Archive for December, 2009

Hot Spiced Pork and Rice

This is really more like a pork and rice stew. It was really simple to put together and tasted awesome when it was done. The leftovers taste even better today.

I got the recipe out of “Ultimate Casseroles”- which is a supplemental magazine published by Better Homes and Gardens. I am such a sucker for the glossy magazines at the grocery store…with their photos of heartachingly-rich dishes on the cover…promising warmth and gooiness.

Anyhoo- I bought it and have now made 3 things out of it, with a 4th on the docket for this afternoon (Black Bean Lasagne to take to a New Year’s gathering).

Here’s the recipe:

2 to 2 1/4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast (I used already cubed pork stew meat)
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
1 8 ounce can water chestnuts (I didn’t have any so I left them out)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons white corn syrup
1 to 2 teaspoons red chili paste (I had curry paste and it was fine)
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1/3 cup sliced green onions for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut meat into 3/4 inch pieces. In an extra large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Cook meat, half at a time, in hot oil til brown. Transfer meat to an ungreased 3 quart rectangular baking dish and stir in carrots, sweet pepper and water chestnuts. I didn’t have a 3 qt. dish so I used my dutch oven and it worked fine.
Add the remaining oil to the skillet and cook onions til tender. Add rice, cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in broth, water, soy sauce, molasses, corn syrup, chili paste and five spice powder. Cook and stir until it all comes to a boil. Add to meat mixture and stir to combine.
Bake, uncovered, about 1 hour or until meat and rice are tender. Let stand, covered, for 10 more minutes before serving. Garnish with green onions and serve.

This was so good! It was sweet and spicy and very warm. Next time I’ll add more veggies. I think mushrooms and cauliflower would be great additions. You could really use any combination of meat and/or veggies you wanted.

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Potato and Leek Gratin

Potato and Leek Gratin

Originally uploaded by lyricalmezzo

I saw an ad, which I promptly lost, with a recipe for potato and leek gratin. I went with what I could remember of the recipe and this is what I came up with.

2 leeks – washed and chopped (just use the tender white portion of the leek – I soaked them in water while I prepared the rest of the dish so they would be clean)
3lbs of potatoes, peeled (I used red potatoes – I am sure russets would work equally well)
6 oz of Jarlsberg grated cheese (the recipe calls for Gruyere, but that is too pricey for me)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Saute the leeks in about 2 tablespoons of butter until tender
Slice peeled potatoes into 1/4 inch slices
butter the sides and bottom of a casserole dish
Put one layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the casserole dish.
sprinkle with leeks and grated cheese
add another layer of potatoes – and top with leeks and cheese – repeat process until all ingredients are used – make sure you have enough cheese to cover the top layer of potatoes.

Bake covered for 20 minutes; after 20 minutes remove the cover and bake for another 25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender and the cheese is golden brown.

This is super delicious! I will definitely add this into the rotation.

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Cranberry Sauce


Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

This is the cranberry sauce I made for the potluck Christmas party Friday afternoon. It is Tyler Florence’s recipe. I liked the fact that it was made from whole berries. I didn’t like the tartness that much. I ended up increasing the sugar, and it still tasted too tart for me. Other people seemed to like it, so I guess it was ok. You can go here for the recipe.

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Corn Casserole


Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

Here’s another awful picture. I could have taken it out of the tin foil, huh?

This is another of the potluck dishes I’ve had to make over the course of the week. This particular dish is Paula Deen’s Corn Casserole. It turned out pretty well. If I do it again, though, I’ll add a can of spicy green chile to it, to cut the richness and sweetness. You can go to here if you want to see the recipe- it was very easy.

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Pasta Salad


Originally uploaded by All Things Mimi

Is this not the worst picture of pasta salad you’ve ever seen? I’m not proud of it, but I’ve had so little time to cook since September, taking professional looking pictures isn’t even in my top 50 things to do.

Anyhoo- I needed a salad to take to a Christmas party, so I decided to throw this one together. There was no recipe. I bought some refrigerated cheese tortellini, chopped up some pepperoni, diced a block of part skim mozzarella cheese and threw in some marinated artichoke hearts. I tossed it with a little homemade balsamic vinaigrette and that’s the end of the story. Except for next time, I’ll add olives. It needed the zing.

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