Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Chops and Cheddar Grit Cakes with Roasted Peppers

I am not from the South. I was raised in MD but few people will consider it "the South". Therefore I didn't grow up eating grits. I really never had grits until today in fact. I was able to plan ahead and dinner came together in a snap. I would have made my peppers in advance too and then the the whole thing would have taken 10 minutes or so but we were very busy, so it took us a little longer.

Today I really stuck to the recipe. Measuring, not eyeballing and portion control. I guess being back on Weight Watchers it is important to do this. I still haven't really gotten into most of the WW recipes but Cooking Light rarely lets me down. My question? Is the nutritional infomation accurate in their recipes? If you know the answer feel free to post.

Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Chops (serves 2) (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 (6-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops
Cooking spray
  1. Combine first 9 ingredients; rub over both sides of pork.
  2. Heat a non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.
  3. Add pork; cook for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 8 minutes or until done, turning occasionally.
  4. Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes.
The pork was really good, although it was a little burnt (but I like it that way). Luckily it was just the heat being too high, inside it was cooked perfectly. I thought the grit cakes made a lovely side dish. I made the grits on Sunday night and I plan to take the rest of the leftovers for lunch this week.

Cheddar Grit Cakes with Roasted Peppers (4 servings) (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking (instant) grits (although if My Cousin Vinny has taught me anything it's that "No self respecting Southerner uses instant grits")
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Cooking spray
3 medium red bell peppers (can use a variety, yellow/orange but not green), roasted, peeled and cut into strips
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. To prepare grits, bring the milk and broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Stir in grits and jalapeño. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thick.
  3. Stir in the cheese; cook until cheese melts. Spread grits into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray; cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or until set. I had to wait from Sunday night until Tuesday and they were fine.
  4. Combine roasted red peppers, oil, vinegar, coriander, and salt; toss well.
  5. Cut grits into 4 squares. Cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles.
  6. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add triangles; cook until lightly browned.
  7. Serve pepper mixture over grit cakes.
I thought these were delicious! However J thought they were bland, but he didn't put the peppers on his and I think it really needs them.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Miso Glazed Cod with Stir-fried Bok choy and Onions

I have been gone a long time. I don't know what happened but I just didn't feel like blogging. I didn't want to write. I don't necessarily think I'll be doing a lot of blogging in the next few months because I have decided to take one of my grad classes during the Spring semester.

In addition to classes, my family has restarted the Biggest Loser contest and I have recommitted to Weight Watchers. This particular recipe was last night's dinner and as always no matter what I think of her personally Martha Stewart's recipes rarely disappoint. I have never worked with miso before and it was not what I expected when bought it. Although called white miso it is really the color of brown sugar and the consistency was larger grains than I had imagined. On that note it was really easy to work with. Unfortunately J informed me that could I please not put sauces on the fish he eats (this was more of a glaze than a sauce). I had also never made cod before but having eaten it the night before at Bricco, I had a decent idea of what it should be for not overcooked.

Miso Glazed Cod with Stir-fried Bok choy and Onions (adapted from Martha Stewart)
Serves 2

12 oz skinless cod

1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)

1/4 cup white miso paste
1/4 cup sugar

Cooking spray

1/2 sweet onion, cut into chunks
3 heads baby bok choy, sliced thickly
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp peanut oil (or canola oil)
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame oil

  1. In a small saucepan, combine mirin, miso, and sugar. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
  2. Heat broiler, with rack 6 inches from heat. Spray a baking dish with oil.
  3. Place fish in dish, and brush liberally with miso mixture. Reserve 1/2 the mixture for the bok choy.
  4. Broil until fillets are browned on top and opaque in the center, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile heat peanut oil in a wok on high heat. Add onion and stir fry 2 minutes.
  6. Add bok choy and stir fry another 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce and miso and cook until half the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Add seeds and oil and serve bok choy with cod.