Category Archives: Pork

Smoked Sausage with Black Beans

After just having gotten over a cold a few weeks ago, I’m battling another one now!  So frustrating.  My poor red nose can’t handle being blown anymore! I’m thinking I should be good for another few years after these back to back colds.

My appetite is sadly lacking again at the moment, but I do want to quickly share a recipe today that I think you’ll enjoy 🙂

I love the combination of smoked sausage, beans, and rice together.  Red beans and rice is one of my favorite meals.  This recipe has similar ingredients but with a twist.  It has more of a Southwestern flare.

It’s easy to make, calls for just a few simple ingredients, and is delicious!  What more could you ask for? 🙂

I hope you give this a try, and until next time, Happy Cooking!

Smoked Sausage with Black Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb smoked sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped bell pepper (I used a combo of red and orange)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  •  1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Directions:

In a large skillet, cook the sausage until it starts to brown.  Add in the onion, bell pepper, and garlic.  Cook until the vegetables have softened.  Add in all remaining ingredients.  Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until heated through.  Serve over rice.

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Filed under Beans, Pork, Stove-Top Meals

Emeril Lagasse’s Red Beans and Rice

Howdy everyone!  My, what a strange winter this has been.  After super cold temperatures, it’s actually raining today. RAINING in January!  Where I live that’s just crazy.  I had to go out to a doctor’s appointment this morning and didn’t realize that the rain would end up making the packed down snow in the parking lots very slick.  Let’s just say I had several arms and legs flailing everywhere moments as I kept slipping and trying not to fall flat on my behind.  Good thing it was early in the morning and there weren’t many people out and about yet to see me!

Now let’s talk about about this recipe! Cajun cooking is not something we ever had when I was growing up, that’s just not the part of the South my family is from.  But I don’t think I would have complained if they had been because I LOVE Cajun foods.  Jambalaya, gumbo, you name it, I love it.  I love the flavors that go into the foods from that region.

Red beans and rice is probably my favorite Cajun dish, though.  And I just found out something new about Jay after making this.  All this time I thought he just had a general hatred for all bean dishes, but turns out he actually will eat them and (*gasp*) kinda like them when there’s rice mixed in!  I’ll have to keep that in mind for the future.

As you can tell from the title, this is not my own recipe, but it’s my favorite version.  I may not be a big fan of the man himself, but I’ve never met an Emeril Lagasse recipe I didn’t like.  It’s a cinch to make, it’s economical, and if you have a bean-hating family member like I do, they might just actually like it too!

Happy cooking! 🙂

Emeril Lagasse’s Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb red beans (or kidney beans), soaked overnight
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 Tb minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb chopped ham
  • 6 ounces smoked sausage, sliced

Directions:

Cook onion and next 6 ingredients in a large pot until softened.  Add the bay leaves, ham, and sausage.  Cook until the ham and sausage start to brown.  Add the beans and enough water to cover (about 8 cups).  Simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours.  Using a large spoon or a potato masher, mash up about half of the beans.  Simmer, uncovered, for another 1 1/2 hours, adding more water if it starts to get too thick.

This can also be cooked in the crockpot.  If cooking it that way, I like to brown the ham and sausage first still (more flavor that way), but everything else I just throw in as is and let it cook away.

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Filed under Beans, Pork

Crockpot Cookin’: Smothered Pork

It’s no secret that I love my crockpots, and if a recipe can be converted to cook in the crockpot, then that’s more than likely what I’m going to do.  So here’s how I make smothered pork in the crockpot.  It’s simple as can be, but full of flavor, and sooo tender.

I happened to be using the end portion of a whole pork loin, which wouldn’t have cut into chops very well, so I cubed it.  I actually prefer the meat that way, then you can just spoon everything over your rice or whatever you choose to serve it with.  You can also just use pork chops if you prefer.  It’ll all taste the same!

Make a nice big salad and some garlic bread to go with, and you’ve got a perfect wholesome meal with very little effort involved!

Crockpot Smothered Pork

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs pork chops or cubed pork
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 2 Tb cornstarch

Directions:

Season the pork with salt and pepper to taste.  Place in the crockpot along with the beef broth, brown sugar, and onion.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or so.

Stir in the butter.  Combine the cornstarch with a little cold water, and add to the crockpot.  Cover and cook on high for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened up enough to your liking.  Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles.

