Slow Cooked Pork Roast

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This was so simple and flavorful, makes a big batch and it’s so versatile. We’re using this pork for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, but you could use some in one of my favorite macaroni dishes or these amazing taquitos. I don’t cook pork often enough, but after trying this recipe out, I’m sure add it to the rotation. If you follow the recipe link, you’ll see that there are a few different ways to season this up, but I chose the “plain” version so the leftovers would be easier to use. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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**Potato Bun Recipe Here and Creamed Corn Recipe Here**

Slow Cooked Pork Roast – adapted from The Kitchn

  • 4 to 6 pound boneless pork shoulder or butt (or 5 to 7 pounds bone-in), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a rack on the lower-third of the oven. Pat the pork dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear all sides of the meat, add the vegetables and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Once it simmers, cover and place in the oven. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, checking after the first two hours for “fork-tenderness” – My 4 pound bone-in roast was fall-off the bone tender at 3.5 hours. Transfer the pork to a large container. When cool enough to handle, use two forks or your fingers to shred the meat into pieces. Remove any large pieces of fat or bones. For more moist and flavorful pulled pork, you can mix some of the cooking liquid back into the pork. Start with a little, mix, then add more until the pork is as wet or dry as you like. Alternatively, for barbecue pulled pork, you can mix in barbecue sauce. Pulled pork will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer.

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Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce

Quick Post: These are really so good and the sweet and salty sauce takes them over the top! They’re on the menu for tonight and I searched my blog to get the recipe again and discovered that it was never posted! I can’t believe I forgot to post this recipe three months ago when I first made it…better late than never! 😉

Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce – adapted from Folkmann.ca
For the chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups panko
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of water
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • Oil for frying  (*I use a combination of peanut oil and canola oil*)
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

For the sauce:

  • cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • Freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon
Directions – 

1. Set a rack on a baking sheet, put it in the oven, and preheat to 200F. Cut each chicken breast into 4 thick even pieces. To set up your dredging station: Put corn starch in one baking dish, and the eggs in another dish next to it. Finally, toss the panko, lemon zest in another dish.

2. Heat about 1/4 – 1/2 inch of oil in a large heavy skillet over a medium-high heat. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper to taste, and then coat lightly in the cornstarch. Next, dip in eggs and then press into the panko mixture to coat evenly. Shake off any excess and place on a plate while you finish the other pieces. Carefully place the chicken in the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the pan. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a constant sizzle. Fry the chicken a few pieces at a time, turning once until evenly brown. About 5 minutes total. Keep cooked fingers in the oven on the rack. Repeat with the rest of the chicken breasts. Serve with lemon and dipping sauce.

Apricot sauce –
Combine the preserves, soy sauce and ketchup in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture until the preserves have melted. Stir in the lemon juice and cool before serving.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Quick Post: If you like spice, love shrimp and adore carbs and cheese – this is the dinner for you! We thoroughly enjoyed this meal, and I will make this again. I served it with some quick garlic bread (I forgot to roast the garlic for this), but it hit all the right buttons 😉 I used a loaf of this, lots of chopped garlic, butter and four different Italian cheeses. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo – adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

    • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
    • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
    • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions:

 Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, add the red chili flakes to the oil. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, add the salt and toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.

Soy-Ginger-Lime Chicken with Cilantro-Lime-Ginger Rice

Quick Post: The title is a mouthful! The combination of these two recipes was a hit at my house and it’s healthy, fresh and easy to make. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Soy-Ginger-Lime Marinade – adapted from Simply Scratch
  •  2 – 3 cloves of Garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 large Shallot, peeled and quartered
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 3/4 inch of Ginger, peeled, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Combine all ingredients (using a stick blender makes quick work of this). Pour the mixture over the chicken and marinade for at least 4 hours. Preheat grill to medium heat and cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side or until done.
Cilantro, Lime and Ginger Rice –
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • the zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Directions:

In a a saucepan combine rice, ginger slices, salt and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro and lime zest. Serve warm.

