A Royal Presentation – Pork Crown Roast with Fruited Sausage Stuffing

This beautiful Crown Roast come to us from Betty Crocker. Who would have thought it, right? I have a bucket list of recipes I’m dying to try, yet for one reason or another, haven’t. Usually, these shortfalls are a direct result of that undeniable excuse – life. Life gets in the way or circumstances prevent us from checking something off our culinary bucket list. For me, it’s been the Crown Roast. I can remember, a very long time ago, when grocery stores regularly featured a nice selection of Pork Crown Roasts around the holidays. Nowadays, you’ll be lucky to find one in your typical grocery meat counter – holidays or otherwise. Once I spied one sitting all lonely in the meat counter. I can only assume someone had ordered it, then failed to pick it up, so there it sat. Unfortunately, we were leaving town, and I really didn’t want to freeze the beautiful TALL standing roast for later use. Hubby was already bugging me about the amount of freezer space dedicated to a goose, a duck and a Capon Chicken. Heavy sigh, I walked away.

Still, this Betty Crocker sensation is on my bucket list for a Holiday Supper – perhaps a New Year’s Eve dinner or something equally spectacular. I wanted to share this recipe as I dream just a little of champagne worthy foods.

Pork Crown Roast with Fruited Sausage Stuffing
Crown Roast
1 pork crown roast, about 16 to 18 ribs (8 to 10 lb)*
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. On rack in shallow roasting pan, place pork with bone ends up. Wrap bone ends in foil to prevent excessive browning. Insert oven-proof meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of pork and does not touch bone or rest in fat. Place small heat-proof bowl or crumpled foil in the center of crown to hold its shape evenly. Do not add water.

Let Crown Roast cook for about 3 hours. While pork is roasting, prepare the stuffing.

Fruited Sausage Stuffing
1 lb bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup butter
4 medium stalks celery, chopped (2 cups)
3/4 cup chopped onion (about 1 large)
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
6 1/2 cups unseasoned stuffing cubes (16 oz)
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup applesauce
1 cup orange marmalade

Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking sausage apart as it cooks. Drain and set into a large bowl. Set aside.

Melt butter in the now empty skillet. Add chopped celery and onions. Saute until celery pales and onions become translucent.

Add sautéed vegetables to the sausage.

Warm chicken broth. As broth warms, add sage and poultry seasoning. Set aside.

Add stuffing cubes to sausage mixture. Add pineapple, applesauce and orange marmalade. Gently stir ingredients to combine.

Slowly add chicken broth to the stuffing mix until the desired consistency of “stuffing” is reached.

About 3 hours into roasting the Crown Roast, remove from oven. Remove the foil or bowl from the center and fill crown with stuffing mixture.  Cover stuffing with foil, return roast to oven and continue to cook for 30 minutes.

Remove foil from stuffing and return roast to oven one final time to complete cooking. Roast is done when thermometer reaches 145 degrees.

Remove roast from oven, tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let rest for 3 or 4 minutes.

To serve, transfer stuffed Crown Roast to a large serving platter. Remove foil wrapping from bones, and place paper frills on the ends of the bone. Garnish the platter with some greens and strips of orange or even peels of carrots, anything to give contrasting color.

When ready to serve, spoon out the stuffing into a bowl to pass or onto individual plates at the table, then cut roast between the ribs and serve.

Note: Any excess stuffing can be baked in a casserole dish to be served with the roast.

Sweet Sassy Caramelized Apple-Onion Pork Chops

Pork – the other white meat. We sure do love our pork – especially chops and roasts. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to serve up pork chops. Some of my favorite recipes have got to be Simply Pork Chops with Country Gravy or Grilled Pork Chops with Italian Relish. As a kid, it seemed we had our pork chops one of two ways – either barbecued or Filipino-American Adobo Style. Now that I’ve been puttering about in the kitchen more years than I care to admit, I adore pork chops just about any way you can think of – from the smokey pleasures of the American-Grilled to the exotic flavors of the Orient.

