Archive for the ‘Pork & Sausage’ Category
Just 20 minutes is all you need to transform simple pork chops, potatoes and onions into a SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS meal! We’re talking fork tender thick chops, oniony mashed potatoes and a thick, rich pork gravy!
So this dish kinda just ‘happened’. Mr. Fantabulous was at some concert and I had the house all to myself. I had it all planned out for my bachelorette night in. I’d make myself a great dinner, take a bubble batch, shut off my computer and watch chick flicks while lounging in the recliner eating copious amounts of seriously bad food. Unfortunately that didn’t happen quite like that. He had already left to go meet up with his buddy and I started to go make dinner. What I came to find out was when I opened up my fridge that it was bare! I mean we’re talking no milk BUT my loving husband left me the empty container (seriously who does this? Write a friggen note!), no meat, no eggs and no cheese. WTH dude!
Now normally I’d be ok with this but this was MY “date” night with myself and I wanted real food. And what made it worse is that I was already in my lounge clothes (aka no bra!) and was mad I had to get re-dressed and put that damn thing back on just to go to the store. Oh no trust me, I did think twice about just throwing a hoodie on over top of everything and heading to the store in those clothes but with my luck I’d end up as one of those “People of Walmart” memes. And while it’s funny when it’s other people it’s not so funny when it’s you.
Begrudgingly I got re-dressed and went down the hill to my local butcher shop. As I was walking through the meat section I spied some seriously awesome looking thick-cut chops. We’re talking pink with that fat edge just begging to be taken home. So into my buggy it went along with some pepperoni, Italian bread and other snacky stuff. And for snacky stuff equals potato chips and fritos. God I love fritos! When I got home I figured since I was going to make it a junk food kinda night I might as well keep with the theme and make a bacon & pepperoni French bread pizza however I could not take my eyes off of those chops.
I seriously have grown to love pork tenderloin for so many reasons. One, it’s not that expensive. Two, it cooks up faster than most other pork loins. And third, it’s so tender and juicy. When I first met Mr. Fantabulous the man refused to eat pork – just chicken, pasta or steak, no seasoning. Yeah, bland. Well okay not the pasta I mean he is Italian after all however even that, the sauce doesn’t require a lot of spices or even be complex to be truly delicious. I mean this man wouldn’t even eat bacon. I know right! I’m surprised I married him knowing that! It’s a good thing that man is so damn sexy… LOL
So in comes me, this uber food snob whose palate is ever growing and lives by seasonings and depths of flavors. Flavors should marry and dishes should be a full blown orchestra of flavors instead of one note and broken. And bacon. I don’t love bacon I LURVEEEEEEEEEEEEE bacon. Honestly, two more opposite people could there be when it came to he and I. However we make ‘us’ work and that’s perfect in my books. We compliment each other in a way I never thought possible.
We compliment one another kinda like how my Cherry Chipotle Cola BBQ Sauce compliments simple plain pork tenderloins. Smooth huh? LOL
If you recall I posted these images when I did my review for the Nordic Ware FLARE pot (which is awesome btw!) but what I didn’t give you at the time was a recipe. Now I’ll be honest, I hadn’t thought about giving you this as honestly I thought everyone knew how to make sausage, peppers and onions like you get at a fair. I know, shame on me but I almost felt like if I posted a recipe like this it would be an insult to folks. I envisioned emails of “Really Lori? You give us that? Everyone knows how to make that woman. Geesh.” but instead you didn’t the opposite.
Hundreds of emails came in “Hey TKW, where’s the recipe? That looks awesome! Are you going to share?”
So imagine my surprise when the requests started pouring in. It just didn’t dawn on me. Sorry. This recipe has been in my family for decades. I can remember my grandma making huge canning pots full of hot sausage, peppers and onions for our summer picnics and for Friday night football games when my brothers would play. This was ridiculously easy to make and fed a crowd. Plus, like lasagna, it got better the next day! And it freezes beautifully too so when you’re too tired to cook, just take out a container of this stuff, heat it up and you’re ready to go. Plus if you add this to scrambled eggs, well… you’re welcome is all I’m going to say.