Orange Chicken

I don’t like take-out orange chicken because it has that fake, candy orange flavor – ick! I did however love this homemade version. The sauce is easy to make and doesn’t require lots of exotic ingredients, it’s fresh and the orange flavor is far superior to typical take-out versions. My family really enjoyed this too – my husband who is a fan of take-out orange chicken may never go back to that again 😉 I ruin things for him in really good ways! Same with cinnamon rolls, because he’ll never want the canned stuff again.

I would recommend making another half batch (or double if you like lots of sauce) of the marinade/sauce mixture. It is perfect mixed into the white rice. Next time I will add veggies to this like sugar snap peas or steamed broccoli to make up for the lack of fiber in this dish. Also, I used a combination of peanut oil and vegetable oil (it’s all I had) because I didn’t have enough peanut oil – that stuff is expensive! I’m sure you could fry this all in canola or vegetable oil though. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Orange Chicken – adapted from Annie’s Eats

For the marinade and sauce:

  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 6 tbsp. white vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1½ lbs. boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. cold water
  • 8 thin strips orange peel (optional)

For the coating and frying:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups peanut or canola oil (I like a combination)

To make the marinade and sauce, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in a large saucepan; whisk to blend well.  Measure out ¾ cup of the mixture and transfer it to a large zipper lock plastic bag.  Add the chicken pieces to the bag, pressing out the excess air and sealing well.  Refrigerate and let marinate 30-60 minutes, but no longer.  Place the saucepan with the remaining mixture on the stove and heat over medium-high heat.  Bring to a simmer.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth.  Add the mixture to the saucepan with the sauce.  Continue simmering until the sauce is thick and translucent, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and stir in the strips of orange peel, if using.

To prepare the coating, place the egg whites in a pie plate and whisk until frothy.  In a second pie plate combine the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne pepper; whisk to blend.  Drain the chicken of the marinade in a colander or large strainer; pat dry with paper towels.  Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat.  Transfer the pieces to the cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly, shaking off the excess.  Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

To fry the chicken, heat the oil in a 11- or 12-inch round Dutch oven or straight-sided sauté pan until the oil reaches 350˚ F.  Carefully place half of the chicken pieces in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through cooking.  Remove from the oil with a skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.  Return the oil to 350˚ F and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

Reheat the sauce if necessary and toss with the cooked chicken pieces.  Serve over rice, if desired.

Spaghetti Shrimp Scampi

This was a quick and easy dinner that the whole family enjoyed. I didn’t change a thing about it either, but next time I may add a little more butter and lemon juice. If you like really saucy pasta dishes, you might find this too dry for you but that is easily remedied. Overall this was a light and flavorful dish that I will make again. Simple ingredients, simple steps equaled a new family favorite – you can’t beat that! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Spaghetti with Shrimp Scampi – adapted from Food Network

  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, zest grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Directions
In a large pot of boiling water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

Creamy Chicken Taquitos and Tomatillo Salsa

What do you do when you have lots of leftover roast chicken sitting in your fridge? You can make these for starters. I discovered this one over a year ago at Our Best Bites. They’re quick, easy and delicious and I don’t know why I haven’t shared these with you all before. These have some of my favorite flavors all rolled up in one package. I like to make my own tomatillo salsa for these because it’s so much more fresh and flavorful. It’s simple to make and always cheaper than store bought. I always omit the green onion cause M wouldn’t touch it, and I usually double this recipe because the leftovers are just as tasty.

Verdict: So good – or “yum” as my son put it. We enjoyed these with the leftover tomatillo salsa and our favorite tomato salsa. Oh, I used soft taco sized flour tortillas and we ended up with seven taquitos. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Tomatillo Salsa – Mom Makes

  • 8 to 10 small tomatillos, husked, rinsed and dried
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic with paper on
  • 1/2 small onion, paper off and cut into thirds
  • 1 jalapeno, stem cut and sliced in half from top to bottom
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 lime
  • cumin to taste
  • kosher salt to taste
Directions –
Turn on your broiler and while it’s heating, prepare your tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic and onion for roasting. Slice the tomatillos at the equator and place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Add the rest of your prepared vegetables to the baking sheet and place under the broiler – about 5 or 6 inches from the heating element. I roasted mine for about 10 minutes, but if you prefer more char on yours you can leave them in a little longer. Just keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. Take them out and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack until they’re easier to handle. Take the paper of your garlic cloves in preparation for blending.
Using a food processor or blender, carefully place all the contents – including the juices into the work bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over all, sprinkle your cumin and salt, then add your cleaned cilantro leaves. Place the lid on and pulse until your desired consistency is achieved.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos – adapted from Our Best Bites

