Grilled Pork Chops with Basil and Garlic Rub

dinner, pork | May 4, 2016 | By

We are in the midst of state testing, and things have been quite hectic!  On the other hand we are ready to do back flips because the school year is almost over.  I don’t know who is happiest that summer vacation is just a couple weeks away…them or me. 🙂 

Despite the chaos, Chef Fresh and Chef Jess have still managed to throw down in the kitchen.  Clearly, they don’t care that  I have to fit into a bathing suit at some point in the next few weeks.  lol  I guess I could refrain from piling a man’s portion onto my plate.  Who am I kidding?  I have absolutely no will power when eating my young chefs’ creations.  Tonight’s meal was no different!  Chef Jess designed the menu….Grilled thick cut and marinated pork chops served on top of a warm baby asparagus and cherry tomato salad. Yum! 🙂
    pork next

As usual, the conversation was lively as we prepped the food.  This time we spent quite a bit of time talking about the high points and low points of this past school year.  Chef Jess quickly added that her favorite moment was being elected School Council President.  When asked why, she giggled and said because her grandfather now refers to her as “Madame President.”  This is the point in the conversation when Chef Fresh groaned. 🙂 He eventually shared that his high points were getting countless A’s, and making the decision to get baptized on August 30, 2015.  I couldn’t agree more!  I cried like a baby…..

justin baptized

Both chefs agreed that the worst part of the year was losing our grandmamma.  They had an amazing bond with her, and no longer being able to see her has been impactful.  We recalled our favorite memories, and laughed out loud.  My mom was quite a character, and her energy fills our hearts.  In fact…she’s the reason why we each have such a love for cooking.

pork new

It’s been quite a year, filled with tears, love, laughter…and cooking.  In fact, cooking has been our therapy through it all.  Hmmm…. Wait a minute!!!  Cooking therapy sounds like a really fun group that I should be running with students.  Huh.  Let me work on those logistics, but in the mean time….please enjoy Chef Jess’ pork chops and asparagus.  ♥

Faith, Family, Food…    In that order

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Grilled Pork Chops with Basil and Garlic Rub
An easy recipe that is truly a crowd pleaser! The garlic and basil marinade infuses the pork chops with endless flavor notes.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
For Pork Chops
  1. •4 bone-in pork loin chops, 3/4-inch thick
  2. •6 garlic cloves, peeled
  3. •1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  4. •2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  5. •1 teaspoon cumin
  6. •1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. •1/3 cup ketchup
  8. •2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  9. •1 teaspoon coarse salt
  10. •1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For Asparagus
  1. •1 bunch Baby Asparagus
  2. •2 pats of butter
  3. •3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  4. •2 Shallots
  5. •juice of 1/2 a lemon
  6. •1 tsp grated lemon skin
  7. •1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  8. •salt and pepper (to taste)
For Pork Chops
  1. Use a food processor to mince garlic. Add fresh basil, and process until chopped. Add lemon juice, cumin. ketchup, oil, salt, and pepper and process to make a thin wet rub. Spread both sides of pork chops with basil mixture. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes...OR more.
  2. Light grill and heat. Make sure to oil grate. Grill for 6 minutes per side, and let rest for 3-5 minutes.
For Asparagus
  1. Wash and trim asparagus. Warm butter in a skillet and cook garlic and shallots until fragrant. Add asparagus, lemon juice, grated lemon, salt and pepper. Toss, and cook until asparagus is slightly tender. (approx. 10 minutes) Add sliced cherry tomatoes to warm through.
To Serve
  1. Place a mound of the asparagus salad on a plate and top with a pork chop.
Together Three Chef http://togetherthreechef.com/
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Best Burger Ever

bacon, burger, dinner, lunch | March 4, 2016 | By

Have you ever had a burger that makes you want to stomp your feet and fist bump the person sitting next to you? That’s exactly what we did the first time we ate at Grease Burger Bar in West Palm Beach, FL a few years ago.  I remember biting into the Sweet Caroline burger for the first time, and thinking that it was simply the most amazing thing I had tasted in a very long time.  It’s topped with Vermont White Cheddar, bacon, and sweet barbecue sauce, and I always add the onion jam for an extra awesome kick.  Chef Jess and Chef Fresh usually build their own, but like to keep it simple…with the emphasis on the meat (which is so incredibly juicy!)

 newest Burger1

We try to make a pit stop each time we’re in town, but it’s usually several months before we’re able to.  That’s an eternity for burger lovers like us.  Sooo….. we have worked really hard to come up with a recipe that truly rivals our beloved Grease burgers! 