So a few days before I had to go away for a week-long work trip I was rummaging through my chest freezer looking for stuff I could make ahead of time so Mr. Fantabulous wouldn’t starve in my absence. I know, I spoil him but I love the big lug. As I was pretty much chest deep in my freezer I spied a lovely pork tenderloin package. Okay truth be told, I kinda-sorta-forgot-I-had-it cause I have so much stuff in that freezer. Immediately I knew I had to use it because I LOVE pork tenderloins…when it is made correctly!
Often times I’ve had it in restaurants and it’s either cooked to where it’s like shoe leather OR they attempt to shred it like pulled pork. First, any meat other than jerky should never be shoe-leather texture. And Pork tenderloins are not meant to be used for pulled pork. They don’t have enough fat in the cut so it dries out and the meat gets rough. Stop trying to make it something it’s not. Kinda like I am not trying to be a Victoria’s Secret angel cause it’s something I’m not. Speaking of which… have you all seen the new commercial Lane Bryant has been running showcasing what society deems “plus size” women. Their whole premise is to show that women, ALL women regardless of their size are beautiful. That you don’t need be a VS Angel to be desirable in your gutchies. That you can have rolls, jiggle, bellies and curves to be sexy. You can have pudge, flubadub, chub or whatever you deem it and still be healthy. They are breaking the stereotype mold by telling people it’s okay to not be an “angel”. #ImNoAngel is their hashtag and I love it!
Sorry, I got side tracked huh? But it’s important to me. Growing up, being that fat kid that so badly wanted to fit in to what society deemed pretty was hard. Life was hell at times and more often than none I’d end up in tears because I was “different”. Kids are cruel. Period. But I think it all starts at home and what they are exposed to by tv and the media. Where people, society, the media/corporations fail is realizing that they do not have the right to tell us what we should like or what is beautiful. What one person finds beautiful another may not. My husband finds me to be the sexiest woman ever and that’s fine by me.
This pork roast is probably the very first roast I ever made on my own. It was after both my Mom and Dad had passed on and it was my first New Year’s Eve with out them. Now I was going out with friends that night however it’s a tradition in my family to have pork roast and sauerkraut on NYE. Mom always said it was to bring us good luck and fortune. Yeah, we never had fortune or good luck but at least we had each other and to me that’s priceless! Now this is the same woman who, every NYE would go outside at the crack of midnight, bang a wooden spoon on the back of a pot loudly 12 times (not sure why 12), put that down and then put some change in her purse, zip it shut and with her right arm (never left) swing it forward around and around like she was winding up to throw a strike. I can still remember her saying “Lori Ann you always want to put in some change and swing it forward, never backwards. By swinging it forward your capturing all the good fortune and bringing it towards you.” Yeah.. that didn’t work either.
But while we never had money we had other “riches”. We had love, honor, respect and integrity. We learned to rely on our God given talents – fortunately for me it all lied in my brain because God help me if we had to rely on my dancing capabilities. HA! I’m about as graceful as a rabid hippo on skates! Yeah…ponder that image for a minute. LOL
Now if you’re my age, you know…ancient and borderline senile per my darling husband, your parents or grandparents almost NEVER wrote down a recipe. Am I right? Well this is one of those recipes they never ever wrote down yet the first time I went to make it, it’s like I knew how to make it based off of all those years watching her cook it. However when she made her it was not small and never just one. There were at least 3 or 4 and they all weighed in about 7-8 pounds each. Plus she would make a roaster full of kielbasa, hot dogs and more kraut, baked beans, potato salad, macaroni salad, brownies, a chocolate layered cake with her to-die-for pudding frosting, a huge tray of leftover Christmas cookies, fudge plus chips – potato chips and pretzels. Yes.. we had all of that at midnight .. well after the obligatory pot banging and purse twirling.