Finger-Lickin’ Baby Back Ribs

Finger-Lickin’ Baby Back Ribs.

Any rib lovers out there?

We decided on ribs for our Super Bowl Sunday meal this past Sunday.  They are great football feasting food!

Hubby learned a great way to make them.

The secret to making them tender and fall-off-the-bone wonderful is in boiling them first in Coca-Cola.

After boiling them for a couple hours, you drain them, put them in a container, drench with your favorite barbecue sauce, cover tightly, and marinade overnight.

When you are ready to eat them, you simply throw them on the grill, or in our case, Hubby likes to throw them in our Pit Barrel Cooker and smoke them a bit.  In a half hour, you have the most amazing tender, fall-off-the bone, juicy pork ribs you’ve ever eaten.

I like to add a little more sauce on when I eat mine.  (I’m a little saucier than Hubby!)

I know many folks have their own way of making ribs with varying techniques – dry rubs, wet sauces, marinades, etc., but I have not found a way I like better than this simple full-proof recipe.

Hope you’ll give it a try and let me know.

Finger-Lickin' Baby Back Ribs

Ingredients:

Directions:

Cut ribs into 4 pieces.  Put in large pot.  Pour Coca-Cola over ribs until they are completely covered.  Put lid on pot, and bring to boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer about an hour or so until they are fully cooked.

Remove ribs from pot, and discard Coca-Cola.  Place ribs in airtight container.  Cover with barbecue sauce and lid.  Marinade overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.

A half hour before ready to serve, place on grill or in Pit Barrel Cooker and grill/heat through.

Serve with additional barbecue sauce if desired. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Spinach & Goat Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops.

It is taking me a while to learn to cook for just two since becoming “empty” nesters.  Lately, it seems, we order in, go out, eat simple, or eat leftovers for days and days and days when I do cook.

I still try to make a nice meal on Sunday, even if it is just the two of us.  This past Sunday, I decided to make stuffed pork chops with a pack of (just two!) beautifully thick, center cut Iowa Chops I had picked up.

Instead of the usual bread stuffing, though, I wanted to do something different.  So after perusing the web and finding a number of interesting combinations, I came up with a combination of fresh iron-rich spinach, creamy goat cheese, garlic to kick it up, and ruby red roasted red peppers for their beautiful color and flavor.


It made a beautiful, delicious, and healthier stuffing for our chops, and I served them on a bed of zoodles (spiral cut zucchini noodles).

How do you like to stuff your chops?!  Hope you’ll give this version a try.  Simply double or triple depending on how many you are cooking for if you are fortunate enough to be serving a crowd.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 2 thick boneless Pork Chops (I used Iowa Chops*)
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2 cups fresh Spinach
  • 1 Roasted Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

 

Directions

Steam spinach in microwave with 1 Tbsp. water for 1 minute on High until wilted.  Drain, and squeeze water out.  Add chopped roasted red peppers, minced garlic, and goat cheese.  Stir to combine.

Cut a slit in each pork chop to create a pocket, being careful not to cut through to other side.

Spoon half of spinach mixture into the pocket of each pork chop.

Mix breadcrumbs, basil, oregano, parsley, and seasoned salt in shallow dish.  Press stuffed pork chops  on both sides into the bread crumb mixture to coat.

Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium/high heat.  Add pork chops, and cook 4-5 minutes until nicely browned.  Flip over and brown on other side until now longer pink in the middle.  (If chops are extremely thick, you may want to put chops in preheated 375 degree oven for an additional 10 minutes once browned.)

*Iowa Chops:  The notorious “Iowa Chop” is a seriously thick and succulent pork chop cut from the lower back of the hog just behind the rib.   The thickness (1.25-1.5 inches) of this chop led it to be coined “The Iowa Chop” in the 1980’s by the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

(P.S. If you are a subscriber and seeing this twice, sorry for the inconvenience!  I somehow scheduled it to publish in an incomplete state last evening, so have updated.  Thanks for reading!)

Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin.

Pork lovers get ready to swooooon!  This might be the most delicious way I have ever prepared pork tenderloin!

I made this yummy recipe earlier this week to go with the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples I featured HERE.

It was like a match made in Yum Yum Heaven!  I have to admit I moaned a few times eating it!

Hope you give it a try!

Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin*

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin (approx. 1 1/2 lbs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth/stock
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp apricot preserves (heaping)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (as much as I LOVE salt, I always recommend low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet.  When hot, add tenderloin(s).  Liberally season pork with salt and pepper and dried thyme.   Sear the pork on all sides.

