Pork Shoulder Ragu

This appeared on Dinner A Love Story, one of my favorite sources these days. The original recipe called for braising in a dutch oven for 3-4 hours. Given that we don’t own a dutch over (why do they cost so much!?!) and it is much easier to put stuff in the crock pot and go off to work and come home to a tasty meal, I adapted it for the crock pot…or more truthfully, I just followed the recipe, it didn’t need any adaptation! YUM!

All I did was brown the pork shoulder in a skillet first as directed. After putting the pork in the crock pot I put the red wine in the skillet to deglaze and get all the browned bits scraped up. Add that and everything else to the crock pot and cook on low for a while, I did 9 hours because that’s how long it was until dinner time!

Came out yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

Quinoa pumpkin pancakes

OK, so it looks like most of my favorite meals are breakfasts. It is true that on most weekends I’ll come up with an idea based on some ingredient we have and Google around until I find something that looks good.

Today we had some pumpkin left over from last weekend and just found out about quinoa. I saw a few recipes around the similar to this, but they either didn’t have pumpkin, or used quinoa flour. So here’s our version:

Quinoa pumpkin pancakes

Cook 1/2 cup quinoa (1/2 c raw + 1 c water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15min. Start it and mix the rest of the stuff and it will be ready to add in at the end.*)

In a bowl mix:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground ginger

Add in:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs melted butter or oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1.5 cup milk
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • And the cooked quinoa

Mix it all up and adjust the consistency as needed. Cook in pan, top with maple syrup or whatever you like.

* Under normal circumstances it probably wouldn’t take 10-15 minutes to mix this up, but this morning we had a standoff in the kitchen with the kids arguing over who got to add the baking powder: Kid 2 brandishing the open container of baking powder, Kid 1 refusing to relinquish the measuring spoons! My attempts to mediate the situation were futile and kids were banished from the kitchen…

Sweet and Sour Pork

Based on this recipe, we made some really great sweet and sour pork.

1 c. flour
2 lb. pork tenderloin
3 beaten eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1/3 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. catsup
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 c. pineapple chunks
1 bag stir fry veggies (broccoli, snow peas, etc.)
  1. Put flour in one pie dish and eggs into another
  2. Cut pork tenderloin into 3/4 inch cubes.
  3. Dip meat into egg, then into flour.
  4. Fry pork in vegetable oil (360 degrees) for 6 to 9 minutes, until done; drain on paper towels; keep warm.
  5. In wok or skillet stir fry  veggies until almost done.
  6. Combine the sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice (reserved from draining pineapple chunks) and catsup. Add to veggies and heat.
  7. Blend 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Stir into skillet. Cook, stirring until mixture is thick and bubbly.
  8. Add the pork and pineapple. Heat and stir about 5 minutes. Serve over rice.

Meals for Jan 22-29, 2011

Not much on sale at Publix this week, and lots of meals from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cook Book (TFMCB), but here are the meals…

  1. Pizza that we didn’t get around to making last week
  2. Frozen Sweet Potato and Gruyere Turnovers.
  3. Pasta with Pureed Red Beans and Shiitakes (TFMCB p. 214)–using baby portobellos and adding one leftover chicken and apple sausage.
  4. Lemony Zucchini Risotto (TFMCB p. 302)
  5. Crisp and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas with beef (TFMCB p. 410, also here).
  6. Chicken pot pie, based on something like this.
  7. BBQ meatballs and Creamed Spinach made with no Cream.
  • 1 lbs ground beef, 1 chopped onion, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 egg, salt and pepper, 1 tsp sage, 1 tsp rosemary
  • Form meatballs and brown in skillet. Add to crock pot with 1 jar BBQ sauce. Cook on low.

Update 1/23: While I can find no corroborating evidence online to link to, our calendar has Jan 23rd listed as National Meatloaf Day…so we’ve reworked the menu and today will be an old favorite: Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Meatloaf.

Pumpkin Omelets

We love pumpkin, and are always looking for new ways to incorporate it into meals. We make pumpkin pancakes and muffins a fair bit, but this morning I wanted to use some of the abundance of eggs that we have…

I found this recipe for pumpkin omelets. They were really good. We tripled the recipe for the 4 of us and made a few small modifications:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp real maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 Tbs caramel syrup
  • 3 oz cream cheese

Mix all but the cream cheese together and when firm add the cream cheese in small chunks, fold remove from heat and cover. Let set for a couple of minutes.

Sweet potato and gruyere turnovers

As mentioned in the weekly recipe post, the Sept 2010 issue of Real Simple has a version of these turnovers that is basically 4 times everything. They freeze really well–just freeze uncooked and pop in the oven frozen for 30-35 min at 400˚–and make an easy weeknight meal once they are made.

Whole wheat pie crust: Makes 8 crusts (yes it’s a lot, but remember this makes 4 meals!): mix 4 cups white flour, 4 cups whole wheat flour, 1-2 tsp salt. Cut in 1 cup butter and 1 1/3 cup vegetable shortening. Add about 1 1/2 cups ice cold water with a bit of lemon and mix. You will probably need another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to get the right consistency.

We use smoked gruyere which adds a lot to the flavor! I like to cook the grated sweet potatoes a little bit, so add that along with the Swiss chard.

Meals for Jan 16-22, 2011

This week’s meals: a couple more from The Food Matters Cook Book…and a few other things from around the web. Finish it off with a couple old favorites.

  1. Teriyaki noodles with asparagus and chicken (TFMCB).
  2. Chipotle quinoa with corn and black beans (and a bit of steak) (TFMCB)
  3. Sweet and sour pork–something we made last week reminded the kids about this and they’ve been asking for it. Adding a bag of stir fry veggies to bump up the veggie content.
  4. Sausage and spinach quiche.
  5. Homemade pizza
  6. Grilled sausages with broccoli on the side.
  7. Sweet Potato and Gruyere turnovers: the Sept 2010 issue of Real Simple scaled this up for a meal swap. We make it and freeze. You get four amazingly delicious meals ready to throw in the oven and eat–freezer to table in 45 minutes! A bit expensive with all the Swiss chard and gruyere, but SO worth it! We make our own whole wheat pie crust: for 8 crusts (yes it’s a lot, but remember this makes 4 meals!): mix 4 cups white flour, 4 cups whole wheat flour, 1-2 tsp salt. Cut in 1 cup butter and 1 1/3 cup vegetable shortening. Add about 1 1/2 cups ice cold water with a bit of lemon and mix.  You will probably need another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to get the right consistency.

Blueberry Souffle

Still trying to catch up on posts…especially where I have some photos. Last weekend, I made the blueberry souffle from the Yumology blog. One of the reasons I started this log was for recipes like this…I run across is online on a weekend morning trying to figure out what to make for breakfast, and make it. Trying to keep track of the successes and failures has been difficult.

Part of our challenge is modifying recipes to fit out no peanut, tree nut, fish diet since Kid 1 has life threatening allergies to these. The original recipe on Yumology had almonds and almond paste. I substituted sun butter (sunflower seeds) for the almond paste…ended up being a bit of an odd flavor, maybe  use a bit less than called for next time.

But something else happened and it took about twice as long as the recipe called for to cook. I am not sure if there was more water in the berries or what, but it was a bit soupy.

That aside, it was a delicious breakfast treat!