We started by creating a list of what we LOVE in a burger.  Juiciness was top on the list because we all agreed that a dry burger is “a waste of meat.”  Chef Jess said that the cheese choice is big on her list, while Chef Fresh added that bacon is a non-negotiable.  My big thing is texture, and I like a bit of a crunch in my burger which can come from crisp lettuce.  But I really wanted to add crispy fried red onions for an extra pop of crunch. 🙂 

 

newburger7

(more…)

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Red Wine Braised Lamb

dinner | December 18, 2015 | By

The holidays have come and gone, and there is so much that has transpired…in the kitchen. 😉  We have been branching out and experimenting with different foods!  Chef Jess pulled me aside a week before Christmas, and with a super-duper serious look on her face exclaimed, “We really have to get our menu together!”  Talk about a role reversal!  So together we brainstormed, and came up with a smorgasbord of main dishes, sides, and hors d’oeuvres. 

One of the highlights was this simple, yet AMAZINGLY DELICIOUSLY SCUMPTIOUS Lamb dish.  Everything is done in one pot, and all the flavors melt in such a way that makes it seem like you slaved over the stove.  The truth is that you can simply forget about it once it’s in the oven.  Read a book, paint your nails…or, oh yah…take time to have a heart-to-heart with your young chefs.  That’s what I opted for.  🙂  Chef Jess talked incessantly about…well…EVERYTHING that’s girly.  (Clothes, shoes, friends, hair, nails…blah, blah, blahbedy, blah)  LOL!  It’s actually funny to watch her talk like talking might be outlawed at any moment.  But, our conversation became much deeper when Chef Fresh chimed in.  He has no patience for her endless chatter, so he felt obligated to cut her off.  (Teenagers!)  But in this instance, it was actually okay.  Let me explain…

He brought up a video we watched earlier in the day that was quite moving.  I don’t want to ruin it for you, so I won’t go in depth about the content.  But, please know that it will pull at your heartstrings.  It did for me, and it apparently also did for my (sometimes) temperamental teenager.  He simply stated…”I would do that for you Mommy.”  That’s all it took for the waterworks to begin.  My lesson in the moment is that sometimes our teens push and pull, but the foundation that we create absolutely helps to form their character.

 Oh, ok…about the Lamb. lol!  You will want to trim away the fattiness if your meat has too much of it.  We find that this is what makes it taste kinda…well..too “lamby.”  Give it a healthy dusting of salt and pepper on all sides.  Massage all that goodness in!  Sear it in coconut oil, and brown it on all sides.  That’s the hard work. 🙂  Next, you will just need to add all the other ingredients, and put it in the oven.  How easy!!!

Lamb in oven

Lamb in oven

Take the pot out of the oven when cooked, and take a second to look at how beautiful your creation is!!!!  Let it rest for a while, and then remove the rosemary, thymes, and oregano sprigs.  The sauce will be sooo deliciously rustic that you’ll want to put it on EVERYTHING.

Cooked Lamb 3

 

Plate it to your liking by adding any starch that you love.  Potatoes, rice, and polenta are some options for you.  However, we decided to lighten the dish by serving it with brussel sprouts.  Enjoy this dish which ever way you choose!  The lamb is your star item, and your guests will love you for sharing it with them.

John 15:12….. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Faith, Family, Food…    In that order.

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Bon appétit,

 

 

 

 

 

Braised Leg of Lamb
An elegant dish with such depth of flavor! The leg of lamb is braised in red wine and fresh herbs. It's a perfectly rustic and hearty meal for any day!
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Ingredients
  1. 5 pound leg of lamb (bone in or out)
  2. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  4. 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  5. 2 cups of Mommy's favorite Red Wine
  6. 1 small 6 ounce can tomato paste
  7. 4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
  8. 3/4 cup golden raisins
  9. 3/4 cup currants
  10. 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  11. 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  12. 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  13. 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  14. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. 1.Make sure to preheat oven to 325°F. Generously season the leg of lamb with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, heat the coconut oil on high. Place the seasoned lamb in the pot and sear each side until dark brown.
  2. 2.Once the lamb is finished browning, turn off heat and add wine, tomato paste, tomatoes, raisins, cilantro, currants, garlic cloves, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Stir to combine. Cover and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour on 325°F. Then reduce heat to 275°F and braise for another 3 hours.
  3. 3.Once the lamb is finished, remove it from the oven. You will want to remove the rosemary, thyme, and oregano sprigs from the stock. The sauce will be nice and thick and rustic looking. Of course, add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. 4.The lamb is super duper tender, and will literally melt in your mouth. Serve with sauce and garnish with raisins and currants. (It makes the plate really pretty.)
Notes
  1. This meat dish pairs well with all types of starches (ie. rice, potatoes, polenta) However, we served ours with pan seared brussel sprouts for a slightly lighter meal. 🙂
Together Three Chef http://togetherthreechef.com/

 

 

Plated Lamb 1

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