Archive for Pork

Sausage, Potato & Feta Empanadas

Source: Clean Eating Magazine, November/December 2011

Loved how these tasted, and how nicely they came together. I did freeze the extra and thawed them, and they were just as good the second time around!

Makes: 8 empanadas
Hands-on Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins

1 lrg Yukon Gold Potato, peeled and cut into 6 equal pieces
7 oz raw lean turkey sausage, casing removed **
1 yellow onion diced
4 oz low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
1 lb frozen whole-wheat dough, thawed (make your own)

**I used Continental Sausage Uncured Kolbasa 12 oz.

In a medium saucepan, add potato and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl and coarsely mash with a potato masher. Set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high and mist with cooking spray. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook,stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and edges are light golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl with potatoes; add feta and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper and set aside until cool.

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust a flat work surface and rolling pin with flour. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces and for each into a ball. Flatten dough balls and roll each into 1/8-inch thick circles. Transfer to baking sheet and spoon 1/3 cup turkey-potato mixture onto center of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Lightly brush edges with water and fold over filling to form half-circles. Crimp edges gently with a fork to seal and lightly mist tops with cooking spray. Baked for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

After sealing dough with a fork, simply place your unbaked empanadas on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. Transfer to re-sealable bags or containers until needed. To cook, mist tops of empanadas with cooking spray and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 400F for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and heated through.


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Ragu-Stuffed Peppers

Source: Food Network, December 2010

I loved being able to use the leftovers from Fettuccine With Quick Ragu.

4 bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
About 3 cups leftover ragu*
1/2 cup couscous**
3/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup grated asiago or fontina cheese
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons tomato paste

*Use leftover ragu from Fettuccine With Quick Ragu
**I used 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the bell pepper halves with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave until the peppers soften, 10 to 12 minutes. I skipped this step.

If using quinoa – take 1/4 cup quinoa and 1/2 cup water. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for an additional 6 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with fork. Set aside.

Meanwhile, mix the ragu, couscous (or quinoa), raisins, 1/2 cup cheese, 3 teaspoons vinegar, the parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.

Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon vinegar, the tomato paste and 3/4 cup water in the bottom of a large nonreactive baking dish. Carefully transfer the peppers, cut-side up, to the baking dish and fill with the couscous mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Cover the dish with foil and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot, about 20 minutes. Transfer to plates and drizzle with the cooking liquid from the dish.

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Fettuccine With Quick Ragu

Source: Food Network, December 2010

I love this meal, and the fact that the leftovers can be used in Ragu-Stuffed Peppers. My modification is listed below.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 onion
1 stalk celery, cut into 4 pieces
1 small carrot, cut into 4 pieces
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground veal or turkey **
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup whole milk
12 ounces fettuccine
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving

**I used 1/2 lb ground beef and 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage casings removed.

Pulse the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and rosemary in a food processor until finely chopped.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the meat, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, milk, 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the fettuccine as the label directs. Drain the pasta, then toss with half of the ragu (about 3 cups). Top with parmesan. Reserve the remaining ragu to make stuffed peppers.

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Rush-hour Pork Stir-fry

Source: Kraft Foods

Absolutely loved this and loved how fast it was to make. You can substitute boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs for the pork. Plus you can use the leftover Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing for Firecracker Chicken Stir-Fry.

prep time -10 min
total time – 23 min
makes -4 servings, 1-1/2 cups each

1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into strips*
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen stir-fry vegetables (yellow, red and green peppers, onions)**
1/4 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
2 Tbsp. lite soy sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups broccoli slaw

*I used thin boneless pork chops
** I used an asparagus stir-fry mix. Next time I’ll just slice up pepper and onions.


HEAT large skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add meat; stir-fry 5 min. or until lightly browned.

ADD stir-fry vegetables; stir-fry 5 min. or until heated through. Stir in dressing, soy sauce and garlic powder; cook on medium heat 2 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

STIR in broccoli slaw.

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Bistro Lentils with Smoked Sausage

Source: 400 Best Comfort Food Recipes by Johanna Burkhard

I made this dish in about 30 minutes and loved it. I’ve added my changes in the ingredients list, and tips at the bottom.

Serves: 6

3-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used vegetable broth)
1/2 tsp dried leaf thyme
1-1/2 cups uncooked green lentils, rinsed (see Tips, below)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup diced fennel or celery (I used celery, about 2 stalks)
1 red bell pepper, diced (I used a green one)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 oz smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch (1-cm) chunks (I used Ham)
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, bring stock to a boil over high heat. Add thyme and lentils. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until lentils are just tender but still hold their shape, from 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots and fennel. Stir often for 8 minutes. Add red pepper. Stir often just until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar, then remove from heat.

Add vegetables and smoked sausage to lentils in saucepan; season with pepper to taste. Cover and cook until sausage is hot, about 5 minutes. Add more stock or water, if needed, to prevent lentils from sticking. Stir in parsley.

This dish will keep well for 3 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen for up to 3 months.

The smaller-sized green Laird lentils hold their shape in cooking and are the kind preferred for this recipe.

Any kind of smoked sausage or ham works well.

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Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Sweet Peppers

Source: 400 Best Comfort Food Recipes by Johanna Burkhard

Vegetarian Version: Omit the sausages

penneThis is one yummy dish.  I loved the taste of the hot and mild sausage mix. This makes six servings and freezes and thaws well.

Use a 13-by-9 baking dish, lightly greased.

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
12 oz hot or mild Italian sausages
3 bell peppers (assorted colours)*
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes or to taste
1 can (28 oz) plum tomatoes, including juice, chopped
1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (optional)**
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
12 oz. penne or other small tube-shaped pasta
1.5 cups grated Fontina or mozzarella cheese (I used mozz)
1/3 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (I used Parm)

*I used 2 bell peppers and a zucchini
**I didn’t use

Variation: Add 1/3 cup (75mL) small black olives to the sauce along with parsley for an added dimension of flavour.

Prick skins of sausages with a fork.  In large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat; cook sausages for 5 minutes or until browned on all sides.  (Sausages will not be cooked through).  Remove from pan, cut into slices and reserve.

Add remaining oil to pan.  Add peppers, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and hot pepper flakes; cook, stirring often, for 7 minutes or until softened.

Return sausage slices to pan along with canned tomatoes with juice and sun-dried tomatoes, if using.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.  Stir in parsley.  Adjust seasoning with salt, if necessary.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot until tender but firm.  Drain well.  Place half of the cooked pasta in prepared baking dish.  Pour in half of the sauce.  Layer again with remaining pasta and top with remaining sauce.

In a bowl, combine Fontina and Romano cheeses; sprinkle over top of casserole.  Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly coloured.

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Curried Beef Short Ribs

Source: Cooking Light  March 2009

Curried RibsWhen I first read this I thought it might be cumbersome, but it wasn’t. I’ve included some of my modifications. I accidentally bought baby back pork ribs– I chalk it up to lack of sleep, but it was still tasty.

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup minced shallots ++
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons red curry paste +++
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon grated lime rind ++++
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 cups hot cooked basmati rice

++I used 1/2 a red onion
+++ I used 2 TEASPOONS, curry paste is very hot!
++++ I didn’t use, I just used another tsp of lime juice.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ribs with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add half of ribs to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place ribs in an electric slow cooker. Repeat procedure with remaining ribs.

Add shallots, garlic, and ginger to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water and curry paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce. Add coconut milk mixture to cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours.

Remove ribs from cooker; keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a colander over a bowl; discard solids. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, rind, and juice. Shred rib meat with 2 forks; discard bones. Serve sauce over ribs and rice.

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