Apple Brandy Pork Chops

What a delight for the eyes when you enter any produce department this time of year and see pumpkins, apples and fall produce – I definitely wanted to cook a fall meal.  My husband, my chief taste tester, said this was one of the best recipes I have concocted.  He told me to post that you should definitely serve this at your next dinner party or when you want to impress anyone with your cooking skills.  It is so easy and delicious, you cannot go wrong with this recipe!   After those praises from my chief taster do I need to say more?  

apple-brandy-pork-chops

 

Apple Brandy Pork Chops
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  2. 1 large shallot, diced
  3. 1 apple, sliced (I used a Honeycrisp apple)
  4. 2 1-inch thick pork chops with bone-in
  5. salt and pepper
  6. 1/3 cup apple brandy
  7. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  8. 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium ovenproof skillet ( I used my cast iron skillet) heat over medium to medium-high heat, add oil. When hot, add shallots and apples. Cook stirring frequently until shallots are soft and apples are golden, remove from skillet. Salt and pepper chops on both sides, add to hot skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides. When brown, remove from skillet. Add brandy to skillet and deglaze pan, stir in cream and 1/2 of the parsley. Bring to a boil. Add chops, apples, and shallots. Place skillet in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven, top with remaining parsley and serve. I served with egg noodles, would also be terrific to serve with a wild rice mix.
Notes
  1. Serving more than 2? This amount of sauce would be perfect for 4 pork chops, if serving more, double the amount of shallots, apples,brandy and cream amounts, bake in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Chicken Broccoli Portobello Pasta with Balsamic Dressing

Looking for an easy dish to serve the next time you entertain?  Chicken Broccoli Portobello Pasta is the perfect dish.  Early in the day begin marinating the mushrooms and chicken, steam the broccoli, fire up the grill, cook your pasta and in under 30 minutes you have a great main course.  Bring this beautiful entree to the table and you have a feast for your eyes as well as a feast for the hungriest of appetites. Easy, delicious and a great presentation – my way of entertaining!

( If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, it makes a terrific cold pasta salad the next day.  Toss with a bit of ranch dressing and you are set. )

 

chicken broccoli portobello pasta

 

Chicken Broccoli Portobello Pasta with Balsamic Dressing
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. Dressing
  2. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  3. 3/4 cup olive oil
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  7. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  8. Chicken/Vegetables
  9. 6 portobello mushrooms
  10. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  11. 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
  12. 1 16 oz. package thin spaghetti
  13. Twist of lemon for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine dressing ingredients, set aside. Remove mushroom stems and place mushroom caps in a one gallon zip bag. Pour 1/2 of the dressing over the mushroom caps, cover and refrigerate for approx. 6 hours.
  2. Transfer mushrooms to a plate and add chicken breasts to the marinade left in the zip bag, marinate for 30 minutes prior to grilling. Steam broccoli florets until tender when pieced with a fork (4-5 minutes), drain and set aside. Prepare grill. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Grill chicken, approx. 8 minutes per side. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. During the last 5 - 10 minutes of the chicken grilling, add the mushrooms and grill.
  3. Drain pasta and toss with steamed broccoli and remaining dressing ( the 1/2 that was reserved). Top with grilled chicken and grilled mushrooms. Garnish with lemon twists.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

 

 

Baked Chicken with Olives and Stuffed Roasted Bell Peppers

Chicken with Olives and Stuffed Roasted Bell Peppers is a perfect week night meal or company fare.  Moist chicken along with fresh mozzarella stuffed peppers, olives and drizzled with red pepper oil.  Since I had fresh mozzarella in the refrigerator and had just picked up a bag of small sweet peppers, I decided to combine the two, toss in some olives and my what a sweet dinner it was.  A feast for the eyes and well as a delicious feast with every bit   I hope you will agree. 

baked chicken with olives and peppers

 

