• from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Family Favorites

    serves 8

    1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    1 cup hoisin sauce
    1/2 cup honey
    1/2 cup pineapple juice or papaya nectar (I used 1/2 cup crushed pineapple)
    1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
    1/4 cup peanut or sesame oil
    2 tablespoons chopped garlic
    8 pounds country-style pork spareribs, cut into serving pieces of 3 to 4 ribs

    1. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin, honey, pineapple juice, vinegar, oil and garlic.  Add the ribs and turn to completely coat them with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

    2. Arrange the ribs in the slow cooker and pour the marinade over them.  If you are using a round cooker, lift the ribs so the sauce can get between them.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, until the meat is tender and starts to separate from the bone.  Serve immediately with lots of napkins.

  • from  Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller

    one 4-pound fully cooked boneless ham
    1 cup orange marmalade
    2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    One 11-ounce can mandarin oranges in light syrup

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 325ºF.

    If the ham has skin, peel it away using a sharp knife, leaving a thin layer of fat on the surface.  Score the fat if there is any with the knife by cutting diagonal lines from one side to the other.  Transfer the ham to a roasting pan.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the marmalade, vinegar and dry mustard.  Brush the mixture all over the ham.  Pour mandarin oranges and syrup from the can all over the ham, allowing the oranges to fall to the bottom of the pan. Bake for 1 hour (or 14 minutes per pound), basting every 15 minutes with pan juices.

    Remove the ham from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.  Serve slices topped with mandarin oranges.

  • Excellent on Pork

    sprigs lemon thyme (about 1 tablespoon leaves when removed)

    1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 teaspoons peanut oil

    Combine all the ingredients in a container for marinating.  Marinate your meat for 30 minutes to an hour- flipping at least once to get both sides.

    Cook your meat using your preferred method.

  • sausage pasta3/4 pound of spaghetti, fettuccine, or spaghetti rigate
    1 Tablespoon bacon fat, olive oil or other cooking oil
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    1/2 yellow onion, diced
    2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 pound Smoked Sausage, sliced (or Kielbasa would work too)
    1 28-ounce can stewed tomatoes
    1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
    1 Tablespoon butter
    1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
    1 cup of pasta cooking water

    Directions:

    Heat a deep skillet over medium high heat and add the fat to the pan.  When it’s hot and ready, add the bell pepper and onion.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until softened.  Add the garlic and sausage, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, adding salt to the cooking water, and being sure to reserve 1 cup of the water before draining.

    Add the stewed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce to the sausage mixture.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Remove the cover and continue cooking for just a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste to check for seasoning, and add some of the pasta cooking water, starting with about 1/2 a cup and seeing how it is from there.  Most likely, that will be enough.

    When the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss with the butter and the Parmesan cheese.

    Serve the chunky sausage sauce over the pasta, and sprinkle with additional Parmesan if desired.

    Serves 4 generously.

  • pernil 1Serving Size  : 16

    1 10 pound  pork shoulder
    4 cloves  garlic — or more to taste (I used 6)
    1 onion — quartered
    1 Tablespoon  dried oregano (I ended up using 2 TBS of Mexican Oregano)
    1 Tablespoon  ground cumin
    1 teaspoon  chili powder
    1 Tablespoon  salt
    1 teaspoon  ground black pepper
    2 Tablespoons  apple cider vinegar
    1/4 cup  olive oil — or as needed
    3/4 cup  water — plus more as needed

    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 300ºF.

    Score the meat with a sharp knife all over the roast- especially where there is a layer of fat on the pork shoulder- make a 2-inch diamond pattern on the surface of the pork.

    Pulse garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, chili, salt and pepper together in a food processor or blender, adding oil in a drizzle and scraping down sides as necessary, until mixture is pasty- you may not need all the oil. (Alternatively, mash ingredients in a mortar and pestle.) Blend in the vinegar.

    Rub this mixture well into the pork, getting it into every nook and cranny. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, just get them in there and massage the paste into the pork. Place the pork in a roasting pan and pour the water in the bottom of the pan

    Roast pork for several hours (a 4-pound shoulder may be done in 3 hours, a 10-pound roast could take as long as 6 or 7 hours), turning every hour or so and adding more water as necessary-to keep the juices from burning in the bottom of the pan, until meat is fall-apart tender. (On average, add about 3/4 cup of water every hour to the bottom of the pan.) Finish roasting with the skin side up until crisp, raising heat at end of cooking if necessary.

    Let meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting it up.  The meat should be so tender that slicing it really doesn’t work so well.  Instead, just pull it apart into chunks and serve.

  • stew1 pound dried cannellini or Great Northern beans, washed, picked over, and soaked for 6 hours or overnight. (I soaked overnight)
    1 medium or large onion.
    1 whole clove
    4 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon chopped or slivered fresh sage (or more to taste)
    1 bay leaf
    Salt
    1/2 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed, sliced or crumbled
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
    1 celery stalk, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used more- love parsley!)
    1 pound fresh or canned tomatoes, peeled and chopped with juice (I used two 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juices.  One can was Italian herbs added)
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Directions:

    Drain the beans and combine with 2 quarts water in a large pot.  Bring very slowly to the boil.  Meanwhile, cut the onion and half and stick one half with the lone clove.  Chop the other half of the onion and set aside.  When the water reaches a boil, skim off any foam.  Add the onion with the clove, 2 of the garlic cloves, half the sage and the bay leaf.  Turn the heat to very low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.  Add salt to taste and simmer another 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender all the way through but still intact.  Drain over a bowl and measure 2 1/2 cups of the broth. (Reserve the remaining broth for another use if desired)

    *Advance prep notice* Prepare the beans up to 2 days in advance before proceeding with the recipe. Store in the fridge.

