Pear and Apple Pork Chop Skillet

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Smithfield, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #SmithfieldAllNatural http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH 

Pear and Apple Pork Chop Skillet  - Mooshu Jenne #weavemade #SmithfieldAllNatural #ad

Now that we are settling into our new routines with back to school, new jobs, and for me more work. Dinners need to be tasty and not take hours to make. Sometimes a good slow cooker meal is great. When I am not in the mood for that I gravitate towards Smithfield pork chops. They are super easy to cook up in a skillet using any sauces, fruits, or spices.  Just like this Pear and Apple Pork Chop Skillet.

Pear and Apple Pork Chop Skillet  - Mooshu Jenne #weavemade #SmithfieldAllNatural #ad

This weekend I stopped off at Tom Thumb and picked up my Smithfield All Natural pork chops. I used the $1 off coupon from the Just4U coupon center via Tom Thumb’s website. Which is a pretty good price to make a dinner for 8 people. (While Supplies Last)

Pear and Apple Pork Chop Skillet  - Mooshu Jenne #weavemade #SmithfieldAllNatural #ad

I also picked up some apples, pears, and rosemary. I knew I wanted to make a easy dish that would fit with our new routine but also have tons of flavor. I needed something simple and not much clean up so I paired the pork with apples and pears along with baked potatoes on the side. 

I simply put the potatoes in the digital oven ahead of time wrapped in foil and baked for an hour and thirty minutes. I actually ran to shop while they were baking. I grabbed the pork and began my quick adventure into cooking. Just as you can see in the step by step video above. I added the onions, then the apples, then the pears, then the rosemary, and then the pork. I topped it all off with Mediterranean salt, cracked pepper and some Worcestershire sauce. Cook for about 20 minutes and serve it up with the pears, apples, and a loaded baked potato.

Pear and Apple Pork Chop Skillet
Serves 8
Skillet cooked pork chops topped with pears, apples, and rosemary.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 packages of Smithfield pork chops (8)
  2. 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  3. 2 sprigs of rosemary
  4. 1 granny apple; sliced skin on
  5. 1 bartlett pear; sliced skin on
  6. 1 white onion; sliced into half rounds
  7. 1/4 teaspoon Mediterranean salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cracked peppercorn pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon Greek olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large cast iron skillet, add one tablespoon of greek olive oil and bring to a low heat. Add in onions, apples, and pears. Stuff pork chops under the fruit being careful not to burn your fingers.
  2. Top with rosemary, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring heat to medium high and cook for about 7 minutes turning pork every so often. Lower heat after 15 minutes and cook until pork is a bit blackened to add crunch. Careful not to burn.
  3. Serve with baked potato, pears, and apples.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

Moscato Buttered Pear Pork with Risotto

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser Star. #CollectiveBias

I always like to prove to my other half wrong. He seems to think nothing cooked in wine other than my Italian sausage is not edible. I beg to differ for sure! Last night I made this Moscato Buttered Pear Pork with Risotto and he very much so enjoyed it. He told me how he makes better risotto which is funny. He does in the Czech sense. Italian’s make it different and with a different rice. 

Moscato Buttered Pear Pork with Risotto | Mooshu Jenne #shop #cbiasOne of the reasons I love to make risotto is the creamy flavor it has over regular rice. I have to admit that adding a bit of the Star Buttered Olive oil first gives a creamy buttered and toasted nutty taste the risotto.  Pears pair perfectly with pork and the Moscato that is reduced over them to bring out a distinct flavor. 

Star Borges Buttered Flavor Olive Oil

I picked you the Star Butter flavored Olive Oil at Walmart while we were waiting on medicine. She had an allergic reaction to who know’s what! They have her epi pens for next time and some meds for this time. Never fun! At least we walked around and shopped and I found the Star. It really was so tasty with the risotto and the pork. Currently only Walmart carries the Star/Borges butter flavored olive oil. 

Pork at Safeway

I picked up the pork at Tom Thumb (Safeway). Pork loin thinner sliced is perfect for cooking this dish in a skillet when it’s warmer and you don’t want to head up the house. I like to get their all natural pork because I feel it has a better flavor. 

Moscato Buttered Pear Pork with Risotto | Mooshu Jenne #shop #cbias

So are you ready to try my recipe?

