Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pork Chops with Sweet Potato

By Paul Briand

Looking for recipes on your smart phone? There’s an app for that.

Lacking inspiration recently, I went searching for a recipe site compatible with web-enabled cell phones., it turns out, has an app for the iPhone -- called a “Dinner Spinner”. You can use it to search by ingredient or by nutrition information.

Allrecipes also has a mobile site for phones like the BlackBerry that I use. With it too you can search for a recipe by ingredients.

I used it to poke around a big variety of recipe options and settled on this one with pork chops and sweet potatoes.

2 boneless pork loin chops, 3/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
Dash pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water

1. In a small nonstick skillet, brown pork chops in oil. Place in an 8-in. square baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Layer with sweet potato; drizzle with butter;
2. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, brown sugar, salt, ginger, mace and pepper; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour over sweet potato;
3. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until the pork reaches 160 degrees F and potato is tender;
4. Remove pork and potato. Set aside and keep warm;
5. Pour pan juices into a small saucepan. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Serve with pork and sweet potato.

A couple of notes from my experience with this recipe: I used four chops, instead of two. Instead of using a saucepan to prepare the orange juice and brown sugar sauce, use the skillet instead.

After the pork chops have been browned and removed from the skillet, tasty bits will remain. Use the orange juice to deglaze the pan for a richer tasting sauce.

Also, I’m suspect of the cook time. It took almost an hour in my oven at 350 degrees for the sweet potato to cook enough to eat.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stuffed Cheese & Jalapeno Chicken Burgers

By Paul Briand

Full disclosure: This is a rip-off.

I borrowed -- stole? -- this idea from Burger King and its Stuffed Steakhouse Burger.

But I put a healthy less caloric, less saturated fat spin on this burger that is stuffed with cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers.

Instead of ground beef, I used ground chicken. I used low-fact cheese. And instead of your typical hamburger bun, I used whole wheat, whole grain deli thins.

4 pre-packaged ground chicken patties
¼ cup crumbled cheese from block of low-fat cheddar
Jalapeno peppers to taste
4 whole grain/whole wheat deli thins

1. Place the chicken patties in a medium size bowl and add the crumbled cheese and peppers (as many as your palate can handle);
2. Mix all the ingredients together, much as you would a meatloaf;
3. Form the mixture into equally sized patties and place into a large skillet over medium high heat;
4. Cook the patties as you would a hamburger, making sure it is completely cooked through;
5. Serve the patties on toasted deli thins with tomato slices and Romain lettuce and your favorite among the mustard, ketchup and relish genres.

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