Monday, September 28, 2009

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder with Diced Ham

This recipe is for one of the comfort foods that was prepared at the fall Taste of Home cooking school that my sister and I attended last week.

I modified the recipe because the original recipe called for 1 medium potato (I used 4), did not include ham (R insists on some sort of meat in his soups), and I used frozen veggies instead of fresh.

Both R and I liked this soup. Don't be is very filling.

Here is the modified version I made. If you want the original recipe search the Taste of Home site.

1 large bag of frozen veggies (mix of cauliflower, broccoli, carrots)
4 cups chicken broth
1 large slice ham steak (diced)
4 medium size potatoes peeled
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a large pot (dutch oven) bring chicken broth to a boil. Add diced ham and diced potatoes and cook on med high until potatoes are cooked. Add in frozen veggies, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper. Cook until veggies are hot.

Meanwhile in another saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add evaporated milk. Bring to boil and stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat and stir in cheese. Continue to stir until melted.

Slowly stir cheese sauce into vegetable/ham mixture.

Garnish with shredded cheese. I served with Rhodes dinner buns because they are hardy enough to hold up in the soup.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pork Medallions wrapped in Bacon

Recently I noticed that Meijer had little round pieces of pork on sale. I was able to buy a package with 14 pieces for $7.00 making each piece 50 cents each. I think they call these medallions.

The recipe used about a third of a package of uncooked bacon to wrap 6 pieces. I used a toothpick to secure the bacon slice in place. After seasoning each piece I placed the medallions in a hot frying pan searing both sides. After pork was seared I turned the heat down to medium low and covered. The medallions took about 25 minutes to cook. I then turned off heat and let the meat rest for five minutes before removing from frying pan and serving.
We found that two pieces were the perfect portion size when paired with a large salad and baked potato.
Next time I purchase this cut of meat, I will divide the pork into freezer bags containing 4 pieces each. I think this recipe falls under the heading of cheap and easy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Caramelized Pears and Pork Chops

Our pears trees are producing a plentiful supply of pears this year. Recently I saw a recipe for caramelized pears with pork chops. I couldn't find the recipe so I winged it.

I peeled and sliced 3 Asian pears. I placed them in a small covered saute pan with a slice of butter and cooked over medium heat. Once the pears were thoroughly cooked I drizzled the pears with honey and cooked for an additional 2 or 3 minutes.

Once pears were fully cooked and honey melted, I spooned pears on top of the cooked pork chops.

R gave the pears a thumbs up.