Orange is the New Pork

orange-mustard glazed pork chops

citrus chops

I feel like a broken record, but:

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Feel free to remind me that it’s only 36 days until spring. With a snowstorm practically every week and temperatures barely out of the teens most days (that’s Fahrenheit, all my international friends), winter is not one of my favorite things right now.

But something that’s always one of my favorites is pork. That other white meat is just as tasty and versatile as the original white meat. And thanks to some unexpected citrus flavors, this dish offers a welcome reminder of the sunshine to come. In you know, just 35.5 days.

Orange-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops
½ cup of orange juice
2 tablespoons of orange marmalade
1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon of canola oil
4 bone-in pork loin chops
2 to 3 sprigs of rosemary
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons of lime juice

Heat your oven to 425.º

In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, marmalade and mustard. Heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until slightly syrupy.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Lightly season the pork chops with salt and pepper, and then cook for 5 minutes on one side until browned. Flip the pork chops and add the rosemary and onion to the skillet. Pour the juice mixture over the chops and then bake for 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140.º

Remove the pork chops, onions and rosemary from the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the lime juice, and let cook for about 4 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the pork chops back to the skillet to coat with the sauce. Then plate, top with some cooked onions, drizzle with extra sauce, and eat.

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¡Lime-a Beans!

jalapeno-lime refried beans

holy frijoles

No no, I don’t mean lima beans. Although I have nothing against those. I’m talking lime. And also jalapeño. Which is such a tasty combination, made even tastier mashed with cannellini beans.

Storytime: Refried beans used to gross me out as a kid. I never understood how or why they were fried, and then fried again. Who would do such a thing? They also kinda looked like dog food to me. Or what I perceived as dog food because we didn’t have a dog. But then one time, somewhere, I actually tasted them. Mmm, creamy and spicy. And I loved them. Now, a Mexican dish doesn’t seem complete without a side of refried beans. Later on I did some research into the name, and found out that it’s a mistranslation. It’s not re-fried. It’s actually closer to well-fried. So there you go. And here’s an easy recipe for jalapeño-lime well-fried beans.

Jalepeño-Lime Refried Beans
½ small yellow onion, decided
1 jalapeño, finely diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 15.5oz can of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of lime juice, or more depending on taste
Jalapeño hot sauce
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
A few sprigs of cilantro, for garnish

In a cast iron skillet, heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the jalepeño, garlic and cumin, and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add the beans, 4 tablespoons of water and season with salt and pepper. Cook on low until beans are soft and liquid has mostly been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, add the butter and mash the beans until they’re the consistency you prefer. Stir in the lime juice and hot sauce to taste. Garnish with cilantro, and then eat.


Marinate on This for a While

citrus marinated chicken thighs

lime gonna eat you up

Get this: It appears that I haven’t posted a chicken recipe in 4 months. For this chicken-obsessed cook, that’s a really (really) long time. Not that I haven’t been making chicken. Oh, because I have. I think I just felt that I was inundating everyone with too many chicken recipes. Although, as I’ve said before—you can never have too many chicken recipes. It’s true. Look it up. Go on, I’ll wait. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying some grilled chicken thighs. Mmm. They’re so tasty, thanks to an Asian-inspired marinade that’s both salty and citrusy.

Citrus Marinated Chicken Thighs
4 to 6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon of lime zest
1/4 cup of lime juice
1 teaspoon of orange juice
1/4 cup of orange juice
1 bunch of scallions, diced
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper

In a food processor or blender, combine the soy sauce, vegetable oil, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, orange juice, scallions, salt and pepper. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the marinade and pour the rest into a large Ziploc bag. Add the chicken thighs, seal and gently toss so the chicken is covered with the marinade. Chill at least 30 minutes.

Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and grill until cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Let rest a few minutes, top with reserved marinade, and eat.


Midweek Meltdown: Frozen Key Lime Pie

frozen key lime pie

easy as pie

While technically not ice cream, this pie IS frozen, and basically has the same ingredients as ice cream, so I’m qualifying this as a meltdown. And even for people who don’t like pie (this guy) this one is a real treat. I’ll let you in on a little secret too — I’m spilling a lot of them this week — I don’t use regular graham crackers for the crust. I use honey-flavored Teddy Grahams. So, I throw those poor innocent bears into a food processor and pulverize them into little crumbs. If that offends anyone, I’m sorry. But just like the brave limes in this pie, they really do sacrifice their lives for a good cause. As a result, this frozen pie has all the necessary flavors of the perfect summer dessert: zesty, creamy, sweet and, if you leave it out in the sun for too long, melty.

Frozen Key Lime Pie
For the crust:
2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons of butter, melted

For the filling:
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons of lime zest
3/4 cup of lime juice (about 4 to 5 limes)

For the topping:
½ pint of heavy cream
3 tablespoons of sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla

Heat your oven to 350º.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Press into a 10 inch pie dish, making sure the sides and bottom are even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes, and then allow to cool completely.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high until thick, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the sweetened condensed milk, lime zest and lime juice. Pour the mixture into the baked pie crust, cover with foil and let freeze overnight.

For the topping, beat the heavy cream on high until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat to combine. Spoon over the top of the pie and allow to freeze several hours. Cut into slices and then eat.


Refresh Your Taste Buds

lemon-lime basil shortbread cookies

(almost) summer stack

Now that the weather is warming up and summer is little more than a hop, skip and a jump away, I’m craving something citrus. And these little crumbly shortbread cookies are definitely cirtus-y — and savory thanks to the addition of fresh basil. That might sound weird but the combo makes for one really refreshing cookie. If you’ve got a food processor, you can make a batch of these in no time at all. Then you can nibble on these while you wait for summer to officially get here.

Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies
1 cup of flour
½ cup of powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
½ teaspoon of lime zest
2 tablespoons of fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, chilled & diced

Heat your oven to 325º.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until large, moist clumps form. Measure tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup lightly dusted with powdered sugar, flatten the balls into 2 inch rounds. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

lemon-lime basil shortbread cookies

oh! who did that?