Baked Chicken with Olives and Roasted Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 12 small assorted bell peppers/various colors (I used the mini sweet peppers)
  2. 6 - 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  3. olive oil
  4. salt and pepper
  5. fresh mozzarella cheese
  6. 1/2 cup assorted sliced olives
  7. 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  8. 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Instructions
  1. Line a sheet pan with foil. Heat broiler to high heat. Place peppers on pan, broil 8 - 10 minutes until all sides of the peppers are charred, turn frequently. Remove from oven, wrap peppers in foil for 10 minutes. Remove peppers, slice one side of each pepper, open peppers and scrape out seeds. Set peppers aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake chicken for 40 minutes. While the chicken is baking, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl, set aside. Slice mozzarella cheese into 1/4 inch slices, cut to approximate size of 1/2 of each pepper, place one piece in each pepper and fold over remaining half of pepper.
  3. When the chicken has baked for 40 minutes, remove pan from oven, place stuffed peppers on baking sheet, return to oven for 3 - 5 minutes or until the cheese is beginning to melt in each pepper.
  4. Line a serving plate with the spinach leaves. Remove chicken and stuffed peppers from the oven. Place on the bed of spinach. Top the chicken and stuffed peppers with the assorted sliced olives. Drizzle the red pepper infused oil over the entire dish. Serve.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Baked then Grilled Ribs/Interesting Find – Hudson Sauce

Who doesn’t love a great rack of fall-off the bones BBQ’d ribs in the summer time? We certainly do!  I found years ago that by baking the ribs first and then grilling them, you get fall of the bone tenderness without the 3 hours of tending to the grill.  I usually rub the ribs with a dry rub or concoct a BBQ sauce to baste the ribs.  This time, I used a terrific new find – Hudson Sauce.  Their spicy marinade is unbelievably delicious and made this rib preparation even easier.  I marinated the ribs in their Spicy Marinade.  Then followed the method I have always used for ribs.  Bake the ribs in the oven first, them finish on the grill.  I even brushed the ribs with some of the marinade during the last few minutes of cooking.  Finger lickin’ good with a bit of heat and oh so easy!

 hudson sauce 2

                                                                          Marinated Ribs                                   Ribs just taken off the grill

marinated ribs cooked ribs

 

Baked then Grilled Ribs
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Ingredients
  1. Baby back or spareribs
  2. BBQ sauce or dry rub
Instructions
  1. Remove ribs from package, place in large ziplock bag or place in glass baking dish. Marinate in sauce or dry rub of your choice. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove ribs from marinade and place on foil lined baking sheet. Cover ribs with additional foil and seal edges. Bake 2 hours at 325 degrees. Prepare grill - medium low heat. Place ribs on grill and cook an additional hour or until ribs are tender. Serve with additional sauce.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Rigatoni with Fresh Burrata

This week has been a week of farmers market finds.  I purchased 7 oz. of fresh Burrata Cheese from a local cheese company, assorted heirloom cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.  Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese; basically a ball formed from Mozzarella filled with fresh cheese and/or cream.  When you cut it open, the wonderful creamy center flows out.  I think you will agree this is a wonderful concoction of pasta, tomatoes, sausage, and fresh burrata.  

Rigatoni with Fresh Burrata

Rigatoni with Fresh Burrata
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 clove garlic, minced
  3. 8 oz. hot Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage, however you can use pork or turkey sausage)
  4. 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  5. 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
  6. 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  7. 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
  8. 8 oz. rigatoni
  9. 7 oz. fresh burrata cheese, let sit at room temperature while preparing sauce.
  10. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium dutch oven, over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant (do not brown). Add Italian sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add crushed tomatoes, mushrooms and 1 cup cherry tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook rigatoni al dente and drain. Add to sauce, stir. Stir in basil leaves, remaining 1/2 cup of tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Stir until heated through. Top with burrata cheese, serve.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Grilled Fish with Peppers

The days are so hot, I decided it was time to utilize the grill.  I purchased orange roughy at the store along with assorted peppers.  I wrapped it in foil along with lemon juice, butter and spices.  In twenty minutes, dinner was ready in one packet.  It was the perfect summer dinner, you certainly could substitute any fish; just adjust the cooking time according to thickness of the fish.  Entertaining? – serve each guest one packet to reveal the contents at their place setting.

grilled fish with peppers

Grilled Fish with Peppers
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 orange roughy fillets
  2. 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  3. 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  4. 1 onion, sliced
  5. 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/2 cup melted butter
  7. 2 teaspoons salt
  8. 2 teaspoons paprika
  9. Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease 4 pieces of heavy duty foil. Place one fillet in each, top with peppers and onion. Combine remaining ingredients and pour evenly over the four fillets. Wrap each fillet into a package, with seams securely sealed. Place foil packets on the grill over medium heat. Cook for 20 - 30 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of fillets.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Orange Glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin

I am always trying new ways to grill pork tenderloins. This time I basted the tenderloins while grilling with an orange glaze. The tenderloins are moist and delicious with a hint of orange.   Perfect to serve with grilled vegetables on a beautiful summer night.

