Ancho-Cherry Pork Chops

My husband loves pork chops.¬† I’m not a fan so I don’t cook them often.

He bought me a pretty necklace so tonight he’s getting pork chops ūüėČ

Pressure Cooked Ancho-Cherry Pork Chops

  • 4¬† Bone in Trimmed Pork Chops about 3/4 inch thick
  • 2¬† TBLS Coconut Oil
  • 6¬† Pieces Thick Cut Bacon
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Dark Sweet Cherries
  • 1¬† Medium Pasilla Chili (Poblano)
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Fischer & Wieser Smokey Ancho Cherry Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Set¬†the pressure cooker to “Brown” and add the coconut oil
  2. Seed and chop the chili into small pieces
  3. Using kitchen shears, cut the bacon into about 1″ chunks
  4. Add the bacon and chili to the pressure cooker
  5. With the lid open, let the bacon brown and the chili soften (about 8 minutes)
  6. Add the frozen cherries and stir until they defrost
  7. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and water
  8. Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper
  9.  Brush both sides of the pork chops with he Ancho-Cherry Sauce
  10. Layer the pork chops into the pressure cooker then close and lock lid
  11. Set machine to high
  12. When pressure cooker reaches temperature, cook for 10 minutes
  13. Unplug machine and immediately release the pressure with manual release button

To serve:¬† Put a¬†scoop of rice or quinoa in the center of the plate.¬† Pile some of the drained Braised Red Cabbage (yesterday’s recipe) on top of the rice/quinoa then place a pork chop on top of the cabbage.¬† Spoon some of the cooking juices, cherries, chilies and bacon onto the pork chop and serve immediately.

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Did You Know…?

freezer_openThere are many foods I didn’t know could be frozen, saving me¬†from the inevitable time when I need something like buttermilk, which I never have on hand when I come across a recipe that calls for it.¬† Learning this led me on an internet search to see what other seldomly stocked foods can be frozen for use later.

You Can Safely Freeze:

  • Buttermilk:¬† Fill an empty ice cube tray.¬† Freeze overnight and transfer frozen cubes to a freezer bag.¬† Keeps up to 3 months and each cube slot measures 1 ounce (1/8th of a Cup)
  • Bananas:¬† Freeze them overnight when they are at their ripest point¬†(when skin is browning but not going bad) in their skins. Using a sharp knife slice the frozen bananas in half lengthwise and peel off the skins.¬† Store in freezer bags for use in smoothies.¬† Homemade Frozen Bananas:¬†Put two frozen halves together with a popsicle stick between them and coat with melted chocolate. Immediately sprinkle with/roll in¬†nuts, coconut, or rainbow/other sprinkles and place on a pan lined with waxed paper.¬† Freeze an hour or two and enjoy for dessert.
  • Butter: This is particularly good to know since I rarely need unsalted butter and buy it 1 pound at a time (4 – 1/2 Cup cubes) when it’s on sale.¬† Now I can cut cubes in¬†half ¬†(1/4 C portions) and freeze them in freezer bags for later use!
  • Cheese: Don’t freeze whole chunks – it crumbles when you defrost and try to slice it.¬† Instead grate or shred it and freeze in 1 Cup portions in zip bags for recipes at a later date.
  • Eggs:¬† Remove the shells and freeze individually in snack sized zip bags.¬† You can also freeze egg whites separately from their yolks. ¬†I’d recommend marking the bags with the number of egg whites or whole eggs you freeze per bag to make using later easier.¬† Frozen “pre-made”¬†omelettes:¬† In a large measuring cup crack the desired number of eggs and whisk .¬† Stir in 2 TBLS milk,¬†1/4 Cup each chopped bell pepper (or any pepper you desire) and¬†chopped ham (bacon, turkey, chicken breast, ground beef, sausage, etc.) and 2 TBLS chopped onion (if desired).¬† Pour into sandwich sized zip bags and freeze until needed.¬†Great weekday breakfast option.¬† You can remove a bag to the refrigerator the night before to thaw,¬†pour into a preheated pan to cook, sprinkle with a bit of frozen grated cheese¬†& eat right before running out the door the next morning.
  • Garlic: Separate cloves but leave skin on and freeze in a doubled zip bag to keep freezer odor free.
  • Wine:¬† Unlike hard alcohol, wine does freeze solid.¬† Freeze¬†in 1 ounce portions in an ice cube tray and transfer to a freezer bag to use in sauces or other recipes.
  • Yogurt: Measure it into 2 to 4 TBLS (aka 2 to 4 oz or 1/4 to 1/2 Cup) portions and freeze in zip bags.¬† Don’t forget to mark the bags for later recipe use.
  • Lunch meat: Can be safely frozen in zip bags for up to 2 months.
  • Bread:¬† You can freeze a loaf of sliced bread for up to 3 months and you don‚Äôt even need to thaw it before eating it.¬†The freezer is a better storage option than the fridge, which can dry bread out.
  • ¬†Milk / Half¬†& Half:¬† Milk can be frozen for 3 months.¬† Half & half stays good for 4 months in the freezer, but never freeze heavy cream.¬† Cream doesn’t freeze well at all.¬† I never understood why my mother-in-law always shook the milk before pouring out of the carton, now I do!¬† She kept it frozen in the chest freezer in the garage and was breaking up the ice.
  • Grains:¬† Quinoa, farro and bulgur¬†last 3 months in the cupboard but up to 6 months in the freezer!
  • Tofu:¬† Chop it in chunks and freeze for up to 5 months to add to smoothies, soups, stews, etc.
  • Tortillas:¬† That at room temperature, not in the microwave.

