Born in "THE" Bronx, raised on Long Island...stints in Rochester, NY; Manhattan, NY; Andover, MA; Montclair & West Windsor, NJ and now Memphis, TN., our cuisine of birth is Italian, but we enjoy cooking Chinese, Mexican, American and hodge-podge.

Our recipes will be as accurate as possible, but you see, I rarely measure things. I prefer to combine based upon taste.

Also, I will use brand names on occasion, but am not sponsored by any company and these mentions do not put cash into my pocket.

Music is my other love & we will share music related to food (in even the smallest sense) with y'all with every new post.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Part 2 - Weekend Cooking

We spoke last time of preparing a number of meals at one time for freezing and today we continue that story.

To recap, we cut all the vegetables needed for all the meals and prepped all ingredients prior to beginning.

Today we will focus on the next two dishes prepared that day...

"Pork Chops With Mustard Sauce"
This makes 8 large servings or 4 smaller servings,
depending upon your appetite, and can be halved or doubled easily

8 boneless loin pork chops, 3/4 inch thick, all fat trimmed away
(the package I bought had 9 pork chops)
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp all-spice
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tbsp. minced green onion
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup dry white wine or 6 tbsp. water and 2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup undiluted canned beef broth
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper

Mix flour, salt and all-spice

Dust pork chops lightly on both sides with this mixture.

Heat 1 tbsp. of the butter in large skillet

Add pork chops and cook over medium heat for 6 minutes per side or until pinkness is gone when cut in center.

Remove pork chops and keep warm.

Increase heat to high and add remaining butter and the onion

Saute 1 minute while stirring

Stir in the cornstarch.

Slowly add the wine and broth, stirring briskly.

Cook until thickened and smooth.

Stir in the mustard.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour sauce over Pork Chops and serve.

I served them with a nice baked yam and sauteed artichoke hearts...yummo!

When cooking in bulk, you must be able to freeze the meals for future use.

There is no better way to freeze food than with the Food Saver System. I am advocating the use of this tremendous machine without any compensation whatsoever. I have owned one for many years, but for our wedding we received the newest model and the company must be credited with their innovations.

The new machine is vertical, so it takes up very little counter space. It has two different speed settings, so you can now seal softer foods without squishing them. It also has a moisture setting which recognizes the presence of moisture and cuts the vacuum off and seals without sucking the liquid into the machinery.

I have found putting the sauces into the small snack size zip-lock bags works wonderfully. If you just put the sauce into the same bag as the meat, the sauce gets absorbed into the meats and you do not have enough when serving the meal.

In this case, I made of 3 packages containing 2 Pork Chops each with a zip-lock of sauce and then 3 packages with one Pork Chop and sauce.

When you are ready to eat, you can remove the bag from the freezer and work one of two methods...

The first is to let the meal defrost and then you can either put the meat into a casserole and put it into the oven at about 300 degrees to warm or you can put the pouch into a pot of water that is simmering on the stove and let it heat for about 15 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, take the gravy out of the small zip-lock and put it into a small bowl, stir and microwave for 60 seconds.

The second method, for when you do not have time to defrost is to put the whole pouch into a pot of lightly boiling water on the stove for about 30 minutes. The meal should be defrosted and warmed. Once again, take the sauce and put into a bowl, stir and microwave before pouring over the meat.

Another meal made that day was:

"Beef & Spinach Patties"
This recipe makes 4 servings and can be halved or doubled.
When doubling, only use 3/4 cup of red wine.

1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 lb. finely chopped mushrooms
3 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 egg
1/2 cup soft french bread crumbs
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup well drained, thawed frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish

Saute the onion and mushrooms in 2 tbsp. of the butter in a large frying pan until soft and lightly browned.

Remove from heat and mix in the garlic

Beat the egg and then blend in the bread crumbs, onion mixture, ground beef, spinach, 2 tbsp. of the red wine, the salt and pepper.

Shape into 4 oval patties, each about 1-inch thick.

Using the same frying pan add the remaining 1 tbsp. butter and brown the patties about 4 minutes per side until well browned, turning only once.

Remove the patties to a platter and keep warm.

Add the remaining 6 tbsp. red wine.

Cook stirring to mix in all those most excellent drippings left in the pan.

Boil about 30-seconds and pour over the patties and serve.

This goes great with roasted potato wedges and sweet corn sauteed with bacon...

As we did above with the Pork Chops, We put two patties into each Food Saver Bag and half the red wine sauce into a small snack size zip-lock bag and then sealed them for freezing.

Next week, I will share two more of the recipes from that Saturday of cooking...

Like what you see here? Let your friends know and share the love and share the link!

"Mangiare Bene e Piacere"

16 spices added:

Jay said...

You need your own show on Food Network dude. That all looks really yummy.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Glad you liked Jay...come on down to MS and I will cook for you

Maggie Moo said...

Mmmm...I love pork chops and the mustard sauce looks divine. It looks very comforting, especially on this very cold night.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

MAGS: It is a wonderfully warm, comforting dish indeed

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...Gawd, the pork chop is versatile!...

TopChamp said...

Hello - looks delish. The patties particularly as I adore spinach.

Presentation-wise... do you have a plain plate you could show the food on?

Ken said...

McSpice here.....sorry I didn't read the blog, but the thought of giving you pennies really appeals to me.

Just give me some time to get INTO it!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

PHFRANKIE: that is the middle name didn't you know Pork Versatile Chop

TOPCHAMP: They are wonderfully delish

MICKEY: You are da man!

DrillerAA09 said...

There ya go...try auditioning for "The Next Food Network Star". That would provide incredible blogging opportunities.

Maggie Moo said...

Clicking over. :)

Ken said...

Those meals look great Vinny.

Patti said...

The pork chop dish sounds a lot like something Ralph would make. He loves coming up with sauces for pork, chicken, beef, fish...I'll show him this post.

Those beef patties sound delicious. I love spinach, and mushrooms.

I love the fancy plates you have!

Mimi Lenox said...

I knew this would be trouble for me.
You really expect me to know what to do with cornstarch?

I thought it was something you put in the laundry.

Mimi Lenox said...

P.S. - But the food looks divine.

Desert Songbird said...

Okay, okay, I'll admit - these look easy enough for even me to make. BUT (and here's the kicker) family does not care for pork chops, and they detest spinach.


Coco said...

Sitting here thinking that I have all the ingredients at home to make those pork chops ...

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