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On the Menu: PORK

December 12, 2016

    Pork is the key ingredient on the menu for this week’s article. We still have a freezer full of pork from a 4-H hog we purchased so it was simple to grab the main ingredient, thaw overnight and be ready to cook!

    Pork is popular at Sutton Central so I look for ways to add a twist to the usual weeknight fare of pork roast or ham. The Taco Pork Chops were a hit with the kids and the stir-fry was popular with the adults for lunch on day two with the adults.

 

Taco Pork Chops

Just when you think pork chops can’t get better, kick it up with this dressed-up version. Kids will love these tender Mexican-inspired chops.

Ingredients:

4 boneless pork loin chops

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce

1 c. tap water, divided

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 pkg. taco seasoning

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Directions:

1. In a large skillet over medium heat brown the chops in olive oil, about 5 minutes on each side.

2. In a small bowl, stir together tomato sauce, 3/4 cup water, onion and taco seasoning until combined. Pour over the pork chops and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until meat is tender.

3. Remove chops to a serving platter and cover to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1/4 cup tap water until smooth. Whisk in skillet, loosening any browned bits remaining from the chops. Bring to a boil stirring constantly for two minutes or until sauce has thickened. Pour over chops and serve.

 

Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

This simple recipe requires an overnight marinade stay for the pork loin for peak deliciousness. With apple cider and pecans in abundance on the store shelves this time of year it comes together easily and is so pretty to serve! I add sliced Granny Smith apples with yogurt dipping sauce and steamed broccoli to the plate to complete this meal.

Ingredients:

1-lb. pork loin

1/2 c. apple cider

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. pecans, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 c. honey

Directions:

1. Place loin in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in apple cider and salt. Seal the bag squeezing out as much air as possible. Turn to coat loin completely. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Drain bag with loin and discard marinade. In a small bowl, mix mustard and honey until combined. Rub mixture on loin until completely covered. Spread pecans on a flat surface and roll loin in pecans until entire surface is evenly covered.

3. Place loin in a lightly greased 13-by-9-baking dish. Pat any remaining pecans on top of loin. Bake for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reaches 145 degrees F.

4. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing into 1-inch servings.

 

Pork Tenderloin with Apples

The apples steal the show in this dish. Granny Smith apples hold up well when being cooked and have just the right balance of tartness to go with the pork loin.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. pork tenderloin

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 c. chopped onion

2 c. Granny Smith apple, cubed

1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

1 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the pork and sprinkle with black pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes until tenderloin is browned on all sides. Remove to prepared baking pan and roast in oven 15 minutes, or until a food thermometer indicates 165 degrees F.

3. While the pork is baking, add the onion, apple and rosemary to the skillet. Saute over medium heat until the onions and apples are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in broth and balsamic vinegar. Increase the heat and boil until the sauce has reduced, about 5 minutes.

4. Remove tenderloin and let rest 5 minutes. Slice into 1-inch-coins and serve with onion and apple sauce.

 

Pork and Veggie Stir Fry

This quick encore recipe is a perfect way to use up any leftovers from either of the pork tenderloin recipes. You’ll need about two cups of cooked loin cut into bite-sized cubes. It’s delicious for day two lunch or as an entrée the next evening.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. apple cider

2 c. cooked pork loin, cubed

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 (16-oz.) pkg. frozen veggie stir-fry blend, thawed

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 c. cooked pork loin, cubed

1/4 c. slivered almonds

Cooked white rice

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, apple cider and soy sauce until smooth, adding up to two more tablespoons of cider if needed. Set aside.

2. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil and add garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding stir-fry veggie blend and cooking an additional two minutes. Immediately stir apple cider mixture together again and pour over vegetables. Toss and bring to a boil, cooking for two more minutes or until sauce if thickened.

3. Toss in pork and heat through, about three minutes.

4. Serve on top of rice and sprinkle with almonds.

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