These yummy, sweet yet sassy center cut chops are no exception. The sweetness of the apple and the sassy bite of the onion make a winning combination. Couple this with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and everything melds so beautifully. Given the sweet, fruity flavor of the chops, this dish is best served with an equally flavorful side dish such as rice pilaf. A green vegetable such as Buttery Garlic-Herb Broccoli or Stewed Green Beans French Style will round out the plate beautifully.

All I can say is get ready for some impressively good eats!

Caramelized Apple-Onion Pork Chops
6 center cut pork chops, 3/4″ thick
4 Honeycrisp apples
1/2 white onion
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon. ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon. ground nutmeg
1/4 cup butter
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh ground black Pepper to taste
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, core and slice apples into wedges. Set aside.

Peel onion. Cut in half. From half the onion cut slivers about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide. Toss with apples and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.

Lightly rub pork chops with olive oil and then generously season both sides with salt and pepper. Place pork chops in the hot pan and get a nice sear on both sides, about 3 or 4 minutes per side. While chops are browning, in a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside until ready to use.

Place seared pork chops in a 13″×9″ baking dish. Set aside. To the now empty skillet, melt butter. Once the butter begins to foam, add brown sugar mixture. Stir constantly until brown sugar melts into the butter. Add apple and onion mixture. Heat over medium heat. Spoon brown sugar sauce over apples and continue to cook, stirring every few minutes, until apples and onions have softened.

Pour apple mixture with brown sugar over pork chops. Spread evenly until all the chops are covered. Cover baking dish tightly with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, remove foil and continue to bake for about 10 minutes longer or until pork is tender and cooked through.

To serve, place pork chops on individual plates.  Top with some of the apples and onions, then drizzle sauce over everything.

Serve with Rice Pilaf and green beans for a wonderful supper.

Old-Fashioned Glazed Ham – Not Just for the Holidays

Last week was Easter. Instead of serving up the traditional Ham Dinner, my family enjoyed an Easter Brunch with all sorts of yummy “breakfast” foods. It turned out wonderfully. The food was great and the company awesome. After all, it isn’t what you eat but that family gather to break bread and enjoy one another whenever possible. In this day and age, that is easier said than done. Which is why holidays are so special.

In the days leading up to Easter, I noticed a trend on my blog – most visitors were checking out my recipe for Creamy-Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes. When I mentioned this trend to Hubby, he commented that my Au Gratin Potatoes were a favorite with him, especially as part of a Ham Dinner. Hum, who said you needed to wait until the Holidays for a great Ham Dinner? Who said Ham Dinners are reserved for Sundays? So this weekend, on a Saturday, with just my guys at the table, I made a supper fit for the Holidays.

It was great for a number of reasons. Not only was the food delicious, but we lingered together at the table. It wasn’t until we started clearing the table that I noticed we had spent over an hour sitting together, laughing, talking and just taking our time. Now that’s what family suppers should be about – the company you keep. It was magical.

Now you can make this ham with a honey ham, but I prefer the salty, smokey flavor of a smoked ham. Ours was large – 12 pounds – with the bone-in (great for soup later or to add to a pot of beans), and a thick layer of fat. Rather than trim the fat, I scored it diamond-cut and let the fat melt away during the cooking/warming. This helped to keep the ham nice and moist while adding a wonderful flavor.

Old-Fashioned Glazed Ham
1 Smoked Bone-in or Spiral Cut Ham (10 to 12 lbs with bone)
1 20-ounce can pineapple slices, juice reserved
15 to 20 whole cloves (optional) or toothpicks
1 small jar maraschino cherries
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Preheat the oven as directed on the ham package and follow the instructions for warming the ham.

The goal is to reheat the ham without drying it out. The best way to do this is to place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Add water to the bottom of the pan and cover the whole thing tightly with foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes per pound, until a meat thermometer registers 140 degrees.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and just enough of the reserved pineapple juice to make a thick glaze.  Set aside until ready to use.

About 30 minutes before serving, remove ham from the oven. Unwrap the ham and apply the glaze. (If desired, trim the fat from the meat). Decoratively arrange pineapple rings with a cherry in the center of each ring around the ham. Secure rings/cherries with whole cloves, if using, or wooden toothpicks. (I prefer the toothpick method).  Increase the heat to 400 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes longer until the glaze thick and sticky.

