Friday, March 16, 2012

Twice Baked Potatoes

I made these twice baked potatoes the "traditional" way one night to go along with some steaks, PJ and the boys loved them! A little bit of extra time than the ordinary baked potato (obviously) since they are baked twice, but very simple ingredients and well worth the effort.
Try playing around with the ingredients by substituting the bacon and cheddar that I used with some diced green chile and shredded pepper jack cheese for a little Mexican flare, or make a meal by topping it with some shredded chicken tossed in buffalo sauce for some zing. There are so many different spins to put on this hot potato, just use your imagination and run with it!

3 large russet potatoes
2 garlic cloves minced
1 bunch of chives, chopped (leave a few uncut for a garnish if desired)
1 c sour cream
1/3 c margarine or butter (softened)
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
2 t salt
1 t pepper


Preheat the oven to 425•
Scrub the potatoes under running water, pierce each one a few times with a fork then place the potatoes directly on the rack in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until done (you can always use the microwave instead to speed up the process, usually takes about 8 minutes to fully cook)
Once removed from the oven let the potatoes cool for about 20 minutes before handling
Slice each potato in half length wise, using a spoon, scoop out the insides into a medium bowl leaving about 1/3 of an inch of potato in the shell (see pic below)
With a potato masher, mash the potato in the bowl until somewhat smooth
Add the garlic, chives, sour cream, butter, cheese, bacon, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash together until mixed well
Add the potato mixture to an icing bag or to a ziploc bag with a small amount snipped off from one of the bottom corners to pipe the mixture into the shells
Place the filled potatoes on a cookie sheet and into the 425• oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top, garnish with the chives and serve

6 servings

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Raspberry Chipotle Glazed Pork Chops

What's that you say?
Raspberry Chipotle Glazed Pork Chops?
Sound too fancy and difficult to make?
You're fooling yourself...

With only 6 simple ingredients, including the pork chops, you will have dinner ready in under 30 minutes guaranteed, and all at under $ 3 per serving. Can't beat that!

I have to say I LOVE mixing the flavor notes of sweet & spicy together. The raspberry preserves in the glaze add that nice sweet flavor while the chipotles in adobo sauce give the extra zip of spice that it needs.
Perfect. Combination.

And hey, if you're not a big raspberry fan try substituting any other fruit preserve you would like ie: pineapple, peach, blackberry, strawberry, ect. The possibilities are endless...


4 thick cut boneless pork loin chops (you can also use bone-in if you would like)
2/3 cup of veg or chicken broth
1&1/2 c. raspberry preserves
2 T of vinegar (whatever type you have on hand will work, ie: apple cider, red wine, white wine or just plain old white vinegar)
2 T of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves coarsely chopped

***I have made this glaze using both the store bought preserves or using fresh raspberries and granulated sugar with water, bringing to a boil to cook and then strain. Honestly they both taste the same, so go with the preserves. Not only will it save you time, it will save you some money too


In a food processor or blender add the preserves, vinegar, chipotle chiles with adobo sauce and garlic. Blend until smooth. Add the glaze to a small pan, stirring occasionally heat until just to a boil, turn down the heat to low to keep warm

Preheat oven to 350•

Heat a large, oven safe sauté pan over medium-hi. While you are waiting for the pan to heat generously salt & pepper both sides of the 4 pork chops.
Once your pan is heated add 2-3 T of olive oil to coat the pan, then carefully add each pork chop one at a time, sear for about 3 minutes on each side or until a nice golden brown color
Once done searing, remove the pan from the heat and add your broth, brush both sides of the pork chops with the glaze and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until done, brush once more with the glaze halfway through the cooking time.
Remove from oven and coat both sides with the glaze again before serving
* Side note- you can reserve some of the glaze for a dipping sauce if desired

4 adults