Tag Archives: jalapeno

Fool ya mama

                Pork Tenderloin with Cheddar-Jalapeno Grit Cake, Collard Greens & Black-Eyed Peas

I don’t know of any meal involving pork that isn’t good, do you? Emeril swears by the goodness of pork. This meal is so good it will even fool ya mama into thinking you slaved away in the kitchen all day.

This week we are paying tribute to all that is New Orleans and making delicious food celebrating Mardi Gras. Stick with me and by Fat Tuesday, you’ll be gobbling up jambalaya and screaming “ throw me some beads mistah“!

Recipe:

For pork tenderloin:

1 – 1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of any visible fat 

1 tbsp  chili powder

1/2 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp brown sugar

salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

barbecue sauce for finishing

Trim pork tenderloin of any visible fat.

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Rub mixture onto pork tenderloin and let come to room temperature.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan and sear tenderloin a few minutes on each side until lightly browned. Place in a roasting pan and continue cooking in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. The meat will register 155-160 degrees when done.

Let meat rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Set pan aside with pork drippings and seasonings to use for collard greens.

For Jalapeno-White Cheddar Grit Cake:

4 servings quick cook grits

1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded

2 small jalapeno peppers, diced

splash of hot sauce

Cook grits according to package directions. Then stir in remaining ingredients, when cheese has melted pour grits into an 8×8 pan and put in fridge to chill.

 Just before serving, remove grits from fridge, cut into desired shape and heat grit cake in a skillet over high heat. 

For Collard Greens:

1 – 12 oz bag frozen collard greens

1 piece bacon

3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 tsp white vinegar

In same pan that pork was seared, cook one slice of bacon over medium-high heat. Remove bacon and gently wipe excess grease out of pan. Pour chicken broth into pan and deglaze, scraping up all the seasoning from the bottom. Add frozen collard greens, bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.

Let cook for about 15 minutes and then add vinegar and crumbled bacon just before serving.

For Black-Eyed Peas:

You may either use canned peas, rinsed and drained or cook frozen peas cooked according to package directions.

 Notes:

This meal can really be done in under an hour – just follow the steps below:

1. If using frozen black-eyed peas put them on to cook.

2. Season pork tenderloin and set aside to come to room temperature.

3. Cook grits, stir additional ingredients, pour in 8X8 pan and place in  fridge to chill.

4. Fry bacon in skillet and put collard greens on to cook.

5. Pop tenderloin in the oven to cook for 15-20 minutes.

6. When tenderloin is finished cooking and resting, cut and heat the grit cakes.

Before plating, drizzle a little of your favorite barbecue sauce on the plate for the pork tenderloin to sit on. My favorite is Stubb’s from Austin, Texas – it’s super thick and tangy!

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Lou loves tacos

Spicy Chicken Tacos

Bless her heart, Lou is our rescue dog from College Station, Texas. While my husband was an intern at the veterinary hospital, he ran across Lou who had been hit by a car on a busy highway and brought into the hospital by a good samaritan. She underwent numerous surgeries, physical therapy and was used as a teaching case for the hospital. A cranky little dog, she earned the nickname ‘bad sam’ and with that my husband was smitten. We brought her home, carrying her up the stairs and telling our other dog to be nice to the fragile, cranky, little dog.

Not much perked her up until one day I was in the kitchen making tacos. She waddled over to me, sat at my feet sniffing, hoping a taco would drop to the floor. Sharing a little of the taco with her, we became fast friends and to this day anytime tacos are being cooked up, Lou is right at my feet.

Recipe:

1 1/2 to 2 lbs boneless chicken breast

1 tbsp canola oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced

1/4 cup green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

1/4 cup onion, sliced into thin strips

1 can Rotel, pulsed in blender

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tbsp cornstarch

Heat oil in a large frying pan (one with a lid), add chicken and brown on each side. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onions, peppers and jalapeno and cook until tender about 5 minutes. Then add garlic and cook for a minute more.

Deglaze pan with chicken broth, stirring up all of the brown bits from the bottom. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add Rotel and spices, stirring well.

Add chicken back to pan, cover with lid and simmer on low to medium-low heat for one hour. After cooking, remove chicken from pan and shred with fork and set aside.

Turn heat back up to medium-high. Take out a few spoonfuls of the broth mixture and place in a small bowl, mix in 1 tbsp of cornstarch. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and stir well until sauce thickens. Add chicken back to sauce a continue heating for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Serve with your favorite tortillas, lettuce, cheese and sour cream. The chicken is also a great filling for burritos or on top of a salad.

I attempted to make my own flour tortillas for this dish but still haven’t perfected them – I’ll let you know when I do!

Now days, Lou is happy, healthy and still a little cranky but she spends most of her day hovering over the baby and barking at the mail man.

 

Here we go…

 
Healthy Turkey Chili with Jalapeno-Cheddar
 Cornbread Croutons

 Being from Tennessee and after living many years in Texas – I have learned my way around a bowl of Chili! And since it is a cold Ohio winter, I can’t think of a better way to introduce my first recipe adventure.

I like chili with beans it just adds more texture than the all beef version. Using lean ground turkey breast makes this  delicious lowfat version. You can use the regular ground turkey with the 93/7 fat content but I was going for a super lean bowl of chili.

And of course for those of you who like more heat – just add more cayenne until you get it where you want it. Eyes watering and nose running!

 

Recipe:

Cheddar-Jalapeno Cornbread Croutons

2 cups self-rising cornmeal

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups lowfat buttermilk

2 tbsp canola oil

2 jalapenos, seeded and diced

1/2 cup lowfat (2%) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together first 5 ingredients until well blended. Then add in jalapenos and cheese.

Pour into a loaf pan prepared with non-stick spray.

Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour. The bread will pull away from the sides when it is done – and it never really gets brown on top.

You can make this a day ahead for the croutons.

Croutons:

Cut bread into 1 inch x 1inch pieces and toast on  a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 5-8 minutes until toasty.

Recipe:

Healthy Turkey Chili

1 tbsp. canola oil

1/2 large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb lean ground turkey

salt and pepper

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 – 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 – 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 – 15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

3 cups low sodium tomato juice

In a large, heavy soup pot heat oil over medium-high heat, add onions and cook for two minutes or until tender, add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

Add turkey, salt and pepper to taste and cook throughly.

Add spices, tomato paste and worcestershire sauce to the cooked meat and stir to make sure spices are worked in and then add the rest of the ingredients, stirring well.

Let chili simmer on low heat for 1 hour.

Top with Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread Croutons!