Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Breaded Pork Sandwich

SP and I love to watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. On one episode, Guy Fieri was visiting a restaurant in Indiana that made these massive Breaded Pork Sandwiches. The pork was lightly breaded and fried until crispy, served on a bun with lots of fresh veggies. I haven't been able to get it out of my head since. I finally decided to put them on the menu and boy, am I glad I did.

Breaded chicken sandwich

Words cannot describe how amazing this was. The crispy pork, the tang from the mustard and pickles, the crunch of the lettuce. Everything came together perfectly. The only way to eat this is to start with the pork that hangs over the edges, but when you finally get a bite of everything together it's incredible.

You want to get the pork as thin as possible. I thought I'd gotten it pretty thin but it puffed a bit while it was cooking. You want a very, very thin pork cutlet for this sandwich.

Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
As seen on The Cooking Channel

4 pieces boneless pork chops
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups plain breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 hamburger buns, toasted on cut sides
lettuce leaves, tomato slices, red onion slices, dill pickle slices, mayonnaise, mustard

Pound each pork chop with a mallet until 1/4-inch thick and 6 to 8 inches across.

Whisk together the buttermilk, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and sugar in a shallow dish. Add the pork cutlets. Make sure all the pieces are coated well with the buttermilk marinade. Cover and keep refrigerated for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Heat 1/2-inch oil in a large high-sided skillet until shimmering. Set up a breading station of three shallow dishes consisting of the flour in the first dish, eggs in the second and breadcrumbs in the third. Sprinkle all three dishes with salt and pepper.

Dredge each cutlet in the flour first, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Gently place into the hot oil without overcrowding the skillet. You will need to fry the cutlets in batches. When the cutlets are golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes, carefully flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Drain well on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Build the sandwiches by putting the cutlets between the burger buns and garnishing with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayonnaise and mustard. The cutlet should hang generously over the bun.
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Chicken Taco Salad

I know, I know. I haven't been a great blogger lately. As I said in my July recap post, I've lost my mojo. I'm not making many new recipes and I've had writers block trying to blog the ones I have made.

But this salad...oh man. I love a good dinner salad and this Chicken Taco Salad from Pioneer Woman fit the bill. Lots of fresh veggies mixed with lettuce and grilled chicken.

Chicken taco salad

I opted to grill the chicken rather than cooking it in oil and butter. I also made a quick rub with various spices (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper) rather than use taco seasoning. And since I had some tortillas leftover I decided to make some cheese queadillas as a side dish. Man, there is just something about a plain cheese quesadilla paired with a flavorful salad. Yum.

Chicken Taco Salad
As seen on The Pioneer Woman

3/4 cups ranch dressing
1/4 cup salsa
3 tablespoons finely minced cilantro
2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
cooking spray
2 ears corn, shucked
2 romaine hearts, shredded thin
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup grated pepper Jack cheese
2 whole avocados, diced
3 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro
Tortilla chips, crushed slightly

Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir together. Cover and refrigerate.

Generously season both sides of the chicken breasts with the taco seasoning or spices. Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove from the grill pan and set aside to cool slightly, then cut it into cubes.

Place the ears of corn on the grill pan. Cook until the corn is browned in spots. Remove from the pan and cut off the kernels with a sharp knife. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, pile the chicken, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, scallions, cilantro, and crushed chips on a big platter. Drizzle the dressing all over the top, or serve it on the side so everyone can dress their own salad.
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Monday, August 04, 2014

July Re-Make Recap

I know, I know. You're looking at the calendar and thinking "it's August 4. Why is she posting a July recap now?" As you may have noticed, I've been a little lax about blogging lately. Honestly, my heart's just not in it these days. I haven't gone through a phase like this in awhile so I guess I was due. I'm not making a lot of new dishes and I can't find the time or energy to blog the few new things I have made. I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon.

So...July. It was another busy month for us. Baby Girl is still taking swim lessons and this month she finally decided she wasn't scared of jumping in the pool. SP and I ran a 5K race on July 4 and had a great time. Work has been busy for both of us. The weather has been a bit on the cool side, not very summery, so we haven't spent as much time at the pool. And that's about it in a nutshell. On to the food!