    While the beans are cooking, heat a large, heavy flame-proof casserole over medium heat and add the sausage.  Cook, stirring, until the sausage has browned lightly and rendered its fat.  Remove from heat and remove the sausage from the pan.  Pour off the fat. (*Note: I left the fat in for added flavor and then used less olive oil.  Pour off if desired.)

    Add the olive oil to the pan, heat for a moment, and add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and parsley.  Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are fragrant and tender, about 5 minutes, and add the remaining garlic.  Stir together for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant, and add the sausage, tomatoes, and the remaining sage.  Season to taste with salt and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat and smell fragrant.  At this point, if the beans are not yet cooked through, turn off the heat and resume when the beans are ready.

    *Advance prep notice* The sausage and tomato mixture can be prepared before you cook the beans, and up to 2 days ahead of time. Store in fridge.

    Add the white beans and the reserved 2 1/2 cups of their broth to the tomatoes.  Bring back to a simmer, stir together, turn the heat to very low, cover, and cook gently for 30 minutes.  Add pepper, taste, and adjust the seasonings.  For the best flavor, refrigerate overnight and reheat. Add more fresh sage if desired.

    For a vegetarian version, simply omit the sausage and follow the recipe as written.

  • drizzle of olive oil
    1/2 an onion, diced
    3 or 4 cups cooked, chopped pork
    1 cup tomatillo salsa
    2 cups chicken stock or broth
    3 cups Great Northern Beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 recipe of corn muffin batter
    1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    Preheat oven to 425ºF and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.

    Set a pot on the stove over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and onion and cook for about five minutes, or until the onion is tender and translucent.  Add the pork and cook for another two minutes or so.  Add the salsa and chicken broth and bring just to a boil.  Turn the heat down to a simmer, and then add the beans, cumin, and additional salt and pepper if desired.  Take the chili off the heat and set aside while mixing together the corn muffin batter.

    Pour the chili into the prepared baking dish.  It should go up no more than 3/4 of the way up the pan.  If it does, take a bit of it out and set aside for another use.  Top the chili with the corn muffin batter- if all the batter won’t fit in the pan, don’t use it all either.

    Set the baking pan on a larger baking sheet to catch any drips, and pop into the 425ºF oven.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle the top with the cheddar cheese, and put back into the oven for another five minutes.  Check the corn bread with a toothpick to see that it’s cooked through.  If it’s not done, give it another five minutes at a time until dooked through and lightly browned around the edges.

    Serves 12.

  • 3 to 4 cups leftover pork, chopped
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1/2 an onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup plain tomato sauce
    1/4 cup mild taco sauce
    1/2 teaspoom cumin
    1/4 teaspoon chili powder
    salt and pepper to taste

    Directions:

    Heat the olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook about three minutes, or until softened, but not browned.  Add the chopped pork and garlic to pan.  Cook for five minutes, stirringoccassionally.

    In a measuring cup, combine the tomato sauce, taco sauce, cumin and chili powder.  Add to the skillet and stir to combine.  Cook for ten minutes, stirring every once in a while.  Check for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if desired.

    Cook for an additional ten minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the pork.   Serve the pork on soft flour tortillas with traditional taco toppings.

  • 1 package Italian Turkey Sausage
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 can/jar/bottle of marinara sauce
    1/2 cup hot pasta water
    hot pasta to serve
    Parmesan cheese to serve

    Directions:

    In a non-stick pot, pour about 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the pot and turn the heat up to medium high.  Add the sausages to the pot, and cook, turning frequently, until firm and cooked through.  Remove the sausages from the pot to a cutting board.

    If there is still water in the pot, go ahead and add your onions and peppers.  If there is not water in the pot, you can either add more water, or a few tablespoons of olive oil to keep the onions and peppers from sticking.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook the onions and peppers until soft, about 5 minutes or so.  **At this point you have a choice, you can continue cooking the onions and peppers by themselves until the brown, or you can continue with the recipe at this point, it’s completely your choice.

    Add the garlic to the peppers and onions, and cook for about two minutes.  Pour in the marinara, and bring to a simmer.

    Meanwhile, slice the Italian sausage into chunks.  Slide the sausage, and any accumulated juices into the marinara and simmer the whole mixture for five to ten minutes.  Just before serving, stir in the 1/2 cup reserved pasta water.

    Serve over hot pasta, and topped with Parmesan cheese.

    Serves four.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 cup chopped onion, about 1/2 a medium onion
    1 cup chopped mushrooms, about six mushrooms
    1 clove garlic, minced
    freshly ground black pepper to taste
    3 cups beef broth or stock
    2 Tablespoons sour cream
    1 1/2 cups white rice
    4 bone-in pork chops
    Seasoned salt and black pepper

    Directions:

    In a non-stick saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the onions.  Cook for about three minutes, or until they start to get tender.  Add the mushrooms.  Cook for another five minutes.  Add the minced garlic, and cook for just one minute, turning down the heat if necessary to keep the garlic from browning.  Season with black pepper, and add the beef broth.  Check for seasoning, adding more pepper if necessary, and a pinch of salt if your beef broth is unsalted.  Turn off the heat, and whisk in the two tablespoons of sour cream.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF and spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  Pour 1 1/2 cups of white rice in the pan, spreading it out evenly.  Gently, pour the beef broth mixture over the rice.  There is no need to stir it together.

    Season the pork chops with the seasoned salt and pepper.  Lay the chops onto the top of the rice mixture. They will sink into the broth a bit, that’s okay.  Cover the pan with foil, pop in the oven, and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered.

    Serves 4.

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