Thursday, September 18, 2008

Smokey Orange Pork Chops

Well, the storm danger seems to have passed and we are long overdue for a trip to the mountains. My husband (The Fly Rod Gawd) and I have a great little cabin in Blue Ridge, GA.

October is the best time at the cabin. The air is getting crisp and cool and the leaves are just beginning to change color. Fall is my favorite time of year and I am so grateful to be able to spend a little time in the woods.

These pork chops are one of my favorite things to cook when fall is just around the corner. The smell of the burnt orange and the spicy sweetness of the sauce on these chops is the perfect transition from summer to fall.

You can adjust the amount of horseradish in the sauce to suite your family, but don't be surprised if you eventually use the whole amount. Them smokey sweetness of the sauce seems to temper the heat of the horseradish. Serve them over a bed of jasmine rice and dig in!

Smokey Orange Pork Chops

1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/3 cup hickory smoked bbq sauce
1/3 cup prepared horseradish
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
4 bonless pork loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped shallot
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons orange zest

In a small saucepan on medium heat combine the marmalade, bbq sauce and horseradish. Cook over medium heat until thickened slightly. Reduce heat to low.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Season the chops with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot add the pork chops. Cook the chops about 4 minutes, or until browned, turn and cook an additional 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the orange juice and the zest and deglaze the pan. Return the chops to the deglazed pan. Spoon some of the smokey orange sauce over the chops cook until sauce has reduced about 3 minutes. Serve over jasmine rice and Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yikes!! Ike!!

If you've lived in Florida all of your life you know that the worst time for hurricanes is September. Even though the season starts earlier, it seems like the worst storms come in September. You learn to watch the weather closely, knowing that the tropical updates on the weather channel are at 5 and 11. Even if the storms don't look like they are coming your way, you still make some preparations and keep a close eye, you just never know.

We have been getting gusty winds and rain, first from Gustav and now from Ike, for more than a week. Even though we weren't in any danger the wind gusts knock down tree branches. Good for the trees, bad for my back!

With all the tension from hurricane watching and the sore muscles from yard clean up, I never feel much like cooking. This is the time of year I always keep a few pre-made dishes in the frig. Sometimes they are heat and serve and sometimes they can be served cold.

This ditallini pasta salad is one of those "served cold" dishes. I always make a big batch of the basic recipe and when dinner time comes I can add some canned tuna or chicken (hurricane supplies) add a tossed salad and I have a really tasty cold dinner. Perfect for the hot summer and hurricane watching.

Ditallini Pasta Salad with Ginger Garlic Mayo

1 1b box Ditallini Pasta
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cloves peeled garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup diced zuccini
1/2 cup coarsely chopped snow peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add the eggs to cook with the pasta. Drain, rinse and cool.

Meanwhile, add the mayo, ginger, garlic and lemon juice to a food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To a large bowl add the onion, bell pepper, squash, zuccini, snow peas, and cooled pasta. Peel the eggs, coarsely chop and add to the bowl. Add the ginger mayo and toss to coat.

Refrigerate for at least one hour. To make this a main course salad add in a drained can of tuna, salmon or chicken. Garnish with copped chive if desired