Sprouts instead.  If you love Water Chestnuts, throw some in.  No Sake in the house?  Use White Wine.

     Ugh.  I cooked too many Noodles.  Now I have leftover Noodles.  Ha ha

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 3 – 4 SERVINGS

Leftover Pork (I used about ¼ of a Pork Tenderloin, but any leftover Pork will be fine)

1 Carrot, diced, Julienned, or shredded

1 cup or so fresh Broccoli, cut into pieces

2 mini Sweet Peppers, sliced

One 8 oz package Mushrooms (Sliced or quartered)

1 Onion, sliced lengthwise

1 cup Snow Peas (or Sweet Peas, Fresh or frozen)

¾ of a can of chicken broth +/-

¼ cup Sake +/-

¼ cup Teriyaki Sauce

¼ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 TBSP Corn Starch

Seasonings:  Black Pepper, a few dashes of Five Spice Powder, a few dashes of Ginger Powder

OPTIONAL:  Top with Sesame seeds

PREPARATION:

     Preheat a large skillet, and drizzle some Olive Oil in the bottom.  Add the Vegetables that will take the longest to cook.  I started with Broccoli and diced Carrot.  Sauté for a few minutes, and add the Mushrooms and mini Sweet Peppers.  I drizzled with a bit of Soy Sauce.  Continue cooking, adding the faster cooking Veggies as you go.  The Peas and Onion get added next.  Garlic goes last.  You can start adding Soy, Teriyaki Sauce, and Sake a tablespoon or so at a time.  The same with the Seasonings.  They can be added any time.  Do NOT over do on the Five Spice Powder or Ginger Powder because they can both be overpowering.  Add more at the end after tasting, if you wish.

     When the Veggies are cooked, push them to the side of the pan.  Add your diced or shredded Pork.  I added another few tsp each of Sake, Teriyaki Sauce and Soy Sauce.  Cook until just heated through.  Push to the side.

     I’m sure you recall that if I have leftover chicken or beef broth, I pour it into a baggie and stick it in the freezer for times like this.  I think I had somewhere between ½ and ¾ of a can of chicken broth that I pulled out.  I didn’t even thaw it.  You’ll see in the pictures.  I did allow a teeny bit of it to thaw before I added a bit of Corn Starch.  I stirred just that side of the pan until the Corn Starch was dissolved.  I brought it to a simmer, and then mixed the everything together.  Now you can give it a taste and check the Seasonings.

     Serve over cooked rice or any kind of noodles.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

A sad little piece of pork