Important things to remember about freezing any food are:

  • Make sure you are using a bag or container meant for freezer use to ward off freezer burn, keep smells from escaping into the freezer, and keep your food fresher longer
  • Remember to mark the date frozen as well as the last date you should use the food directly on the bag or on a piece of tape¬†with a permanent marker.
  • Don’t over stuff your freezer.¬† A well organized freezer gives you the ability to easily see what you have on hand and¬†helps food freeze faster/stay frozen because cooled air can flow between and around the packages.

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

What Goes With Quinoa?

So my first foray into pressure cooking went off without me getting maimed or burned, so I guess I’ll be using my new toy again soon!¬†¬†I made a huge batch of quinoa that turned out light, fluffy and quite tasty.¬†¬†Just one problem: we¬†aren’t big eaters of any grain at dinner time outside of rice, so I was left at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my big bowl of quinoa.

lemonchickenquinoaThe cupboards, refrigerator and freezer were rather bare due to the two week vacation we had just returned from, so I was left with very few options.  A lemon, Roma tomato, small avocado, a bag of frozen edamame, and 1/2 lb of frozen diced chicken breast were all I could salvage to throw together some kind of dinner hearty enough to satisfy my husband.

Lemon Chicken with Avocado & Tomato Quinoa

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa (See yesterday’s post)
  • 1 Small Roma Tomato (diced)
  • 1 Small Ripe Avocado (diced)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Shelled Edamame (Soybeans) Cooked
  • Juice of 1 Large Lemon
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lb Fresh Diced Chicken Breast
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Dill
  • 1/8 tsp +/- Arrowroot (to thicken the sauce)
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper

Juice the lemon, stir in the arrowroot and set aside.  In a medium frying pan, heat 2 TBLS olive oil and the minced garlic over medium-high heat.  Add the diced chicken, season with freshly ground sea salt and pepper, and brown for about 2 minutes per side.  Add the edamame, dill, cayenne pepper and lemon juice mixture to the pan and continue cooking about 3 minutes until edamame and chicken are done and sauce is well incorporated.

Spoon about 1/2 Cup of the cooked quinoa and about 1/3 of the chicken mixture into a bowl. Top with the diced avocado and tomatoes and add more ground pepper to taste.

Light enough for my post-vacation diet yet hearty enough that 2 bowls satisfied my husband’s appetite.¬† Win-Win!

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood