Moroccan Grilled Lamb Kabobs and Orange Couscous

Grilled Lamb Kabobs

Be prepared for a taste sensation.  I never expected this flavor explosion as I took my first bite … this one is a keeper!  ENJOY!

Moroccan Lamb Kabobs with Orange Couscous

Serving Size = 2 – 3

  • About 2 lbs leg of lamb, fat removed
  • 2 onions, cut into big pieces
  • 4 metal skewers
  • (optional: 1 bell pepper, cut into large pieces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (Hungarian sweet)
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon or so of cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup of oil (extra virgin olive oil)

Orange Couscous
Serving Size = 3 – 4

  • 1 box of couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Salt, pinch

Grilled Lamb Kabobs

  1. Cut lamb into about 2-inch pieces. Chop the onion and bell pepper (optional) into roughly the same size. Mix together the next 13 ingredients (shouldn’t be as thick as a paste, but don’t make it too runny either) and then pour over the lamb. Massage into the meat and set aside for about an hour (I’ve cooked immediately though and it still works). I leave it out of the fridge because I want the lamb to come up to about room temperature.
  2. Take the skewers and start with a piece of onion, a piece of bell pepper if you’re using it, a piece of lamb, then onion again and so on. I place an onion on the end when done.
  3. Heat the outdoor grill over medium high and cook to desired doneness (roughly 10 – 15 minutes). Remember to turn it to cook all sides.
  4. Start the couscous by bringing the orange juice, water, salt, and cilantro to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Leave for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. It’s now ready to serve.

Source:  Elsacooks.com

Grilled Lamb Kabobs

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Penne with Sausage and Fresh Basil

Penne Pasta with Sausage and Fresh Basil in a cream sauce

As soon as I tasted this pasta I knew this would be a recipe I’d be making over and over again.  Some of the most simple pasta recipes are also the best and this is no exception … the fresh basil is a must and takes it over the top!  I did alter the original recipe slightly by replacing dried basil (dried basil is horrible) with fresh basil, increased the amount of garlic and cut the cream and used half and half. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 package penne pasta
  • 1 lb. mild bulk italian sausage
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cans (14.5 oz each) Italian stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup Shredded parmesan cheese
  • OPTIONAL:
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a separate pan, cook the sausage, garlic, onion, and pepper flakes over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, half and half, salt, and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; toss with sausage mixture.
  5. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Yield: 5 servings

Recipe Source:  lilluna.com

Penne pasta with sausage and fresh basil in a cream sauce

Asian Pulled Pork and Asian Slaw

Asian Pulled Pork

The evening I made this I didn’t get to eat until after 11:00 p.m.!  Have you ever had any kitchen accidents that sent you the emergency room?  I never had any kitchen accidents prior to this.  It was a fluke accident … I was reaching up for a glass bowl, it slipped out my hands and landed on the granite and my reaction was to reach for it and it all happened so quickly before I knew it I had sliced the side of my hand open.  4 stitches and 3 hours later I was finally home and hungry!!

This was really good and a nice change from my usual pulled pork recipe, but I would only make 1/2 of the sauce next time; it makes way too much sauce.  Be safe in the kitchen and ENJOY!

Pulled Pork:

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds pork shoulder/butt, bone in
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • Asian BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • splash of sesame oil

Pork Directions:

Mix all dry rub ingredients together.  Pat dry the pork.  Sprinkle the rub mixture over the entire pork shoulder, rub into the meat.  Sprinkle with soy sauce and also rub it in.   Refrigerate overnight.

Remove pork from fridge 15 minutes prior to cooking.  Cook pork shoulder st 275 degrees covered in oven until internal temperature is 180 degrees, about 5 hours.

Remove from oven and let sit covered for 15 minutes and then shred with two forks.  Serve on buns with sauce and coleslaw on top.

Asia BBQ Sauce – Directions

Combine all ingredients in a pan and bring to a slow boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 1/2 hour or until thickened.

Asian Cole Slaw

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ jalapeno (seeds removed) diced
  • 1 small cabbage, halved, cored and sliced
  • 1½ cups grated carrots
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  1. Combine rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, sesame oil, vegetable oil, lime zest, lime juice, soy sauce and jalapeno. Mix well.
  2. In a large bowl toss together cabbage, carrots, scallions, and cilantro. Pour dressing onto mix and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend together.

Asian Coleslaw Source:  avocadopesto.com

 

Asian Pulled Pork - H

Grilled Pork Chops with Pomegranate and Pear in Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Grilled Pork Chops with Pomegranate and Pear in Balsamic Reduction Sauce

I’ve made this before without the pomegranate arils and loved it … this time I added pomegranate arils and I love it even more.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 6 pork loin chops, 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Vidalia onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 pears, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
  • Pomegranate Arils

 Grilled Pork Chops with Pomegranate and Pear in a Balsamic Reduction Sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the water, kosher salt, and sugar. Add pork chops to this brine, and let them soak for no more than one hour. Drain and discard the brine. Pat pork chops dry with paper towels.
  2. In a shallow dish, stir together the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Place pork chops in the dish, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 or 2 hours.
  3. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by 1/2, about 10 minutes. When the vinegar cools, it should be the consistency of syrup.
  4. Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high or high heat. Add the onions and pears, and quickly brown. Continue to cook for about 7 minutes, or until tender.  The pears will cook quicker than the onions – Remove the pears and chop into cubes and continue to caramelize the onions.  Take onion out of pan once caramelized and chop.  Return both the pears and the onions to the pan. Stir in the reduced vinegar and pomegranate arils. The recipe can be prepared up to this point several hours before grilling.
  5. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat.
  6. Warm pears on a cool section of the grill (in the skillet), while placing the pork chops over the hot part. Cook pork for about 3 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Remove to a serving plate, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for a few minutes. Uncover, top with the pear onion sauce, and serve.

