Fried Pork Chops with Potato Casserole & Cowboy Creme Brûlée

You can’t go wrong with this dinner at our house! I have finally mastered frying pork chops. The cowboss is busy checking on the cows and calves many times a day, so the last thing he wants to do is to grill these  chops outside. He comes home and crashes hard every night. So, I needed to learn how to cook pork chops inside and still have the tender meat you get from the BBQ. It sure took me a few disasters, but I have nailed down!

Our new favorite light dessert is Cowboy Creme Brûlée. What is that thing?! It was so good that I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of that tasty concoction. Gone, in a second. Check out the recipe below. Easy, light and delicious recipe. IMG_1283.JPG

Pork Chops:

  • 4 pieces – 3/4″ bone in pork chops – cut a small incision into the fat side of the chop. This prevents curling of the chop. It will stay nice and flat.
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Weber Kicking Chicken Seasoning or you can use paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt (You should try the Kicking Chicken Seasoning. It is a great blend that works on chicken as well as pork).
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 stick of butter (I know, I know. Trying to cut out butter as much as I can, but you do need it for this recipe).

Directions:

  • Bring the chops to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Pat them dry and season. Dredge in flour on both sides.
  • Heat your cast iron skillet (ribbed skillet is the best, but any will do) on high eat, let it come to a high temperature, pour in oil and butter.
  • Shake off the flour and put the chops in the skillet.
  • Cook for about  4 minutes on the first side, depending on the size of the chop.
  • The other side only takes about a couple of minutes.
  • Let the meat rest on a plate and cover with foil.

The chop is so tender, yet you end up having a nice outside crust on the meat. You have to use the butter. It just doesn’t fry right without it.

Potato Casserole: Can’t go wrong with The Pioneer Woman’s Funeral Potatoes. Just that good. We like to use the O’Brien Potatoes vs Hash Browns.

Cowboy Creme Brûlée:

  • 1 pkg vanilla pudding (cook and serve, NOT instant)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen berries (smaller is better)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Cook the pudding as directed on the package. You will need 3 oven proof bowls. The bottom of the bowls get the frozen berries and you will pour the hot pudding over the fruit. This will let out all of the fruit juices. Let it cool on the counter for about 10 minutes and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Sprinkle sugar over the top and set it under the broiler for about 30 seconds. Don’t walk away. It goes quick! It is nice and light and fancy! It is hard for us to go out for dinner during this time of year, so we need to be creative. 🙂

Dobrou Chut! Bon Appetite!

Advertisements

Fancy Dinner under 30 Minutes – Schnitzel

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

Schnitzel with rice and asparagus is your everyday fancy dinner. It is very often requested by our son aka “Top Ranch Hand”. I like making Schnitzel, because it can be so versatile. I can use pork, fish or chicken. Let’s face it.. anything breaded is really good and you will score big brownie points with your crowd.

What is Schnitzel? A thin piece of meat that is breaded (flour, egg, breadcrumbs) and fried to perfection.

Best cuts to use: boneless pork chops, chicken breast, cod, tilapia, etc. Pork chops and chicken breast should be thin. I like to use my handy dandy kitchen hammer. Cover your meat with clear foil, so you don’t end up wearing all the meat juices and pound away on both sides. The meat will be thin in no time.

Seasoning: You can’t skip on seasoning. Season both sides of the meat with salt, pepper and paprika. You can certainly use Lemon Pepper Seasoning on fish.

Dipping stations: Once your meat is thin, seasoned, it is time to bread it. Use one dinner plate for flour, second dinner plate for egg with a splash of milk – whisk it, third dinner plate for seasoned bread crumbs – you can use Italian, garlic or Panko breadcrumbs are all great choices. Pat the breaded meat with your hands to make sure all sticks together. If you have time, but not necessary, put the meat in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This ensures, all of the flour, egg and breadcrumbs will stick to the meat.

Cooking time: Heat up a cast iron pan, pour in about 4 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Trust me, the butter makes it extra good. Fry the meat on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side for chicken, 4 minutes for pork and fish. I usually check that the meat is done in the middle, especially the chicken.

Sides: Mashed potatoes are always a hit. I have served our dinner with wild rice. You can make fancy rice scoops with your ice-cream scoop. (Restaurant tip). Steamed or roasted asparagus with fennel will be another great addition to your plate. Lemon! Don’t forget it! Lemon is a nice garnish for your plate, but use the juice on your meat right before you serve it. Just a few drops over the cooked meat.

Leftovers: If you have any! Schnitzel sandwich – rye bread, mustard, pickle and Schnitzel. The best travel lunch. My mom made these sandwiches for all of our road trips.

Appetizer: This was very popular for one of our dinner parties: Cut up your Schnitzel (this time chicken or pork would be the best choices) into bite size pieces, put it onto a buttered and toasted french baguette that was also cut up into bite size pieces, top it with a sliced pickle. Use a toothpick to secure and serve it on a big platter. You can also put a little bit of spicy mustard on the bread. Voila!

Dobrou chut! Bon Appetite!

 

 

 

Gulas -Polish Sausage with Gnocchi – Dinner under 30 Minutes

What is Gulas? It is a traditional Czech meal, tasty savory sauce that is easy to make and will become a staple in your home. Gulas is typically served with beef stew meat, but we have found out that Polish sausage is even better and faster to prepare. Dinner is served under 30 minutes.

IMG_0664

Things to have on hand:

  • 3T Ranch Polish sausage – cut up
  • 1 onion – small dice
  • 1 green pepper – small dice
  • 4 cloves of garlic – chopped up
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (Hungarian Paprika is the best)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (no biggie, if you don’t have it, but adds a nice flavor)
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil or naturally refined coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 5 cups of liquid (water, chicken stock or beef stock – use whatever you have at home)
  • 2 pkgs dry gnocchi (you can buy these in the pasta isle)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • parsley for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic bread – Who doesn’t like to dip bread into a tasty sauce?!

