Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pork Chops with Sage and Tomatoes

  • 2 TB butter
  • 1 TB vegetable oil
  • 4 pork loin chops about an inch thick
  • Flour to dredge the pork chops
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 sage leaves torn in about 4 pieces each
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes and their juice
  • Red wine to deglaze the pan
  • Melt the butter and the vegetable oil at medium high heat.
  • After the butter has stopped foaming, dredge the pork chops in flour on either side and slide into the pan.
  • Cook for about 1-2 minutes on both sides until browned.
  • Sprinkle over sage leaves.
  • Grind pepper and salt to taste.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and juices.
  • Turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid slightly ajar and cook for an hour, turning the pork chops occasionally.
  • Remove the pork chops and swirl a little wine in the pan and use a spatula to stir up the meat juices.
  • I serve the chops and the sauce over a bed of spaghetti.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Broccoli with Pasta

We found these interesting pasta shapes at Whole Foods and used them in a very simple recipe to really enjoy the pasta flavor.

  • 1 3/4 LB broccoli
  • 1 LB pasta
  • 6 TB olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets in oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cut broccoli florets in 2 pieces.
  • Bring a large pan of water to a boil.
  • Boil broccoli until barely tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove broccoli pieces from the pan to a serving bowl and do not discard the water.
  • Add salt to the cooking water.
  • Add pasta, stir well, and cook until al dente, in this case about 8 minutes.
  • While the pasta is boiling, heat the oil in a small frying pan.
  • Add the garlic, and after 2-3 minutes the anchovy fillets.
  • Mash the anchovies and garlic into a paste with the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Cook 3-4 minutes more.
  • Before draining the pasta, ladl3 1-2 cupfuls of the cooking water over the broccoli.
  • Add the drained pasta and the hot anchovy and oil mixture.
  • Mix well, and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Serve at once.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spaghetti, Ham and cheese casserole

I came up with this casserole to feed us during a long weekend at work.


  • 1 16 oz package of spaghetti
  • 1 LB ham
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 TB brown mustard
  • paprika
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 10 oz package frozen spinach
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Cook spaghetti to specified directions.
  • Grease a 13 by 9 baking dish.
  • Meanwhile chop ham into cubes.
  • Drain spaghetti in colander and spread it out evenly in the baking dish.
  • Chop onion.
  • In a sauce pan over medium heat cook onion and mushrooms and lemon juice for 5 minutes and then remove to a medium bowl.
  • In same sauce pan melt remaining butter.
  • When hot stir in flour, 1 TB salt nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon paprika until mixture is smooth.
  • Gradually stir in chicken broth until liquid is thickened.
  • Add half and half, ham chunks, and chopped spinach and cook over low heat until mixture is heated through.
  • Spoon ham mixture over spaghetti in baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and add a little paprika.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven 30 minutes or until spaghetti and ham mixture are thoroughly heated and surface is golden and bubbly.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ham with Red-eye Gravy

  • 4 slices ham cut 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • Trim the excess fat from the ham slices and cut it into small bits.
  • Place fat in a frying pan and fry over medium heat until the bits are crisp and have rendered all their fat.
  • Discard the bits of fat.
  • Fry the ham in the rendered fat, turning the slices so they color evenly.
  • Transfer the fried ham to a warmed platter and pour the coffee into the skillet.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile scraping in the brown bits.
  • Boil briskly, uncovered, until the gravy turns red and then pour it over the ham and serve at once.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chocolate Spiced Pork Chops

I was laying around watching Paula Deen the other morning in between watching the Olympics when she made these mouthwatering pork chops. Her spice rub is made from chocolate and brown sugar among many other spices. Yum!

Chocolate Spiced Pork Chops

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ham, Egg, and Cheese Biscuits

Here it is the end of February and I'm still finding uses for all the frozen meat left over from my Christmas ham.

Simple to compile using Alton Brown's
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe and ham, cheddar cheese and a simple egg omelet.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Garlic, Pasta, and Ham Soup

This is an excellent soup for a cold winter day.

  • Garlic cloves from 3 garlic bulbs, unpeeled
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of oregano
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Rind from Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
  • 4 oz ham, small dice
  • 4 oz small pasta shells
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Bring garlic cloves, bay leaf, oregano and the Parmigiano Reggiano rind to a boil.
  • Lower to a simmer for about half an hour or until garlic is soft.
  • Drain the broth through a colander into a large bowl and pour the broth and the Parmigiano back into the cooking pot.
  • Run the garlic cloves under cold water until cool and then squeeze the garlic out of the peel into a blender.
  • Blend with some of the reserved broth to form a milky liquid.
  • Pour the garlic liquid into the broth.

  • Add the ham.

  • Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer adding the pasta cooking until al dente.
  • Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Making Mushroom and Ham Lasagna

My boss gave me a ham for Christmas. A huge ham and two people, means lots of leftover ham! My freezer is full.

Here's a photo essay of my first use of the leftovers.

Soaking porcini mushrooms.

Chopped, fresh button mushrooms.

Diced onions.

Melting butter.

Cooking the onions.

Adding crushed tomatoes.

Adding chopped flat leaf parsley.

Adding the porcini mushrooms.

Adding the porcini mushroom water.

Adding the button mushrooms.

Melting butter for Bechamel sauce.

Heating milk for Bechamel sauce.

Adding the milk to the flour and butter for the Bechamel sauce.
Julienned ham.

Adding Bechamel sauce to the mushroom mixture once the porcini water has cooked away.

Spreading a little Bechamel in the bottom of the casserole.

Layering the mushroom mixture, ham and parmigiano reggiano with cooked lasagna noodles.

Finished product.