Rum & Coke Glazed Ham

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We made up this gorgeous ham for Sunday dinner a few weeks ago when we had company. I sort of love making ham – it’s so hard to screw up and there’s so many fun recipes out there. I ran across this one last month when I was browsing for ideas for my What’s Baking submission and couldn’t get it out of my head.

The glaze isn’t an in-your-face rum and coke, but the flavors are there if you’re looking from them and it adds a really nice sweet and spiced-ness to the ham. It’s the perfect ham for a special summer dinner.

Rum and Coke Glazed Ham
(from Noble Pig)

1 large ham
60 oz. coke, divided
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. prepared yellow mustard
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
2 T. dark rum
1 T. dry mustard
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.

Pour 36 oz. of the Coke into the bottom of a roasting pan and add the ham on a rack. Bake, tented, for one hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Reduce the remaining 24 oz. of Coke over medium-low heat for about 40 minutes, until there is a 1/2 cup left. Mix in the remaining ingredients and simmer to dissolve.

After the ham has been cooking for an hour, uncover and glaze every 15 minutes during the last hour. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes before carving.


Pork Chops with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

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Last year, we planted a small strawberry patch – this year, it’s exploding. I love it. We’re in the height of the season now, it seems, and we’re picking a few handfuls of berries a day.

We’ve been eating them for breakfast and throughout the day, but they were starting to pile up just a little so I went searching for a way to incorporate them into dinner, too. These pork chops were perfect – so good, super easy after a long day of work and they used up that day’s strawberry bounty!

 

Pork Chops with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce
(from Taste.com)
Serves 2

1 1/2 c. strawberries, chopped
2 T. good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 t. sugar
1 T. olive oil
2 pork chops
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 T. chicken stock

Toss the strawberries, balsamic vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and then add to pan. Cook through, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and then add strawberry mixture to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Top pork with strawberry balsamic sauce and serve.


What’s Baking: Spicy Black Bean Empanadas

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This month’s What’s Baking theme is puff pastry. I think most people think of dessert when they think of puff pastry – I know I do – but for some reason, I always end up making savory dishes when I buy a box. This go around was no exception. After browsing a lot of sweet recipes, I ran across this one and immediately started drooling.

I love street food in general. Anything you can eat on the go, I’m a big fan of. Empanadas are something I’ve enjoyed many times while we’re out but I never tried making them before. These were perfect.

I sized the recipe down so I was only using one box of puff pastry – this recipe made more than enough for the two of us for dinner plus leftovers – but if you’re making these for a crowd you may want to double this recipe.

Check out The Boys Made Me Do It later this month for a recap of the puff pastry dishes other bloggers made!

Spicy Black Bean Empanadas
(adapted from All Recipes)
Makes about 16 empanadas

1/4 lb. ground pork
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. tomato sauce
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. chili powder
1/8 t. crushed red pepper
3/4 c. shredded cheddar
1/2 c. black beans
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 package puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
1 T. water

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the pork until well browned. Add in the red pepper, green onions and garlic. Cook until tender. Add in the tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine and reduce heat to low. Cook for 8 minutes and then stir in the cheese, black beans and cilantro. Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.

Unroll the puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 16×12″ rectangle. Cut out rounds using a 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter. Top half of each circle with 2 heaping teaspoons of black bean mixture. Brush the edges of the pastry with water and fold over. Seal with a fork.

Place the empanadas on a lined baking sheet and back for 18 minutes or until golden.


Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

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I’ve made a lot of slow cooker meals and I don’t think any of them could have been described as “crispy”. When I ran across this recipe, that word alone got me. The trick here is to do a quick broil after the pork is cooked to crisp up the edges. It only takes a few minutes more than you’d spend just shredding the pork, and it really makes this feel different from other slow cooker dishes.

The meat is also really versatile. We made it into tacos, but it’d be great in any Tex-Mex dish.

Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
(from Gimme Some Oven)
Serves 6

1 T. vegetable oil
1 (4-5 lb.) lean boneless pork roast, excess fat trimmed, cut into 3-inch chunks
8 oz. beer
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
2 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper

In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the pork to the pan and sear on each side until browned (about 2 minutes per side). Once seared, transfer the pork to the slow cooker.

Add remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the pork is completely tender and shreds easily with a fork.

After the pork is cooked, preheat your broiler to high heat and prepare two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Shred the pork into bite-sized pieces and use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the prepared baking sheets, spreading it out evenly in a single layer. Reserve the remaining broth from the slow cooker.

Place one sheet under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin crisping up. Remove the sheet, and use a spatula or tongs to carefully toss the pork. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the remaining slow cooker broth over the pork. Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat more crispy. Then remove and ladle an additional 1/4 cup of broth over the crispy pork.

Repeat with the other baking sheet of pork.


BBQ Pork Enchiladas

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While I usually size my recipes down to make a manageable amount for just the two of us, I always end up making a ton of pulled pork. It usually means that I have to reinvent the leftovers a bit. This is one of my favorite ways to use up extra pulled pork.

I’ve made this a few times with pork from a few recipes – they all work well. These are Mark’s favorite of all the enchiladas I make – and I make a lot, so that’s quite a title!

BBQ Pork Enchiladas
(from Branny Boils Over)
Serves 4

2 c. pulled pork, prepared with your favorite barbecue sauce
1 c. frozen corn
1 onion, diced
1 t. oil
1 c. black beans
1 1/2 c. red enchilada sauce
1 c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
8 8″ whole wheat tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium until shimmering. Add onion and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in corn, pulled pork and black beans. Cook until warmed through.

Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Divide pork filling between tortillas and roll up, placing seam side down in the baking dish.  Pour enchilada sauce over rolled tortillas. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove cover, top with cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.


Spinach Prosciutto and Mozzarella Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

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I love the idea of Sunday dinners. There’s something so comforting in the idea of sitting down as a family to a nice meal at the end of the weekend. A few years ago, I tried to make Sunday dinners a thing for us, but eventually we got busy/lazy and it fell by the wayside. For the last month, though, Sunday dinners have made a reappearance and I’m totally loving it.

I made this pork dish for one of our recent Sunday dinners. This is fancy enough for a special dinner, but it’s simple enough to easily tackle on a weeknight. It was so, so delicious. Mark and I couldn’t get enough – we kept slicing ourselves “just one more piece”. I’m sure this will be a repeat when the garden starts overflowing with spinach.

Spinach Prosciutto and Mozzarella Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
(from Skinnytaste)
Serves 4

3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 T. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. olive oil
1/4 t. fresh ground black pepper
1 (1 lb.) pork tenderloin
2 oz. thin sliced prosciutto
2 oz. reduced fat mozzarella cheese
2 c. fresh baby spinach
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425F degrees.

Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil and black pepper.

Butterfly the pork tenderloin and pound thin. Spread half of the mustard mixture over the pork Layer the prosciutto, mozzarella and spinach on top of the pork and roll it jelly roll style. Tie up the pork with cooking twine to keep it rolled.

Rub remaining mustard mixture over the pork. Place on a rack in a baking pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160F degrees. Broil for 5 mins and then transfer to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Ham and Cheese Sliders

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We always end up with leftover ham after Easter. I think it’s mostly because my Mom, my Grandma and I always end up qualifying for the free holiday ham at the grocery store – and then make it a challenge to see who can get the biggest one for free. Of course, the hams are always bigger than we need – and we’ll only make one of the three for Easter.

So, there will be a lot of ham in this family in the next few weeks. This is a great way to use some of it up.

These are generally through of as more of an appetizer or party food, but paired with a salad they’re a quick, easy dinner.

Ham and Cheese Sliders
(from Annie’s Eats)
Makes 24

24 slider rolls
24 slices deli ham or leftover ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese
Mayonnaise
1 1/2 T. yellow mustard
1 stick of butter, melted
2 t. dried minced onion
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
Poppy seeds, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Split slider rolls and spread them with mayonnaise. Top with ham and cheese and cover. Place them on a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, melted butter, onion and Worcestershire sauce. Pour sauce evenly over the tops of the sliders. Sprinkle sliders with poppy seeds.

Cover the sandwiches with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake 2 minutes longer. Serve warm.


Gyoza

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Happy Recipe Swap day! I missed the last swap because we were travelling, so I was happy to jump back in to the latest round of Blogger’s Choice. For this round, I was assigned Brianna’s blog – Oishii Food. Oishii means “delicious” in Japanese and the blog was started when she spent some time in Japan. While there are plenty of recipes from other cultures too, I thought it was appropriate to pick a Japanese one.

