Pork is the main protein in these recipes. Pork comes from pigs and hogs and includes the most important meat in the universe, BACON!

A German-ish Recipe

German food always seems to me a fall or winter thing. When the weather turns chilly, I get cravings for my daughter’s schnitzel and späetzle, which she makes to perfection. I long for hearty, comfort food and the Germans seem to have that down. Not too long ago, I was trying to think of something for dinner and wanted to use up some pasta in the cupboard. I also had some sauerkraut in the fridge and some smoked pork chops in the freezer. I came up with a recipe that had some serious German undertones—cabbage? check. mustard? check. sour cream? check. smoked meat? check. Pasta? well, maybe not so much. But, it works, and is in fact quite tasty! In this recipe, I add the sauerkraut last to preserve the health benefits of the probiotic in this product. Just heat it through enough so that it’s nice and warm when you put it on the table.

German Sauerkraut Pasta

3 tablespoons butter
½ medium onion, thinly sliced
1 package Johnson’s Smoked Pork Chops, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard
½ cup sour cream
One 16-ounce container of raw sauerkraut (I like Sonoma Brinery brand)
½ pound Farfalle pasta, cooked al dente
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In large skillet, melt butter and add onion; cook until transparent. Add pork chops, mustard seeds, and mustard and cook for 5 minutes. Add sour cream and sauerkraut and warm through. Add pasta, stirring until warmed through and season with salt and pepper. Serves 4

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Pasta, Pork | Leave a comment

Got More Ham?

LeanneWhen I spied a left-over ham bone in the freezer after the holidays, I decided I wanted to try something new.  I found this fideos recipe in Food and Wine magazine and was so impressed — I had to share it with you. I altered the recipe just a bit so that you could use your saved ham bone but you can also make it with the originally called for four ham hocks.  It’s very easy to throw together yet it would be a great dish for entertaining. Be sure not to salt the mushrooms too much, just enough to draw the water out, because the dish can get salty from the ham. The flavor is sophisticated and comforting at the same time.  You can halve the recipe but it reheats in the microwave fairly well so I recommend that you make the whole shebang!

Fideos with Shrimp, Ham and Clams

Ham bone and 1-2 smoked ham hocks or 4 smoked ham hocks
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
12 scallions
1¼ pounds fideos, short thin egg noodles or angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch lengths
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 pound oyster mushrooms, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup Spanish green olives, pitted and chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup dry sherry, such as fino
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 dozen Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
½ cup chopped cilantro

In a large pot, cover the ham hocks with water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the meat is tender, about 1½ hours. Transfer the hocks to a large bowl. Strain the broth into a very large glass measuring cup and skim off the fat; you should have about 6 cups of broth. Crumble the saffron threads into the broth and reserve. When the ham hocks are cool enough to handle, remove the meat and coarsely chop it; discard the hocks.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the scallions over high heat until lightly charred all over, about 2 minutes. Coarsely chop the scallions. Spread the fideos on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until browned.

Heat 2 large skillets and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to each. Add half of the mushrooms to each skillet, season with a little salt and  pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillets. Add the garlic and shallots to the skillets and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes; stir in the chopped ham, olives and crushed red pepper, then stir in the fideos. Add the sherry to the skillets and cook over moderately high heat until reduced by three-quarters, about 2 minutes. Stir in the ham hock broth and the lemon juice, then add 1 cup of hot water to each skillet. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Add the shrimp and clams to the skillets and simmer over moderately high heat, turning the seafood a few times, until the fideos have absorbed most of the liquid, the shrimp are cooked and the clams have opened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the grilled scallions and sprinkle with the cilantro. Drizzle the fideos with olive oil and serve right away. Serves 10

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Entrée, Fish and Seafood, Pork | Leave a comment

Sometimes Simple is Best

LeanneI grew up in a family that went camping for a week twice every summer. We had a tent the size of a small meeting hall to accommodate the five to seven family members and friends involved. I watched my mom work hard to feed everyone.  I have wonderful memories, but when it came to camping with my own family, is it any wonder that I’ve been reluctant to fill my mother’s shoes?  Perhaps this is why “glamping” (glamour + camping) has caught my fancy.  My husband and I recently rented a decked-out vintage trailer that the company delivers to any park outside of Bend, Oregon.   Now, that’s my idea of camping!  Of course, I got carried away planning the food for this trip and we ended up abandoning some of the more elaborate meal ideas for simpler versions. My husband made a simple pasta dish that was just what I like and I wanted to share the recipe with you here.  I’m learning that it’s good to keep food preparation at a minimum while camping, even if it is “glamping!”