Moscato Buttered Pear Pork with Risotto
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
For Pork and Pears
  1. 1 package of thinly sliced pork loins
  2. 1 bartlett pear; sliced into quarters
  3. 1/2 cup Moscato wine
  4. 2 tablespoons Star/Borges Butter flavored Olive oil
For Risotto
  1. 1 1/2 cup risotto
  2. 1 large container chicken broth
  3. 1/2 red onion; diced small
  4. 1 tablespoon Star/Borges butter flavored olive oil
  5. 1 clove of garlic; minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet/saute pan, add in 2 tablespoons of butter flavored olive oil with pan on medium high heat. Add in pork, 1/2 cup Moscato, and sliced pears. Cook until pork is caramelized on both side and cooked thoroughly. Place pork and pears in glass dish in oven to keep warm while cooking risotto.
  3. In a small pot add 5 cups of chicken broth and bring to a low boil. In a saute pot add in onions, butter olive oil, and garlic. Saute until tender. Add in 1 1/2 cup risotto and toast for about 2 minutes. Add in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth barely to cover. Keep at a low boil. Stirring frequently watch risotto to make sure once the liquid soaks up you add 1 cup at a time until all liquid is soaked and risotto is creamy and tender.
  4. Serve pork and pears with risotto and the rest of the bottle of the Moscato.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

Gumbo is an art! It comes in many different ways but the key ingredient is the roux. If you don’t make the roux right it can become a complete disaster. Some will make their gumbo with shrimp or crab and others are known to make it with chicken and sausage. While I love a good seafood gumbo my daughter cannot eat seafood. Doesn’t mean we don’t eat it, we just like her to be able to share in the gumbo fun sometimes too. For that reason I make a chicken and andouille sausage gumbo. Andouille sausage really gives the flavor to the gumbo. The chicken gives it a hearty pick up. Then there is the controversy of tomatoes. This is really depending on my mood if I add them or not. Generally, when doing a chicken and andouille sausage gumbo I say it’s 50/50. When doing a seafood gumbo it is always and forever a no. I am just not a fan of tomatoes and seafood. I know I am a Italian a heart and in some sauces it will merry perfectly but in gumbo I am just not a big fan of it.

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo | Mooshu Jenne

One of my favorite times of the year is Mardi Gras. I love to have an excuse to cook Cajun foods. Not that I necessarily need one but that’s the excuse I give the family :) Gumbo is a good way to get them to eat okra too. They like it fried also but it’s not the healthiest way for them to eat it. King cake has to be the one dessert of this season they cannot get enough of. Other delicious dishes of this season are jambalaya, etouffee, crawfish or low country boil, and some seasoned cornbread fried catfish. What is your favorite Cajun or Creole recipe?

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo | Mooshu Jenne

My most favorite Cajun/Creole recipe has to be fried alligator. I know it’s not healthy and I really don’t care. It is all about the southern fried goodness when it comes to gator. It should be tender on the inside with an amazing crunchy batter on the outside. Gator is best served with fries, corn and cocktail sauce. When we all go out for Cajun this is what we all generally order. I wish gator was sold on the shelves because I would definitely make it at home. I guess it’s good it is not since it gives me an excuse to go out to dinner.

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
Serves 8
Gumbo full of chicken, sausage, and okra.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 20 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
For Roux
  1. 1 3/4 Cups Olive Oil
  2. 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  3. Juices from baked sausage and chicken
For Gumbo
  1. 1 large white onions; diced
  2. 5 stalks celery; chopped
  3. 1 large green bell pepper; diced
  4. 2 handfuls of okra; sliced
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 3 cloves of garlic; minced
  7. 2 bay leaves
  8. 3 links of andouille sausage
  9. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  10. 1/2 tablespoon cayenne
  11. 64 oz chicken broth
  12. 4 cups of water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven or digital oven to 400 degrees F. Place sausage and chicken in a dish together and bake for one hour and thirty minutes.
  2. Preheat a large cast iron or enameled cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pour 1 3/4 cups olive oil and juices from sausage and chicken bake into the skillet. Allow oil to come to temperature. Whisking vigorously, add the two cups of flour to the oil making sure to thoroughly combine. Switch to a wooden spoon to constantly stir for about 20 minutes or until the roux is a dark red caramel color.
  3. Add onions to roux and pour into a large pot. Add in celery, garlic and green bell pepper. Top with chicken broth just to cover and cook for about 8 minutes. Add in the rest of the chicken stock and water. Add in sliced sausage and shredded up chicken. Add in bay leaves, cayenne pepper, and paprika. Cook on low for 20 minutes.
  4. While gumbo is on a low boil add sliced okra and one tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet. Fry okra for about 4 to 6 minutes on medium low heat to remove stickiness. Add to gumbo pot. Salt and pepper gumbo to taste. Cook on low for another 10 minutes until all flavors merry.
  5. Serve with a scoop full of white rice and top with spring onions.
Notes
  1. Gumbo is an art form. Never ever leave it while cooking.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/
Please check out these other great Mardi Gras, Cajun or Creole recipes. You can always follow along with hashtag #Foodelicious.