IMG_0662

Let’s get cooking:

  • I love my new cast iron pot that I got for Christmas, but you can use any big frying pan that will hold all of the food.
  • Cut up onion, pepper and garlic.
  • Sauté the veggies in one tablespoon of oil until translucent. Take it out of the pan, add another tablespoon and sauté the sausage. My guys like to have a nice crust on both sides.
  • Put the veggies back into the pot, add 1 tablespoon of flour and stir until the flour has nice light brown color.
  • At this time also add your spices, but keep stirring! Paprika, caraway seeds, salt and pepper.
  • Slowly add the liquid and continue stirring until flour and spice mixture is absorbed into the liquid, no lumps. The flour will help to thicken your sauce.
  • Simmer for about 20 minutes. The sauce should have consistency of a pasta sauce. You can certainly add more water, if your sauce becomes too thick.
  • OK, now onto the gnocchi. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a frying pan (again cast iron works the best) and sauté the gnocchi. This will take about 8 minutes. We like to have a nice light brown crust on the gnocchi. We prefer this method of cooking vs boiling it. You will end up with crunchy outside and soft inside.
  • You are ready to serve! Garnish with parsley. I forgot, but it was still a hit!

Dobrou chut! Bon Appetite!

 

 

What You Can Find at Home Soup

IMG_4342

That is what my mom always called this hearty soup. It has so many variations and it never disappoints. Basically, you search through your fridge or pantry to see what you have on hand. It is raining, the baby is sleeping and I have zero desire to hit the store! The Cowboss and Top Ranch Hand are also going to have the Wolfpack football practice tonight in the rain. So, I figured, I better make them a good warm meal that can fight off any cold! Important note: Feel free to substitute for the veggies you don’t have from my list. Really, any veggies that you like will do.

IMG_2682

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery chopped
  • 4 big carrots chopped
  • 1/2 cauliflower small florets
  • 1 corn or 1/2 bag of frozen corn
  • 4 medium size potatoes cubed
  • 1 3T Ranch ham hog
  • parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to sauté the veggies

Directions:

Sauté onion, celery, carrots, cauliflower until translucent. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to the veggies. (I usually add just one teaspoon of nutmeg and taste it again before the soup is done, if it needs the additional teaspoon. The nutmeg will bring out the flavor). Add the flour and constantly stir for about a minute until the veggies are all coated. Now it is the time to add the milk. Stir as you are pouring the milk in. The liquid will thicken.  Pour in the stock and water, stir to make sure you don’t have any lumps. Include potatoes and cauliflower into the liquid. Time for the star of the show the ham hog. It will add so much flavor and some meat will also fall off into the soup. You can peel of the meat from the bone when the soup is done. Cook on low to medium heat  for about 45 minutes. Check for seasoning. Depending on the type of your stock, you may need to add more salt. This would be a good time to add the additional teaspoon of nutmeg, if needed. Garnish with parsley. Dobrou chut!

Thai Country Style Pork Ribs

10626830_333394460175063_6310148590309309654_n
My cowboys discovered Thai cuisine and just can’t get enough. I came up with a simple crockpot recipe that is simple and finger licking tasty!
You will need 2 pounds of country style pork ribs (preferably 3T Ranch pork), 2 cups of regular coke, 3 tbsp of finally chopped fresh ginger, 4 scallions chopped, ¼ soy sauce, 2 tsp of sesame oil, 2 tbsp of brown sugar, ½ to 1 cup of water. Super easy step.. everything goes into the crockpot for 6 hours on low. Right before serving, skim off the fat from the gravy that has been cooking for the past 6 hours. I keep the meat in chunks, but you can certainly shred it as well. Rice noodles are the best with this dish. Cook the noodles according to the box directions. (I found rice noodles that you only have to soak in hot water and serve). Serve the meat on the plate and mix the noodles and gravy together. Garnish with some extra green onion.

Bon Appetite!

Chorizo Pockets

11046441_424470057734169_5978580546978815466_o

Easy and fast dinner. Chorizo Pockets. 1lb 3T Ranch Chorizo, 1 diced onion, 1 diced green pepper, 2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent Dough, 1/3 cup of cheddar, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Saute onion, green pepper and Chorizo, stir in cheese and cilantro. Unroll Pillsbury dough, use half of the dough as the base, scoop good amount of filling and use the rest of the dough for the top. Seal all sides and poke a couple of holes on the top for the air to escape during baking. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes. You should be able to make 4 pockets from the two cans. Enjoy!

Polska Kielbasa

11295555_450335325147642_2442604638152654295_n

Polska kielbasa wrapped in Pillsbury Pizza Ready Dough. Easy dinner! Cut the dough in half before you unroll it. Spread spicy brown mustard on both halves, put kielbasa in the middle and roll it up. Bake at 400 for about 16 minutes. Cut up into a bite size pieces. Great appetizer also.

Sausage Biscuit Bites

IMG_3954

1 can flaky biscuits (Grands Jr)

1/2 lb sausage – 3T Hot Italian
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Mix uncooked sausage and cheese gently until well blended. Shape into 20 balls of equal size. Remove biscuits from the can and separate each biscuit into two layers, making 20 total biscuit layers. Press one layer of biscuit into cup of lightly greased mini-cupcake pan. Repeat with remaining layers. Place sausage-cheese ball in each biscuit cup. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until biscuits are browned and sausage balls are bubbly.
We have sure enjoyed these during our Sunday brunch.