Grilled Pork Chops with Chipotle Mustard and Swiss Cheese Sauce…and a giveaway!

A while back, I was contacted by the folks behind Saucy Mama, a purveyor of sauces, marinades, and the like. They very generously sent a sizable package of goodies my way, and while I am always happy to have free food sent my way, I tend to approach it with a bit of skepticism. I curiously popped open the jar of chipotle mustard since that caught my eye and quickly had visions of pork chops dancing in my head (ever since trying the chops and more offered by my new favorite pig farmer, it seems that many things prompt me to think about pork chops, lol). After a quick trip to the farmer’s market, I had everything I needed for an amazingly delicious and fast meal.

Grilled Pork Chops with Chipotle Mustard and Swiss Cheese Sauce

The pork chops were massaged with… click to read more…

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Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Elote

A while back, I had tried a playful twist on carne asada in the interest of trying something different, so I thought it would only make sense to simplify, satisfy my craving, and try the real deal: carne asada.

Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Elote

Honestly, the actual inspiration for this came from another direction. The side dish was what planted the seed for this in my head. I had seen a curious recipe for something called elote, that I had to try. Honestly, the idea of mayo + corn sounded….bizarre…to say the least, but I’d heard of it on more than one occasion (and for those who are skeptical, I have to say, this is probably one of the most incredible ways to eat corn. I will preach the gospel of elote to anyone… click to read more…

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Cardamom Peach Preserves

Just like I get the strong urge to braise everything in the winter, I find myself wanting to preserve everything I encounter during the summer. After enjoying many a peach (and I must confess, I think I prefer Carolina peaches over Georgia peaches…), I vaguely recalled a recipe for peach preserves I had encountered and knew I had to make some for myself while I could still find some amazing local peaches.

Cardamom Peach Preserves

My first inclination when it comes to preserves is always jelly or jam, so I thought I’d try to not do that, instead opting for larger chunks of fruit and a looser syrup. Also, while the best preserves tend to be simple (e.g. just fruit + sugar), some pairings are a match made in heaven, and peach + cardamom is such a match. They both offer such… click to read more…

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Falafel Salad with Zesty Tahini Sauce

My wife had asked that I make falafel for the longest time. I seem to be in the minority–I’d never had or even seen them before. With an abundance of fresh produce, this was the perfect excuse to make a salad, satisfy my deep fried food craving, and try something new for me.

Falafel Salad with Zesty Tahini Sauce

If you’re like I was and have never had falafel, they’re actually pretty simple: a ball/patty of coarsely ground, dried chickpeas with a mix of herbs, vegetables, and spices, all mixed and deep-fried to form a crisp, richly browned nugget with a tender, deliciously mealy interior. Falafel are typically served in a pita with a mix of vegetables, but having a ton of vegetables, I chose to turn this inside out and have a salad with falafel and a few pieces of pita. The falafel themselves were incredibly delicious (where have you been all my life!) with a great, herby/earthy flavor and a nice delicate, but… click to read more…

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Crown Roast of Pork with Tart Tomato Stuffing and Juniper Pan Gravy

Normally, a crown roast is a holiday sort of dish–its an impressive presentation for a glorious cut of meat, shaped to resemble a crown. You have a tender, succulent cut of both the loin and ribs, loaded with (typically) a very flavorful stuffing. Pork, lamb, and veal are the common options. Whatever meat you go with, a crown roast is easy to cook, looks awesome, and serves a good number of people–hence the holiday popularity. I had no special occasion for this though beyond stumbling across a nice cut of pork that I decided I must eat, lol. So eager to take on a more butchery-centric project, I focused on more summery flavors to make this pork shine.

Crown Roast of Pork with Tart Tomato Stuffing and Juniper Pan Gravy

This was an incredible dinner. You have the tenderloin–meaty and soft–mixed with the juicy, unctuous, richly porky flavored rib meat. Its like having a super pork chop. I’d compare it to eating chicken thighs/drum sticks cooked separately compared to when you… click to read more…

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Teriyaki Chicken Burger

Summer time is burger time, and now that I have a meat grinder, its that much more fun for me to experiment with different kinds of burgers. After seeing these Pacific Rim Burgers, I knew I had to try something similar. Plus, it had been a while since I did much with chicken (we’ve been eating more beef lately), so it seemed like a fun change. So I took that recipe in a similar direction and made a teriyaki chicken burger.

Teriyaki Chicken Burger

I really enjoyed this–the burgers had a nice, tangy-but-sweet teriyaki flavor, with a good mix of peppers and light heat to them. The texture, something I was curious about (never dealt with ground chicken before), was also thankfully quite nice. The sweetness to the teriyaki also made it easier to get a good caramelization on the outside… click to read more…

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