Cajun Shrimp Lettuce Wraps – Savvy in the Kitchen
 
King Cake with Almond Filling - The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch 

 

#Ad Strawberry and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and Wright Brand Sausage. #CollectiveBias

Who said strawberries don’t go on a sausage breakfast sandwich? Well I do! When I was a kid we always added strawberry jam to our breakfast sandwiches. I thought why not remove the sugar and just top a breakfast sandwich with yummy strawberries. In my house with plenty of teenagers the best breakfast is one that is easy to eat on the go. Sometimes that can mean very unhealthy breakfasts for them. I prefer fresh fruits and good meats for protein in the morning. It gives the necessary energy needed for their day for a quick healthy breakfast. You have to try this strawberry and sausage breakfast sandwich.

#ad Strawberry and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich  #TheWrightBreakfast

I picked up the Wright Brand sausage in a tube at Walmart and used some for my breakfast sandwiches and the rest to top over spaghetti. We cooked it in a burgundy wine before topping it on the spaghetti. Anyway, this is my recipe for a strawberry and sausage breakfast sandwich. Walmart stores will have a demo on January 30 – February 2. You may look over the demo list here to find a location nearest you. I love store demos because it gives me a chance to really have a taste of the product and know what I would pair with it. Do you like store demos? What are your favorites?

#ad Strawberry and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich  #TheWrightBreakfast

I really love that Wright Brand Sausage was tasty and actually affordable. I hope that you will take a moment and search the hashtag #TheWrightBreakfast to see all the other great recipes from other bloggers with Wright brand sausage.  You can also follow along on Twitter at @WrightBacon or on Facebook at Wright Brand Bacon.

#ad Strawberry and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich #TheWrightBreakfast

Here is the recipe for the Strawberry and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

Strawberry and Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
Serves 6
Flaky jumbo biscuit topped with Wright Brand sausage and sliced fresh strawberries.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. Wright Brand sausage tube
  2. 1 can of jumbo biscuits
  3. 10 strawberries; sliced
Instructions
  1. In a medium pan, roll sausage into patties and cook until done per package directions. While cooking sausage bake biscuits according to package directions.
  2. Slice strawberries and layer on bottom and top of biscuits. Add sausage to the bottom layer of the biscuit and add top and strawberries. Serve fresh or wrap with plastic wrap and save for breakfast on the go.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

Game Day Pizza #GameTimeGoodies

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client DiGiorno.

Tomorrow night is game time! Which team are you routing for? We are cheering for San Francisco tomorrow night. While watching the football game you have to snack on something, in which, I created game day pizza with these slices from a DiGiorno’s pizza. We used the Rising Crust Pepperoni so we could add some of our favorite toppings that they do not currently sell. We added peperoncini’s and red onions for a bit of zing. I picked up the pizza’s at Walmart due to the rollback on them for $4.50 which is two for $9. Can’t beat that! 

Game Day Pizza #GameTimeGoodies

Who will you be routing for this Sunday; West Coast? San Francisco has always been my team. Chancelor would be all for New Orleans but they are not in this one. He might pick the opposing team just for fun. Does that happen in your house? We are preparing for the big game coming soon. Probably save the sausage DiGiorno pizza we bought for the big game to pair with other appetizers. Maybe some fried pickles and hot wings. Pizza and hot wings are the ultimate football food. What is your ultimate football food? Do you have plans for the big game?

DiGiornio Walmart

The problem with eating pizza during the game comes when a touchdown happens. Magically the pepperoni and toppings go flying in the air. This also happens during a race. Especially when someone takes out my driver. It must be the Italian in me that the hands go flying and plenty of words escape my mouth in utter gibberish.  Do you encounter sports incidents like that?

