Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Category Archives: Pork

Sausage & Pepper Pizza

The other night I was trying to decide what to make for dinner and thought about making up some Sausage and Pepper’s.  Then I thought about having some pizza instead.  That was when I realized I would just combine the two. 

In the past when I’ve used pizza crust, I’ve told you that I purchase the dough either from the store or one of our local pizza places.  I’m not one of those people who has the talent for bread and dough making.  And, I do believe it’s a talent that some people just seem to have. 

Finally, I decided to try my hand at my own pizza dough, and after making batch after batch of it, I won’t ever be buying a store bought dough again.  Well, actually, that isn’t true.  If it’s on sale or if I’m in a rush I would still buy the store made version.  But, I will admit that working with freshly prepared pizza dough was a wonderful experience.

Here is how I made just one of my most favorite pizza versions.

PIZZA DOUGH:

Pizza Dough recipe from Family Circle  Magazine 10/17/10 issue

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Packet Active Dry Yeast (* I used Freischmann’s Pizza Dough Yeast)
  • 2 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt (I used Kosher, so I added a little extra)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Place water in a small bowl and stir in the yeast.  Let stand 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugard and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil.  Stir until dough comes together and forms a ball.  Tur out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding as much of the remaining 1/4 clour as needed.  Form into a disk and place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil.  Turn disk over and cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. **SEE NOTE**

**NOTE:  If you find yourself making the dough on a cold day and don’t have a warm spot to place it, this is what I have done and it’s worked well.  I turn the oven to 200 degrees until just heated.  Turn off the oven and wait about 15 minutes.  Then I place the bowl with the dough, which I cover with a clean dish cloth, in the oven and allow to rise.  It will usually rise this way in less than an hour. 

TOPPING INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS:

  • 1 lb. Sweet or Hot Italian Bulk Sausage
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 1 1/4 Cups Pizza Sauce (Use your favorite here)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese (or as much as you and your family prefer)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large sauté pan, break up the sausage and brown completely.  This will take about 15 or more minutes.  You want to make sure the sausage is fully cooked and evenly browned. 

Once the sausage is done, remove it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. 

In the same pan that you just browned the sausage in, add the sliced onions and peppers.  Depending on how lean your sausage is, you may have enough excess grease left in the pan to cook up the onions and peppers.  If you don’t, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sauté the peppers and onions until just soft.

Take your risen dough and form it into whatever shape you prefer.  I did this in a 16″ pizza pan and it came out perfectly. 

Since the toppings are pre-cooked, I decided to pre-bake the crust for a few minutes before adding the toppings. 

Place the dough in the oven and allow to pre-bake for about 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven and top the crust with the pizza sauce, sausage, peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese. 

Return the pizza to the oven and cook until the top is bubbly, the cheese melted, and the crust is a golden brown.

Sometimes, if I feel like the bottom of the crust is not cooking to the crispness I like, I will slide the pizza off the pizza pan directly on the oven rack half way through the baking process and finish it that way.  If you are using a pizza stone, you won’t need to do this.

Once done, remove from the oven and allow to set for a few minutes.  Slice into 8 equal pieces using a pizza cutter and serve.  Enjoy!

I’ve shared this recipe over at Kim’s blog (Previously known as “Quit Eating Out”) “Recipes to Run On”.  Check out Kim’s site by clicking on the link below and view some other links to some great bloggers.

 

Sausage & Chicken Bake

The other day I decided to switch up my Sausage and Potatoes dish with a new twist.  I had some boneless chicken breasts waiting to be used and thought about what I could make with them.

I threw them all together with the sausage, potatoes, onions, and then added some roasted red peppers to the mix.  The final result was something my family truly enjoyed and a definite keeper.

Here is how to make it.

SAUSAGE & CHICKEN BAKE:

  • 8 Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage
  • 3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 5 – 6 Red Potatoes
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion, cut into large pieces
  • 1 – 12 oz. Jar Roasted Red Peppers, with the juice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Dried Basil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

 You will want to start the recipe a few hours before you are ready to bake it.  Overnight would work too. 