When pork is beautifully seared and browned all over, add wine and chicken broth/stock to the skillet.  Cover and place in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

Remove pork and place on cutting board.  Cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

In skillet, add apricot jam, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and rosemary.  Cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes allowing the glaze to thicken.

Slice pork tenderloin and drizzle glaze over top.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Original recipe found at AGoudaLife.com.

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

It’s what’s for dinner!

If you are a pork fan, like I am fast becoming, this marinated tenderloin is a MUST try!

It turns out tender and juicy with a fresh citrusy herb flavor that pairs great with potatoes and fresh vegetables for a delicious, easy weeknight dinner.

Prepare and marinade the meat the night before, then all you have to do is throw it on the grill for 10-15 minutes for dinner.

Leftovers are great sliced thinly for sandwiches or tossed in a stir-fry.  Such a bonus to get a couple completely different meals from one easy recipe.

Hope you will give it a try, and hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 4 Fresh Ripe Lemons, Juiced and Zest from one
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 1  Tbsp chopped fresh Thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Pork Tenderloins (approx. 1 lb each)

Directions:

Make marinade by whisking together first 8 ingredients.  Pour into large Ziploc bag.  Add the pork tenderloins and coat.  Marinade overnight in refrigerator or at least 8 hours.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees F.   Place tenderloins on grill.  Discard excess marinade.  Grill 10-15 minutes or until meat reaches 135 degrees F.  Allow to rest 5-10 minutes.  Cut into thin slices to serve.

Enjoy with roasted new potatoes and steamed broccoli or your favorite vegetable.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

*Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Crockpot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast

crockpot-honey-balsamic-pork-roast-with-onions

Crockpot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast.

Oh my dear programmable crockpot – how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways….

All kidding aside, I do love cooking in the crockpot, and I love this new one I got that is programmable and then keeps dinner warm once its done cooking.  They have come such a long way since the first one I got oh so many years ago as a newlywed.  I use it at least once a week – especially in the colder weather months.

This past Sunday was a bit of a cold, lazy day, so this Honey Balsamic Pork Roast was just the ticket for dinner.  That hubby of mine is going to make a pork lover out of me yet!

crockpot-honey-balsamic-pork-roast-plated

A tender white meat pork loin with a full flavored simple sauce that turns into a rich, easy gravy warmed up and filled our tummies – especially with a dollop of mashed potatoes and healthy serving of steamed broccoli.

Just look at that yumminess!  I am beginning to think pork is the “other white meat” Hubby keeps trying to convince chicken-lover me into believing.

crockpot-honey-balsamic-pork-roast-close-up

Here is the simple, yet hearty and flavorful recipe I slightly adapted from SixSisterStuff.   Hope you’ll give it a try.

Crockpot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast

Ingredients:crockpot-honey-balsamic-pork-roast-with-onions

  • 2-3 lb. pork loin roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup beef broth (I made using 1 cup water and 1 beef bouillon cube)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I realized I was out, so used Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing – I am the queen of improvising!)
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour

Directions:

Place pork roast in crockpot and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Drizzle honey over top of roast.  Add rest of ingredients except for the last two (butter and flour).  Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

When ready to serve, remove roast to cutting board to rest.  In a small saucepan, melt butter, then whisk in flour to create a roux.  When thickened, pour juice from crockpot into roux, and stir to incorporate and thicken into gravy.  Slice roast and serve with gravy.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Quick & Easy Crispy Pork Stir Fry


quick-and-easy-crispy-pork-stir-fry-02

Stir frying any kind of protein with your favorite veggies makes a quick, easy, and healthy weeknight dinner.

quick-and-easy-crispy-pork-stir-fry-01

Yesterday, I pulled a small piece of pork tenderloin out of the freezer in the morning with no idea what I was going to do with it.

By 6 pm, I decided I better figure out something to do with it.  After all, the spaghetti and meatballs I made for Sunday’s dinner, that hubby also ate leftovers of on Monday while I was out of town, and that we made into meatball hoagies  onTuesday was losing it’s charm and appeal!

quick-and-easy-crispy-pork-stir-fry-03

A quick “google” resulted in a few ideas I combined to come up with this quick and easy, but more importantly AMAZING Crispy Pork Stir Fry!  Coating the thinly sliced pork with seasoned salt and cornstarch before stir frying resulted in a wonderfully crispy coating and texture, and the simple sauce really packs a flavor punch!  You can use whatever veggies you have on hand or love.  Some may love mushrooms, snow peas, sugar snap peas, green beans, and/or water chestnuts.  Stir frying is one of my favorite ways to create a healthy, colorful, delicious, fast, and easy weeknight dinner.

