Cranberry Apple Pork Chops

Cranberry Apple Pork Chops

These cranberry pork chops are very convenient to cook with fresh cranberries, diced apples and seasonings. Grill the ribs, then bake them with seasonings. About half of the baking time, add the cranberries and diced apples to the pork chops. For some extra crunch, add a few tablespoons of chopped pecans or walnuts to the ribs.

If you prefer, you can use cut Bosc or Anjou pears instead of cut apples. Or use another seasonal fruit. In summer, chopped peaches or nectarines and frozen cranberries are good supplements. If you can’t find fresh or frozen cranberries, use a 16-ounce jar of whole cranberry sauce, reduce the chicken broth to 1/4 cup, and reduce the sugar to 1 tablespoon, or adjust to taste.

Eat these delicious ribs with rice, fillings or baked potatoes and steamed vegetables.

 

 

 

Cranberry Apple Pork Chops
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Cranberry Apple Pork Chops
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat the shortening in a heavy skillet over medium heat — brown the pork chops on both sides.
  3. Place pork chops in a shallow baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped onion, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper over the pork chops. Add the chicken broth.
  5. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Combine cranberries with the diced apple, sugar, and 1/4 cup of water. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired. Spoon the mixture over the pork chops.
  7. Bake 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until pork chops are tender and done.
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Easy Chow Mein

Easy Chow Mein

Chow Mein seems to be a staple at Chinese Restaurants where it’s different versions of it are always on the menu.  It’s a dish of fried noodles and can be made with just about any meat and/or veggies that you want.

In Hawaii we simply call it fried noodles and expect to find char shiu, Chinese barbequed pork,  and Kamoboku, a Japanese fish cake.  Both ingredients are readily found in our local grocery stores as is the noodles which can be purchase dry or fresh.

Chow Mein ingredients are so easy to find just about everywhere specially if you have an Asian supermarket by you.  The first ingredients of course is the noodles and if you can’t find chow mein noodles you can actually use Ramen Noodles or even spaghetti!

As for the protein you can use beef, chicken, pork, seafood or the protein of you choice.  Then you toss in veggies which can be anything from carrots to spinach, just be sure you add fresh cilantro that’s what really pulls everything together!

In  my recipe for homemade Chow Mein, I use Char Shiu pork or chicken which I find at my local grocery store.  If you can’t find it omit it or substitute a different protein such as chicken, shrimp, or a plant based one.  I also use the Kamoboku fish cake mostly because I think it’s pretty, but again you can omit it.  As for my veggies I buy a Chop Suey mix that has bean sprouts, shredded cabbage and carrots, you can easily make your own mix.

To give it that Asian flavor I use Sesame Oil, soy sauce,  and Cilantro also called Chinese Parsley.  That’s really all you need!  Chow Mein can be served alone as a main dish or as a side dish.

So here’s my recipe, adjust it to fit your needs!

Easy Chow Mein

Ingredients:

1 Package Noodles (chow mein, ramen, or even spaghetti)

1/2 Lb. Char Shiu Pork or Chicken ( omit or substitute with your choice of protein)

1 Package Kamoboku or fish cake (omit if you want)

1 Package Chop Suey Mix (bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots) or veggies of your choice

1 Onion Diced

2-3 Cloves Garlic minced

1 – 2 cups chicken broth

3 Tbs. Soy Sauce

1 Tbs. Sesame Oil

1 bunch Cilantro chopped

2-3 stalks green onions chopped

Directions:

Heat Sesame oil in large wok or skillet

Add diced onions, stir until they start to turn translucent

Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to turn golden brown, do not burn

Add meats and veggies and stir until veggies start to soften

Stir in broth and noodles (use more broth if noodles are dry, less if noodles are fresh) cook until noodles are al dente and most of the broth has evaporated.  Keep stirring so you don’t burn it.

Stir in soy sauce.  Toss until everything is well combined.

Remove from heat and place in serving platter.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and green onions.

Serve right away.

Try not to have left overs as noodles do not keep well.  If you have to store leftovers place in sealed container in fridge for no more than a day.  To re-heat spread noodles out in a sheet pan and heat in the oven.

 

 

Easy Chow Mein
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Easy Chow Mein
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Instructions
  1. Heat Sesame oil in large wok or skillet
  2. Add diced onions, stir until they start to turn translucent
  3. Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to turn golden brown, do not burn
  4. Add meats and veggies and stir until veggies start to soften
  5. Stir in broth and noodles (use more broth if noodles are dry, less if noodles are fresh) cook until noodles are al dente and most of the broth has evaporated.  Keep stirring so you don't burn it.
  6. Stir in soy sauce.  Toss until everything is well combined.
  7. Remove from heat and place in serving platter.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and green onions. 
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Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Salmon, that pretty pink fish fillet rich in protein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids is not only good for you it’s delicious too!

I love salmon because of it’s mild flavor making one of the easiest fish to prepare in so many different ways.  You can make salmon patties, burgers or cakes; grill salmon steaks and kabobs; use it in fish stew; and fry or bake it topped with all sorts of sauces.  In short Salmon is like a blank canvas!

One of my favorite Salmon recipes is Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce.  It’s delicious!  I serve it with a side of poor man’s pasta (that’s spaghetti or any type of pasta tossed in butter and garlic then sprinkled with parmesan cheese) or if we’re on diets (which we are almost always on) I serve it with grilled asparagus or sauteed spinach.  Anyway you serve it this Salmon dish is wonderful!

Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Ingredients:

1 large Salmon fillet sliced into 3-4 strips (see picture)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

2 Tbs. Butter

Pinch of salt & pepper

1 Tsp. Garlic – minced

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Lemons – 1 with juice squeezed out and the other cut in slices for garnish

2 Tbs. Fresh Dill chopped

Directions:

Pat Salmon slices dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.