When ham is heated through, transfer to cutting board. Remove pineapples and cherries, set aside. Slice ham for serving and arrange fruit on platter for a “pretty” look.

Saucy Potato Pork Chops with Tarragon

Made a few changes to a family favorite that I’d love to share.

Rosemarie's Kitchen

March 2014, three months into my “blogging career”, I shared a recipe born out of necessity. Thinking I had Cream of Mushroom Soup in the pantry, I had planned to make Pork Chops with a Cream of Mushroom Soup sauce. Turned out, what was in the pantry was a can of Cream of Potato Soup. Oh well, what the heck – you never know until you try it, right? The Pork Chops were delicious! And the addition of Tarragon simply elevated the whole dish, bringing an interesting level of sophistication to an otherwise simple dish. (By the way, the sauce is great over Mashed Potatoes!).

It’s been a few years since I’ve last shared what I consider a nice, simply recipe. Way back in March 2014 this gem of a recipe received almost no attention. Personally, I think it’s worth a second look. Here’s to hoping you agree . …

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Saucy Potato Pork Chops with Tarragon

March 2014, three months into my “blogging career”, I shared a recipe born out of necessity. Thinking I had Cream of Mushroom Soup in the pantry, I had planned to make Pork Chops with a Cream of Mushroom Soup sauce. Turned out, what was in the pantry was a can of Cream of Potato Soup. Oh well, what the heck – you never know until you try it, right? The Pork Chops were delicious! And the addition of Tarragon simply elevated the whole dish, bringing an interesting level of sophistication to an otherwise simple dish. (By the way, the sauce is great over Mashed Potatoes!).

It’s been a few years since I’ve last shared what I consider a nice, simply recipe. Way back in March 2014 this gem of a recipe received almost no attention. Personally, I think it’s worth a second look. Here’s to hoping you agree . . .

Potato Pork Chops with Tarragon
6 Boneless Pork Chops, about 3/4 inch thick
Sea Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
Onion Powder, enough to lightly season each chop
1 tablespoon Bacon Drippings
1 Can Cream of Potato Soup
1 Can Chicken Broth
2 teaspoons Tarragon Leaves, finely chopped

Season chops with salt, pepper and onion powder on both sides.

Over medium heat, brown chops in enough bacon drippings to lightly coat bottom of large skillet. Cook chops 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned.

Place pork chops in a large casserole dish. Mix Cream of Potato Soup, chicken broth and tarragon together in a large bowl. Pour soup mixture into the now empty skillet to incorporate all the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Pour over pork chops. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve with garlic-mashed potatoes and steamed green vegetables. For extra flavor, drizzle liquid from pork chops over mashed potatoes.


Sweet and Salty Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

A few nights ago, we came home to a wonderful pot of falling apart, a little sweet, a little salty Pork Tenderloin. Kiddo was in charge, and he followed my recipe to a tee. Personally, I thought it was delicious. When asked their opinions, both Kiddo and Hubby agreed that the flavor was good, but the meat seemed a bit dry (especially for a crock pot) and there wasn’t enough juice. I’ve made some adaptations based on their comments – increasing the liquids while keeping the seasoning in balance with those adjustments.

This is one of those dished I wasn’t sure of as far as sides. Should it be steamed rice? Wild Rice? The only thing I knew with certainty was that rice and green beans were to round out the table – just what style of rice was in question. It’s times like this that I am thankful for Uncle Ben’s Quick Rice – all different styles and flavors that can be zapped in the microwave in about 90 seconds. We went with Rice Pilaf. All in all, it was a good meal with very little fuss. Great when you just spend the last 30 minutes or so in bumper to bumper traffic on a very hot day.

Steam the green beans, zap the rice and pour a big glass of sweet tea. Yeah, a delicious end to a long day . . .


Sweet and Salty Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
2 pounds of Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Yellow Mustard
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons Diced dried onions
1 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Salt

Whisk together soy sauce, mustard and maple syrup. Pour into bottom of the pot.

Rub tenderloin with olive oil. Sprinkle with Onions and garlic salt. Work into tenderloin.

Place in crock pot, turn so that tenderloin is coated in soy sauce mixture. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or longer.

Remove, place on serving patter. Slice tenderloin, drizzle with juices. Serve with pot juices on the side to pass as desired at table.

Caramelized Onion Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is perfect for a lazy weekend supper or easy midweek dinner. From prep to table, it’s about an hour total. While that might not seem like a midweek recipe, with longer days it’s not out of the realm of possibilities. We tend to eat later in the evening during the spring and summer months. It has something to do with sunlight in general. A meal at six in the evening during the winter feels more like midnight, while supper around seven in the summer somehow makes sense. Crazy, huh?

This roasted Pork Tenderloin goes well with a simple side dish of rice, such as a Pilaf or buttery garlic, and some steamed green beans. Not too filling, but oh so satisfying. A larger tenderloin may be used, simply increase the cooking time accordingly. For the three of us, it was the perfect size.

Caramelized Onion Pork Tenderloin
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pork tenderloin (1 pound)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, cook onion and sugar in oil over medium-low heat until onion is tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a 13 x 9 rimmed baking pan with foil. Place a V-shaped rack into baking pan and with cooking spray. Set aside until ready to use.

Once onions are caramelized, place pork tenderloin onto the V-shaped rack. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with caramelize onions. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, add a little water to the bottom of the baking pan, cover roast with foil and continue to cook another 20 minutes or until center of pork reaches 160 degrees, checking every 10 minutes.

Remove tenderloin from oven, keep warm and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Baked “Barbecue” Pork Chops

As you can see by the photo, the finished chops were absolutely “swimming” in barbecue sauce – not necessarily in a good way. With the chops covered and baking in the oven; the juices from the meat and the condensation from the foil covering thinned the barbecue sauce. The sauce had more of a consistency of thin gravy rather than a nice, thick barbecue sauce. Everything had great flavor, was nice and tender BUT needed a thicker coating of barbecue on the finished chops. We added more sauce at the very end, after cutting the chops into bite-size pieces and this solved the problem nicely. You can elect to brush the chops at the end, or serve more barbecue sauce for “dipping” – whatever your particular preference might be.

These chops went well with fried potatoes. The great thing about searing the pork chops first is that there are little bits of nicely browned pork rendering in the skillet – so I fried my potatoes in the same skillet (less washing), which added yet another layer of flavor to the spuds.

Baked “Barbecue” Pork Chops
6 boneless pork loin chops (3/4 inch thick and 4 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 Cup Favorite Barbecue  Sauce (preferably home-made but bottled okay
Additional Barbecue Sauce, warmed, to finish pork chops

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chops in oil for 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned.

Spray a casserole dish or baking dish large enough to hold pork chops in a single layer with cooking spray. Transfer browned pork chops to prepared dish.

In a small saucepan, bring barbecue sauce to a nice rolling boil. Pour sauce over pork chops. Cover with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Remove from oven, transfer to serving platter. Brush with additional barbecue sauce that has been warmed for a thicker coating of sauce or serve additional barbecue sauce on the side like a “dipping” sauce once your chops are cut.

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetables One-Pan Wonder

I can’t believe yet another recipe inspired by Eat At Home Cooks – an entire dinner cooked up in a single baking pan! (Link to original: http://eatathomecooks.com/boneless-pork-chops-and-veggies-sheet-pan-dinner) While she uses small white potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper, I went with small red potatoes for added color and some fresh Rosemary to the mix. Our green beans are similar, but rather than use black pepper to season, I’ve gone with Lemon Pepper instead for a little added zip. Kiddo adores Lemon Pepper on his green beans, as do I. While she uses thin cut pork chops seasoned with Smokehouse Maple Seasoning, I preferred the thicker boneless chops seasoned with Mesquite. I mean, if you can cook an entire one-pound pork tenderloin in about 30 minutes, you should be able to bake up some yummy pork chops in the same amount of time. Although our seasonings were different, the same basic concept of baking everything together on one large rimmed baking sheet is the same.

Tasting is believing – and this one-pan supper is oh so wonderful. I’ve never “roasted” green beans before. They were delicious, tender without turning to mush. The potatoes took on the beautiful flavor of the Rosemary and the Mesquite Seasoning was the perfect final touch to the pork chops. Nothing dried out in the oven, each part of the meal cooked to perfection, each retaining their individual flavors – delicious!. A few minutes of prep work, a little seasoning and thirty minutes later we are sitting down to a bright, scrumptious meal. Yeah, this is one I’ll be repeating – maybe changing up the green beans for Asparagus just to give a little variation.