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Filed under Crockpot Meals, Pork

Crunchy Potato Bites

If you cooked a big ham like I did for Christmas, then you probably have some leftover ham that would be perfect in this recipe.  As a ham lover myself, I’m happy as can be having all that chopped and sliced ham tucked away in my deep freeze!

This recipe comes from my Christmas with Southern Living Cookbook.  It’s quick and easy to make, especially if you already have mashed potatoes and ham on hand. I haven’t tried it myself, but I imagine these bites would freeze well too, so you could make them ahead of time and freeze for later which, for me, is one of the top things I look for in a recipe nowadays.  I love being able to pull dinner straight out of the freezer!

In the book these are in the “snacks” section, and they would be great as an appetizer too.  I made them probably about twice as large as the 1-inch balls specified and they were perfect for dinner.

Happy cooking!

Crunchy Potato Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup ground cooked ham
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 Tb chopped green onions
  • 3 Tb mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except for cornflakes.  Depending on the stiffness of this mixture, you may want to refrigerate it for a bit until it firms up enough to shape into balls.  I needed to do this for mine.

Shape mixture into 1-inch (or larger if making for dinner).  Coat with crushed cornflakes.  Place on lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

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Quiche Lorraine

When I make things like this, I inevitably think to myself, “Why bother with fancy foods when I can make something as simple as this that tastes so darn good?”.  This one is going right up there with my other favorite simple quiche/pie recipes, vidalia onion pie and zucchini pie.  I could easily clear away half the pie with those, and I could do the same with this one.  Isn’t that the sign of a good recipe?  One that’s so good you could eat enough to put yourself in a food coma!

This is the second recipe I’ve tried from the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking Cookbook that I checked out from the library recently (the first one being this super honey-whole wheat bread).   I’m starting to think those Williams-Sonoma folks know a thing or two!

One thing I did do differently was to use my own pie crust recipe rather than the one listed in the book.  I always use my super easy press in the pan pie crust recipe which I’ll eventually get around to posting on here one of these days because I love it.  I also substituted half & half and 1% milk for the heavy cream and whole milk since I never buy either of those things, and it saved me some calories.  Y’all do whatever makes you happy.

And this may sound kinda silly, but I think this is the first time I’ve made a recipe that called for adding a pinch of nutmeg in which I’ve actually added enough to where I could taste it!  And ya know, I really liked it.  I should do that more often, huh? 🙂  I guess I’ve never been quite sure how much of a pinch I should be adding, and since I don’t want to add too much I end up not adding enough.  I think I probably added about 1/8 of a teaspoon.

Also, if you’re wondering where the cheese is, well according to Williams-Sonoma, a “true” quiche Lorraine is simply an egg and cream custard dotted with bits of bacon.  So there you have it.   We’ve all been misguided in thinking we should be adding Swiss cheese to our quiche Lorraines (not that that isn’t a tasty addition!).

Start out by prebaking the pie crust just until it starts to turn a little golden.  I bake mine at 425 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

Now fry up some lovely yummy bacon, and sprinkle it into the pie crust.

Whisk together the egg custard mixture, and pour over top.

Dot the top with butter, then into the oven it goes!

 

We had some tomato slices and homemade applesauce with this, and it was a perfect meal.  Btw, I don’t know why, but whenever I make quiche we always have applesauce with it.  I guess the two just go together!

Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust, prebaked
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tb butter

Directions:

Fry bacon until crisp.  Transfer to paper towels to drain, then pat dry with more paper towels.  Cut into pieces, and sprinkle in bottom of pie crust.

Whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until blended.  Whisk in the cream and milk.  Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bacon, trying not to disturb the bacon layer (though that’s kind of impossible, I think).  Dot the top with the butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the filling is set.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Pork

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Before I get to today’s recipe, I first want to say thank you to all our veterans.  That goes for both Canada and the US, today is a holiday here too though we call it Remembrance Day.  Today is still a work day for me, albeit a shorter one, and I’ll be wearing a red poppy pin for remembrance.  Make sure you thank all the veterans you know on this special day 🙂

Here’s another really great recipe that comes from a recent issue of Simple & Delicious.  Jay and I both thought these sandwiches were delicious.  I loved that they were easy to make and also very economical.  I used pork shoulder steaks in place of the country-style ribs the recipe called for, and they were only $.99/lb which is about the cheapest I ever find meat around here. 

Besides that, I also changed the preparation a bit.  I cooked the meat and the sauce separately, then combined them at the end, rather than dumping everything into the crockpot at once.  That way I was able to drain the fat from the meat first because, really, who wants all that fat mixed in?

