What’s for supper? Vol. 231: Beef fajita bowls! Harvest chicken salad! Improved Instant Pot risotto! and endless pizza

How much pizza did we consume this week? All de pizza! Starting with Aldi pizza, ho ho ho.

SATURDAY
Aldi pizza

Like I said. 

SUNDAY
Pork chops, risotto

I was still feeling pretty punk on Sunday (health report: I do not have covid or pneumonia. I have Nonspecific Virus That Takes Forever to Recover From, plus massive reflux causing shortness of breath and chest pain, plus fluid in my ears), so I spent nine and a half hours trying to order food from Instacart. First they delivered it to the wrong house, but never texted me, so the food sat there for hours before I realized what had happened. Then they told me they could simply reorder the food, and I’d have it in two hours. Three hours later, they said: Oops, actually we don’t have any shoppers, but we can totally get it to you sometime tomorrow.

So I cancelled the second order, and they handsomely promised to refund my money within five days. BOO. This is my first bad Instacart experience. So I got to spend all day on Sunday shopping but not getting food, and then also go shopping on Monday. 

Luckily, we had pork chops and rice in the house (because when I say I don’t feel up to shopping, I mean I only feel up to going to two stores, not three), so I made this rather lackluster meal of broiled pork chops and Instant Pot risotto with Random Cucumbers. I think the dirty countertop really sells it. 

The yellow is duck sauce, which helped a bit. The fancy plate is because all the other plates were dirty.

The risotto actually turned out great, pretty darn close to laborious stovetop risotto. I increased the cook time by a minute, and it came wonderfully creamy. I also sautéed the rice in olive oil and then added extra butter along with the broth and wine, and that did not hurt one bit. 

Jump to Recipe

 

MONDAY
Harvest chicken salad

Monday we had a sort of Thanksgiving Lite Preview: Salad topped with pieces of roast chicken, dried cranberries, green apples, toasted pecans, blue cheese, and a balsamic fig dressing. It was so tasty and harvest-y. Bringing in the sheaves and whatnot.

Then I was struck with sudden pangs of guilt because I was serving my family “just salad” (even though you can barely see any green struggling away under the load of toppings). I happened to have a dozen graham cracker pie shells I bought on a whim a few weeks ago, and a can of pumpkin puree with a recipe on the label, and some heavy cream, so I made these cute little pies to serve along with dinner.

The kids were delighted. Yes, I will buy their love with pie. 

TUESDAY
Hot dogs, chips

Not even the good kind of hot dog! *shakes fist at Instacart*

WEDNESDAY
Fajita beef bowls

I hereby announce, proclaim, declare, set forth, and otherwise shriek that I know “fajita” originally referred to a certain cut of steak, and then began to mean grilled strips of meat served on a tortilla. So you will see that, because there is neither skirt steak nor tortillas in this dish, it doesn’t really makes sense to call these “fajita bowls.” But I don’t know what else to call them. Texmexibowls. Spicy bois. You see my problem. So let’s just pull together in these troubled times and not be pedantic, all right? It was good food, so there.

They had these hunks of beef, maybe like a chuck roast or something, on sale. I cut them up into strips, marinated it for several hours, and then pan fried it. Here’s the marinade, with lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, fresh garlic, cumin, salt and pepper, paprika, chili powder, and fresh cilantro:

Jump to Recipe

Then I made a big pot of Instant Pot rice, and set it out with the meat and a bunch of toppings: Corn I sautéed in oil to give it a little char, fried onions, black beans with tomatoes and diced chili peppers; fresh cilantro, sour cream, limes, and corn chips. 

It was a hit! It definitely would have been nice to have some avocados or guacamole, pico de gallo, or fried peppers, but everyone liked at least some part of this meal. Some of the kids had rice and corn chips for supper, and I don’t care.

Very happy to have another option for when beef is cheap, but not so cheap we can all have steak. If there is a nicer cut of beef to be had, I may marinate it whole and then grill it, and slice it afterward; but the slice-marinate-panfry method was not a bad option. 

THURSDAY
Pizza

I did ask the kids if it was going to be okay to have pizza on the menu twice, especially since most of them get pizza for lunch on Fridays. They all said it was okay. 