Begin cutting up the chicken breasts into equal bite size pieces.  Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag.  Slice the roasted red peppers into strips and add this to the chicken.  To the chicken peppers, add olive oil, garlic, onion, basil and the roasted red peppers.  Allow to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours, or overnight.

When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Leaving the skin on, cut each potato into equal size pieces and add to a large bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Cut each sausage link into 3 pieces and add it to the potatoes.  Dump in the entire contents of the chicken mixture to the potatoes and sausage and mix well. 

Add the entire mixture to a 13″ x 9″ baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake for one hour.  After an hour, turn the oven to 400 degrees and remove the foil.  Allow to continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sausage browns somewhat. 

Once done, remove from oven and enjoy.  

Pasta Ragu

This is a super easy one pot meal to make for your family.  My daughter looked and said she wasn’t eating it until I had to tell her it was “Cinderella Pasta”.  When she asked why it was Cinderella’s Pasta I told her because the wheels in the pasta came from Cinderella’s pumpkin coach.  I was grasping at straws to try to get her to try it and I knew once she did she would like it. 

Really, it’s more of a ragu than it is Cinderella’s anything.  I made this with diced tomatoes, bulk Italian sausage and ground beef.  Let the ragu simmer on the stove while you boil the pasta water and you have a filling meal ready in no time.  And, okay, I actually used two pots, but one had boiling water in it so I’m not counting it.

Pasta Ragu:

  • 1 lb. Bulk Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
  • (1) 14.5 oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • (1) 29  oz. Can Crushed Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 lb. Pasta such as Wheels, Penne, Bow Ties, etc.
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. Dry Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Diced
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese *optional

 In a large and deep skillet, brown the pork and beef breaking up as it browns.  Remove it to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Without washing the skillet, add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent.  Add the meat and all other ingredients to the skillet except for the pasta and the mozzarella cheese.  Stir together well, cover and reduce to a low simmer.

Fill a large stock pot 3/4 with water and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until just al dente.  Once done, drain the pasta, add to the skillet along with the mozzarella cheese and stir well.  Serve with garlic bread.

Enjoy!

I shared this recipe in the Saturday Swap over at Kim’s blog, Quit Eating Out

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Check it out here for more great recipes!

Chicken Cordon Bleu – Inside Out & Easy

I learned early on in my marriage that one of my husband’s favorite dishes was Chicken Cordon Bleu.  I also learned early on that it’s a pain in the neck to make.  Getting everything rolled up inside the chicken just perfectly, making sure to bread it fully so that everything doesn’t seep out.  After awhile I just didn’t make it anymore.

A few years ago I came up with the idea of making it easier.  I had boneless chicken breasts, swiss cheese and ham in the fridge and asked myself why it had to be “inside” the chicken instead of on top of the chicken.  So I made it that way, it took minutes to do and tasted just as good, if not better.  In fact the chicken being cooked in a thin layer made it not only easier but kept the chicken more moist.

Give this a try on a night when you are pressed for time and want something delicious but easy!

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU – INSIDE OUT!

  • 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of all fat and filet so that you end up with 8 pieces of chicken.
  • 8 Thin slices of deli ham. (I use Boar’s Head brand since I think it’s best)
  • 8 Slices Finlandia Swiss Cheese (or your favorite swiss cheese)
  • 1 Cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil for browning

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Set up your station to dip and coat your chicken breasts.  Add two eggs to a shallow pie pan and the milk.  Beat together until well blended.

Trim chicken breast of all fat, then filet so you have 8 pieces of chicken.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Dip each chicken breast in the egg/milk mixture, than coat in the breadcrumbs.

In a large skillet heat a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Once hot, begin browning the coated chicken breasts.  Do this in batches of three or four at a time.  Once you have some nice browning happening, remove from the pan and place in a large casserole dish in a single layer.  I used a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.

Place in a hot oven, uncovered, and allow to bake for 15 minutes, or until you are sure the chicken is fully cooked.  If the breasts are no more than 1″ thick you should be able to achieve this in 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and place a piece of ham and top with a piece of swiss cheese.  Return to the oven uncovered and allow to bake until the cheese is melted.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Pork Milanese & A Giveaway

UPDATE:

The contest has ended, and thanks to Random.Org a winner was selected.  Lisa from Sweet As Sugar Cookies was the #8 comment that was randomly selected.  Lisa has been notified and responded with her information and will be receiving her prize from My Blog Spark.  Thanks to everyone for entering!