 

pork tenderloin

 

Orange Glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  2. 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  3. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  4. 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  7. Pork tenderloins - seasoned with salt and pepper prior to grilling
Instructions
  1. Combine basting ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Preheat grill. Place tenderloins on oiled rack away from direct heat. Grill covered until pork reaches 160 degrees - approximately 12 - 15 minutes. Turn pork frequently and baste with sauce each time you turn pork. When pork has reached 160 degrees, remove to a platter and cover loosely. Let stand for 10 minutes Carve into slices, serve.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Fajita Marinade

I just love this time of year when you can fire-up the grill and have dinner on the porch.  I think because we lived in Texas for five years; we have a fondness for a Texas favorite and one of our favorites, fajitas.  In this fajita marinade, I combined a variety of ingredients that gives the perfect flavor combination for both steak and chicken.  Marinate your meat early in the day and refrigerate for at least six hours.  Then grill to your desired degree of doneness and serve with warm tortillas, and bowls of your favorite garnishes to make your favorite fajitas.  Our favorite combination is grilled onions and peppers, sour cream, avocados, and salsa.

fajita marinade

 

Fajita Marinade
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 to 2 pounds skirt steak, flank steak or flat-iron steak or 6 chicken breast halves boned and skinned
  2. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  3. juice of one lemon
  4. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  5. 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  6. 1 clove garlic, minced
  7. 1 teaspoon celery seed
  8. 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno juice and 5 - 6 pickled jalapeno slices
  9. 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  10. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine marinade ingredients and mix well. Place meat and marinade in a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, turn frequently. Drain liquid and grill until desired degree of doneness. Cut meat diagonally in thin slices. Serve with warm tortillas and bowls of garnishes.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Unbelievably Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This recipe is so easy it is almost embarrassing to post.  Two ingredients and fantastic results.  Now that is one great recipe!   I usually use whatever BBQ sauce I happen to have in my pantry.  However, this time, I used a wonderful Virginia product that I received.  I used Shaffer’s Bold and Sassy Sauce. I always prefer to use locally made products in my recipes.  Their sauce is a vinegar/red wine based sauce with molasses, coriander, cumin and other spices.  It was a delicious addition to this easy recipe. 

slow cooker pulled pork

 Big Julie‚Äôs Bold & Sassy (16 fl oz) - $6.99

 

 

Unbelievably Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pork tenderloins or one beef brisket
  2. BBQ sauce
Instructions
  1. Almost too easy to post - in your slow cooker, pour in 3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. Add your meat of choice. Drizzle with an additional 3/4 cup sauce. Cover and cook on low for 7 1/2 hours. Shred meat, return to sauce to keep warm. Serve.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

 

Whitefish Florentine

For this recipe I took the basics from my favorite spinach artichoke dip and topped it with a mild whitefish.  Oh my, what a wonderful combination.  You can even make this ahead, up to six hours before serving, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.  I served this with focaccia bread and roasted carrots- need I tell you there were no leftovers?  A truly wonderful combination. 

whitefish florentine

 

Whitefish Florentine
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 mild whitefish fillets - Alaska pollock, catfish, grouper, haddock, Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, or Pacific rockfish
  2. 12 oz. frozen chopped spinach, cooked and pressed dry
  3. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  4. 1/4 cup sour cream
  5. 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  6. 1 14 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, drained (optional)
  7. Additional grated parmesan for the top
  8. Fresh lemon juice
  9. Freshly grated pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook and press dry the spinach. In a medium mixing bowl combine spinach, mayonnaise, sour cream, artichokes and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Mix well and put in a casserole dish. Top with fish fillet. Brush fish with lemon juice, pepper and top with additional cheese. Bake 350 - 20 - 25 minutes until fish flakes easily. I like to broil the fish for the last few minutes for a golden brown crust.
Notes
  1. You can easily double or triple this recipe. Bake as directed,
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/