Thursday, July 7, 2016

Smoky and Sweet Garlic Lime Marinade for Pork and Chicken

Summer flavors are here!  And I'm marinating and rubbing, hubby's thrillin' and grillin' his way into all kinds of yummy stuff.  My latest craze: PORK!

Grilled pork ribs, chops, pork steaks - all things pork and smoky! This summer I am in the mood for pork, but I wanted a twist on a Mexican marinade with something sweet and smoky - this is what I've come up with using pantry basics with a fully loaded spice cabinet and a few fresh limes that I needed to use up. To pair with this yummy entree, peach lime spritzer - a favorite summertime treat.

1/8 C. worchestershire sauce ($.10)
1/8 C. white wine ($.10)
2 T. Liquid smoke ($.10)
2 T. minced garlic ($.05)
1 T. basil ($.05)
2 tsp. black pepper ($.10)
3 T. brown sugar ($.05)
2 tsp. each smoked paprika and onion powder ($.10)
juice of 2 limes ($.20)
1 sliced lime ($.10)

Whisk together all ingredients except sliced lime.  Lay slices of lime on top of pork chops, top with marinade.  Allow to marinate for 2 hours to 2 days.  Grill pork chops and serve with rice, salad, and additional lime wedges and sliced avocado.

Cost of marinade: $1.05

Monday, April 4, 2016

Summer Pasta: Margherita Pasta Sauce over Capellini

I created this light and easy sauce recipe about 3 years ago, when hubby and I moved into our home, the first home we have ever owned.  Instead of one of us running to the grocery store for a jar of sauce for our pizza that night, I used what we had on hand - and it's become my signature summer pasta sauce - it's light, meatless, packed with bright, sweet flavor.  And it takes all of 30 minutes to make, maybe a little less if you have a handy-dandy bean masher, which just so happens I do.

Easy to make for a crowd but perfect for a few servings, this can be a great dish for a brunch or a side dish for a BBQ.  It's super versatile which makes it one of my go-to meals, I'd eat it every day or two if I had my choice.

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes ($1)
1 sweet bell pepper, red, orange, or yellow, rough chopped or quartered ($.20)
3 cloves of garlic, minced ($.15)
2 T. each olive oil and butter ($.50)
1/4 C. white wine (I use pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc) ($.25)
1-2 T. dried basil ($.10)
1/2 tsp. fennel seed, optional ($.05)
salt and pepper ($.05)
2 T. heavy cream, optional ($.05)
1-2 T. parmesan cheese ($.15)
1/2 lb. capellini pasta ($.40)

Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente.

Add olive oil and butter to a small cast iron pan over medium heat.  Once the butter is melted, add in the whole tomatoes, rough chopped bell pepper and minced garlic.  Cook over medium-high heat, covered, until the tomatoes start to pop and split their skins.  When most of the tomatoes are soft, use a bean mashed to break up the tomatoes.  Stir in basil and fennel, season with salt and pepper.  Once the tomatoes have cooked down, about 1-3 minutes, stir in the white wine a few tablespoonfuls at a time, letting the wine cook down before adding more.  Finish the sauce with parmesan and heavy cream, add in capellini pasta, cooked al dente, along with a few tablespoons of pasta water, toss well to coat, cook an additional 1-2 minutes, and serve.

You can top with mozzarella cheese or provolone, if desired, for a baked pasta entree.
Yields: 2-3 servings
Cost: $2.90
Cost per serving: $.98-$1.45

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bavarian Pork Loin

I've long been a fan of my local Italian deli/grocery store and they have this Bavarian pork loin at the deli counter which is just all kinds of addictive.  It wasn't until a few weeks ago (when I scored a pair of whole pork tenderloins) that it dawned on me: I could try making this myself.  Why do brilliant ideas like this take so long to reach my brain, I'll never know.  But I am making one of these beauties today and am beyond excited!

What makes it even better is that having a full and varied spice cabinet, a few pantry basics, and less than 5 minutes - and I had the spice paste to rub into the meat.  Woo-hoo!  Very happy when an idea comes together - and so I don't forget what I did in my haze of talent, awesomeness, brilliance, and just sheer excitement, here is my recipe:

2.5 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed ($3.15)
2 T. spicy brown mustard ($.10)
2 T. olive oil ($.10)
1-2 T. white wine ($.10) - I used pinot grigio
2 tsp. each: paprika, onion powder, and salt ($.10)
1 tsp. each: roasted garlic powder, black pepper, and thyme ($.10)
1/2 tsp. each: oregano and dry ground mustard ($.05)
pinch of cumin
splash of worchestershire sauce

Mix all but pork tenderloin until fully incorporated.  Spread mixture onto thawed and dry meat.
Roast in oven at 350 for 2-3 hours, uncovered.  Meat is done when exterior is firm and meat registers 180F.  Cool 15 minutes, then slice thin for sandwiches, thick for serving alongside potatoes and root veggies.

Cost: $3.70