They didn’t have pepperoni in either store, for some reason, so I made one cheese, two black olive, one sausage, one red onion, basil, garlic, and ricotta, and one black olive, basil, sausage, garlic, and ricotta. I top them all with oregano and garlic powder. I sometimes put parmesan on top of that, but I forgot. 

I am liking the results of using no more than about a tablespoon of ricotta in dollops all over the pizza, with red pepper flakes baked in. 

So nice. 

FRIDAY
Ginger scallion noodles

I don’t even have a recipe for this yet, but I plucked the idea off the internet airwaves, so I’m sure I’ll find something good. I definitely have some linguine and fresh ginger in the house, and so many little cups of sprouting scallions on the windowsills, so that sounds like a recipe, right? 

And the kids are eating pizza for lunch as we speak. It’s okay with me. 

5 from 1 vote
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Instant Pot Risotto

Almost as good as stovetop risotto, and ten billion times easier. Makes about eight cups. 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups rice, raw
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • pepper
  • 1.5 cups grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Turn IP on sautee, add oil, and sautee the onion, garlic, salt, and sage until onions are soft.

  2. Add rice and cook for five minutes or more, stirring constantly, until rice is mostly opaque.

  3. Press "cancel," add the broth and wine, and stir.

  4. Close the top, close valve, set to high pressure for 9 minutes.

  5. Release the pressure and carefully stir in the parmesan cheese and pepper. Add salt if necessary. 

 

5 from 1 vote
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Beef marinade for fajita bowls

enough for 6-7 lbs of beef

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.

  2. Pour over beef, sliced or unsliced, and marinate several hours before discarding excess marinade and cooking.

What’s for supper? Vol. 165: Levanted and enchanted

This post is full of moaning and complaining, some great food I didn’t make, plus one really excellent recipe I did make.

SATURDAY
Bacon cheeseburgers

Damien made this, and took care of everything all day. On Friday night, I suddenly got mysteriously sick and haven’t completely recovered yet. Horrible vertigo and nausea, no other symptoms. I went to the doctor and of course I felt fine while I was there, so who knows. It seems to be going away slowly. Anyway, Damien did everything while I lay in bed and whimpered, and the kids have been picking up the slack magnificently.

SUNDAY
Grilled pork chops, red cole slaw, chips

I did manage to do the rest of the shopping that day, but hit a parked car in the Aldi lot. I blame the vertigo, as I’ve been driving oversized vehicles for 13 years and hardly ever hit anybody. Happily, the other car was at least as tattered and junky as ours, and we haven’t gotten a call from anyone’s insurance company.

Damien made a sugar rub (the card below says “chicken thighs with sugar rub,” but it’s the same rub) for the chops and grilled them outside (first time grilling outside this year, hooray!). They were magnificent.

I made a simple coleslaw with a red cabbage, mayo, vinegar, and sugar. I love a sour, snappy coleslaw with savory pork. Mm-mm-mm.

MONDAY
Pork ramen, pineapple

Nuttin’ fancy. I made a bunch of chicken ramen (the only flavor my kids will eat) and sliced up the leftover pork into strips and heated it up. I soft boiled a bunch of eggs and set those out with crunchy noodles and raw snap peas. I had mine with a little hot sauce. It didn’t blow anyone’s mind, but it’s a filling meal.

As I prepared to carve up the pineapple, I briefly considered the viral video where astonished people were today days old when they discovered you could serve a pineapple but just trimming off the ends and then grasping the individual — listen, I went on a bit of a wild goose chase trying to find out what the separate bumps on a pineapple are called, and what I learned is that a pineapple’s ovaries coalesce into berries. Anyway, there is this video where you just grab the bumps and they come away in your hand like nature intended, and then white people feel stupid because they didn’t know about pineapples. Then I thought, “Screw it, I already got a knife.”

TUESDAY
Salami caprese sandwiches

This was a little sad. The plan was ciabatta rolls with genoa salami, tomato and mozzarella, lots of fresh basil, olive oil and vinegar, and a little salt and pepper. These sandwiches are so much better than they have any reason to be. But the basil got shoved to the back of the fridge, where it froze. Bleh. So we had the sandwiches without basil, and they were really lackluster.

The only bright spot was that I was down for the count again, and when I woke up, Clara made me a sandwich to be consumed on the couch, so that was nice.

Then Corrie brought me “a clementine in its own special holder,” and that was nice, too.

WEDNESDAY
Jerusalem mixed grill with pita and Israeli salad

Wednesday I was feeling much better, and this meal was a real bright spot. Most definitely making it again. The NYT has the recipe (which is, at least for now, not behind a paywall), but calls for baharat, which I couldn’t find in the stores. It’s one of those mixes of spices that varies by region, and I wasn’t sure which taste was the most important. I finally ended up just mixing together a bunch of stuff that seemed likely. I’ll put a card at the end for this. And look at this pretty picture! Yay, daylight savings time!

It’s a really easy recipe. I took a bunch of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cut them into largeish chunks, mixed them up with a bunch of chicken livers, and stirred it all up with the spice mixture. I also bought chicken hearts, but somehow lost them. We may need a smaller refrigerator.

Previously, I had set a big pot of red onions to caramelize. I left a full hour to let them finish, since I know about onions. And then . . . I forgot to turn the stove off, so they caramelized for over three hours. And apparently that’s what it takes! Now you know.

So basically you heat up some oil in a big skillet, sear the chicken and livers on both sides, then turn the heat down and let it finish cooking with the caramelized onions. You can see I crowded my pan here:

It turned out well, but be aware the livers cook much faster than thighs. You dish up your meat and squeeze a little fresh lemon over it. We had it with pita bread, lots of yogurt sauce, hummus, nice dill pickles, and something called Israeli salad, which is apparently a regional staple.

My version had European cucumbers, tomatoes, some kind of orange grape tomatoes, parsley, a little red onion, lemon juice, a little olive oil, and kosher salt. Oh my gosh, it was such a wonderful meal. We are absolutely adding this whole meal to the rotation. The cool, bright, acidic salad made a wonderful companion for the sort of dusky intensity of the chicken.

If you don’t like chicken livers, you might try this meal anyway. Of course you can just skip them; but the cinnamon and nutmeg really soften the bitterness, and they taste more like especially savory dark meat.

THURSDAY
Pizza

I managed to get the dough on the pans and then had to go lie down. No, I’m not freaking pregnant. I’m just dying. My 40’s have been one long list of things I can no longer handle. First afternoon coffee, then chocolate, then sugar, then perfume, then salt; and now apparently being upright is asking too much. Anyway, the kids finished the pizza while I went to lie down. Then I got up to eat some pizza; then I went back to bed.

FRIDAY

This is what I seem to have written at the beginning of the week:

because Damien and I are going to a reporter thing, leaving behind a house full of competent children, and cheese. However, Dora had a yen to bake yesterday, and made two giant cheesecakes for dessert. We don’t usually have Thursday dessert, much lest Thursday in Lent dessert; but on the other hand, cheesecake. She left me with blackberries and chocolate so I could make toppings for them, but instead, I fell asleep on the couch. So it looks like the children will be having cheesecake for supper tonight. The graham cracker crust is the vegetable.

And now I have four parent-teacher meetings to attend. Should probably put pants on.

Recipe cards:

Smoked chicken thighs with sugar rub

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • .5 cups white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 20 chicken thighs

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients together. Rub all over chicken and let marinate until the sugar melts a bit. 

  2. Light the fire, and let it burn down to coals. Shove the coals over to one side and lay the chicken on the grill. Lower the lid and let the chicken smoke for an hour or two until they are fully cooked. 

Yogurt sauce

Ingredients

  • 32 oz full fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • fresh parsley or dill, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together. Use for spreading on grilled meats, dipping pita or vegetables, etc. 

Jerusalem mixed grill

May not be the most authentic spice mix, but it sure tastes good. Serve with pita bread, hummus, yogurt sauce, dill pickles, and Israeli salad 

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs trimmed and cut into pieces
  • 8 oz chicken livers
  • 6-7 red onions, sliced thin
  • olive oil for cooking
  • 4 lemons

spices:

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Instructions

  1. First caramelize the onions. You know this will take at least an hour. Set the onions aside. 

  2. Toss the chicken thigh pieces, hearts, and spices together. 

  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. When it's very hot, add the meats and sear on all sides. Then turn the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked all the way through. Note that livers cook faster than thighs, so make sure the thighs are done all the way. 

