Category Archives: Pork

Easy Barbecued Apricot Pork Ribs

Easy Barbecued Apricot Pork Ribs

During the summer months Bruce and I fire up the barbecue nearly every weekend.  Chicken, steaks and ribs are the usual fare.  Chicken is my favorite and pork ribs are Bruce’s favorite.  Sometimes, if I feel like it, I’ll make both.  Any leftovers from a Sunday afternoon barbecue makes some of the best lunches during the work week.

Okay, now that I have your attention, (and this is directed to all you “barbecue purists” out there) don’t laugh and don’t turn your nose up at this. Seriously…  I know that the sauce is not made from scratch however, my adaptation of a store bought barbecue sauce makes these ribs taste deliciously easy.  In my opinion, the combination of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce and apricot preserves makes an amazingly tasty sweet and tangy barbecue sauce.  Trust me.  Without a doubt, once you try it, I’m quite sure that you’ll want to make these ribs again.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks pork ribs
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 cup store bought barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s but use whatever you prefer)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wash and trim pork ribs and pat dry. Put ribs on foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper.  Tightly cover ribs with additional foil. Place in oven for 2 hours or until ribs are very tender. Preheat barbecue grill. In a small bowl mix together the apricot preserves and store bought barbecue sauce. Place ribs on medium high barbecue and mop ribs liberally with the sauce. Ribs are done when you get a desired char.  The ribs should only take about 10-15 minutes on the BBQ.  Serves 4 – 6.  Enjoy!

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Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie

I stopped at the store the other day and came home with a couple of pounds of gorgeous locally grown red potatoes.  At first, I was thinking of making a garlic mash with them and then I thought maybe some good old fashioned scallop potatoes.  I could not decide and then I figured it out…  I wanted to make a Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie.  I imagined a savory red potato pie without a crust but with chopped ham, onions, garlic, fresh shaved Parmesan and Oregon’s own Tillamook cheddar cheese.  I wanted to make it kind of like an “impossible pie”.

My Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie is a lovely dish to serve at a Sunday brunch or with a cup of soup or salad for lunch or dinner.  I ate my slice of Red Potato Ham and Cheese Pie with a perfectly cooked over easy egg on the side.  It was absolutely delicious!   Enjoy!  – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped ham
  • 1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup medium diced onion
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • salt to taste (it all depends on the saltiness of the ham)

Begin by boiling your red potatoes in salted water until just fork tender.  Whatever you do, just do not over cook the potatoes.  You want to be able to slice them thinly later.  Remove cooked potatoes from water and let cool.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab a nine inch diameter spring-form pan and spray with non stick cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the spring-form pan with parchment paper.  Spray again with non-stick spray.

Begin by slicing the red potatoes (with peels on) into no more than 1/4 inch thin slices using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer.  Set potatoes aside.  In a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, coriander, garlic, nutmeg and white pepper.  Salt only if you think that you need it.

Take one third of your potatoes and layer the bottom of the spring-form pan.  Overlapping the potatoes is fine, leaving gaps on the bottom is not.  I found I preferred to use the ugliest of the slices and bits of the potato on the bottom of the pie that way the pretty slices are used in the second and top layer.  Add one third of the shredded cheese, chopped onion, ham and egg mixture.  Repeat two more times alternating potato, cheese, onion, ham and egg mixture.

Place pie in the oven on a cookie sheet (to catch any drips) and bake for about 50-55 minutes until the pie is golden brown on top and the egg mixture has set.  Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes before slicing.  Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and sprigs of fresh picked herbs.  Makes 8 slices.

Notes:  If you don’t have a spring-form pan, it’s no big deal!  Just work with what you have. Use a baking dish large enough to fit all your ingredients and make at least 2-3 layers.  Don’t worry about the parchment paper either.  I just used it to get perfect slices out of the spring-form pan.  Just follow the recipe, cut into squares and serve!

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Ham and Lima Bean Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ham and Lima Bean Soup

Last week after I bought my son a slow cooker I promised him that I would post simple recipes that he could make while studying at the university.  He has a rigorous class schedule and other activities that keep him busy throughout the day.  So, cooking dinner for himself may not be as convenient as he would like it to be.  My goal is to help him create dishes that are quick to pull together, fairly healthy and since he’s a college student, dishes that are easy on the wallet.  My recipe for Ham and Lima Bean Soup is satisfyingly simple and tastes fabulous with a slice of fresh baked cornbread or a crusty French roll.

My savory Ham and Lima Bean Soup is made with a smoked ham shank, lima beans, onions, celery, carrots, and spices.  If you can’t find smoked ham shanks at the store, it’s no big deal.  Feel free to substitute a cup of coarsely chopped ham or a small smoked ham hock.  If you are in a vegan mood, go ahead and omit the ham and use a good quality vegetable stock instead.  Makes about 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Oh, if you don’t own a slow cooker, don’t despair!  You can easily cook this on your stove top.  Just go low and slow.  Cook it tightly covered and keep an eye on it.  It will cook faster on the stove top than in the slow cooker.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small ham shank
  • 8 ounces dried large lima beans (soaked in water overnight)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbls. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbls. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • seasoning salt to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Begin by chopping your vegetables and place them into the slow cooker.  Add the ham shank.  Drain and rinse your lima beans well and add to the slow cooker.  Add all the ingredients into the pot with the exception of the chopped parsley and seasoning salt.  Cook on low for about 7 hours or until the beans are tender (or on high for about 4 hours). Remove the ham shank from the pot and set aside to cool.  When cool enough to handle, use your clean fingers and pick all the ham from the bone.  Add the ham back to the soup and continue to cook a bit more or until the ham is heated through.  Toss out the ham bone or any inedible pieces.  Fish out your bay leaf, taste your soup and correct your salt level with the seasoning salt if necessary. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.