  • 1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
  • 1/4 C green salsa
  • 1T fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
  • 3 T chopped cilantro
  • 2 T sliced green onions
  • 2 C shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 C grated pepper jack cheese
  • small flour or corn tortillas
  • cooking spray or vegetable oil
  • kosher salt (optional)
Directions –
Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or are coming unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.
Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges, and roll them up as tight as you can. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Tilapia with Cilantro-Lemon Butter

Why did I wait so long to make this again? I tried this out about two years ago, so I knew it that we liked it but I still wanted to try something new with tilapia. Well, I’m glad I didn’t because this was so good! Tilapia was on sale today at Publix, then I thought “well, I haven’t cooked fish in a long time”, then I was on the hunt for recipes. It has a lot of my favorite flavors all combined in this super simple and tasty dish: cumin, lemon, cilantro, butter…those are all winners in my book!;) I recommend doubling the dry seasonings and make sure your butter is at room temperature so it’s easier to mix in your ingredients. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Tilapia with Cilantro-Lemon Butter – adapted from Gimme Some Oven

For the fish:

  • 1/2  tsp. salt
  • 1/2  tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4  tsp. ground red pepper
  • 4  (6-ounce) tilapia fillets (*I bought about 2 lbs)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Cilantro-Lemon Butter:
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, softened
  • 3  tablespoons  finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
  • 1/2  teaspoon  paprika
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 lemon, quartered
Directions –
To make the butter, simply combine the first five “cilantro-lime butter” ingredients together in a bowl and use a spoon to stir/mash until blended.  Store in refrigerator if not used immediately.

To prepare fish, combine first four “fish ingredients”; sprinkle over both sides of fish and then lightly coat fish with cooking spray. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add fish and cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place fish on a serving platter and top with a dollop of cilantro-lemon butter.  Serve with a lemon wedge, to be squeezed on top of the fish

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

It’s my SIL’s 18th birthday today so I asked her what she’d like me to make for her birthday dinner. This was one of her requests, and to be honest I wasn’t crazy about it. I have never eaten this let alone tried to make it before. I have heard of this style of preparing chicken but I had no idea how many seasonings were required. I’m just glad that I have a well stocked spice cabinet! It’s weird because I had all but two ingredients on hand for this marinade – it’s like she knew I have all the stuff this dinner. Well, whether she did or not, I’m glad she chose it. It’s always a good thing to try new types of cuisine with interesting flavor combinations. The scotch bonnet is a mean pepper! I was grating it over the marinating chicken and the fumes made me choke, so I thought it best to use about one third of it.

This dinner was a success! We all enjoyed the unique flavor of the chicken, and it wasn’t too spicy. Next time I will use the whole pepper instead and maybe use dark meat next time. Oh, and I tried this sauce (I made half a batch) that was recommended to me. She said it helped to cool down the chicken, which was something I worried about once I added the scotch bonnet. I had everything for this recipe too, except the cucumber but I don’t think it would have made a huge difference. The sauce had good flavor and paired well with the flavors of the chicken. If I make this again, I will be sure to update this post with the changes I plan on making. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken – adapted from Carribean Choice

  • 1 tbs. Ground allspice
  • 1 tbs. Dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ground sage
  • 3/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbs. Salt
  • 2 tbs. Garlic powder
  • 1 tbs. Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup White vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup Chopped white onion
  • 3 Green onions, finely chopped
  • 4 Chicken breasts (6 to 8 oz)trimmed of fat
Directions –
In a large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, garlic powder and sugar. With a wire whisk, slowly add the olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice. Add the Scotch bonnet pepper, onion, and green onions and mix well. Add the chicken breasts, cover and marinate for at least 1 hour, longer if possible. Preheat an outdoor grill. Remove the breasts from the marinade and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. While grilling, baste with the marinade.