Game Day Pizza #GameTimeGoodies

 I cannot wait until February when the racing season is back. I am pretty sure the daughter and I will take off to the race here in April. In the meantime, we will look forward to the big game, the commercials, and the food.  I will look forward to teasing Chancelor about the opposing team unless by some awkward moment he decides to route for the same team. Mmmm… I smell pizza; time for another slice. Don’t forget to follow along for more recipes at #GameTimeGoodies.

Game Day Pizza
Serves 3
DiGiornio pizza topped with peperoncini's and red onions.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 DiGiornio Pizza
  2. 10 peperoncini's; diced
  3. 1/4 cup sliced red onions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven as directed on box. Top pizza with peperoncini's and red onions. Bake as directed on box. Serve fresh out of the oven.
Adapted from DiGiornio Pizza
Adapted from DiGiornio Pizza
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana

This is one of my simplest meals I love to make for my family on a chilly Autumn evening. The crushed red pepper in this Spaghetti all’ Amatriciana adds a little heat to warm the soul. The origin of the Amatriciana was a recipe named griciaGrici were what the Romans called the sellers of bread and comestibles. According to another source, the name originates from the hamlet of Grisciano, in the comune of Accumoli, near Amatrice. 

spaghetti all amatriciana

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana is generally prepared with guanciale (cured pork cheek) and grated pecorino. Guanciale is not common in the United States. You would have to check at specialty shops to find it and even then it’s difficult to find. It is possible to replace the guanciale with pancetta but you would want a thick cut pancetta if possible. Pecorino cheese can be found at specialty markets like Sprouts or Whole Foods. I use pecorino when I can find it but if not I replace it with a parmesan cheese when in a bind. 

spaghetti all amatriciana

Another name for it is Sugo all’amatriciana and Bucatini all’Amatriciana which is used with a bucatini pasta that is larger then spaghetti and comes with a hole down the center. I’ve had luck finding this at World Market. Though, for an easier way to go you can just do the Spaghetti All’Amatriciana version.

My lineage is Italian and I was raised on pasta’s like this. You can take away a lot of foods from me for diet restrictions to lose weight or what not but there is NO way your taking my pasta. I would rather be fat! I love my pasta; it’s like my main diet. Yes, it carbs but RUN it off and you will be just fine. Love my pasta and my bacon. I was vegetarian for a few years due to medical reasons and I have to say I really missed bacon!

Is there a food you could never do with out? I’d love to hear about it. Tell me in the comments below :)

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana
Serves 8
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb (16 oz) spaghetti noodles
  2. 2 cloves of garlic; minced
  3. 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 1 cup pancetta; diced
  6. 2 large cans of San Marzano tomatoes; peel whole tomatoes
  7. 4 to 6 fresh basil leaves
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. 1 to 2 cups Pecorino cheese
Instructions
  1. In a sauce pan add pancetta, garlic and one tablespoon olive oil. Saute until pancetta is cooked.
  2. Fill a large pot with water, one tablespoon olive oil, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook pasta as directed while working on the sauce.
  3. Once pancetta is browned, add the San Marzano tomatoes by crushing them with your hands. Add sauce from can and crushed red pepper. Bring to a low boil. Add basil, salt and pepper.
  4. Drain pasta and reserve a bit of the water with it. Add pasta to a large bowl and toss with sauce adding the sauce in parts. Top with Pecorino cheese and serve.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

Stuffed Ham and Potato Casserole #QuickFixCasseroles

Every day after school it’s been crazy trying to keep up with activities that happen around here. Band practice at the house along with running them anywhere the teens would like to go create a time gap that it is hard to spend a ton of time cooking dinner. This stuffed ham and potato casserole is a quick casserole that my V and I came up with. We don’t prefer white sauce or soup based casseroles. Along with my oldest son doesn’t like cheese. Making casseroles around here can be pretty difficult.

stuffedhampotatocasserolesmall4

Instead of looking online I decided a few weeks ago to just grab all our favorite ingredients and figure a way to combine them together in a casserole. My son and I love red potatoes and stuffing. Red onions are so sweet in casseroles and fit to give that Fall color. I knew if I had potatoes and onions that mushrooms had to be added since V enjoys them so.