Hawaiian chicken sandwiches

Whenever I get a craving for pineapple I turn to these Hawaiian chicken sandwiches. There is just something about the combination of the marinade that makes these delectable.

crispy potatoes

And, of course, I can't serve the sandwiches without roasted potatoes on the side. Such a foolproof method. They come out perfect every single time.


I decided to combine a few individual servings of spicy pork and asparagus stir fry I had socked away in the freezer for dinner one night. I served edamame and egg rolls on the side and we relived the height of asparagus season.

I rediscovered my love for this antipasti pasta salad this month. I've made it at least three times. It's so good and so easy.


I brought these sopapilla cheesecake bars to my friend MaryEllen's house for dinner. She loved them so much she didn't fight me about keeping the leftovers and ended up serving them to her parents for breakfast the next day.

Crunchy baked tacos

These crunchy baked tacos are our new favorite beef taco. We all love the crispy shell and I love how easy they are to make.

Refried beans

No Mexican night is complete without these homemade refried beans.

crispy fish

Once again, I made this recipe into fish sticks. I was never a fan of the frozen kind as a kid but these are head and shoulders above those. Positively addicting.

We've been loving cheesy zucchini rice now that zucchini is in season. I need to get this made a few more times before Fall.


I was cleaning out the freezer and found a package of meat sauce bolognese tucked away. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal.


Now that it's warmer I'm alternating making burgers and these flatbread pizzas on Fridays. I love roasting the tomatoes so they get super sweet. And the flatbreads are such a perfect vehicle for the tomatoes and cheese.


When I was cleaning out the freezer I made an amazing discovery - a lone package of homemade chorizo. I thought I'd used it all up, which was very sad since it meant no more chicken chorizo patty melts. Of course I had to make them and they were just as divine as ever. One of our all-time favorites.


I was stumped for an easy sandwich idea for dinner until Baby Girl turned on The Pioneer Woman. She was making these hot roast beef sandwiches so I added them to the menu for the following week. Yum!

citrus chicken burrito

These citrus chicken burritos require a lot of work, but are so, so worth it. Another all-time favorite recipe around here.

Taco Rice

As much as we love regular tacos, taco rice is a nice change of pace. We all love mixing all the ingredients together in the bowl.

I wanted something healthy, bright and flavorful and SP said we hadn't had black bean patties in awhile. I decided to make these black bean patties with corn and avocado cream because I love, love, love the corn salsa and the avocado cream (and the patties, too. The whole meal is great).

Chicken tacos

I wanted an easy chicken taco recipe and remembered how much we liked these grilled chicken tacos with spiced mayo. I love how easy these are to make. I turned the leftovers into a quesadilla for lunch the next day and I think I may make them that way from now on.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Junk Yard Special

This sandwich. Oh, this sandwich. Nichole posted this recipe for Sarcone Deli's Junk Yard Special awhile back and I've had it on my short list to make. I've been trying to use up things I've squirreled away in my freezer, so when I found some prosciutto I'd been saving I knew I wanted to finally make this sandwich.

Junkyard special

This was so, so worth the wait. Everything combines together beautifully to make one awesome sandwich. My only (minor) complaint is that the spinach gets lost in the flavor profile because of the roasted red peppers. I'd consider swapping out some of the peppers for sliced tomato next time, just so the spinach has a chance to shine through.

Junk Yard Special
As seen on The Cookaholic Wife, from Sarcone's Deli

4 hoagie rolls
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 8-oz bag baby spinach
salt and pepper
dash of nutmeg
16 slices prosciutto
16 slices deli turkey
8 slices provolone cheese
8oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 cup minced roasted red peppers
fresh basil, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Cut a slit into each roll lengthwise, leaving the bread hinged at one end. Mix the mayo, red wine vinegar and Italian seasoning together in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a few handfuls of the spinach to the pan, turning to wilt the leaves. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Add more leaves once the first batch of leaves are wilted enough that there's space in the pan. Cook until all the spinach is wilted. Set aside.

