Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pork Chops with Mushroom Wine Sauce

4 Pork Chops (boneless or bone-in)
4 T dijon or grainy mustard
salt and pepper
1-2 T. olive oil
apple juice or chicken broth

2 T butter
2 T flour
salt / pepper
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup white wine or chicken broth

Season flour with salt and pepper. Spread pork chops on both sides with mustard and dredge in flour. Brown on each side in hot olive oil. Lower heat and pour in enough juice or broth to coat bottom of pan. Cover and cook for 15-25 minutes (depending on thickness) or until pork chops are cooked through. Remove pork chops to plate and keep warm. Strain off any remaining liquid but reserve it.

Melt butter in pan. Saute mushrooms for 5-10 minutes until cooked through. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes to brown the flour. Slowly whisk in the wine or broth (I prefer a combo of both) and any remaining liquid from the pork chops, stirring until bubbly and thick.

Top pork chops with mushroom sauce.

Blueberry Bread Pudding

Different fruits can be substituted for the blueberries (peaches, apples, ) or you can omit the fruit and use cinnamon raisin bread.

2 1/2 cups cubed bread
1 cup blueberries

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon

Melt butter in 9" baking dish. Place bread and berries in dish.

Whisk together cream, milk, eggs and vanilla. Whisk in brown sugar and spices until brown sugar is completely dissolved.

Pour custard mixture over bread. Let sit for 30 minutes so the custard can be absorbed in tothe bread. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Can be topped with whipped cream, creme anglaise, or a little caramel sauce, if desired.

Potato Tart

A friend of mine used to run an au pair business and many of her au pairs came from France. One of the au pair's sisters came to visit for a few weeks and I hosted her. She was an outstanding cook but my favorite thing she made was a simple potato tart. I don't know if it had a name but it was simply potatoes, onions and butter and I could have eaten it every day. Here is my adaptation and a before and after photo. YUM!! (And sooooo not low-fat.)

5 potatoes, sliced very thin
one onion, sliced very thin
1/2 cup butter, melted
shredded swiss or gruyere cheese

Brush baking dish with butter. Start with a layer of potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with onions and cheese and drizzle butter over top. Repeat until pan is full. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through yet crusty.

Garlic is terrific in this dish, too. I didn't have any but I used garlic salt.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Super Smoothie

I can't say enough about this great smoothie. The taste is outstanding and it is so good for you! You can change the flavor by changing the choice of fruit and flavor of yogurt. You can also vary the juice flavor. I think it is plenty sweet enough but you can add a little honey or splenda if you like it sweeter. Protein powder may also be added if needed.

1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen berries or other fruit
1 cup yogurt, any flavor
1 cup OJ
1 cup milk

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Makes two servings

I calculated the nutritional information based on one serving if made with skim milk and fat free yogurt:
175 calories
.375 g fat
3.4 g fiber
2.8 WW points

It also has approx. 25% of the daily calcium requirement from the milk and yogurt.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pesce Piccata

While visiting with my parents, we stopped at a fish market and picked up some Rock Shrimp for an appetizer (simply broiled 'em and dipped in butter) and some Grouper. My dad likes everything fried but I don't so I threw together a dish that I thought we would both like (and my mom, too, of course.) It turned out very good, if I do say so myself! My dad even went back for seconds.

1 lb grouper, sliced into 1/2" pieces
flour mixed with seasoning (we used Paula Deen's Silly Salt and some black pepper)
olive oil and butter to cover bottom of frying pan

juice of 1/2 lemon
about 1 cup white wine

fresh grated parmesan or peccorino romano
hot pasta (angel hair would have been perfect but we only had penne)

Heat oil and butter in pan. Dip grouper pieces into seasoned flour and quickly sear on both sides in hot oil/butter mixture. Lower heat and cook for a few more minutes. It doesn't take long! Add lemon juice, white wine and capers to pan and turn heat back up. Reduce sauce by about half.

Serve immediately over hot pasta and sprinkle with fresh parmesan. Fresh parsley would have been a nice finish but my mom and I both forgot she had some growing in a pot on her patio until after we were done eating! Mushrooms would be a nice addition to this dish but we didn't have any.