Hope you give this a try!

Quick & Easy Crispy Pork Stir Fry

Ingredients:quick-and-easy-crispy-pork-stir-fry-01

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin or sirloin, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced sweet red, yellow and/or orange peppers
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • Sauce
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Sprinkle thinly sliced pork with seasoned salt and cornstarch in a bowl with a lid or Ziploc bag.  Shake to coat.

Prepare sauce by combining garlic, pepper, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a small bowl.  Stir well, and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large stir fry skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sliced onions, peppers, and minced garlic.  Stir fry approximately 2-3 minutes.  Remove from skillet, and set aside.  Add the other 1 Tbsp. oil and heat for 1 minute.  Add coated pork, and stir fry approximately 5 minutes.  Add steamed broccoli and return onion, peppers and garlic to skillet with all.  Stir fry an additional minute.  Add sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Serve over steamed jasmine (or your favorite) rice.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Spicy Dr Pepper Pulled Pork

Are you ready for a party in your mouth?

Looking for a versatile recipe that can be a main course, a sandwich, serve a crowd, be made into a great nacho platter?

Look no further!

I present:

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

ENJOY!  (We sure did)

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Ingredients:Spicy Dr Pepper Pulled Pork

  • 5 lb boneless pork loin (or your favorite pork roast)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Half of a 16-oz. jar sliced banana peppers rings with juice
  • 1 10-oz. can Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilis
  • 2 12-oz cans Dr. Pepper soda
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Place all in crockpot and cook on High for 6 hours.  Remove pork and shred with fork.  Place back in juices and let set at least a half hour.  Even better the next day when the juices and meat all mix and mingle even more!

Serve on Hard Rolls, over mashed or fried potatoes, with rice, in a tortilla wrap with your favorite fillings or over tortilla chips with queso and shredded cheese and pickled jalapenos for the most amazing Pulled Pork Nachos!

Wouldn’t you be the hit of the party serving these nachos for the Super Bowl or a Playoff party this weekend?

Spicy Dr Pepper Pulled Pork nachos

Want to see a little closer?!

Spicy Dr Pepper Pulled Pork nachos 2

This recipe might be fun to try with beef or chicken too.

Have some fun in the kitchen.  Creativity is everywhere!

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

*Inspired by The Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

Best Ever Dry Rub Mix for Ribs and Pork

dry rub seasoning mix

I recently mixed up a batch of seasonings for a dry rub mix that has rocked our world (well – that might be a teensy bit of an exaggeration… but I really wanted to catch your attention.)  

But seriously – who knew mixing spices could be so exciting…  Pack so much punch…. add such “zip” to what would otherwise be so … ordinary?!

And once you make a batch of this, you will have it for a while…  But you will want to use it often!

I’ve used it so far for slow roasted oven baked ribs where I rubbed it on and baked them for 8 hours on a low heat in the oven.  O. M. G!

I’ve also rubbed it all over a couple of pork tenderloins and marinated all day in the refrigerator, then grilled.  YUM!

Both ways turned out amazing.

I’m looking forward to trying it on more things… Maybe chicken?  Beef?  I’ll bet it would even be a nice seasoning for roasted potatoes.

This mix smells so amazing, that we sometimes just open the jar and breathe it in!

I am sure you can mix and match the ingredients as you see fit or as you have on hand, but I believe the two most key ingredients are the SMOKEY paprika (oh how I wish we had smell-a-blog or scratch and sniff photos on our phones and computers so you could experience this smell if you never have – it is very different from “regular” or Spanish paprika) and cinnamon (the smell and bit of sweet bite that you don’t quite expect takes it over the top!).

dry rub seasoning on ribs

Here is the recipe.  I hope you will give it a try.  If you do, let me know how you liked it.

Best Ever Dry Rub Seasoning Mix for Ribs and Pork

  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Penzey’s smoked paprika (I think this is one of the KEY ingredients)
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 6 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp freshly micro-planed nutmeg (or ground)
  • 1 Tbsp ground oregano
  • 1 Tbsp ground thyme
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp dry mustard powder
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (another KEY ingredient)

Mix all together and store in airtight jar.

To use, sprinkle and rub liberally over all sides of ribs, pork tenderloin, pork chops, or anything you like.  Let marinade for several hours or overnight.  Bake or grill to your liking.

This really is an amazing seasoning mix to kick up your pork tenderloin and ribs.
It would also make a great gift to give in pint size jars for the holidays for gourmet cooking friends on your holiday gift list.

The guys we had over for dinner this past Saturday evening loved it.  I think you will too!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi