Monday, April 21, 2014

Pork Chops stuffed 3 ways

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut was never my favorite meal growing up. To this day it hasn't been a favorite in my house, either.  My go to when cooking  Pork Chops  has usually been to cook them with  peppers and onions.

While shopping these chops called to me. They were thick cut and I knew that they would be perfect for stuffing.

The stuffing I used was a mushroom, sausage and spinach stuffing. Truth be told everything used for the stuffing was something that was a "must go" in the refrigerator. "must go" is a euphemism for left overs!

I had some left over mushrooms that I mixed with left over sausage and put it in the food processor and pulsed it a few times. To that mixture I added some grated cheese, a wedge or two of laughing cow cheese, ( I absolutely love this cheese) fresh chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

I made a pocket on the side of the pork chop and first stuffed it with the cooked leftover spinach and then stuffed it some more with the mushroom and sausage mixture.

I then heated up my frying pan getting it nice and hot, added 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of butter and browned the seasoned pork chop (salt and pepper) on each side.

Once they were browned, they were cooked in a 350 preheated oven, on a baking sheet for about 25 minutes more.
While the stuffed pork chops were finishing in the oven I deglazed the frying pan using the juice from the sauerkraut and a little touch of white wine. Then I added the sauerkraut and cooked it a little more.

When the pork chops were cooked through I plated the pork chops right on top of the sauerkraut.
It was absolutely delicious. I could have eaten bowls of the sauerkraut, it was that good.  The pork chop wasn't bad, either! In fact, for something made on the fly, it is one of my favorite pork chop dishes that I have ever made!

Buon Appetito

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Grapefruit of Wrath

I have never thought of myself as a Gin drinker. I'm more of a Vodka kind of gal who has also been know to throw back a few Scotch and sodas. (Those were my redhead days!)

I remember my first cucumber martini, in Oxford, Ohio and thought "This is delicious!" and asked the bartender what kind of vodka he used. Imagine my surprise when told it was Gin! But, I don't drink Gin...and then I didn't think much more about that as I ordered another one!

While vacationing in Spain my husband and I noticed that in every establishment we visited with a bar, the variety of Gin was sublime! On the roof top of the Ohla Hotel in Barcelona I was introduced to a Cucumber and Tonic Cocktail. The Ohla Hotel bartenders are known for their cocktail skills. The Bar Manager, Guiseppe  Santamaria was a finalist for Best World Class Bartender Spain 2012.
The drink was delicious and refreshing. Made with Hendricks Gin, sliced cucumbers and a pour of tonic (from those little bottles) is a perfect match.  We had several on the roof top that day!

Hendricks and Tonic at the Ohla, Barcelona made by Luca from Luca.

 When I came home from Spain I quickly went out and purchased myself a bottle of Hendricks to make my own cucumber and tonic drinks!
Hendricks and Tonic made by me!
At this moment you are probably wondering "Is she ever going to tell us about the new drink, The Grapefruit of Wrath?"  Well, here it comes.
Every night before retiring to my room I would go into the bar at the Ohla Hotel just to watch Guisepee make cocktails. They were beautiful! Every drink he made was a work of art! He probably got tired of me asking him, "what's that? OMG, what's that?" while sitting there drinking a plain ol' Hendricks and Tonic! His assistant handed me the bar menu so I could choose one the drinks that I was admiring for myself.
I choose the Grapefruit of Wrath. It's dangerously good!
award winning drink made by Giuseppe SantaMaria, Ohla, Barcelona
Martin Miller Gin, with a muddled wedge or two of pink grapefruit,  mixed with fresh squeezed lime juice, poured over crushed iced, with a drizzle of Creme de Cassis,  then finished with fresh mint and a sprinkle of sugar. So delicious!
 My Version of the Grapefruit of Wrath 
Finding the Martin Miller Gin was not so easy. So I had my liquor store special order it for me. I am now the proud owner of a case of Martin Miller Gin.  Hey, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! LOL! Everyone that I have been introducing this drink too has fallen intoxicated with it! I don't think my case of Martin Miller is going to last that long!
Here's a clip of Guiseppe making the cocktail for me. 

Here's how I made my version of this great cocktail. 

Cut a pink grapefruit in circles. Remove the skin and any seeds. Take a slice or two and muddle it. Pour into a glass with ice cubes, add Martin Miller Gin,  and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and shake it all up until ice cold. Pour back into a glass, top it off with Creme de Cassis,  and garnish with fresh mint and a sprinkle of granulated sugar. (and  blueberries if you have them.)
My sister keeps saying that this is a delicious summer drink! I say it's a delicious and refreshing drink for anytime!