Quick Cheddar Cheese Fondue

We had so much fun with Truman in town seeing us last week. After doing a little indoor skydiving, we went to Dave & Busters and had chocolate fondue. It was such a hit that the next night, we decided to make cheddar cheese fondue. It was loved by all! We served it with three kinds of bread (pretzel rolls, ciabatta and wheat bread), roasted potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli and squash (the veggies we had on hand) and chicken apple sausage. Do this with your kids for a really fun night!

Fondue Ingredients:
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Fondue Accompaniments:
Any kind of bread
Veggies
Chicken sausage

Toss the shredded cheddar cheese with cornstarch in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, whisk the milk, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg, stirring occasionally, until it is hot and begins to gently bubble. Using a whisk, gradually add in the cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth and bubbling. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Pour the mixture into a fondue pot or bread bowl. Serve immediately with accompaniments on fondue forks or skewers.

Chinese-Style Glazed Pork Tenderloin

You know you have faith in a recipe when you post it before you even try it. I posted this about a year ago and have made it several times since. It’s so good and is one of the few meats that even gets thumbs up from my son! If you haven’t cooked with hoisin sauce or five-spice powder, you should! They are so good – you can find them in the Asian section. Enjoy!

Leftover pork makes an excellent addition to fried rice or noodle soup. Serves 4-6.

2(12- to 16-ounce) pork tenderloins, trimmed
1/2cup soy sauce
1/2cup apricot preserves
1/4cup hoisin sauce
1/4cup dry sherry
2tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2garlic cloves, minced
1teaspoon five-spice powder
1teaspoon pepper
1/4cup ketchup
1tablespoon molasses
2teaspoons vegetable oil
Lay tenderloins on cutting board with long side running parallel to counter edge. Cut horizontally down length of tenderloins, stopping ½ inch from edge so halves remain intact. Working with one at a time, open up tenderloins, place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to ¾-inch thickness.
Combine soy sauce, preserves, hoisin sauce, sherry, ginger, sesame oil, garlic, five-spice powder, and pepper in bowl. Reserve ¾ cup marinade. Place pork in large zipper-lock bag and pour remaining marinade into bag with pork. Seal bag, turn to coat, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Combine reserved marinade, ketchup, and molasses in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until syrupy and reduced to ¾ cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup glaze for glazing cooked tenderloin.
FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.
Clean and oil cooking grate. Pat pork dry with paper towels, then rub with vegetable oil. Grill pork (covered if using gas) until lightly charred on first side, about 2 minutes. Flip and brush grilled side of pork evenly with 2 tablespoons glaze. Continue grilling until lightly charred on second side, about 2 minutes. Flip and brush evenly with 2 more tablespoons glaze. Repeat flipping and glazing twice more, until pork registers 140 degrees and is thickly glazed, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer pork to cutting board and brush with reserved glaze. Tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Guacamole Hummus

Looking for something new and different? Watching college basketball equals great food and company We decided it was healthy (without piling it on a chip). Thumbs up for games well played and even a bigger thumbs up for great new appetizer. Mandy is new to Texas and is 2 for 2 with great recipes.

1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 garlic clove

3 cups cilantro, chopped

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. lemon juice

1 avocado, chopped (use two if they are small)

course salt and pepper to taste

lemon wedges, garnish

Blend all ingredients in a food processor (with the exception of the lemon wedges) until is the perfect consistency for dipping. Once blended, put in a bowl and drizzle with a little more olive oil (approximately a tablespoon) and garnish with lemon wedges.

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops or Chicken Breasts

When a busy working mom of three kids  gives us an easy recipe to try, it is at the top of the to do list.  We tried it with pork chops, score.  We tried it with chicken breasts, jackpot.  The entire family will eat it,  shout it from the mountain tops. Super simple and very good. Thanks, Lacey. You did us right with this one.  Think more delicious “shake and bake.”

Continue reading “Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops or Chicken Breasts”

Creamy Sausage Pasta

Coffee conversation with a good friend always turns to food.  What’s for dinner?  Anything in your crock pot?  Tried any new recipes lately? Thanks Amy for sharing this winner.  The fact that this is a one pan dish is a bonus.  

 

1 T. olive oil

1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced

1 cup diced onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 cups of chicken broth (I use low sodium)

1 (10 oz can) of Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilies, mild

1/2 c. heavy cream

8 oz penne pasta

1/2 t. salt and pepper

1 c.  Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add sausage and onions and cook about 4 minutes, until browned. Add garlic and cook for one minute. 

Add broth, Ro-Tel, cream, pasta, salt and pepper, and stir.  Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat  and simmer until pasta is cooked, about 15 minutes.  

Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Top with remaining cheese.  Broil until cheese is melted, spotted brown, and bubbly.  

Seafood Chowder

A casual conversation prior to a cold front and the Super Bowl turns to food.  No shocker here.  Thankful for friends that always have the perfect recipes at the right time.  Deidra has four children and is an amazing cook.  She shared with me that her children are now very much an active  part of the kitchen.  I loved hearing stories that her three girls are such big helpers.  This chowder is her latest favorite and  couldn’t resist passing this on.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 quart half-&-half
1 large onion diced
5 celery stalks diced
2 bell peppers diced (I use 1 yellow or orange and 1 red)
2 cans cream style corn
2 cans corn -drained
2 cans cream of potato soup
2lbs. raw shrimp peeled and deveined
1 pkg. Frozen crawfish tails thawed
1 pkg. imitation Crab meat chunky style (I used real crab meat once and it doubled the cost of the soup!)
2 cap fulls of liquid crab boil
Salt & pepper
Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning to taste

Use a minimum 9 quart stock pot. Melt butter, add salt and pepper, and sauté onion, celery, and peppers over medium/high heat for about 10 minutes or until soft.  Add shrimp and cook for 3-5 minutes or until pink. Add all canned ingredients and thawed crawfish tails and stir until a slow boil is reached (about 10 minutes max).  Add sour cream, half & half, and crab boil. Bring to a boil and decrease heat to low and stir constantly for 30 minutes. Add Tony Chachere’s seasoning to taste and black pepper.  Cover and let sit for 2 hours. Add crab meat and warm through again.

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Growing up in Southwest Missouri, they had a claim to fame that the original Cashew Chicken came from our area.  A friend from my hometown of Branson recently posted this recipe and I had to try it.  Winner!  Perfect amount of spice for the perfect taste.

Ingredients

2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken tenders

1/4 c. flour

1/2 t. black pepper
1 T. canola oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. grated fresh ginger (I used 1/4 t. of dried ginger)
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. cashews

Combine flour and pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Add chicken and shake to coat with flour mixture.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Once browned, cut into bite-sized pieces. Place chicken in slow cooker.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in a small bowl and pour over chicken.
Cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. Add cashews and stir. Serve over rice.
Note: If you prefer more sauce, I would double the sauce ingredients.

Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Pork

We do our best to bring you a mix of oldie but goodies and something new and different. Cool weather makes us crave something with a kick, and this recipe fits the bill. Enjoy!

1/2 pound lean ground pork 
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon peanut oil
2 1/2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (secret, delicious ingredient)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cups hot cooked white or brown rice

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture, beans, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until pork loses its pink color, stirring to crumble.

Combine hoisin and next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add hoisin mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.