 

I think by now I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m a lemon and lime freak, right?  I’ve shown you various recipes where either of these citrus fruits are a core ingredient and instead of adding the normal amount to the dish I always end up doubling, or even tripling the amount.  I can’t help it.  If a dish calls for lemon or lime I want that to be the dominant flavor.  It’s just the way I am.

Pork Milanese is one of my favorite dishes to cook up for so many reasons.  Besides it being delicious, it’s also simple, quick, and of course, filled with lemon flavor. 

Normally when I bread the pork chops I use seasoned Italian Bread Crumbs. But ever since the wave of Panko has hit the store shelves I find myself either using Panko in place of bread crumbs, or as an accompinament to the breadcrumbs. 

Then of course I add the lemon and heaven begins to sing down on my plate. 

But, Progresso came out with not only their own line of Panko, but a Lemon-Pepper version.  Insane.  When the folks over at My Blog Spark
gave me the opportunity to try out this new Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko I knew just what I wanted to try with it!  To me it was the perfect addition to this dish because it infused even more lemon flavor into the dish.  Not to mention the additional crunch it added to these chops! 

If you are a lemon lover, give this one a try.  It’s easy and delicious!

PORK MILANESE:

Serves 4

  • 4 boneless pork loin chops about 1 1/2″ thick
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups Progresso Lemon-Pepper Panko
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste *see note
  • fresh lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In three shallow bowls or pie plates add the following; one with the Panko and parmesan cheese, one with the egg and milk and one with the flour.

Begin by dredging each pork chop through the flour, then the egg and then the Panko.  Make sure to press the Panko into each chop well.   Allow the chops to rest on a plate for a few minutes.

In a heavy cast iron pan (or other frying pan that is safe for oven use), add the oil and butter and allow to heat up. 

Once hot, fry each pork chop on each side until golden brown. Once done, transfer the pan to the oven and allow to cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve immediately with lots of fresh lemon wedges!

*Note* I recommend using any additional salt and pepper in this dish sparingly.  The Panko and the parmesan cheese really already has enough salt in them.  I actually didn’t find the need to add any additional salt or pepper to this dish before or after cooking. 

Enjoy!

Now for the giveaway!

Thanks to the wonderful folks over at My Blog Spark
and General Mills, they’ve made this giveaway possible.  And they not only sent a gift of each of these to me, but they will send another to one of my readers who wins!

If you’ve ever watched Michael Chiarello on Food Network you know all about the beautiful food he serves up.  He has a new cookbook out and you get the opportunity to win an autographed copy of it, along with a package of Progresso’s Lemon-Pepper Panko.  This cookbook is gorgeous and BIG.  There is definitely something for everyone in here to enjoy.  It’s gorgeous. 

 What do you need to do to win?  Simple.  You have the opportunity to enter twice each day during the duration of the giveaway.   I’m running this giveaway for a week so that gives you up to 14 chances to enter.

HOW TO ENTER EACH DAY: 

  1. Each day leave one comment telling me what you are eating that day or what you wish you were eating that day!
  2. Each day Tweet about this giveaway and leave me one comment with the link to your Tweet each day.
  3. Be sure to include your email address with EACH entry on EACH day so I can contact you if you win!

THE RULES:

  1. This contest for residents in the Continental United States only. 
  2. The winner will be contacted within two days of the close of the giveaway and will have two days to contact me via email with their mailing information so their package can be mailed out.  Failure to do this within that time frame will result in my picking a new winner.
  3. Your prize will be sent to you from My Blog Spark, not Bored Cook in the Kitchen.  Please allow a few weeks for delivery.
  4. No entries after 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, November  18, 2010.
  5. The winner will be randomly selected within two days of the close of the giveaway.

Disclosure:  This giveaway was generously provided through My Blog Spark and General Mills.  Neither My Blog Spark or General Mills is paying me for this review or giveaway.  Michael Chiarello has no idea I’m offering this giveaway or who I am, but I think he’s cute!

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