stuffedhampotatocasserolesmall5

Mixing some bits of ham and frying up the potatoes in some Country Crock makes this casserole number 1! What really holds it together is the gray that thickens while it bakes. To top if off, some yummy stuffing because really who dislikes stuffing? What’s even better is that Crock Crock has 0g trans fat per serving, contains no partially hydrogenated oils, has no cholesterol, 70% less fat than butter per serving and 30% fewer calories than butter per serving. That’s pretty sweet when you like margarine like me!

stuffedhampotatocasserolesmall6Frying up the potatoes with onions and mushrooms in a bit of Country Crock and I add it to the dish over the ham and some fresh red onion. Then I bake it for just ten minutes to make sure the potatoes are tender.

stuffedhampotatocasserolesmall1

After all the layers are added I just cook a bit of boxed stuffing, topple it out onto the casserole, and pop it in the oven. I bake it for ten minutes and then broil it for two to three minutes to crisp the top.

stuffedhampotatocasserolesmall2

See how the gravy thickens on the sides. Just love me some gravy! Do you have a quick weeknight casserole that you make? If so, please comment below and let me know what you have.  I love to have a few casseroles in my arsenal.

Stuffed Ham and Potato Casserole
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Ingredients
  1. 1 red onion; diced
  2. 1 package boneless ham; diced
  3. 6 white mushrooms; diced
  4. 8 to 10 small red skinned potatoes; diced
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 tablespoon paprika
  7. 2 packages brown gravy mix
  8. 6 tablespoons Country Crock
  9. 2 boxes of stuffing mix
  10. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Diced up red onion and potatoes. Slice mushrooms and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large frying pan, add in half of the red onion, mushrooms, potatoes, paprika, 2 tablespoons of margarine, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute until the mushrooms and potatoes are tender on medium high heat. Salt and pepper mixture.
  3. While potatoes and mushrooms are cooking make up the gravy as directed on the package.
  4. In a 9x13 casserole dish mix ham and remaining onion into one layer on the bottom of the dish. Layer potato mixture over the ham. Pour gravy over potato mixture. Bake in the oven for ten minutes.
  5. While baking make stuff with margarine as directed on the back of the box. When the ten minutes are up add stuffing to top of casserole and place bake in the oven for ten minutes. Turn off oven and switch to broil on Hi and broil for 2 to 3 minutes until top is crispy.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

You can follow along with other casseroles post with this hashtag #QuickFixCasseroles.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

The fourth of July was truly a blast! This is the pulled pork sandwich that I whipped up in the crock pot for our guests. The beautiful potato salad in the back is a Czech recipe made by the other halves mom’s recipe. It really is the best potato salad around!

Our family and friends showed up to enjoy food before heading out the Flo Mo Festival for fun and fireworks. The ice cream cake was the only food item that did not turn out as planned. We had to break out a torch to release it from the glass loaf pan mold. Guess that means it is indefinite that a spring form pan is to be bought in the near future.

pulled pork sandwiches

These pulled pork sandwiches were such a hit. Everyone had seconds and even sent some home to my grandmother, which called to inform me how tasty they were. I have always been a fan of apples and pork together but was not sure on slow cooking the pork shoulder in apple cider.  Instead, I halved the apple cider with vegetable broth while adding in smoked paprika and cumin to bring in the meat not too sweet flavor. It married perfectly!

This will definitely be on next years to-do list for the 4th. Though, I would like to get some cute wraps for the sandwiches so we can pack them up and take them to the festival with us. The mean hand dipped jumbo corn dogs were calling my name but luckily the other half kept coaxing me out of them. Now, I will just have to make homemade corn dogs with extra goodies. Oh and funnel cake too!

The fireworks were pretty along with a good show from Rick Springfield. Can not wait to see who they bring out next year. I am in hopes that even more people will join us as it is good, wholesome fun. How was your 4th of July?

Pulled Pork Sandwich
Yields 24
Apple cider slow cooked pulled pork.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 hr
Total Time
12 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 hr
Total Time
12 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs pork shoulder
  2. 64 oz apple cider
  3. 32 oz container of vegetable broth
  4. 3 tablespoons cumin
  5. 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  6. 3 to 5 drops of liquid smoke
  7. 1 white onion, sliced into rounds
  8. 1 whole garlic; peeled
  9. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large crock pot, add in peeled garlic and pork shoulder. Slice onion into rounds and layer over the top of the pork.
  2. Fill crock pot half way with apple cider. Fill the rest of the way with vegetable broth. Add in cumin, paprika, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper. Turn crock pot on high to bring to a boil. Once the broth starts to boil lower to low and cook all night; generally about 8 hours.
  3. The next morning, with tongs, pull apart the pork and drop it into broth. Turn on high for about two hours to fully cook meat and allow the juices to soak in. Turn down to warm to keep for guests.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