Grilled Pork Chops with Pomegranate and Pear in a Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Breakfast Muffin Cups with Sausage, Egg and Cheese

Breakfast Muffin Cups with Sausage, Egg and Cheese

My friend was coming over for breakfast this past weekend and I was thinking I wanted something a little different from the regular “breakfast casseroles” or just scrambled eggs.  I found these little cuties on the Johnsonville Sausage website.  I altered the recipe slightly and used fresh potatoes in place of frozen hash browns.  I shredded 3 potatoes in my food processor and soaked them in water to remove some of the starch and then spun the potatoes dry in my salad spinner.  I also used “Bob Evans Breakfast Links” in place of the Johnsonville sausage links because my store didn’t carry them (sorry Johnsonville).  I made these in jumbo cupcake tins.  I found that I had to brown the potatoes (hash browns) in the oven longer than the recipe said – keep an eye on them and take them out when they are light golden.  They were a hit!  

Next time I’ll try it with bacon – this recipe is so flexible with ingredients … get creative and create your favorite Muffin Cup!  Easy and delicious.  Enjoy!

Breakfast Muffin Cups with Sausage, Eggs and Cheese

Amazing Muffin Cups

WHAT YOU NEED

  • cups Ore-Ida® Country Style Hash Browns, thawed or use fresh potatoes, shredded
  • tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 links JOHNSONVILLE® Original Breakfast Sausage
  • eggs
  • cups Shredded 4-Cheese Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • fresh chives or green onions, chopped

PREPARATION

  • In a bowl, combine the hash browns, butter, salt and pepper.
  • Press mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of greased muffin cups.
  • Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, cook sausage according to package directions; cut into ½-inch pieces.
  • Divide sausage among muffin cups.
  • Combine the eggs, cheese and bell pepper. Spoon over sausage. Sprinkle with     chives.
  • Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until set and an internal temperature of 165˚F is reached or until nicely browned on top.

Double WOW Recipe – Bacon and Swiss Chard with Penne

Bacon and Swiss Chard with Penne Wow … make that a double WOW!  For so few ingredients and such an easy recipe this definitely gets a double wow for flavor.  I was looking for something quick to make after work using ingredients I already had at home.  I have a lot of swiss chard growing in the garden and I had bacon … and I always have pasta and garlic.  I loved it!  Give it a try, you can’t go wrong with a double WOW recipe!  ENJOY!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne
  • 12 ounces bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (I used only 3 slices of thick bacon)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 6 stems from Swiss Chard, chopped
  • 2 large bunches Swiss Chard, chopped (about 12 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Cook penne in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Meanwhile, cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium heat until beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings from skillet. Add onion, garlic and Swiss Chard stems  and saute over medium-high heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add Swiss chard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the reserved 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid to skillet. Toss until chard is wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar over; cook 1 minute. Add penne and oil to sauce in pot and toss to coat. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Adapted from:  Epicurious.com

Bacon and Swiss Chard with Pasta

Get Your Grill On with Grilled Pork Kabobs with Spicy Peanut Butter, Sesame, and Soy Sauce Marinade

Grilled Pork Kabobs

There is still time to get your grill on!  I eat a lot of chicken and fish but sometimes I need to mix it up and these pork kabobs were just what I was looking for.  They are flavorful, moist and delicious, so hurry up and get your grill on!  ENJOY!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb. thick pork loin chops, fat trimmed and cut into pieces about 1 inch by 2 inches

Marinade Ingredients:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 T lime juice
2 T smooth peanut butter (use natural peanut butter without added sugar for South Beach Diet)
2 tsp. finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (use more or less to taste)

Instructions:

Trim visible fat from pork chops and cut into strips about 1 inch by 2 inches. (I cut each trimmed pork chop into about 4 crosswise strips.)Combine red wine vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, lime juice, and peanut butter, then whisk until peanut butter is mixed into the other liquids. (This will take a little stirring to get it smooth.) When the mixture is well-combined, whisk in the finely minced garlic and red pepper flakes.Put pork cubes into Ziploc bag or plastic container with a snap-on lid, then pour in marinade. Let the pork strips marinate 6-8 hours in the refrigerator, turning it a few times if you’re home.When you’re ready to cook, remove the pork strips from the refrigerator and drain the marinade. (I used a colander placed in the sink to drain the pork pieces.) Thread kabobs onto skewers, folding each piece over so they won’t spin when they’re cooking. Let the pork pieces come to room temperature while you oil the grill with olive oil or non-stick grilling spray and preheat grill to medium-high. (You can only hold your hand there 2-3 seconds at that heat.)

Grill kabobs, turning several times with tongs so you get nice grill marks on each side. Kabobs are done when the pork feels firm, but not hard to the touch or when meat reaches a temperature of 160F/70C on an instant-read meat thermometer. We cooked our kabobs about 15 minutes, but actual cooking time will depend on the temperature of your grill and temperature of the meat when it’s put on the grill. Serve hot.

Grilled Pork Kabobs-2