In a medium to large skillet melt 1 Tbs. butter in the olive oil.

When butter is melted add salmon, cook both sides about 5 minutes per side.

Remove cooked salmon from pan, place on a dish and set aside.

Add garlic to skillet and cook just until it starts to turn brown.

Add chicken broth and lemon juice to skillet and scrape off any salmon pieces and garlic off the bottom.  This is called “deglazing”.

Bring liquid to a simmer and add heavy whipping cream.

Simmer for about 3-4 minutes until sauce starts to thicken a bit.

Place salmon back into skillet to warm up.

Add dill to sauce and spoon over salmon.

Place salmon on serving dish.  Pour sauce over salmon garnish with lemon slices to serve.

 


Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce
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Spanish Chicken & Rice

Spanish Chicken & Rice

Since COVID-19 has put a temporary halt to this year’s travel plans I’ve been bringing our favorite travel destinations to our home by making the foods we’ve always enjoyed during our travels.

I know that travel restrictions have been eased and many countries are avidly awaiting the return of tourists.  But right now our family isn’t quite yet ready to resume our regular travel routines which in the summer usually includes several weeks visiting our daughter in Italy and a cruise around the Med.  So until we are ready to resume our normal traveling lifestyle we’ll just have to make do with enjoying homemade dishes from the countries we love to visit.

Recently I’ve had a hankering for Spanish cuisine, it reminds me of fun filled days spent wandering Barcelona or exploring sunny Ibiza and the Canary Islands.  So I’ve been putting together some of my favorite Tapas and other Spanish dishes to enjoy with my pitcher of Cava Sangria.

One of our favorites is Spanish Chicken and Rice.  It’s pretty easy to make, you  use just 1 skillet!  I love the taste and smell of the spices used to create this simple dish.  I make a seasoning mix to use in this dish, I usually make a jar and keep it on hand to use on other dishes we love.   I hope you’ll love it too!

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Spanish Chicken & Rice

Ingredients:

6 Chicken thighs – remove the skin

3 Tbs. Olive OIl

1 Cup long grain white rice

2 1/4 cup chicken broth

1 Lemon

Spanish Seasoning Mix (recipe below)

Directions:

Make 1 recipe of Spanish Seasoning Mix

Mix together:

2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika

2 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. Chili Powder

1 Tsp. Ground Coriander

1/2 Tsp. Italian Seasoning

Place chicken thighs in a bowl and toss in 2 Tbs. Olive Oil until well coated.

Rub 1/2 of the Spanish Seasoning Mix on the chicken.  Be sure you rub it on all sides of the chicken thighs.

Heat remaining Olive Oil in a skillet.  Cook chicken about 3 minutes on each side until browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Chicken will not be cooked at this point.

Add rice, chicken broth, and other half of seasoning mix to the skillet.  Squeeze 1/2 of the lemon over all and combine well.  Place chicken thighs on top of the rice and cover.

Cook for 25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender and chicken is fully cooked.

Garnish with slices of the remaining lemon half and chopped cilantro.  Serve hot.

  • Instead of long grain rice I sometimes use frozen cauliflower rice.  When I do this I reduce the chicken broth to 1 1/4 cups and cook until the chicken is fully done.  If it is too watery I remove the lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated.


Spanish Chicken & Rice
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Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare – Seafood Spaghetti

Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare – Seafood Spaghetti

 

In recent years we’ve been constant visitors to Italy.  We’ve always loved the country and have been vacationing there at least once a year, but since my daughter and her family have taken up residence in Vicenza, a small town in Northern Italy, we’ve been going more often.  And when we do go we spend lots of time sampling the local cuisine in and around town, it’s a different experience when you dine where the locals dine and by pass the touristy restaurants that serve substandard fare at very high prices.

One of our favorite local restaurants in town is called Regina’s.  Its a tiny place with seating for less than 20 people.  But the service if friendly and the food delicious!  My favorite dish is Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare or Seafood Spaghetti.  I know when you think spaghetti you think red sauce and meatballs.  That’s good too, but if you’re hungry for Seafood or just want something a bit more sophisticated then this dish is just what you need.

Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare is a pasta dish made with all types of seafood including clams, squid, shrimp, and muscles.  It can have a tomato based sauce like Arrabiata or a white sauce like a pesto or Alfredo.

I personally love a lighter sauce made with white wine, lemon juice, and butter.  That’s the recipe I’ll share today.  I normally make it with shrimp, clams, mussels, and lobster if I can find some.  You can use whatever seafood you prefer.  It’s good with pretty much any type of seafood.

Here’s the recipe!

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Ingredients:

1 Lb. Clams

1 Lb. Mussels

1 Lb. Shrimp – peeled and deveined but leave tail on

2-3 Small Lobster Tails – cut into 1 1/5″ pieces with shell on

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Butter

2-3 Cloves Garlic thinly sliced

1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Cup White Wine

2 Cups Chicken Broth

1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes

1 Lb. Cooked Spaghetti

Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

In a large pan melt butter in olive oil.

Saute garlic in butter mixture until it starts to cook, be careful not to burn.

Add seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.

Add wine and chicken stock.

Add clams and mussels.  Cook until shells open.

Add lobster pieces and cook until shell starts to turn red and meat starts to turn white.

Add shrimp.  Cook until shrimp turns pink and lobster is fully cooked.

Lower heat and stir in lemon juice and sundried tomatoes.

Remove from heat and serve over cooked pasta.  Garnish with shredded cheese.


Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare - Seafood Spaghetti
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Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare - Seafood Spaghetti
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