April 28, 2009

Asian-Style Short Ribs with Lacquered Carrots

We invited a couple and their 3-month old baby girl over for dinner. Chris is really good about picking out delicious recipes to show off when we have friends eat with us. This was definitely no different! If you are pulling your hair out, trying to figure out what to make for your next dinner party or small get together at your house... TRY THIS RECIPE!! I promise you that everyone will love it and think you are a genius. It is a lot of work but it's sooo worth it.

**Keep in mind that this really should be prepared the day before. If you chill overnight, the fat can be lifted right off the sauce.

6 short ribs on the bone, about 3 lbs total, trimmed of excess fat
1 1/2 c orange juice
1/2 c low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches baby carrots or 1 1/2 cups bagged mini carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the short ribs and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Coat the bottom of a 5-7 quart Dutch oven with a thin film of vegetable oil and set pot over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add enough short ribs to cover the bottom in 1 layer. Cook, without stirring, until short ribs lift easily from pot with tongs and are well browned on bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and continue with remaining short ribs, adding more oil to pot in between batches as needed.

Meanwhile, stir together the orange juice, soy, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

When the last batch of short ribs has been removed from pot, drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and stir 1 minute more until fragrant. Pour in orange juice mixture, let come to a boil, then put short ribs back in pot 1 at a time, bone side up; don't worry if you have to snuggle them a little bit.

Cover pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until meat peels easily away from bone when prodded with a fork, 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Remove from oven and transfer meat and bones to a plate. (The recipe can be made ahead to this point; let cool to room temperature and place short ribs and sauce in separate containers and store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

If serving dish right away, cover meat with foil to keep warm. Tilt pot to 1 side and spoon off as much fat as possible from sauce. Place pot over high heat and add the carrots and 1 cup of water; bring to a boil. (If made ahead, lift and remove solidified fat from top of sauce. Put sauce in a wide, deep pan, add carrots and water and continue as directed.) Reduce heat slightly and cook, uncovered, at a steady simmer until sauce is reduced by about half and carrots are just tender, 12-15 minutes. Return meat briefly to pan to rewarm, then serve. (If reheating meat, cover pan and heat in sauce for about 10-minutes more.) Serve with white or brown rice.
Serves 4-6.

Creamy Coconut Shrimp

Oh. My. God. This dish was an unexpected surprise of flavors! It's very colorful as well. I am a HUGE fan of curry! The coconut milk doesn't hurt either. ;p I'm not usually into seafood unless it's fried or swimming in some sort of garlic butter sauce. But this was fantastic! Another plus is that it's so easy and quick that you can whip it up when you get home from a long day at the office.

WW Points: 6

1 c uncooked long grain-rice
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 c green onion, chopped
1 tbsp grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 (13.5oz) can light coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 lime, quartered
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cook rice according to the package directions.

While rice is cooking, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper, ginger, green onions and curry; saute 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, shrimp and salt. Cook stirring occasionally for about 7-8 minutes or until shrimp are done. (do not boil) Place 3/4 cup rice in bowls and spoon shrimp mixture evenly over rice. Squeeze 1 lime quarter over each serving.

April 26, 2009

Lemon Caper Pork

This reminds me a lot of Lemon Chicken but with Pork. We both loved it!!

WW Points: 4

1 lb pork tenderloin or boneless chops, trimmed of fat
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 c fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp capers
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, thinly sliced

If using tenderloin, cut into 8 slices, place pork slices between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to a 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle pork with pepper and salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned.

Add broth and remaining ingredients to the pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2-3 minutes until liquid is reduced by half. Transfer pork to a serving platter. Spoon sauce and lemon slices, if desired over pork. Serve over a bed of whole wheat thin spaghetti or linguine for a complete meal.

Garlic Soy Pork Chops

This is one of our favorite quick dinners. The pork is so full of flavor and very simple to make. Marinate it overnight and it will be more tender and flavorful. The thinner the pork, the better. We like to use the breakfast chops.

1 lb boneless pork chops (4-6)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp pepper

In a glass dish, mix the dijon, soy sauce, garlic and pepper. I use a 9-inch glass square baking dish. Place pork chops in a single layer in dish and coat both sides with mixture. Cover dish with saran wrap and refrigerate from 1 hour to overnight.

Place aluminum foil on baking sheet and put a wire rack over pan. Spray with cooking spray. Move oven rack to the top closest to broiler. Preheat broiler to high heat while you put pork chops on wire rack and baking sheet. Place in oven for 4-6 minutes. Turn pork over and broil another 4-6 minutes or until browned. Serve with your favorite vegetable or wild rice.

April 15, 2009

April Update

April has been a very busy month so far. And we're already halfway through it. Working late, home remodeling, chores, getting over a bad cold, sleepiness, laziness... these are all the things that have kept me from sharing delicious food with you. I do have a few recipes and pictures to share soon. I just need to find time to upload the pictures and to write the posts. I'll work on it as soon as I can. My wonderful husband made me a unforgettable birthday meal that I am very anxious to share. I am STILL drooling. Stay tuned for Chicken Curry & Caramel Espresso Bars!!