  4. Serve with pita and yogurt sauce. Squeeze the fresh lemon over the meat. 

About 50 easy things to do with pork chops!

Here’s the promised pork chop post from Friday’s “What’s for Supper?” post. Some nice ideas here, collected after I asked Facebook what to do when I had a bunch of thin pork chops and no exotic ingredients.  Sorry about the terrible formatting. Today, I let the computer win.

Oh, and here’s what I finally ended up making: just regular frickin’ pork chops:

The secret ingredient is frickin.

The secret ingredient is frickin.

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ABOUT 50 EASY THINGS TO DO WITH PORK CHOPS

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Salt, pepper, dip in flour, shake off the excess, and cook in a frying pan.
Flour keeps them moist, and gives them color. Add some butter to the oil while they’re cookingOne of my boys’ favorite meals is when I bread & fry pork chops. I serve it with rice & a sweet/sour sauce of equal parts brown sugar, soy sauce, & ketchup. Kind of Asian & really yummy (though the breading & frying takes a while).1/3 oj, 1/3 soy, 1/3 italian dressing. pour over chops, let them soak. When you’re ready in the evening, Broil chops. Serve with sauteed apples and a salad. Pork chops with delicious pineapple marmlade is insanely good. Orange works, too. Anything citrus, really, perks it up beautifully.

My Grams always made chops with sauteed onion, cream of _____ soup (usually mushroom, but whatever you have on hand works–unless it’s chicken…a little too Frankenstein for me. wink emoticon ). She’d cut up potatoes and add them once the chops were browned, and then pour in the soup, and slow-cook on the stove top for a while–long enough for the potatoes to be done anyway. DELICIOUS.Some Italian dressing and lemon juice. Crockpot. Make some rice. Microwave frozen vegetabkes.
Balsamic vinegar, honey and shallots – just sear them, remove, throw bv, shallots and honey in and let bubble for a few minutes. throw chops back in and cook a little more. Done. There are kinder, gentler ways of doing this recipe but who has the time?Balsamic dressing mixed with Dijon mustard
Smother those suckers

Season as you like, brown both sides in a big skillet, add a couple of sliced onions and let them saute a bit, add lots of beef broth, simmer for 20-30 minutes, add a little cornstarch/water and boil to thicken the juice a little. serve with rice. Family favorite here smile emoticon (the onions are the key to the flavor)
Soy sauce, garlic and ginger (fresh, if you can!)Sliced apples, cinnamon, alcohol of choice (beer, wine, etc), butter, sage or rosemary. Serve with egg noodles or rice.
Dip in egg, bread crumbs and pan fry on each side just to brown, cook spaghetti, put pork chops on top of noodles and pour red sauce over top, bake 350

serve cereal.Cereal, the other other white meat.

Dice an onion and slice a bell pepper (not a green one) if you want to use one up. Slice up a few stalks of celery (1/2 cup or so) Layer chops, onion/pepper/celery, and one can of diced tomatoes in a large skillet and sprinkle dried parsley, salt, pepper and a few dashes of gar
lic (you can add a clove of garlic with the onion if you have fresh, instead) over top. Simmer for one hour on stovetop. (If you want to double, you can do it in the oven in a 9×12 at 350 for an hour, but it’s better on the stove…I’ve done two skillets before!) Serve with rice. We call it “Pork and Veggies.”

brine them for an hour in salt water in the fridge, then just salt and pepper and pan fry or brown them in the pan and finish in the oven.

You have soda (Coke) in the house? You can cook it down to a great glaze and then fry the chops in it.

 Sweet and Sour Pork III Recipe You can sub out the pinapple for other fruit. We did mango, but I bet almost anything would work in a pinch.

Smothered Pork Chops Recipe
Here is an simple way to make sauteed pork chops smothered in a scrumptious gravy.

Fry up some onions, put the chops in a baking pan, mix the onions with some cream of mushroom soup and 1/4 cup of milk, pour it over the chops, throw it in the oven covered at 350 for an hour. serve with rice.