Fresh Fettuccine with Chorizo

2 ounces dry Spanish-style chorizo, sliced
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup panko crumbs
9 ounces fresh fettuccine
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Chop chorizo and garlic in a food processor (or finely chop by hand if camping).  Sauté mixture in 1 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned.  Cook pasta until al dente and drain well.  While pasta cooks, add crumbs to chorizo and sauté until well toasted.  Right before serving, toss pasta with chorizo mixture and season with salt and pepper (Chorizo can be salty so taste before salting). A little finely chopped parsley would be nice on this as well. Serves 2 or 3 people

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Entrée, Pasta, Pork | Leave a comment

Got Ham?

LeanneWhenever I have a leftover ham bone, which is usually after some holiday, I like to make split pea soup. I try to leave plenty of meat on it when I throw it into the freezer to wait for the time when I have the inclination to put it in a pot. Today is such a day. Long ago, I had split pea soup over at my sister Debbie’s house and liked it a lot. I copied the recipe down from her (unremembered) cookbook and the shorthand recipe hand written on a scrap paper has remained in my recipe file to this day—except for when I couldn’t find it one day. I called her to ask for the recipe and she didn’t recall it at all. Oh well, what is memorable for one person is not necessarily memorable for another. Luckily, I found it again (the scrap was small enough that it got stuck between two other recipes). Here it is, my favorite split pea soup recipe, so good for January days.


Split Pea Soup

1 bag of split peas, green or yellow
10 cups cold water
1 ham bone with plenty of meat on it
½ cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
Dash of cayenne
¼ teaspoon thyme or 2 fresh thyme sprigs

Place split peas in a large pot and add water. Add the ham bone and cook for 2 hours at a low simmer. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another ½ hour or until peas are tender and soup is thick. Add salt if needed but usually the ham provides the seasoning.

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Pork, Soup | Leave a comment

Fourth of July Block Party

It’s almost the Fourth of July again and time for the neighborhood block party that my neighbor and I have been hosting for the past 11 years.  We live at the end of a dead end street, so it’s a convenient place to have a party in the street, complete with red, white and blue tablecloths, lots of votive candles and white lights and live music from all of the talented people we know! I make a giant batch of sangria, red, white and blue jello parfaits for the kids, a very big flag cake with raspberries, blueberries, and cream cheese frosting and usually, BBQ ribs. Those ribs can take a lot of time and fuss, so this year, I’m going to make pulled pork sandwiches from the easiest recipe I know of—originally from Food and Wine magazine. Now, maybe I can enjoy my own party a little bit more.  If you have a slow cooker (a.k.a. crockpot), give this one a try—I think you’ll like it!

Slow Cooker Barbecued Pulled Pork

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (Asian chile sauce)
4¼ pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium bowl, mix the onion with the ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, molasses, mustard and sambal oelek. In a slow cooker, cover the pork with the ketchup mixture. Cook on high until the pork is very tender, about 6 hours. Transfer the pork to a work surface and, using 2 forks, shred the meat.

Pour the sauce into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir the shredded pork into the sauce, season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 8-10

Pulled pork can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Entrée, Pork | Leave a comment

Taking the Simple Route

My theory about hors d’oeuvres is this: if they’re simple, you’ll make them and if they’re not, you won’t. There are occasions when you want to put a little more effort into things, but most of the time, it’s enough to just get a great dinner on the table and you don’t want to worry too much about the extras. My little salad rolls are nice for summer because they are light and fresh but you can also serve them year round. They make a nice addition to a cocktail party at holiday time because everything else seems to be so rich. Best of all, they’re a little different from what most people serve and they’re so simple!

Prosciutto-Wrapped Salad Rolls

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto

Whisk first four ingredients into a vinaigrette.  Toss with salad greens, currants and blue cheese. Cut each prosciutto slice lengthwise into two pieces (you can also tear them apart).  Tightly wrap each prosciutto piece around a large pinch of salad and cut the rolls in half.  Makes approximately 16 rolls

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Appetizer, Pork | Leave a comment

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