Gyoza are pretty much the Japanese version of potstickers. And, since I have such a soft spot of potstickers, I knew I’d love these. As daunting as they look, they’re relatively easy to put together and absoltely delicious. I’m still working on getting the perfect fold down, but if you want to see some really beautiful Gyoza, click on over to Brianna’s blog!

Gyoza
(very slightly adapted from Oishii Food)
Makes at least 4 dozen

For the Gyoza:

3 c. cole slaw mix
2 green onions, chopped
1 T. coarse salt
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. white wine
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. cornstarch
1 package wonton wrappers (10-12 oz.)
1/4 c. vegetable oil

For the Dipping Sauce:

4 T. Soy sauce
4 T. Rice vinegar
1 t. Sesame oil
1 T. Agave nectar
1 t. Chili-garlic sauce
Salt & Pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, toss the cabbage with the green onions and salt. Let stand 10 minutes and then rinse and drain in a collandar. A handful at a time, sqeeze as much liquid out of the cabbage as you can and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the pork, pepper, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, white wine and sesame oil to the large bowl. Mix thoroughly with cabbage mixture.

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with two tablespoons water. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment. On the center of each wonton wrapper, place 1-2 teaspoons of pork and cabbage filling. Dip your finger in the water-cornstarch mixture and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Take one corner and fold it over to the opposite corner to make a triangle – seal the edges by pinching together.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, but not sizzling. Place enough gyoza in the skillet to cover the bottom, but don’t stack them. Cook until they’re browned where touching the pan. Add 2/3 cup of water to the skillet and cover tightly. Let steam for 5 minutes, adding more water if it evaporates before 5 minutes are up. Cook until the water is evaporated and they’re nicely browned on the pottom. Remove from pan and repeat until all gyoza are cooked.

To make the dipping sauce, whisk together all dipping sauce ingredients. Taste and adjust as needed.

Want to see what else was made for the Blogger’s Choice swap? You can see what all the participants cooked up below:


Caramel Apple Pork Chops

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Last fall, I made an awesome pork and apple hot pot. It was a bit of prep, and then cooked for quite a while. So good, but it took way to long to make on a weeknight. I’ve tried a few faster pork and apple dishes since then, but they’ve always fallen short.

Until this one. This dish balances the pork and apples well – and even though it’s called “caramel apple”, the apples aren’t overly sweet. I also loved the addition of the nuts.

We’re planning to go apple picking this weekend, so I’m sure this dish will be making a repeat appearance with orchard-fresh apples!

Caramel Apple Pork Chops
(from All Recipes)
Serves 2

2 thick-cut pork chops
1/2 t. vegetable oil
1 T. brown sugar
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 T. unsalted butter
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into chunks
1 T. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to warm and place an empty baking dish in the oven.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the pork chops with oil and add to the hot pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning halfway, or until cooked through. Transfer to the baking dish in the oven to keep warm.

Combine brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Melt butter in the skillet and then stir in the brown sugar mixture until well combined. Stir in the apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender.

Using a slotted spoon, move the apples to the baking dish in the oven to keep warm. Continue cooking the sauce, uncovered, until thickened.

When ready to plate, top the pork chops with the cooked apples, sauce and sprinkle with pecans.


Roasted Poblanos Stuffed with Pulled Pork

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I love repurposing leftovers.  I’m not a fan of eating the same meal two nights in a row – but change it up and I’m a happy camper.  When I made pulled pork a few weeks ago, I really had this dish in mind. That was take one, this dish was take two. With a few extra additions, it’s like a whole new meal.

This wasn’t a meal I made with the intention to blog – hence the sub-par picture. It was too good not to share. These are awesome.

Roasted Poblanos Stuffed with Pulled Pork
(adapted from I Breathe… I’m Hungry)
Serves 4

4 poblano peppers
1/4 c. frozen corn
2 T. chopped red onion
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Wash poblanos and place on a baking sheet. Broil, turning until blackened on all sides. Remove from the oven and let cool until they can be handled. Remove the stem, seeds and skin. and cut them lengthwise so they lay flat.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In a both, mix together pulled pork, enchilada sauce, red onion, corn and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. Divide mixture between peppers and fold the peppers around the mixture. (You can use a toothpick to keep them together – I just placed them close enough together in a baking dish to keep them from unrolling.)
Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and place peppers inside. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.