Pan Seared Butter Braised Pork Chops with Herb White Wine Reduction

Pan Seared Butter Braised Pork Chops with Herb White Wine Reduction


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Pan Seared Butter Braised Pork Chops with Herb White Wine Reduction
This recipe is every inch as mouth watering as it sounds. "pan seared" - "butter braised" - "pork chops" - "herb white wine reduction" - what we didn't include in the recipe name (since it was already crazy lengthy) was we topped it with FRIED SAGE. Oh mama. Everything good exists in this scrumptious recipe. Pork chops can be real buggers to cook - often becoming tough or flavorless or both - not these beauties. The right combo of the right methods makes these pork chops perfectly juicy and flavorful.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together first 4 ingredients (vinegar through rosemary), then set aside.
  2. Season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper, then place in large zipper topped plastic bag. Pour garlic mixture over the top, make sure chops are evenly saturated, let out excess air, seal and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour (up to 48 hours).
  3. At time of cooking, heat ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove pork chops from refrigerator and marinade, and once ghee begins to sizzle, add pork to skillet.
  4. Sear for 5 minutes, not touching the pork chops, then flip and sear for another 5 minutes, again, not fidgeting with them.
  5. After you've seared them on both sides, add the butter to the pan, along with a pinch of the minced herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage) - only a pinch, set the rest aside.
  6. Using tongs, flip the pork chops, and then baste (with a basting brush) with ghee/butter/herbs in the skillet. Repeat this process for 5 minutes. Continuously flipping and basting as you go.
  7. Then remove pork chops from skillet, and add the shallot. Sauté for about 2 minutes or until shallot is fragrant and translucent.
  8. Deglaze pan with splash of the wine. Using a whisk to get all the good bits off the bottom of the pan, continue whisking for about 2 minutes, then add remaining wine, herbs, and broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil until liquid has reduced by half, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  10. Serve pork with a generous ladle of sauce and a couple fried sage leaves.
Recipe Notes

To fry sage:

Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Once it begins to pop, add a handful of sage leaves. Fry for 3 to 5 seconds (seriously, it fries crazy fast), then immediately remove and place on a paper towel covered plate. Continue until you have as much as you need. Season with a sprinkle of sea salt and you're good to go!

Parmesan Asparagus Risotto

Parmesan Asparagus Risotto


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Parmesan Asparagus Risotto
Nothing says late spring like big bright stalks of asparagus! Grilled, sautéed, ribboned, or, our favorite, in a creamy risotto - this seasonal dreamboat of a veggie takes center stage for a few weeks out of the year and we're here to give it it's leading role! Not only is risotto a classic Italian comfort food, but it also is an excellent costar for our dear asparagus. The smooth buttery and wine flavored rice highlights the best qualities in asparagus - cooked to perfection and still slightly firm (no one likes mushy asparagus) - the two just compliment each other perfectly. Don't take our word for it, test this recipe yourself! You'll be singing praises about this seasonal culinary debut in no time!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
People
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. First, to "parboil" is to partially cook vegetables in boiling water. So when you parboil the asparagus, cook them in the boiling water for no more than 2 minutes, then immediately strain and rinse with cold water so they don't continue to cook, and set aside.
  2. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, add broth. Bring to a simmer (just before boiling), then turn heat down to low.
  3. In a separate large sauce pan, heat ghee over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent - 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add rice and stir constantly to ensure all grains are evenly coated in oil, sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add white wine to pan, continue to stir and cook until wine is fully absorbed.
  6. Then begin to add broth, one ladleful at a time. Stir continuously between each ladleful, and only once the broth is mostly absorbed do you add the next bit of broth.
  7. Once you're down to the last couple cups of broth, and the rice is slightly tender and still slightly firm to the bite with a creamy consistency, add the asparagus with the next couple ladlefuls of broth and be sure to reserve 1/2 a cup of broth.
  8. Turn heat down to low and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until broth is mostly absorbed and asparagus is heated through. Then ad remaining ingredients: reserved broth, butter, Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

To convert this into a paleo recipe:

Replace rice with 6 cups of cauliflower rice.

