Monday, February 28, 2011

Tender Grilled Pork Chops

*Tonight Jeff had to work late, usually I don't go to the trouble of making a "fancy" meal if he's not around to share it with us, but I had already started this marinade when Jeff said he wouldn't be home. (And by the way, fancy means anything that we don't eat for breakfast or requires more than the microwave to make).  I'm so glad we had this for dinner tonight.  My 6, 4, and 2 year olds loved it--especially my little girl.  She didn't stop raving about what a "good cook my mommy is."  More than words though, the cleaned plates made me happiest--and I didn't even have to bargain with them!  Thanks so much Mel for letting me add this to my recipe repertoire!
4 boneless pork loin chops
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon steak seasoning (such as Montreal Steak Seasoning or make your own*)
Mix olive oil, soy sauce and steak seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour over pork chops in a glass container or gallon-size Ziplock bag.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 3-8 hours (no more than 8), turning meat over half way through. Heat the grill to medium and grill the chops 6-8 minutes per side (depending on how thick they are) until they are no longer pink in the center. Remove the chops from the grill and tent them with foil and allow them to rest for 5-7 minutes. Slice the chops in 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices across the grain and serve.
*This recipe for Montreal Steak Seasoning also come's from Mel's site:
1/2 T paprika
1/2 T freshly ground black pepper
3/4 t kosher/coarse salt
3/4 t garlic powder
3/4 t onion powder
3/4 t coriander
3/4 t dill
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.

Pasta Salad, so many ways

*I love this salad--for so many reasons.  It's easy, versatile, can feed a crowd, and my family loves it.  Make it as a main dish, serve it on the side, or keep it in the fridge for a quick bite.  This isn't the kind of recipe you need to go to the store to buy ingredients.  Look in your garden, fridge, or pantry and pull out what ingredients you'd like.  Here are some suggestions...

Tri-color rotini, cooked per package directions and cooled
cherry tomatoes (or another tomato cut in small bit-size cubes)
cheese, cut into small cubes (I usually mix cheddar & mozzarella)
sliced olives
diced cucumber
chicken, cooked and cut in small cubes or ham
Italian dressing (or make your own with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and pepper)
fresh basil leaves

Mix all ingredients together, adjust amounts per liking.  Serve chilled.

*I love watching my little girl gobble this up, makes me feel so good.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

*These oatmeal cookies had great flavor, but they didn't turn out quite a pretty for me as from the site I found them on.  Still, I think the recipe is a keeper.  Instant oats might help them appear more smooth as well as using part shortening and part butter.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins (I like golden raisins best)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars together.  Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.  Place flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt in bowl with wet ingredients.  Mix just until incorporated. Add 3 cups oats, mix with large spoon. Fold in raisins.
Drop dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet, or sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.