Speaking of the sauce, I thought it was really yummy!  Like many of you, I’m sure, the way I usually make pulled pork is just to mix the shredded pork with a bottle of barbecue sauce.  While this recipe is a little fancier with it’s homemade sauce, it only took a few minutes to whip together.  I think it would be great with other things too (like barbecue chicken pizza!).

Here’s how to make this:

Cut your shoulder steaks into chunks.  Season them up (I used my absolute favorite seasoning, Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning) then place them in the crockpot.  Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours.  Once the meat is done, shred it up, and here’s what you should have.

Now we need to make the sauce because that pork is feeling sad and lonely all by itself! 

Saute the onion until it’s softened.

Now stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and cook until heated thru.

Add the shredded meat and stir it all around.  Let it cook until it’s warmed through.

Slap some of that into a bun, and you’re good to go.  Not exactly stellar picture quality here, but you get the idea 🙂

Here’s the recipe:

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup plum sauce
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 Tb brown sugar
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Directions:

Season the pork well and place in slow cooker.  Cover, and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until the pork is tender.  Allow to cool slightly, then shred. 

For the sauce, saute the onion in a skillet until softened.  Stir in remaining ingredients, and cook until heated through.  Add the shredded meat to the sauce, and cook until everything is heated.  Serve in buns.

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Filed under Crockpot Meals, Pork

Smoked Sausage Kabobs OR Stir-Fry

That title makes it sound like this recipe is having an identity crisis.  Well, I guess it is just a little.  You see, it was originally supposed to be a kabob recipe, and I fully intended to cook it that way.  Then I got home from a busy day at work, and the last thing I wanted to do was take the time to thread sausage and veggies onto skewers.  So everything got dumped into the skillet and stir-fried instead. 

The moral of that story is, you can choose to make kabobs with this recipe or a stir-fry.  Either way will be great!  I do suggest, though, that you cut up your sausage and veggies smaller than I did if you choose to stir-fry.  Some rice on the side or crispy oven-roasted potatoes would go great with this.

The instructions here are going to be for making a stir-fry.  Y’all don’t need me to tell you how to make kabobs 🙂

I have to tell y’all a little story before I get to the recipe.  Hillshire Farm is my favorite brand of smoked sausage, but it wasn’t sold where I lived.  Which I had always been very bummed about and whined to Jay about many times.  And then, all of a sudden, a few months ago they started selling it at my local grocery store.  When I saw it for the first time, I just about did a happy dance right there in the store!  And then proceeded to buy five packages.  Sometimes I can be a little excessive.  So now I have lots of Hillshire Farm sausage in my deep freeze.  Life is complete.  We can now move on to the recipe.

Whenever I’m marinating anything, I always like to use a tupperware container rather than a ziploc bag.  The reason being that the tupperware can be reused, whereas the ziploc bag has to be thrown away, and I try to keep the waste to a minimum in my kitchen.  Go green! 🙂

Throw in your chopped smoked sausage and veggies, put the lid on, and shake shake shake.  Put that in the fridge and let it marinate at least 2 hours.

Now add your marinated sausage and vegetables to a hot skillet.  Don’t add the marinade!  We’ll get to that in the next step.

After a few minutes, things should be browning up nicely.  Now it’s time to add the reserved marinade.

Let it bubble away a few more minutes.  Our goal here is to have to marinade reduce and thicken just a bit.  Once it reaches that point, it’s time to eat!

Please pretend you don’t see the slightly burnt garlic bread.   I, umm, decided to quickly scoop out the litter boxes while waiting for things to finish cooking and ended up completely forgetting I had garlic bread in the toaster oven.  You should have seen the mad dash I made back to the kitchen once I remembered!

Here’s the recipe 🙂

Smoked Sausage Kabobs/Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tb vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 Tb honey
  • 2 1/2 Tb soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks

Directions:

In a large container, whisk together the oil, honey, soy sauce, and garlic powder.  Add the smoked sausage, bell pepper, and onion.  Put the lid on, and shake until everything is coated in the marinade.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Add the marinated mixture to a large skillet over medium-high heat, reserving the marinade.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the sausage is browned and the vegetables have softened.  Add the reserved marinade.  Cook for a few minutes longer, until the marinade has reduced and thickened slightly.

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Filed under Pork, Stove-Top Meals