Spread some of the mayo onto each roll. Place 4 slices each of prosciutto and turkey on each sandwich. Add two slices of Provolone cheese, 1/4 of the mozzarella, 1/4 of the roasted red peppers, and 1/4 of the sauteed spinach to each sandwich. Sprinkle each sandwich with 1/4 of the fresh basil.

Place the sandwiches on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the bread is crusty and the cheese is melted. Serve warm.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Krispie Chocolate Chip Cookies

I needed a dessert for Fourth of July. I've had Stephanie's Krispie Chocolate Chip Cookies printed out for awhile, I even bought the Rice Krispies to make them awhile back, so I figured it was time to make them happen.

Rice Krispie cookies

These cookies take some planning because you need to chill the dough twice before baking. I can't stand when cookies spread because the butter in the dough is too warm, so I appreciate taking the extra time to make sure these don't do that.

Rice Krispie cookies

The Rice Krispies add an interesting texture to these cookies. Even after we finished the batch I still couldn't decide if I was a fan or not. Don't get me wrong, the cookies were delicious, but the cooked cereal gets chewy and I prefer a moist, cakey chocolate chip cookie rather than a chewy one. It didn't stop me from eating them, though. Wink, wink.

Krispie Chocolate Chip Cookies
As seen on Stephanie Cooks

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup chocolate chips

Whisk or sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, beating until just combined. Add the hot water and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add the flour mixture, in two batches, beating just until combined – be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chips and Rice Krispies. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.

Scoop out 1 tablespoon of dough at a time and roll into a ball. Place all the dough balls on one baking sheet and chill at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the dough from fridge and place 12 balls on a cookie sheet, evenly spaced apart. Bake until the middle looks just set and the edges begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Don't overcook. Remove and let sit on the baking sheet for 1 minute. Move the cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese

It's no secret that I love all things caprese. So when Stephanie posted this recipe for Caprese Macaroni and Cheese I was intrigued. Why had it never occurred to me to combine two of my favorite things into one dish?

Caprese Mac and cheese

This will come as no surprise, but this dish was outstanding. The gooey, cheesy mozzarella, the bright tomatoes and the fresh basil all worked so well with the creamy sauce. In an effort to make this a wee bit healthier I omitted the cream and upped the amount of milk. I also upped the amount of flour so the sauce would thicken. I used canned diced tomatoes, but if you've got tomatoes and basil in your garden I highly recommend using those instead. When I made this my basil plant hadn't started growing yet but thankfully my neighbors were overrun with basil and gladly shared some with me.

Caprese Mac and cheese

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese
As seen on Stephanie Cooks

1/2 pound elbows (or other short-cut pasta)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic (I omitted)
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
minced fresh basil, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place back in the pot.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and garlic (if using), stirring well. Add the flour, mixing, until a paste forms. Slowly whisk in the milk, broth, garlic salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Add the cooked pasta, stirring, until covered in cheese sauce. Serve immediately.
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Recipe Redo: Mexican Sour Cream Rice

I've been making this Mexican Sour Cream Rice for years. I used to make it any time we had anything even slightly Mexican-inspired for dinner. It was definitely my go-to side dish.

Mexican sour cream rice

I've been recommending the dish to friends a lot recently and I figured it was time to update my blog with some better pictures. Please forgive those early blogging pics - I may not be a professional photographer but I think my photos have come a long way since then.

Mexican sour cream rice

The last time I made this I used regular Monterrey Jack cheese instead of pepper Jack because Baby Girl doesn't like spicy things. We both felt it lost a little something with the milder cheese so next time I'm going to throw caution to the wind and go back to pepper Jack. We don't remember it being super spicy that way so hopefully Baby Girl won't refuse to eat it.

Mexican Sour Cream Rice
Modified from All Recipes

1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large sauce pot. Add the rice, stir and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.

Add the sour cream, green chile peppers, cheese, corn, and cilantro to the pot with the rice. Stir to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the greased casserole dish.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
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