Posts Tagged ‘sauce’

Hard-Cider Pork Chops

I saw this recipe a couple of years ago on Nigella Lawson‘s TV show Nigella Feasts (although I changed the name, since I like the cider part better) and have wanted to try it ever since.

I finally found hard cider (fermented apple juice) at Angry Adam’s, our local wine and cheese (and other yummy stuff) shop. So I was finally able to try it, and it was delicious and very easy. And the hard cider is great on its own.

Hard-Cider Pork Chops
2 pork chops
salt & pepper
2 tsp. oil
1/2 cup hard cider
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1/3 cup heavy cream

Sprinkle chops on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the oil. Swirl the oil around, then add the pork chops and sear until well-browned on both sides. Remove chops to a plate, cover with foil, and keep warm.

Add the cider to the pan and use a wooden spatula to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil for a minute, then whisk in mustard and cream. Simmer a few minutes to reduce a bit. Place pork chops on serving plates and pour cider sauce over.

Hard-cider Pork Chops

Bobby Flay’s Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

Well, try as I might, sometimes I miss these food blogging event deadlines, but I like this relish so much, and it looks so good, I decided to post it anyway. Yummy and good for you, and soon we will be able to make it with tomatillos from our own yard.

Bobby Flay’s Tomatillo-Avocado Relish
3 ripe Haas avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
3 tomatillos, husked, washed and diced
juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Carefully combine avocados, tomatillos, lime juice, oil, honey and S&P to taste in a medium bowl. Mix in the green onions and cilantro. May be made up to 30 minutes in advance and refrigerated.

This is great served with grilled chicken, or as a dip with tortilla chips.


Tasty Tools: Measuring Tools

logo-joelens-tasty-toolsThis month’s topic for the food blogging event Tasty Tools, hosted by Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, is measuring tools. I’ve had this push-up-style measuring cup for years now. It’s very handy for measuring semi-solid, sticky ingredients like peanut butter, jams and jellies, mayonnaise and sour cream.

You set the cup to the measurement you need, use a spatula to put the ingredient in the cup, then push up the plunger and use the spatula to scrape the ingredient into your bowl, saucepan, whatever. No muss, no fuss, and you get all of the ingredient easily into your dish.


Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines. I especially love Thai spring rolls – I could eat them every day for lunch, particularly if I had this delicious dipping sauce to go with them. The push-up measuring cup makes it really easy to measure the peanut butter for this sauce.

Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce

1 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup cream of coconut
2 tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
1/2 tsp. sriracha Thai hot sauce
1 tsp. lemongrass powder

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, cook and stir all ingredients till smooth. Serve with spring rolls or chicken satay.


Grow Your Own: Tabasco Sauce

Grow Your Own 2008We planted a pretty good variety of peppers this year, both hot and sweet. We had so many Tabasco peppers, I decided to make homemade Tabasco sauce.

So I Googled for recipes, and the same one kept popping up. That seemed like a good endorsement, so I tried it. I’ll be honest – I haven’t actually tried this on anything yet. I mean, I like hot food, but after whizzing it in the blender, I gave it a sniff and you know what? I have one piece of advice: Don’t sniff the blender 😉

Tabasco peppers

Homemade Tabasco Sauce

12 large Tabasco chile peppers, stemmed (I used 15 because that’s how ripe ones many I had)
1 clove peeled garlic
½ cup vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar

Boil the chile peppers and garlic in vinegar in a small, non-metal saucepan until tender. Puree in a blender with the salt and sugar. Run through a metal sieve if necessary.

Dilute this paste with more vinegar until it is the consistency of rich cream. Pour into a non-metal saucepan, bring to a boil, then pour into a hot, sterilized bottle to within ½ inch of the rim.

Run a sterilized knife around the inside of the bottle to release air bubbles. Wipe the rim clean and seal with a scalded top. Store in the refrigerator once opened.

From: Red Hot Peppers by Jean Andrews

Tabasco sauceThis is my entry in Grow Your Own, the twice-monthly food blogging event that celebrates homegrown produce and other items, originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this time by Heart and Hearth.

The roundup of all the recipes is here.

Grow Your Own: Pesto Pasta

Grow Your Own 2008I love this time of year 🙂 My basil is just out of control and the roma tomatoes are finally coming in strong, so it’s caprese salad or something with pesto regularly now. I also need to get some pesto frozen for the winter. I like to put a tablespoon or so into marinara sauce and this recipe works even with thawed frozen pesto.

This is a really simple recipe, though. Everyone has their own basil pesto recipe, I’m sure, so I’m going beyond that to one of my favorite side dishes featuring pesto – pesto pasta. If your favorite pesto uses an herb other than basil, or cheese other than Parmesan, you can substitute those for the garnish. I like to use rotini pasta, because the crevices catch the pesto and you get a lot in each bite.

Pesto Pasta

Pesto Pasta

1 lb. rotini pasta or other small pasta shape
1 cup basil pesto
1-2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil if needed
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta till al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool; remove to a large bowl. Using a large spatula, mix pasta and pesto together, adding 1-2 tbsp. olive oil if needed to loosen up the pesto. Garnish with diced tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and basil leaves.

This is my entry in the food blogging event Grow Your Own, begun by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this month by Jessica of Finny Knits.

Grow Your Own: Tzatziki

Grow Your Own 2008For this month’s Grow Your Own food blogging event, hosted by Andrea of, I made tzatziki, the Greek sauce/dip made of yogurt, cucumbers and seasonings. My dill is still doing pretty well, although it likes cooler temperatures, so it probably won’t last much longer. I keep the mint in a strawberry jar on the patio, to keep it from invading and taking over the herb garden.

Ingredients for tzatziki

I love this stuff, especially in the summer – it’s so cool and refreshing. We eat it as a dip with homemade pita chips and crudites, and as a sauce for grilled chicken or gyro sandwiches. Just toast some pita pockets, season chicken with oregano, lemon and garlic (I use Penzey’s Greek seasoning), then slice the chicken and put it in the pita with chopped lettuce and tomato, topped with tzatziki and some feta cheese.

Here, I served it with pita chips and baby carrots.

Tzatziki with pita chips and baby carrots


3 cups plain yogurt, or 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (preferred)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh dill, minced fine
1 tsp. fresh mint, cut into chiffonade
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

If using regular yogurt, place yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl; put bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour to drain excess liquid. If using Greek yogurt, this step is not necessary.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, oil, vinegar, herbs and salt. Add cucumber and mix well. Place in a serving dish, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, to allow the flavors to mingle and make friends 😉

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