Smoked Chorizo Bean Soup

Swear to the gods, cooking beans never turns out the same. Soak them 24 hours and put them in the pan and half of them are still hard hours into it. This is why every woman/man wants to crockpot cook their beans. I am just not a huge crockpot person. It takes the talent out of cooking or at least I kind of feel that way about it. My picture of smoked chorizo bean soup looks so red from the chorizo.

smoked chorizo bean soup

Today, I want to tell you how I cook beans and make sure that they do not turn out hard. The no fail method is soak them for 36 hours not 24 hours. Drain them a few times and replace the water. Give them plenty of room to grow in the water by putting them in a larger bowl with a lid. After soaking, cook them for four hours and then let cool. Store them over night and cook for four hours again the next day. This allows for the oils and flavor to settle and you will have some of the best beans you’ve ever tasted. Adding a tad of liquid smoke really kicks in the flavor of the beans along with the bacon adding additional smoke flavor.

Smoked Chorizo Bean Soup
Serves 6
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Prep Time
24 hr
Total Time
8 hr
Prep Time
24 hr
Total Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 bag of white cannellini beans (soaked for 36 hours)
  2. 2 jalapenos; de-seeded and un-ribbed; diced
  3. 1 large white or yellow onion; diced
  4. 4 cloves of garlic; crushed
  5. 1 tube of pork Spanish chorizo
  6. 3 strips of bacon; diced
  7. 2 - 32 oz containers of beef broth
  8. 2-3 drops of liquid smoke
  9. 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
  10. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, soak beans for 36 hour replacing the water two to three times.
  2. In a large pot, add in onion, garlic, bacon, and jalapenos. Saute until onions are half way translucent. Add in chorizo and saute for about three minutes. Add in beans and broth; cover with water to 3/4 of the pot. Add liquid smoke and Worchester sauce along with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for four hours. Let cool and refrigerate over night. Cook again four hours on low before you plan to serve.
  3. Serve with corn bread and top with cilantro or parsley.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

After months of promising this recipe for bucatini all’amatriciana it is finally here. Guanciale (pork cheek) is not common in the US, which means you must replace it with the closest item, that item is  pancetta. Pancetta in a block is also hard to locate but at least we have one Italian market and deli in town. Finding the pancetta was the simple part.

bucatini all amatriciana

I would eventually go on a three month endeavor to find bucatini pasta. Bucatini is a No. 12 pasta that resembles spaghetti but has a elongated hole running complete through it. Luckily, World Market is renovating their stores and recently stocked it with bucatini. I purchased five packages I was so excited!

bucatiniallamatriciana (2)

Bucatini all”Amatriciana is a dish that made it popular in Rome. It is named after the tiny town of Amatrice. It is said that the shepherds love this meal to warm up from the chilly mountain air. I just love any excuse to have fresh basil in the house as the aroma is delightful! If anyone is interested, I can add the recipe of how to make your own peeled tomatoes to replace the canned tomatoes within this recipe. Canned can be bought but are sometimes hard to locate.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 to 3 cloves garlic; minced
  2. 6 oz guanciale or pancetta, cubed (must be thick)
  3. 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  4. half of onion finely chopped (red or white)
  5. 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili pepper (or crushed red pepper)
  6. 1/4 cup of dry white wine
  7. 2 cans of peeled tomatoes; 28 oz each (if you cannot find canned you can make your own)
  8. 1 package Bucatini pasta
  9. 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  10. salt and pepper to taste
  11. fresh basil (optional; for serving)
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot with water, one tablespoon olive oil, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook pasta until done while cooking the sauce.
  2. In a pot or saute skillet, add onions, pancetta (guanciale), garlic, and two tablespoons olive oil and tad of salt; cook on medium heat for three to five minutes. Add in dried red chili pepper and saute for about a minute. Drain just the top juice of the cans, not all, as you want the sauce to be a bit thick rather than runny. Add peeled tomatoes and the white wine. Break up the tomatoes while cooking. Cook for about ten minutes reducing the tomato juice off. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Drain pasta reserving some of the pasta water; add sauce to pasta. Toss and plate. Top with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese and garnish with basil.
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