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetables One-Pan Wonder
olive oil, as needed
2 lbs small red potatoes, cut in half
1-2 tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed and cleaned
2 tablespoons Lemon Pepper
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
2 lbs. boneless pork chops
2-3 tablespoons Mesquite Seasoning or to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line one large, rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Brush foil-lined pan with a little olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.

Cut potatoes in half. Place potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil to lightly coat. Season potatoes with salt, pepper and Rosemary. Toss gently to blend. Nestle potatoes on one section of the baking pan.

Spread green beans next to potatoes. Lightly drizzle green beans with olive oil, then season with salt and Lemon Pepper. Toss to blend.

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetable One-Pan Supper (2)

Half of the baking sheet should now contain the vegetables, leaving the other half for the pork chops.

Drizzle pork chops with a little olive. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Mesquite seasoning. Place on baking sheet seasoned side down. Drizzle top side with a little olive oil and season to taste.

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetable One-Pan Supper (3)

Place baking sheet in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and give the vegetables a good shake. Turn pork chops over, rotate the pan and return to oven. Bake about 10 to 15 minutes longer or until pork chops are cooked through and potatoes are fork-tender.

To serve; plate chops on individual plates with plenty of vegetables. (No serving platters to wash).

Baked Pork Chops and Vegetable One-Pan Supper (5)


Simply Pork Chops with Country Gravy – Getting Back to Basics

Sometimes you just get the hankering for down-home country cookin’. While most “country” cooks might dip their chops in an egg wash and give ’em a dusting of flour or breadcrumbs before frying in oil, I’m going “naked” – a little salt, a little pepper and a little olive oil to “crisp” things up. The flavor is pure, simple and unadorned. Make no mistake about it – a “naked” pork chop is delightfully delicious. This basic recipe could easily be made with Pork Tenderloin Medallions. Simply buy a tenderloin and slice into 1″ thick medallions seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook as you would the pork chops and serve with gravy.

My Dad makes the best gravy – although he never knew he was making a roux with bacon drippings and flour, that fat to flour ratio is the bases for his country gravy. Pan drippings from roasted or fried meats are always a good place to start, but you don’t necessarily always have much in the way of pan drippings, so bacon drippings to the rescue! We always keep a can in the fridge – it’s so versatile. great for seasoning your skillet for Southern Style Cornbread or adding extra flavor to your  Refried Beans. We use bacon drippings so often that there are times when I need to cook up a pound or two of bacon (usually for breakfast or my personal favorite a California Avocado BLT Sandwich with Basil Mayonnaise) just to get more drippings. The beauty of this bacon-dripping based gravy is that you can make it anytime – served with pork chops (like now) or fried chicken If you are ever in the mood for not much more than smokey, flavorful gravy and mashed potatoes, then a simple bacon based gravy is great.

Simple Pork Chops with Country Gravy
Simple Pork Chops
4 Pork Chops, 1 inch thick
Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil for frying

Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Rub; press seasoning into the  chops and allow to rest 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add chops, sear for 1 minute. Using tongs, turn and sear other side for 1 minute.

Lower heat. Turn chops with tongs, cover and simmer for 4 minutes. Turn with tongs, and continue to simmer, covered, for 4 minutes longer or until cooked through.

Remove from pan. Place on cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Allow meat to rest for 5-10 minutes. Cut into thin slices and fan on individual plates. Drizzle with gravy and serve.

Country Gravy
2 Tablespoons bacon drippings
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Cup Chicken stock
1/2 Cup Milk
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add bacon drippings to same skillet used for pork chops and heat over medium-low heat. Let drippings melt and become a part of the pan drippings from the pork chops.

Sprinkle flour over bacon drippings and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until blended and foamy. Pour stock a little at a time into skillet and whisk to blend. Add milk, salt and pepper to taste. Increase to medium heat, stir until thickened, scrapping up any browned pieces remaining in pan. Cook to desired consistency.