Note:  The soup can be frozen and the recipe can be doubled.  Also, I have learned that not all slow cookers are created equal.  You may find that yours cooks faster or maybe even slower than my recipe describes.

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Blueberry Ancho Chili Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Crazy as it sounds, there are some days all I want to do when I get home from work is cook.  Working all day with numbers and spreadsheets, cooking allows me to enjoy creativity that I am not allowed to have as an accountant.   There have been times, while sitting at my desk, I will stop what I am doing and quickly jot down a note of some of the flavors or ideas for my next dish.   This recipe for my Blueberry Ancho Chili Glazed Pork Tenderloin popped in my head the other day at about 2:30 in afternoon.  Obviously, I really needed a break from what I was doing and needed to get a snack…

My succulent Blueberry Ancho Chili Glazed Pork Tenderloin is made with ingredients such as organic fresh picked blueberries, sweet Indonesian soy sauce, Pepsi, ketchup, shallots, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic and spicy ancho chili powder.  In order to save time on busy weeknights, you might prepare the sauce a day in advance and then bake the tenderloin the next day.  I did that it and it was a real time saver.  This tenderloin is easy to make and can even be served at your next elegant weekend dinner for family and friends.  Serves 2 – 3.  Enjoy!  – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound tenderloin (whole)
  • Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce (see below)

Make your Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce and set aside about 3/4 of  a cup.  Use the rest of the Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce for a later date.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and spray a baking dish with non stick spray.  Place your tenderloin in the baking pan and brush with the Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce.  Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.  Brush every 15 minutes with the sauce.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  Slice, then drizzle with warm Blueberry Ancho Chili sauce.

Blueberry Ancho Chili Sauce:

  • 2 c. fresh picked blueberries
  • 1 can of Pepsi
  • 1 c.  tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 c. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c. minced shallots
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/8 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

In a saucepan on medium low heat add the above ingredients stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 1/2 hour or 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and use on BBQ pork, baked tenderloin, brush it on ribs and chicken.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.  Refrigerate any leftovers in covered container for about a week.

 

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Indonesian Wontons (Pangsit Goreng)

Pangsit Goreng or Indonesian Wontons are one of my favorite Indonesian appetizers.  There are so many variations of this appetizer for some are made with chicken, shrimp, pork or beef.  The recipe that I am sharing with you is a version of a recipe that has been in my family for years and is a combination of both pork and beef.  I was taught to dip them in a sweet and sour sauce with sambal oeleck but I prefer to dip them in Thai sweet chili sauce.  Be sure to serve these crunchy and savory little Indonesian Wontons at your next get together or dinner party.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 bunch of green onions (finely chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves (finely chopped)
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 1/2 Tbls. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 6 dozen wonton wrappers
  • water
  • canola oil for frying

Let’s begin.  Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and mix together the first 10 ingredients until well incorporated.  Using a small scoop (1/2- 3/4 ounce) put filling in wonton wrappers.  Fold and seal into what ever shape that you like.  The easiest shape is the simple triangle.  Put your filling in the middle of the wonton wrapper, slightly moisten the edges with water, fold once and seal.  (See below for example) Fry in canola oil until golden and drain well.   Serve with a hot sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce.  Makes about 6 dozen.  Recipe can be cut in half or even doubled.

Little triangles…

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Sweet Chili Ham Salad Sandwich

While working my way through college I was a cook during the summer months at a local fishing resort.  One of the things I learned to make on the menu was ham salad sandwiches.  I served them with plain white bread, topped with iceberg lettuce, a scoop of potato salad, a handful of chips and a dill pickle. The ham salad that I was taught to make in the restaurant was with ground up leftover ham butts, miracle whip, celery and dill pickle relish.  Few people ordered them.  Quite frankly, I thought those sandwiches were freaking gross.  Each time I made one of those sandwiches, I always thought there should be a better way to make these.  At the time, I just didn’t know how.

It’s been many years since I finished college and I no longer work in a restaurant.  Just the other day I was thinking about my old job at the resort and just how much I love the taste of ham.  I thought of those little nasty ham salad sandwiches that I used to make and then I began the mission on how to improve upon that recipe.  After imagining different combination of flavors, I think I nailed it.  I call it my “Sweet Chili Ham Salad Sandwiches”.   It’s a mix of one of sweet chili sauce (my favorite), tossed with savory ham, crunchy celery, bright red bell peppers, thinly sliced green onion and a bit of light mayo.  I top it off with thin cucumber slices, red onion, tomato and fresh picked lettuce, and serve it on honey wheat berry bread.  It’s absolutely delicious!   This ham salad is tasty, colorful and is budget friendly.  This sweet chili ham salad can be served on French bread toasts or on the tips of endive spears for a quick appetizer.  Enjoy! – Tessa

Ingredients:

3/4 lb. ham, cubed (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 c. light mayonnaise
2 Tbls. sweet chili sauce
2 Tbls. thinly sliced green onions
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
8 slices honey wheat berry bread
8 tomato slices
12 cucumber slices (thin)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
8 lettuce leaves

Let’s begin.  Put your ham in a food processor.  Pulse until the ham is chopped (about 10 pulses).  Don’t puree it…  Put chopped ham in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Add mayo, sweet chili sauce, green onion, celery and red bell pepper.  Mix well.

Assemble the sandwiches by laying out 4 slices of bread.  Add a scoop of the Sweet Chili Ham Salad, layer on the tomato, cucumber, red onion and lettuce.  Top with remaining bread slice.  Cut in half.  Serve!  Makes 4 tasty sandwiches.

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