New Year’s Hoppin’ John

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Ingredients

8 oz pork tenderloin
2 Roma tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/2 cup water
1 cup jambalaya rice mix (half a 12 oz package)
1 can (about 15 oz) black-eyed peas

Cut pork into bite-size pieces and chop tomatoes. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Salute pork until browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Move pork to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully add water to pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in jambalaya and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse and drain peas. When rice is done, turn off heat and stir in pork, tomatoes and peas. Cover with lid and let sit off heat 5 minutes.

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Holiday Favorites

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I had a lot of fun cooking up some holiday favorites this year. I love cooking traditional dishes as well as some new ones. Below are some pictures of some dishes I made.

Links to some recipes on my blog

Egg Casserole

Pork Tenderloin

Dick Clarks Corn Fritters

Cranberry Cheesecake Squares

Dick Clarks Corn Fritters

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INGREDIENTS
1 15 ounce can creamed corn
4 large eggs
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
Cooking spray
Unsalted butter, melted, for serving
DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, combine the creamed corn, eggs, frozen corn and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the flour gradually, whisking constantly to avoid lumps, until just combined.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Drop tablespoonfuls of the corn mixture into the pan to form small pancakes. Cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with the melted butter.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Cranberry Quinoa

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • CHICKEN:
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry  
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add quinoa and thyme. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork. Discard thyme.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add green onions and celery; cook and stir until tender. Add cooked quinoa. Stir in the dried fruits, lemon juice, lemon peel and salt.
  3. In a large saucepan, mix the first six chicken ingredients until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until slightly thickened. Add the apple, cranberries and walnuts. Stir in preserves and butter until melted.
  4. Cut a pocket horizontally in the thickest part of each chicken breast. Fill each with 2-3 tablespoons quinoa mixture; secure with toothpicks. Place remaining quinoa mixture in a greased 1-qt. baking dish; cover with foil. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Carefully brown stuffed chicken on both sides. Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. baking dish; pour apple mixture over top.
  5. Bake chicken and quinoa, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 170° and quinoa is heated through. Serve chicken with quinoa. Discard toothpicks before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

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Roasted Pork Tenderloin

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INGREDIENTS
2 large cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 trimmed pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each), at room temperature

IMG_7047-2DIRECTIONS
Position a rack near the bottom of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees . Mince together the garlic, salt, sage and pepper. In a small bowl, combine with the oil. Rub all over the meat and place the tenderloins side by side but not touching in the smallest roasting pan that will hold them. Roast for 10 minutes, flip over and roast again until the internal temperature registers 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 8 minutes more. Let rest for about 10 minutes (the internal temperature should reach 160 degrees ). Slice into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

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Cranberry Cheesecake Squares

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INGREDIENTS
2 cups (5 to 6 ounces) crushed chocolate graham crackers
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 packages (1 pound total) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons orange or lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups (about 8 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange or lemon peel

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DIRECTIONS
Line a 9-inch square baking dish with a 14-inch-long piece of foil or parchment paper and grease the foil. In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and 2 tablespoons sugar. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Freeze for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, the orange juice and vanilla at medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream and mix at low speed until blended, then beat at medium-high speed until thick and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the crumbs. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
In a saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water, the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and the cranberries to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice. Lower the heat and simmer until the cranberries begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a small bowl and stir in the orange peel. Refrigerate while the cheesecake is chilling.
Holding the ends of the foil, pull the cheesecake out of the pan. Cut into 9 squares. Spoon the cranberry sauce onto the cheesecake.

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Tamales

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DSC04713tamale is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa, which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. It can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables or chilies.

I’m a huge tamale lover. It’s traditional for me to pick up a dozen or two before Christmas. I get them either from some of the hispanic ladies at my work or from Aunt Chilada’s. Every year before Christmas, Food City puts on this Tamale Festival. My mother wanted to go and we hung out and ate some good tamales while soaking in the hispanic culture.