Only use 4 cups of broth, and it can be added at one time - just cook until mostly absorbed and cauliflower is tender and fluffs easily with a fork (since it cooks much faster than real rice, it doesn't require the same cooking method).

Then just replace Parmesan with nutritional yeast, and you're ready to go!

Never Let Your Kids Do These 3 Things in the Kitchen

Never Let Your Kids Do These 3 Things in the Kitchen

One of my favorite pastimes is cooking with my children. Do you have kids? If you do, I want to heavily recommend that you teach them the joys of the kitchen while they’re still young and look up at you like a superhero that has all the answers. Teaching your children how to cook is more than a rite of passage; it’s just plain fun. To me, the kitchen is like a magical land that can create a special type of community and intimacy with the simple act of making a meal.

There are some little things you should look out for when you start to integrate your children into the cooking world: the basic do’s and don’ts.

DO assign simple tasks. When starting out, show them how to wash veggies, how to stir sauces to not let the sides burn, how to scramble eggs, etc.

DON’T let your child use a knife and cutting board without supervision and being taught proper technique.

DO give them a bit more responsibility as they show they understand. Show them basic vegetable cutting, but once you pass that knife from your hand to theirs, watch them like a hawk. (younger ones can use pumpkin carving knives safely, so save yours!)

DON’T let your child remove anything from the oven. But explain how it’s done as you do it; this way, when it’s time, they’ll be ready.

DO explain how when you’re using a pot or pan that you need to turn the handle to the side so it’s not sticking out so no one can run into it or accidentally knock it over.

DON’T allow them to handle meat until they’ve had a couple seasoned years under your training, but explain the safety issues and demonstrate thorough hand washing after you touch it.

ALWAYS let them sneak tastes of their labor in the kitchen. One of my favorite things about cooking is that I get to taste along the way, and I can guarantee that it’ll be a favorite among your children as well.

Well folks, there you have it! Show your children what a kitchen is and how to use it. My daughter is a college graduate now and she tells me all the time how surprised she is that hardly anyone her age knows how to cook. Regardless, your children are going to love learning this new skill! For them, it’s like finally getting to know the secret behind a magic trick. Have FUN!!

Don’t Be Intimidated!

Don’t Be Intimidated!

There is a true intimidation factor in cooking for some people—I get the emails from them so I know this is true. For me, having grown up in a home with parents who cooked, rarely eating out, I learned how to navigate my way in a kitchen early on.

It was (being honest here) a bit of surprise when I first started my website back in 2001 to learn that not everyone knew how to chop an onion. The cooking terms that I learned before I got my first Girl Scout badge (The Cooking badge naturally—I’ve got it taped to my bookcase, LOL!), have fallen by the wayside. Terms like dice, mince and julienne have turned into much simpler terms like chop, chop fine and chop into matchstick-sized pieces. But who cares, right? The deal is to get the cooking DONE, not worry about semantics.

Check out this testimonial we received from Heather:

Dear Leanne,

Okay, I finally decided to try your system.

Well, first I get the menu – looks good, but I’m worried, because spaghetti and sauce is about the most I do. Then I see the grocery list – there are things on there that I’ve never ever bought before!

I go to the grocery store with your list in hand. For a family of 6 my average grocery bill was always over $120/week. With Leanne’s list – I spent $67.52.

Now, I decide to prepare the meal. First thing that I discover, a fancy sounding name doesn’t mean hours of cooking. Second thing, it really only takes about 1/2 hour to cook the whole thing! Finally, I find out that my kids eat things that don’t include mounds of sugar.

Thank you for helping me save money and my family’s health!!

Heather

Me again—the trick is, as Heather wrote, was not to be intimidated! She took a tool (the menu) and dove in and did the work. She discovered that doing so saved her a ton of money, her sanity, and made her feel like a hero in her own home! Isn’t that what we all want?