I was going to make slow cooker ranch porkchops. Google the recipe. You know, if this baby ever stops screaming.

Do you keep minced garlic on hand and onions? Cook together with a bit of salt and pepper, some oregano and Rosemary. Then remove and cook two cups of basmati rice (you want basmati because it cooks pretty fast). It will retain the flavor of the chops and is delish.

This is one of my husb’s favorites: pound them even thinner, dip ‘em in raw egg, roll ‘em in bread crumbs, add any seasonings you want (I usually add garlic and onion), and pan-fry them for a couple of minutes and voila! A dinner that everyone will eat. If the kids are willing to wash their hands, they can do the prep and that makes them happy too.

Chopped apples and a little cinnamon bake them together.

Baked with cream of mushroom soup spread over them, serve with rice.
Soak em in honey and whiskey and grill them.

My mom always just cooked them in some butter and put garlic salt on them, served with veggies and mac & cheese. It was cheap and easy.

I do something like this with thin boneless skinless chicken breasts. Delicious.

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops : Giada De Laurentiis : Food Network
FOODNETWORK.COM


Marinated Baked Pork Chops Recipe
Pork chops cook in a tangy marinade of soy sauce, Worcestershire, and ketchup-15-minute prep!

Salt and pepper, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and some sliced mushrooms and onions… it’s easy — takes about a half hour — and it makes a gravy too!

2 cloves garlic chopped, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup soy sauce…marinade for as long as possible (the longer, the better it tastes), and fry up in oil about 4 minutes on each side.I am a terrible cook and my picky kids will actually eat this.

Just pan fry them after coating in flour, salt, pepper. Yum.


Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Slice some potatoes up as thin as you can, mix with a can or two of cream of mushroom soup, add some garlic and paprika, stick the chops down in the soup on top of the potatoes and cook for 1 hr. All you need to add is a salad or whatever veggie you have around.

Fr Leo FOR THE WIN. I’ve used this maranaide for every form of pork, from skewers as recommended, to pork chops that I then cooked in a skillet, to crock pot.


Food for the Soul » Blog Archive » Cola Pork Skewers

Rub them with olive oil, powdered ginger, rosemary and black pepper, then pan sear them.

I like them pan fried or broiled with nothing but salt pepper and dried thyme oh and olive oil

Here, all pork chops must be panfried, then pan gravy made from the drippings and butter, flour, and milk… And served with a heaping pile of bread and gravy. It is one of my favorite, if not it all healthy, meals.

Mix jam and a little creole mustard (or dijon or anything). Lay the chops out on a broiling pan, brush with mixture. Broil on one side (2-5 minutes max), flip, brush again, broil again (2-5 min max). Done!

Brush with oil, coat with a mix of half Italian bread crumbs and half Parmesan cheese, with a bit of garlic powder and pepper. Bake in foil lined pan at 350 for 50 minutes. So good, SO easy.

Pour a dab of Louisana Hot Sauce on each one both sides and spread it out thin and sprinkle sea salt, pepper and garlic powder over that and bbq.

Bake them with 5-spice or just salt and pepper, or marinate with soy sauce and bake. Slice into bite sized bits and set aside. Cook rice or brown rice the usual way. Set aside. Scramble some eggs a bit dry. Set aside. Sautee some bite-sized vegetables in oil and set aside. Mix them together in a pan, sauteeing with a little more oil until warmed together. Fried rice.

ooo thin chops… very easy: brush with BBQ sauce and put them on the grill, about 5min each side. If you prefer a very quick stove top choice, dredge in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, (cayenne pepper if you like it up a notch), rosemary, and saute in olive oil. also 5 min each side. By very thin, I assume you mean less than half an inch.

Crush juniper berries, salt and black pepper together, and rub into the surface. Bonus: juniper is gin flavour!

Salt pepper and Rosemary. Pan cook or broil.

Per 4 pork chops: 1c of chicken broth, 1t of orange zest, 1t of ginger, 1t of garlic all simmered. After simmering for a minute, toss in chops and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and cook until soft

I use a pyrex dish and add sauerkraut, including liquid. real easy and good.


Asian Pork Chop Recipe • Just One Cookbook