Don’t be intimidated by cooking! I’ve said in a million times, this is not brain surgery and it is something everyone can do, I promise! If you need help, I’ve got it for you in every way imaginable from free daily newsletters, to recipes and tips, grocery lists, freezer cooking, you name it. Don’t lose hope and think you can’t do this thing called cooking. YES, you can!!

Ready to try Dinner Answers like Heather did?  We’ve got it right here for you.

7 Tips for Reducing Food Waste

7 Tips for Reducing Food Waste

Hands up if you ever questioned your parents when they told you not to waste your food because there are people starving in Africa.

As a child this really doesn’t make a lick of sense. How can the food I don’t eat help a starving person? Are we actually going to ship our leftovers to them?

We all know as adults that this was our parents’ way of trying to encourage us not to waste our food. But the truth is, if our ancestors could see how much food we’re wasting day in and day out, they would be absolutely appalled. And you know what? It really, really makes me mad; it doesn’t have to be this way!

1.3 BILLION tons of food gets wasted per year by people from all over the world. That’s billion, with a B.

To put this all into perspective, that is roughly one third of the food this planet produces. ONE THIRD. Wasted. And this is happening while 925 million people on the planet are suffering from hunger.

This is just not right and it’s not doing our planet any good. Food disposal is hard on the environment and it costs money. Not only is good money wasted by throwing out food we paid for, but roughly a billion dollars is spent on getting rid of wasted food in the United States each year.

And while we can’t stop the world from being wasteful, we can put an end to wastefulness in our own homes. Here are a few ideas:

1. Make meal plan each and every week (all of our Dinner Answers menus come with a categorized shopping list) before you go grocery shopping. You’ll only buy what you need.

2. Avoid buying in bulk unless you know you will eat the food you buy, or unless you plan to donate some of that food to a food bank or soup kitchen

3. Serve smaller portions to your family so food isn’t scraped into the garbage

4. Plan leftovers from today’s dinner for tomorrow’s meals (I do this all the time!)

5. Check expiration dates of everything you buy, so you’re not putting your groceries directly in the garbage when you get home

6. Take a cue from the grocery stores and rotate the food in your fridge. Put newer produce towards the back and bring older food to the front so it doesn’t rot back there

7. Use your crisper drawers for items you eat a lot, like carrots and apples. It’s not called a crisper, not a rotter, so don’t put easier-to-forget-about items down there to languish where it will just turn to a nasty mess.

How do you try to prevent wasted food in your home?

Easy Tricks to Shortcut Your Cooking

Easy Tricks to Shortcut Your Cooking

I get asked all the time for ways to make dinner faster. I get that; we’re a microwave society. We want it quick, dirty and hassle-free. This is why convenience foods are so popular (and expensive and 99% of the time, full of chemicals and lacking nutrients).

Here are a couple of things that I do that helps me get dinner done quickly and efficiently:

1) Shear Strength. I use my kitchen shears as much as I use my knives. From snipping fresh herbs, to opening bags of frozen berries, to cutting up chicken, I have two pairs and one in always in the dishwasher!

2) Foiled Again. To prevent my celery from going limp and nasty (and listen, having to run out to the store to buy fresh celery in the middle of cooking is total buzz kill) I wrap it foil. It stays fresh for weeks this way!

3) Garlic Getaway. I use these little garlic ice cubes (Dorot is the brand) that I buy from Trader Joe’s to shortcut the fresh garlic pressing stuff. The garlic is better (in my opinion) than that of the jarred variety and it’s so easy and convenient, love them!

4) Spin on Spinach. I buy triple washed tubs of organic spinach at the warehouse store. I saute it for a side dish, add it to salads, make it the salad, stir it into soups, eggs and quiches. It’s amazing and versatile and cuts my prep work way down.

5) More Spin. I use a salad spinner for my lettuce to get it nice and dry. Wash it, throw it in the spinner, take it for a quick spin and voila, lettuce that’s washed, dried and ready to go for your salad!

These are just a few of my shortcuts. What about you? Do you have some tried and true ones you’d like to share?